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Laboratory for Applied Circular Economy (LACE)

English title Laboratory for Applied Circular Economy (LACE)
Applicant Frankenberger Karolin
Number 172471
Funding scheme NRP 73 Sustainable Economy
Research institution Executive School of Management, Technology and Law Universität St. Gallen
Institution of higher education University of St.Gallen - SG
Main discipline Economics
Start/End 01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021
Approved amount 935'588.00
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All Disciplines (4)

Discipline
Economics
Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Legal sciences
Material Sciences

Keywords (8)

New Business Models; Private Law; Ecodesign; Institutional contexts; Material and Energy Flows; Circular Economy; Public policies for the environment; New Business Models

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Mit diesem inter- und transdisziplinären Projekt möchten wir in Zusammenarbeit mit Partnerunternehmen aus fünf unterschiedlichen Branchen praxisnah aufzeigen, wie nachhaltiges Wirtschaften in Form einer Kreislaufwirtschaft ökologisch sinnvoll und für Unternehmen gewinnbringend sein kann.
Lay summary

Hintergrund
Unsere Wirtschaft basiert mehrheitlich auf einem linearen Prinzip, bei dem Produkte am Ende ihrer Lebenszeit entsorgt und nicht weiterverwendet werden. Die Folgen sind die Entstehung von Abfall und eine unzureichende Nutzung von natürlichen Ressourcen. Hier setzt die Kreislaufwirtschaft an. Verschiedene Gründe, dass ein Produkt, wenn möglich und sinnvoll nie als Abfall entsorgt wird, sondern am Ende seiner Nutzungsphase wieder demontiert, aufgefrischt und gewinnbringend in einen neuen Produktzyklus zurückgeführt werden kann. Verschiedene Gründe führen zu einem erhöhten Interesse am Prinzip der Kreislaufwirtschaft: Übernutzung von natürlichen Ressourcen, Preisschwankungen bei Rohstoffen, Verbrauchssteigerung und Bevölkerungswachstum sowie negative Effekte von Abfällen auf Ökosysteme. Des Weiteren werden alternative Industriesysteme und dazugehörende Geschäftsmodelle in westlichen Volkswirtschaften mit stark umkämpften und gesättigten Märkten als Treiber von Innovationen betrachtet.

Ziel
Ziel dieses inter- und transdisziplinären Projekts ist es aufzuzeigen, wie Prinzipien der Kreislaufwirtschaft von Unternehmen in der Schweizer Wirtschaft ökologisch und ökonomisch nachhaltig angewandt werden können. Dazu arbeiten wir mit acht renommierten Partnerunternehmen zusammen und erstellen branchenabhängige Businesspläne. Diese zeigen auf, wie die erarbeiteten, ressourceneffizienten Muster von Kreislaufwirtschaft konkret in die Wertschöpfungsketten der beteiligten Unternehmen eingeführt werden können.

Bedeutung
Im Rahmen des Projekts möchten wir dazu beitragen, dass Schweizer Unternehmen dank innovativen Geschäftsmodellen einen relevanten Beitrag zur Vermeidung von Abfall leisten und auf ressourcenschonende Produktion von Gütern umsteigen, ohne dabei die ökonomische Perspektive zu vernachlässigen. Der Erhalt der Profitabilität und die aus den neuen Geschäftsmodellen resultierenden Impulse für die Wirtschaft offenbaren unausgeschöpftes Potenzial. Die thematische Breite verlangt eine umfassende Betrachtung und eine interdisziplinäre Herangehensweise. Aus diesem Grund setzt sich unser Forschungsteam aus Personen aus den Umweltwissenschafen, den Rechs- und Politikwissenschaften und der Volkswirtschaftslehre zusammen.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 19.03.2018

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Avec ce projet inter- et transdisciplinaire, nous entendons, en collaboration avec des entreprises partenaires de cinq secteurs différents, démontrer concrètement qu’une économie durable prenant la forme d’une économie circulaire peut être à la fois écologiquement pertinente et rentable pour les entreprises.
Lay summary

Contexte
Notre économie se base avant tout sur un principe de linéarité selon lequel les produits sont éliminés en fin de vie, au terme de leur utilisation. Cela entraîne une accumulation de déchets et une sous-utilisation des ressources naturelles. C’est ici que le principe d’économie circulaire entre en jeu. Différents facteurs, lorsque la situation le permet et que cela s’avère raisonnable, qu’à la fin de sa vie utile, un produit ne soit jamais éliminé pour être transformé en déchet, mais qu’il soit démonté, rajeuni et le réintroduit dans un nouveau cycle de production de façon rentable. Différents facteurs expliquent l’intérêt grandissant exprimé pour les principes de l’économie circulaire: la surexploitation des ressources naturelles, les fortes variations des prix des matières premières, l’augmentation de la consommation et la croissance de la population, ainsi que les effets néfastes des déchets sur l’écosystème. De plus, les systèmes industriels alternatifs et les modèles économiques qui y sont liés sont considérés comme étant des moteurs d’innovation dans les économies occidentales où les marchés sont hautement compétitifs et souvent saturés.

Objectifs
L’objectif de ce projet inter- et transdisciplinaire est de montrer que les principes de l’économie circulaire peuvent être appliqués par des entreprises dans l’économie suisse de façon durable d’un point de vue écologique et économique. Pour ce faire nous travaillons en collaboration avec huit entreprises partenaires de renom et établissons des plans d’affaires spécialement adaptés aux différents secteurs économiques. Ces plans montrent de quelle manière nos modèles d’économie circulaire peuvent être introduits dans les chaînes de valeur ajoutée des entreprises participantes en garantissant une utilisation efficace des ressources.

Importance
Dans le cadre de ce projet, nous souhaitons aider les entreprises suisses à apporter une contribution significative à la prévention du gaspillage. Les modèles économiques innovants établis devront les soutenir afin qu’ils puissent passer à un mode de production de biens respectueux des ressources sans que cela ait une incidence négative sur leurs perspectives économiques. Le maintien de la rentabilité et les stimulations économiques provenant de nouveaux modèles d’affaires révèlent un potentiel inexploité. L’ampleur thématique nécessite une vision globale et une approche interdisciplinaire. C’est la raison pour laquelle notre équipe de recherche se compose de spécialistes des questions environnementales, de juristes, de politologues et d’économistes.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 19.03.2018

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
With this inter- and trans-disciplinary project we want to demonstrate in cooperation with partner companies from five different sectors that sustainable management in the form of a circular economy can be ecologically beneficial and profitable for companies.
Lay summary

Background
Our economy is primarily based on a linear principle according to which, at the end of a product’s lifecycle, it is disposed of and not reused. The consequences are the generation of waste and inadequate use of natural resources. This is where the principle of a circular economy comes in. A number of reasons, when possible and purposeful, a product is never disposed of as waste, but rather can be disassembled, refreshed and profitably returned to a new product cycle. A number of reasons lead to an increased interest in the principle of the circular economy: Overuse of natural resources, price volatility of raw materials, increased consumption and population growth, as well as negative effects of waste on ecosystems. In addition, alternative industrial systems and associated business models in Western economies with highly competitive and saturated markets are seen as drivers of innovation.

Aims
The objective of this inter- and trans-disciplinary project is to show that the principles of the circular economy can be applied to companies in the Swiss economy ecologically and economically. In this regard, we are working together with eight well-known partner companies and will prepare industry-specific business plans, which show how the developed resource-efficient patterns of the circular economy can be introduced into the value chains of the participating companies.

Importance
As part of this project we want to help Swiss companies make a relevant contribution towards the avoidance of waste thanks to innovative business models and enable them to switch to resource-friendly production of goods without neglecting the economic perspective. Maintaining profitability and the resulting stimulus for the economy from new business models will reveal unexploited potential. The broad scope of topics requires a comprehensive view and an interdisciplinary approach. Therefore our research team comprises environmental scientists, lawyers, political scientists and economists.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 19.03.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Project partner

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
sanu durabilitas, CH-2502 Biel/Bienne Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
SV group, CH-8600 Dübendorf Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
V-Zug AG, CH-6301 Zug Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Losinger Marazzi AG, CH-3014 Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Nespresso, CH-1007 Lausanne Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Dr. Gabs, CH-1073 Savigny Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Tisca Tiara, CH-9055 Bühler Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Logitech, Cork Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Managementausbildung für die Kreislaufwirtschaft (CAS) Individual talk Nachhaltige Geschäftsmodelle 09.12.2021 St. Gallen, Switzerland Takacs Fabian;
CAS Sustainable Management in Textiles (Schweizerische Textilfachhochschule) Individual talk Kreislaufwirtschaft & Geschäftsmodelle 29.10.2021 Zürich, Switzerland Takacs Fabian;
78th Jubilee Swiss LCA discussion forum Talk given at a conference Democratisation of LCA: propagating sustainable behaviour through streamlined and inclusive processes for accessible LCA results 13.09.2021 Zürich, Switzerland Desing Harald; Hischier Roland;
European Roundtable on sustainable consumption and production Talk given at a conference Resource Reduction Index 08.09.2021 Graz, Austria Desing Harald; Hischier Roland;
10TH International Conference on Life cycle management Talk given at a conference When to replace products with no which (circular) strategy? An optimization approach and lifespan indicator 05.09.2021 Stuttgart, Germany Desing Harald;
Young researchers seminar on sustainable material cycles Talk given at a conference Resource consumption within Earth system boundaries 18.08.2021 Zürich, Switzerland Desing Harald;
IEMBA 8 Kurs Individual talk Circular Economy – One Step closer to Sustainability 22.06.2021 St. Gallen, Switzerland Takacs Fabian;
SETAC Europe 31st annual meeting Talk given at a conference Resource pressure of carpets 03.05.2021 Online/ Valencia, Spain Desing Harald; Hischier Roland;
Vorlesung, Universität St. Gallen, Kurs No. 4,740,1.00. (24 contact hours) Individual talk Auf dem Weg zu einer Kreislaufwirtschaft: Bedingungen, Möglichkeiten, Grenzen. 10.03.2021 St. Gallen, Switzerland Desing Harald;
Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Conference 2020 Talk given at a conference A new perspective on regulatory barriers and pathways to a sustainable circular economy 30.11.2020 Digital, Germany Brunner Dunia;
Vorlesung, Universität St. Gallen, Kurs No. 4,740,1.00. (24 contact hours) Individual talk Auf dem Weg zu einer Kreislaufwirtschaft: Bedingungen, Möglichkeiten, Grenzen. 13.10.2020 St. Gallen, Switzerland Desing Harald;
LCA Discussion Forum Talk given at a conference Resource pressure A circular design method preceeding LCA 29.06.2020 Digital, Switzerland Desing Harald;
School for Humanities and Social Sciences - Spring semester Universität St. Gallen (4 contact hours) Individual talk Auf dem Weg zu einer Kreislaufwirtschaft: Bedingungen, Möglichkeiten und Grenzen 26.01.2020 St. Gallen, Switzerland Desing Harald;
Frontiers in Energy Research Individual talk Spring Semester Energy Science Center ETH Zurich (2 contact hours) 25.01.2020 Zürich, Switzerland Desing Harald;
International Conference of Final Sinks Talk given at a conference Material Selection In Product Design Based On Closed Loop Recycling Efficiency 03.12.2019 Wien, Austria Desing Harald; Hischier Roland;
EIT Raw Materials Strategieworkshop "Roh- und Werkstoffe der Zukunft" Talk given at a conference Towards a sustainable circular economy 26.11.2019 Dübendorf , Switzerland Hischier Roland; Desing Harald;
Interdisciplinary Seminar for Early-Career Researchers: (New) Sustainable Economies: Conceptualization and Assessment Talk given at a conference Participation in the group discussion on ethical, environmental and economic consequences of new economic models 21.11.2019 Freiburg i.Br. , Germany Desing Harald;
"Transition towards a net zero built environment - carbon budget" workshop of the Sustainable Built Environment DACH conference Talk given at a conference How to split the carbon budget for buildings based on Planetary Boundaries 10.09.2019 Graz, Austria Desing Harald;
Life Cycle Management Conference Talk given at a conference Making best use of limited resources – from the choice of resources to eco-efficient engineering 02.09.2019 Poznan, Poland Hischier Roland; Desing Harald;
ISIE Socio Economic Metabolism Conference Talk given at a conference A Circular Economy within the planetary boundaries 13.05.2019 Berlin , Germany Desing Harald; Hischier Roland;
Vorlesung, Universität St. Gallen, Kurs No. 4,740,1.00. Individual talk Auf dem Weg zu einer Kreislaufwirtschaft: Bedingungen, Möglichkeiten, Grenzen. 22.03.2019 St. Gallen, Switzerland Desing Harald;
School for Humanities and Social Sciences, Universität St. Gallen - Spring semester (24 contact hours) Individual talk Auf dem Weg zu einer Kreislaufwirtschaft: Bedingungen, Möglichkeiten und Grenzen 20.01.2019 St. Gallen,, Switzerland Desing Harald;
IEMBA 6 Kurs Individual talk Sustainability & Circular Economy 27.11.2018 St. Gallen, Switzerland Takacs Fabian;
24th SETAC Europe LCA Symposium Talk given at a conference Environmental and Engineering Aspects of a new top-down Approach to Circular Economy 24.09.2018 Vienna, Austria Desing Harald; Hischier Roland;
Strategic Management Society (SMS) Talk given at a conference Business Models and Circular Economy 22.09.2018 Paris, France Takacs Fabian;
International Symposium "Science to support circular economy" Poster Laboratory for Applied Circular Economy (LACE) 19.09.2018 Vienna, Austria Desing Harald; Hischier Roland;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
LACE - Internal Interdisciplinary Workshop 11.02.2020 Bern, Switzerland

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Policy Roundtable - Quelles conditions pour mettre en place un système de réutilisation des emballages en verre en Suisse ? Talk 19.01.2022 Online, Switzerland Brunner Dunia; Moussu Nils;
Einkaufskompass Workshop 23.11.2021 Luzern, Switzerland Takacs Fabian;
Schweizer Digitaltag Talk 09.11.2021 St. Gallen, Switzerland Desing Harald;
5. Kerenzerberg Zukunftsforum 2021 Talk 20.10.2021 Kerenzberg, Switzerland Takacs Fabian;
Netto Null Ziel bis 2050 - Design Thinking Workshop Workshop 02.10.2021 St. Gallen, Switzerland Desing Harald;
Futurological congress in the alps Talk 16.09.2021 Bozen, Italy Desing Harald;
Evolve Conference Workshop 28.04.2021 Digital, Switzerland Brunner Dunia;
Sitzung der Kommission für Umwelt, Raumplanung und Energie Subkommission «Kreislaufwirtschaft» Talk 23.03.2021 Bern, Switzerland Brunner Dunia; Moussu Nils;
Fellowship Global Policy, Diplomacy and Sustainability (GPODS). Performances, exhibitions (e.g. for education institutions) 13.01.2021 Lausanne, Switzerland Brunner Dunia;
Fellowship Global Policy, Diplomacy and Sustainability (GPODS) Performances, exhibitions (e.g. for education institutions) 05.12.2020 Lausanne, Switzerland Brunner Dunia;
Circular Economy Webinar 2020 Talk 04.11.2020 Webinar, Switzerland Takacs Fabian;
CE2 – circular economy entrepreneurs 2020 Talk 17.09.2020 Interlaken, Switzerland Takacs Fabian;
Green Deal - Achats Circulaires Talk 27.11.2019 Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium Takacs Fabian;
Green Deal Achats Circulaires 2020 Talk 27.11.2019 Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium Takacs Fabian;
Transformation unserer Welt – die Agenda für nachhaltige Entwicklung Talk 25.11.2019 Berlin, Germany Takacs Fabian;
Ringvorlesung des GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft der Internationalen Zusammenarbeit) Talk 25.11.2019 Berlin, Germany Takacs Fabian;
Masterclass Design Innovation Workshop 24.10.2019 Kortrijk, Belgium Takacs Fabian;
Masterclass Design Innovation Workshop 24.10.2019 Charleroi, Belgium Takacs Fabian;
MaxTex Forum Talk 27.03.2019 Berlin, Germany Takacs Fabian;
MaxTex Forum Talk 27.03.2019 Berlin, Switzerland Takacs Fabian;
Circular Resource Lab - Feed Forward Workshop 07.12.2018 Lausanne, Switzerland Brunner Dunia;
Circular Resource Lab - Demo Day Innovation Fair Workshop 22.11.2018 Lausanne, Switzerland Brunner Dunia;
Circular Resource Lab - Technical Workshop Workshop 09.11.2018 Lausanne, Switzerland Brunner Dunia;
Circular Resource Lab - Mid-Term Retreat Workshop 01.11.2018 Lausanne, Switzerland Brunner Dunia;
Ressourcen Forum Schweiz Workshop 25.10.2018 Dübendorf, Switzerland Takacs Fabian;
Circular Resource Lab - Practical Workshop Workshop 05.10.2018 Lausanne, Switzerland Brunner Dunia;
Circular Resource Lab - Kick-Off Workshop Workshop 14.09.2018 Lausanne, Switzerland Brunner Dunia;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
LACE - Workshop N°7 18.11.2021 Bern, Switzerland
LACE - Workshop N°6 29.04.2021 Digital, Switzerland
LACE - Workshop N°5 17.11.2020 Digital, Switzerland
LACE - Workshop N°4 17.10.2019 St. Gallen, Switzerland
LACE - Workshop N°3 02.05.2019 Lausanne, Switzerland
Circular Vision Session - Losinger Marazzi 07.11.2018 Bern - Losinger Marazzi , Switzerland
Circular Vision Session - V-Zug 29.10.2018 Zug , Switzerland
LACE - Workshop N°2 02.10.2018 St. Gallen - Weiterbildungszentrum Holzweid, Switzerland
LACE - Workshop N°1 14.03.2018 Biel - sanu future learning ag, Switzerland

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) LACE Wissenstransfer-Notiz Nr. 4 | Ressourcendruck: eine zirkuläre Designmethode German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland International 2022
Other activities Circularity as the new normal Future fitting Swiss businesses (White Paper) German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland International 2021
Media relations: print media, online media Die Grenzen erneuerbaren Energien Die Volkswirtschaft German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland 2021
Media relations: print media, online media Energiewende: Der Wille fehlt Dolomiten German-speaking Switzerland International 2021
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) LACE Wissenstransfer-Notiz Nr. 2 | Eine Kreislaufwirtschaft mit erneuerbaren Energien betreiben? Western Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland International 2021
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) LACE Wissenstransfer-Notiz Nr. 3 | Ressourcenbudgets für eine nachhaltige Wirtschaft berechnen German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland International 2021
Other activities Medienmitteilung der Empa zum Thema Energiewende International German-speaking Switzerland 2021
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Motor Sonne - nur so gelingt die Energiewende SWR1 German-speaking Switzerland International 2021
Media relations: print media, online media Öko Energie ohne Grenzen? Empa Quarterly sowie Medienmitteilung Western Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland International 2021
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Policy Orientations for a Circular Economy Homepage Circular Economy Switzerland Italian-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland 2021
Video/Film Qu’est-ce qu’une économie circulaire durable ? Western Switzerland 2021
Media relations: print media, online media Schlüsselfaktor Design Faktor German-speaking Switzerland International 2021
Other activities Circular Ecosystems: Business Model Innovation for the Circular Economy (Monograph) International German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland 2020
Media relations: print media, online media Die Wirtschaft auf Kurs bringen Umweltperspektiven German-speaking Switzerland 2020
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) LACE Wissenstransfer-Notiz Nr. 1 | Eine Kreislaufwirtschaft innerhalb der planetaren Belastungsgren Western Switzerland International German-speaking Switzerland 2020
Media relations: print media, online media L'économie circulaire envisagée comme clé pour une relance post-Covid RTS Western Switzerland 2020
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) Wiederverwenden statt Recyclen. Jahrbuch Klimafreundliche Schweiz German-speaking Switzerland 2020
Media relations: print media, online media Wirkliche Nachhaltigkeit bulletin.ch German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland 2020
Other activities THE CIRCULAR IMPERATIVE International Western Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Vers une nouvelle logique industrielle Magazin de la fédération romande des consommateurs Western Switzerland 2019
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) Artikel: "Ein Weg aus der Sackgasse" in der SKZ German-speaking Switzerland 2018
Media relations: print media, online media Les technologies vertes sont-elles vraiment si propres ? PME Magazine Western Switzerland 2018

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
172471 Laboratory for Applied Circular Economy (LACE) 01.01.2018 NRP 73 Sustainable Economy

Abstract

The "Laboratory for Applied Circular Economy" (LACE) aims at consolidating practical knowledge for the transition towards a circular economy. The project will demonstrate that the principles of circular economy are applicable to an industrial production system in an ecologically and economically sustainable way. Applied research will be conducted in a variety of enterprises representative of the Swiss economic fabric. Scientists from various, complementary research fields will collaborate in this project: the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) will conduct research with an environmental and material sciences perspective; the Faculty of Economics and Management of the University of Lucerne will address business administration aspects and the Faculty of Law and Public Administration of the University of Lausanne will explore legal questions.Three PhD students, each one focusing on one research field (environmental sciences, business administration and law) will generate the main the scientific outputs. The overall goal of the three PhD theses is to create scientific knowledge in their own field and, based on this, the project will produce a feasibility study for different industry sectors. The transfer of scientific results into practical information for companies will be supported by the sustainability think-tank sanu durabilitas. The project will establish direct and tight collaboration between the researchers and partner companies of five different industrial sectors: medical technology, construction, computer industry, household appliances and food. The LACE already gained the interest of eight renowned Swiss companies: Bien-Air dental AG; Losinger-Marazzi AG; Logitech; V-ZUG AG; Tisca Tiara; SV Group; Nespresso and Dr.Gab’s (please refer to their letters of intent). With those partners, the LACE will enable a bottom-up implementation of circular economy principles on a company or a product level.
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