Swipe right for circular economy

More and more companies want to engage with the circular economy but finding a new use for excess industrial material is difficult. New digital platforms are hoping to make it easier.

An increasing number of companies are realising the necessity of moving from a linear to a circular economy. And various digital platforms are working on facilitating this.

“We match companies. One of them has materials that would normally be thrown away and the other one is interested in buying those materials. Think of us as the Tinder of the circular economy,” says Christian van Maaren, co-founder of the Excess Materials Exchange.

The company, a digital marketplace that enables companies across industries to exchange excess materials and products, was founded in 2017, with the idea that there is wealth in waste and that a world without waste is possible. The aim of the exchange is to make companies more resource resilient, decrease their environmental footprint, and turn their trash into cash.

Paavo Ritala, a Professor of Strategy and Innovation at LUT University  (Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology) in Finland, says this is a growing field.

“In the past few years, we’ve seen platforms like these emerging from everywhere,” says Ritala, who conducts research on circular economy business models, including those using digital platforms.


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