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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Circular Economy

The circular economy connects firms within and across supply chains, so the waste of one organization becomes the feedstock for another. It is the embodiment of sustainable development, because business production and consumption are contained within the Earth’s planetary limits.

However, implementing the circular economy is tough. It requires businesses to recognize economic opportunities related to waste. It then requires to act collaboratively to innovate products, processes and business models that extract and capture value from waste. It finally requires efficient coordination of highly variable material flows moving forward, backwards and laterally within a complex network of businesses. Weak financial and regulatory incentives, managerial myopia and adversarial buyer-supplier relationships in supply chains make the much needed innovation and coordination difficult to achieve.

The Circular Economy Priority at the Ivey Centre for Building Sustainable Value works to accelerate system transformation towards a circular economy by providing insights into how circular supply chains can function and how current supply chains can be transformed.

Learn more about our research and projects – and how to get involved – below.

Get Involved

Interested in learning more about the circular economy or how you can improve your operations and supply chain? We are always looking for organizations that want to achieve positive change, whether through involvement in upcoming events, consulting projects with our talented students, or sponsored research initiatives. To learn more, contact us with a brief description of what you’d like to do.

Currently, we’re working with leading organizations in the Canadian agri-food sector to identify strategies to reduce food and plastic waste and transition towards circular supply chains. If you’re in the agri-food space and would like to get involved with this initiative, contact us.

 

 

For Executives & Managers

From our partnerships with industry, we know that committed business leaders are at the forefront of driving real change toward the circular economy. Below are insights and resources that can help executives and managers drive circularity in their own organizations and across their supply chains:

 

VIDEO: The Circular Economy - from big idea to transformational action

VIDEO: Circular Economy: big idea to transformational action

A recent webinar, hosted by the Centre for Building Sustainable Value and the Ivey Academy, convened leading change makers in Canada on how we make real progress towards the circular economy.

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How to Overcome Circular Economy Challenges

How to overcome circular economy challenges

Creating a circular economy requires involvement from businesses, the public sector, and researchers. Canada’s “Our Food Future” provides a model.

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Could a circular economy be closer than we think?

Could a circular economy be closer than we think?

Some estimates say that the global economy is only 9% circular. But maybe change in key parts of the system are not as hard to achieve as we think.

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An affordable way to find circular economy profits

An affordable way to find circular economy profits

Professor Jury Gualandris reflects on recent work about how to make circular economy more affordable.

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Advance supply chain sustainability through supplier development

Advance supply chain sustainability through supplier development

Leaders at HP and Philips describe their approach in this podcast hosted by Jury Gualandris.

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How sustainable and circular procurement can take off

How sustainable and circular procurement can take off

If organizations built sustainability into purchasing, they could transform markets.

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IKEA

Learning from IKEA circular economy initiatives

Professors Jury Gualandris and Rob Klassen visit with IKEA Canada to learn about what the organization is doing to build their contribution to a circular economy. 

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Tima Bansal to chair expert panel on the circular economy

Tima Bansal to chair expert panel on the circular economy

A new multidisciplinary panel will examine the potential economic, environmental, and social impacts of advancing a circular economy in Canada. 

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For Researchers

Ivey has a unique concentration of top researchers who study supply chains and sustainability. They apply a wide range of empirical and analytical research methods to investigate and understand the transformation of supply chains systems towards circularity.

Learn more about our faculty’s research:

City of Guelph and Ivey join partner for the circular food economy

City of Guelph and Ivey join partner for the circular food economy

A  partnership between Ivey and the Guelph-Wellington’s ‘Our Food Future’ project will investigate how businesses can create opportunities from waste and establish circular supply chains.

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Connecting the dots to illuminate cash in another firm's trash

Opportunity recognition: illuminating the cash in another firm's trash

This project analyzed four firms undergoing opportunity recognition and evaluation of utilizing other firms' waste.  This exploratory research presents insights on the micro-processes that enable firms to "connect the dots" to "see cash in the trash" of other firms. 

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One man's trash is another man's treasure

Operational agility: one man's trash can be another man's treasure

Through four case studies of firms in the agri-food industry that are exploring and implementing potential waste synergies, this paper assesses similarities and differences in their sources of external and internal variety and their achieved level of waste exchange proficiency.

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Ivey’s role in the rise of the circular economy

Ivey’s role in the rise of the circular economy

Assistant Professor Jury Gualandris discusses how Ivey's innovative research is contributing to the circular economy.

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Ivey student wins global award for circular economy research

Ivey student wins global award for circular economy research

Shawn Liu, HBA ’20, was named one of 25 Global Winners in the 2020 Global Undergraduate Awards for his research on circularity in the food sector.

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Ivey researchers awarded funding for the circular economy

Ivey researchers awarded funding for the circular economy

Jury Gualandris, Deishin Lee, and PhD Candidate, William Diebel, have all received funding for their research on the circular economy and sustainable supply chains.

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Using Big Data in supply chain studies

Using Big Data in supply chain studies

New research published in the Journal of Supply Chain Management by Tima Bansal, Jury Gualandris, and Nahyun Kim identifies the opportunity of incorporating quantitative Big Data in supply chain theory and research.

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187 supply

How to improve supply chain transparency

New research published in the Journal of Operations Management by Jury Gualandris and colleagues maps out global supply chains to help identify opportunities to enhance multi-tier supply chain transparency. 

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For Instructors

Ivey is well-known for its collaborative and practical case method teaching. Learning through cases challenges students to analyze information, make decisions, and defend those decisions when others may disagree. 

Below are some cases related to sustainable supply chains written by Ivey faculty. 

A&W Canada: Serving Great Taste with Minimal Waste

A&W Canada: Serving Great Taste with Minimal Waste

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HP Canada Co.: A Circular Supply Chain for Recycled Plastic

HP Canada Co.: A Circular Supply Chain for Recycled Plastic

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John Deere

John Deere Reman: Creating Value Through Reverse Logistics

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Waste Audit at Innovation Works

Waste Audit at Innovation Works

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Polyface

Polyface: The Farm of Many Faces

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Huawei

Huawei: Struggling to Develop a More Sustainable Supply Network

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Herman Miller

Cradle-to-Cradle Design at Herman Miller: Moving Toward Environmental Sustainability

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Nestlé SA

Nestlé SA: The Nescafé Plan in China

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