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Circular Economy in the Food and Retail Industry: A Case Study of the Swedish Company ICA
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The objective of this study was to examine how circular economic strategies could be implemented on the food and retail industry. The objective was broken down into four research question: RQ1 Within a food and retail company, what could be suitable product categories to transform into circular economic based solutions? RQ2 Which potential actors are influenced and need to be involved if a food and retail company wants to implement circular economic based solutions? RQ 3 If implementing circular economic based solutions, what potential challenges might a food and retail company experience? RQ4 If implementing circular economic based solutions, what potential benefits might a food and retail company experience?

The research plan for the thesis consisted of the case study of ICA, a literature study, semi-structured interviews as well as observations. The research found numerous product categories for circular implementations such as; product design & development, transport options for customers such as car-pools and rentals of bicycles, circular packaging, in-store rental structures, improved waste-management structures, collection structures for used goods and lastly, the rental implementation of solar panels. Actors perceived as important in the transition towards circular economy were also identified by the respondents and are; municipalities in which ICA operates business, suppliers of goods, the corporate office and a specialized design team, merchants and the increasingly powerful customer. Furthermore, the result of the research shows an increasing desire within all respondents to further ICA Groups sustainability measures in addition to a strong willingness from the merchants for implementing circular structures. The research also identified potential challenges as well as benefits, which were found within the respondents. The challenges were found to encompass the classic challenges, which face CE implementation and surrounded the creating of viable and rational economic structures for implementations. The benefits found stemmed back to the economic benefit of becoming more resource efficient as well as a stronger environmental profile, which in turn would lead to a strong competitive advantage on the market.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 69 p.
Examensarbete vid Institutionen för geovetenskaper, ISSN 1650-6553 ; 309
Keyword [en]
Natural Science: Geovetenskap och miljövetenskap; Earth and Related Environmental Sciences (105)
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-296422OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-296422DiVA: diva2:938165
Subject / course
Sustainable development
Educational program
Master Programme in Sustainable Development
2016-06-03, Geocentrum, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 11:00 (English)
Available from: 2016-06-16 Created: 2016-06-16 Last updated: 2016-06-16Bibliographically approved

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