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University to run circular economy workshops

The University of Manchester is offering places for two half-day workshops to companies interested in driving growth and productivity by adopting circular business models.

The University of Manchester is offering places for two half-day workshops to companies interested in driving growth and productivity by adopting circular business models.

The transition towards a circular economy, where resources are kept within the value chain rather than going to waste, is a key goal for the EU and could significantly drive growth in the UK whilst reducing resource consumption.

According to a 2016 survey, the vast majority of sustainability professionals in businesses expect the circular economy will be important to their business within the next two years.

Barriers

The most commonly perceived barriers to changing the business model included an insufficient business case, increased logistics costs (due to reclaiming goods at end-of-life) and lack of understanding from business leaders.

To help companies interested in circular business models, the Sustainable Industrial Systems research group at The University of Manchester is offering places for two half-day practical workshops.

The workshops can assist both new start-ups and mature businesses from any sector and are tailored to each company. They aim to guide the strategic implementation of circular economy principles into corporate decision-making through product or service design and strategic business planning. 

Each of the two half-day workshops would involve managers with different roles and responsibilities along the company’s supply chain, such as R&D, product design and production management, logistics and operations control, finance, and sales and marketing. 

Benefits

By the end of the project, participating companies will be able to:

  • Recognise the circular economy drivers and constraints surrounding their business
  • Measure the ‘circularity’ level of their current business model and supply chain
  • Identify improvement opportunities across the product or service portfolio and stakeholder value network to encourage sustainable business innovation
  • Develop a strategic action plan to develop a circular business model and improve economic performance.

To make the workshops as productive as possible, one-to-one interviews lasting no longer than 30 minutes would be held over the phone prior to the workshops to help identify circular economy drivers important for the company. 

The workshops are funded through a university research project and, as they only involve one company at a time, can be held at the company’s premises. 

For further information, contact Dr Joan Mendoza at joan.mendoza@manchester.ac.uk