Why a B2B Sharing Economy Makes Sense From a Circular Perspective

Whilst we are all struggling with COVID-19, more than ever people see this as an opportunity to speed up the transition to a more sustainable economy. The way the world came to a drastic halt could potentially be a moment of reflection to ask ourselves what we can do differently. And since we are in the business of circular solutions for business worldwide, it made sense to see what opportunities we see today.
I was triggered by an excellent article from innovation and leadership author Navi Radjou. He talks about a frugal economy, which would be a big shift in the way our economy is structured. What appeals to me is the way Navi introduces multicompany business models. Because this is exactly what we see as the biggest opportunity to make circular solutions scalable.
Multicompany business models
The current economic models he calls “stakeholder capitalism” and “eco-capitalism” have enabled individual companies to boost the impact of their corporate social responsibility programs. But Radjou argues that they haven’t created a breakthrough whilst multicompany business models could fundamentally reshape the structures and dynamics of entire industries.
Radjou believes it’s time to think bigger and bolder. To build and support radically new industry value chains that are truly beneficial to people, society, and the planet, we need companies to work together. That is where multicompany business models come in.
The concept is based upon the success of B2B sharing in order to cocreate better value from all resources. The concept of sharing resources is already a huge success amongst consumers. Just look at the rise of platforms like Uber, Airbnb and ShareNow.
Accelerating the circular economy
For business it is time to follow this example and share resources and assets. Stop doing business as usual (we have mentioned this before), but share knowledge, factories, supply chains, partners and assets to become far more efficient. Multicompany circular business models are the way forward and the only way to accelerate the circular economy. Stop thinking in silos and the success of individual companies, but look at what can be achieved if a full industry would work together.
That is what some of my reflections in this COVID19 period brought me. Curious to hear about your ideas and suggestions. And in the meantime, I strongly suggest reading Navi Radjou’s full article on how to build new industry value chains that benefit people, society, and the planet.