In our resource-constrained world the urgency of accelerating transition from linear to circular economy is more pressing than ever. Continuing reliance on the shrinking resource base increases risks for price volatility and disruption of resource supply, which affect not only resource-intensive businesses, but the society as a whole. If linear ways of producing and consuming are substituted with circular material flows, substantial resource efficiency improvements can be achieved. Products and services need to be designed for resource efficiency taking a lifecycle perspective. New methods to reuse, repair, remanufacturing and recycling of products and their components need to be found, and in order to re-enter their next use phase.
However, there are significant gaps in knowledge and practice with regard to developing resource efficient, effective and circular solutions. To address these gaps, the Mistra REES program sets the following objectives:
- Create and consolidate contextual knowledge on REES in collaboration with academic, industrial and societal partners. The program aims to seek knowledge about which manufacturing industry sectors and value chains possess high potential for REES, and knowledge about the drivers and obstacles needed for a transition towards REES.
- Develop principles, methods and guidelines for the design of REES (products and services); business models for REES; and policies and policy packages enabling and driving towards REES.
- Understand the interrelations between product and service design, business models, and policies and policy packages and explore opportunities for effective interplay between them.
- Facilitate mutual learning between academic, industrial and societal actors about the transition of Sweden’s manufacturing industry towards more REES. This includes work to evaluate, demonstrate, implement and improve the developed principles, methods and guidelines in manufacturing cases, to document the cases and to communicate them in channels customized to relevant audiences.
This 4-year research program brings together three leading Swedish universities - Chalmers University of Technology, Linköpings University and Lund's University - as well as large and small companies and societal actors.