Today I had the opportunity to talk about Circular Economy with master students at São Paulo University (UNIP) invited by Daniela Fontana, a former colleague at Odebrecht and today a Sustainability teacher there.
It was a great opportunity to discuss the subject with the focus on them, as professionals and the role that they can play in re-shaping their businesses and shifting the foundations of our current business models to a more innovative one.
The circular economy brings the need to re-think our products and services and the urgency to implement different approaches for value creation. Incremental innovation will become less effective and if businesses want to survive within this new environment, a big system change is required together with disruptive innovative thinking.
Therefore, companies must develop a business culture that promotes innovative and circular thinking. There is a role for the internal sustainability innovator who acts with knowledge, intention and take action to catalise the business model shift.
This has been demonstrated at the recent report from SustainAbility – Model Behaviour II. “Innovation is not going to come as a result of external conditions, company culture is also a very important factor moving towards business model shift and there is a lot of value and work to be done by the ambition individual within a company.”
As the circular and collaborative economies gain momentum, and digitalization provides unprecedented access and transparency, new, more sustainable business models are emerging.
I hope I have inspired them to go back to their own companies, employers or their teams and also inspire them on the opportunities around the circular economy.