Exclusive Insights from NORNORM's Circular Breakfast at Tech Arena 2024

At this year's Tech Arena, one of Scandinavia's largest tech events, NORNORM hosted the Circular Breakfast, bringing together industry leaders, innovators, and forward-thinkers to explore the role of technology in shaping the future of circular companies. We caught up with a few of our expert panellists afterwards to gain exclusive insights on the topics discussed.


Nanna Gelebo (BCG) on Bridging Linear and Circular Business Models

Nanna Gelebo has been a Partner at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in Stockholm for 12 years, with a strong track record of driving transformative change in the retail sector on everything from strategy to implementation.

Key Insights: Nanna discusses the concept of 'cross-fertilisation' between linear and circular business models. She highlights the importance of transforming transactional customer relationships into relational ones through circular efforts, emphasising that rental and second-hand products can serve as gateways for consumers into more sustainable consumption patterns. This approach not only benefits the environment but also opens new avenues for business growth.

Takeaway: Linear business models do not have to stay linear. You can start to become more circular by gradually integrating a circular business model into your current linear one, through e.g. rental and second-hand products, building a circular set-up that suits your business specifically.


Marcus Linder (RISE) on Evaluating and Ensuring Circular Claims

Marcus Linder is the Director of Business Design at the Research Institute of Sweden (RISE). He holds a PhD in Technology Management and Economics from Chalmers University of Technology, specified in environmental research, with his research having been applied industrially in procurements by industry giants such as Volvo.

Key Insights: Marcus brings attention to the critical aspect of a product's end-of-life plan. He emphasises that being 'potentially circular' is insufficient without a concrete and, preferably legally binding, plan for product lifecycle management. This perspective is crucial for customers evaluating circular claims, pushing companies to not just promise sustainability but to embed it into their actual business practices.

Takeaway: To remain credible towards industry peers and customers, the best practice is to have a clear, communicable, and incentivised plan for your circular business model that customers can trust and rely on. It is important that customers should be able to evaluate and ensure your claim of circularity and end-of-life product plans.


Vojtech Vosecky on Being Authentic when Marketing your Circular Efforts

Vojtech Vosecky is one of the leading circular economy advocates, with experiences ranging from being the co-founder of the successful think-tank Institute of Circular Economy, working for the European Parliament, and the world-leading organisation Circle Economy. In 2022, he was also selected as one of the Top Green Voices to follow in Europe by LinkedIn.

Key Insights: Vojtech stresses the importance of being hyper-authentic in the communication of your circular business principles. For him, it’s about being bold in stating what you stand for, challenging misconceptions, and creating moments of realisation for your audience (think true “aha-moments”). His approach - educate, inspire, and agitate - is a formula that companies can use to effectively market their circular efforts. Vojtech highlights that no matter the format of your marketing, and to avoid the trap of greenwashing, be authentic and stand your ground, whilst always backing up with research. That always wins.

Takeaway: When marketing your circular or sustainable business efforts, especially on LinkedIn, use the three principles of educating, inspiring, and agitating - ideally in one go. Be authentic, use visuals, and create truly educating moments. Use facts whenever you can. However, be careful not to over-do them - and always, always, double check them.