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Value creation through circularity

ÅF can support the shift to a circular business model

ÅF has a long history of supporting clients in streamlining industrial flows, especially within segments such as energy and water, waste management, package development and production waste minimization. However, the biggest impact on both business and sustainability can be obtained in the shift towards a circular business model, and not only by focusing on the spin-off services such as recycling.

Because when raw material prices rise and our population increases, the key for a sustainable industry is a business model where production and distribution systems are circular; The resources are used in a closed loop instead of manufacturing new products and mining raw materials.

“Consumers are beginning to ask for products or services with a circular aspect, and young professionals want to take employment where circular business strategies are implemented”, says Jenny Åström, sustainability consultant at ÅF with long experience in resource management.

There are not only environmental aspects of circular models – in the long run it can also be a strategy for increased profit. One example is Philips’ Circular Lighting offer, where lighting is rented out instead of lamps being sold.

“Decision makers on a national and international level are now formulating policy documents at a rapid pace about how resource consumption must decrease, so it is about time for companies to adapt to the new conditions”, Jenny Åström states, and explains how business models in the future will be characterized by function rather than product.

“The actual products will be part of the business – but not necessarily the main business. When a company invests in sustainable and perhaps more expensive materials and in sustainable design, the business models must keep up. They cannot just sell a product like before. A business model transition that is initially difficult, but will make the company relevant and profitable”, she says and concludes:

“ÅF can help to set up a roadmap with goals and strategies. We have all the skills and tools needed in developing the new value chain. We have experts in product design, logistics, production and behavioral design. We can create life cycle analyzes and help develop the digital solutions that will be so important for this shift.”


See the interview with Jenny Åström:



Sustainable industry. Sustainable solutions are increasingly becoming a key issue throughout industry’s value chain – from materials and design to suppliers, production, and product performance and usage. Resource efficiency and use of renewable materials are increasingly becoming a requirement in product development, where companies with leading expertise in sustainability have a clear competitive edge. Insightful industrial companies thus abandon the previously predominant linear economy for a circular economy, with circular material flows in which the products are used and consumed with the least possible raw material extraction and generated waste.