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🎙️🎙️RECORDED SESSION 👉 #77 TheNTWKTalks | Green Talks ♻️ How to Build and Scale Circular Platforms

Last Thursday, we had the first Open #TheNTWKTalks of the new season! We're sharing with you the key takeaways not only from the online discussion with Loïc Le Fouest, Camilla Marcus-Dew, and Marta Agrech but also from the intense conversation in the chat.

  • 09:45 ♻️ The circular economy aims to eliminate waste and keep materials circulating at their highest value, but there is a need for more widespread adoption and consideration of customer roles and behaviors to successfully transition to a circular economy.

    • Camilla discusses the challenges of achieving sustainability in packaging and soap products, including issues with plastic bottles, waste, and microplastics in water, and their efforts to find solutions.

    • The circular economy aims to eliminate waste, regenerate nature, and keep materials and products circulating at their highest value, contrasting with the linear economy that relies on extraction, production, and disposal.

    • In a circular economy, customers play a crucial role in adopting innovative ideas to keep materials and products in circulation, but there is a need for more widespread adoption for successful circular experiences.

    • Organizations and governments have not given enough consideration to the new roles, behaviors, and relationships that consumers need to adopt in order to transition to a circular economy, resulting in problems with the customer experience and impact.

  • 17:41 🌍 Building and scaling circular platforms for sustainability requires personal quality, digital improvements, precise data models, partnerships, and considering customer experience and supply chain challenges.

    • The complexity of shifting from a literal to a more circular operation and business model, highlighting the need for digital improvements to address customer experience, supply chain visibility, and reverse logistics challenges.

    • Changing to a larger packaging size may seem more efficient, but it can create difficulties for cleaners who struggle to lift and use it effectively, highlighting the importance of considering customer experience when implementing sustainability measures.

    • Understanding the problem and finding solutions in a more systematic way, considering the needs and pain points of each actor in the supply chain is crucial for building and scaling circular platforms for sustainability.

  • 22:34 🔄 Organizations face challenges in transitioning to circular models, but can overcome them by understanding consumer sustainability agendas, rethinking value streams, and leveraging legislation and incentives.

    • The transformation to circular models poses a significant risk for organizations that have been optimized for a linear economy, as there is a lack of quick and inexpensive methods to test and experiment with these models.

    • To successfully transition to a circular economy, organizations need to ask new questions and gain a deep understanding of the sustainability agenda of their consumers in order to create value and overcome challenges.

    • Legislation and government intervention can play a significant role in accelerating the changes needed for circular platforms, but organizations should also take the initiative in rethinking their value stream and having conversations about a circular value proposition.

    • Legislation and incentives in France are creating a legal framework for companies to build circular platforms and facilitate the circular business model, allowing for opportunities to scale internationally.

  • 31:33 🌱 Companies can offer more sustainable cleaning services to large companies with multiple commercial buildings by promoting circularity through options like returnable containers and diluted products, reducing transportation costs and waste.

    • Many companies focus on either sustainability or cleaning services, but few do both; however, there is an opportunity to approach large companies with multiple commercial buildings and offer more sustainable cleaning services.

    • There are discussed the challenges of building and scaling circular platforms, specifically in regards to the difficulty of getting actors in the supply chain to prioritize sustainability, and mentions their efforts to collect and reuse containers but acknowledges the high rate of loss in the supply chain.

    • The company offers two different product options to promote circularity, allowing customers to either return their product or buy a product that can be diluted on-site, resulting in less weight, no water being shipped, and reduced storage.

    • It was discussed the importance of creating a circular platform to scale and expand the impact of their products, such as compostable sponges and returnable containers, in order to drive circularity and reduce waste in commercial buildings.

  • 38:18 🌍 Building and scaling circular platforms requires engaging customers and addressing real ground problems, such as cost and logistics, to create a closed-loop system that improves efficiency and resilience.

    • Customers need to be more committed to using reusable and recyclable products, but businesses are focused on greening energy and may not prioritize container return due to the effort involved.

    • The key factor in building and scaling circular platforms is engaging the end user and addressing real ground problems such as cost and logistics in order to create a closed-loop system that improves efficiency and resilience.

    • Peter C. Evans emphasizes the importance of offering a holistic solution through a flexible platform that allows customers to onboard suppliers and manage their circular assets, rather than focusing solely on the product itself.

  • 47:34 🔄 Circular platforms require effort from both businesses and customers but can be facilitated through understanding behaviors and creating value for users.

    • The shift towards sustainability and circularity requires a new approach to customer experience, where a certain amount of effort is needed from customers to drive a circular agenda for businesses.

    • The importance of considering behavioral science in designing circular business models and platforms is discussed, emphasizing the need to understand current and future behaviors, motivations, and opportunities for consumers and other actors in the ecosystem.

    • Circularity is challenging, but platforms can make it easier by focusing on creating value for users and customers and considering their impact and needs.


Key Takeaways from Spirited Discussion

  • Global variations. Different regions are at varying levels of maturity when it comes to circular business models and platforms, indicating the need for tailored approaches and solutions based on regional context.

  • Enforcement and Incentives. Enforcing and enabling regulations, along with incentive mechanisms, play a crucial role in encouraging the adoption of circular business models.

  • Behavioral change. Changing behaviors, both at the consumer and employee levels, is a significant challenge in promoting circularity. This may require training, awareness, and clear directives.

  • Value creation and capture. Customers and businesses need to better understand the concepts of value creation and value capture in circular systems. Recycling alone may not capture the maximum value of resources.

  • B2B opportunities. Circular business models appear to be more viable in the B2B space, where employee behavior can be influenced by employers and companies can implement more straightforward practices.

  • Collaboration is key. Collaboration and partnership across supply chains and territories are essential for scaling circular platforms and driving positive change.

  • Focus on reuse and reduction. While recycling is essential, the focus on circularity may shift towards reuse and reduction in the future, especially given the high volumes of waste generated.

  • Platform potential. Platforms have the potential to play a significant role in advancing circularity, as they can reduce friction and enable more efficient resource utilization.

  • Customer experience matters. In both B2B and B2C contexts, customer experience and the customer journey play important roles in the success of circular platforms. Going circular may require solutions to mitigate the additional customer effort needed for success.

  • Education and awareness. Educating customers and employees about the benefits of circularity and the value they can derive from it is crucial for its adoption.


Learn More in How to Build and Scale Circular Platforms Course

This course brings together business model transformation, customer experience, and digital platforms to demonstrate how circular business models will play a crucial role in helping businesses respond to new market pressures and become future-fit.

This Course is For You If You Are:

  • Company Leader. You recognize the shifting customer needs and mounting business pressures and want to champion the sustainability transition through innovative business models.

  • Head of Digital Transformation/ Sustainability. You recognize the potential of combining digital technologies with business model innovation to have a positive impact on society and the environment.

  • Innovation Project Leaders. You recognize the need to introduce more circular solutions to ensure the sustainability of your digital business.

After This Course, You Will:

  • Understand the benefits and challenges of launching and scaling the circular business.

  • Learn how to design or redesign your business to introduce circularity by using the platform business model to ensure efficiency.

  • Apply user-centered design and behavioral science techniques to create engaging circular customer experiences for your platform business. Harness the power of digital to accelerate progress toward sustainability goals and drive positive environmental and societal impact.

♻️ Discover the Course program and secure your spot until September 30th!


Join TheNTWK Community to explore the latest digital trends, engage with fellow community members, and participate in TheNTWKTalks every Thursday!


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