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Lisa Heldt

Doctoral student

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Multi-actor business models in the manufacturing industry. Exploring how first-tier suppliers transition towards circularity.


  • Martina Forbicini
  • Lisa Heldt


  • Laura Michelini
  • Anna Minà
  • P Alaimo Di Loro

Summary, in English

Adopting circular business models (CBM) represents a key lever for industry to address urgent global challenges. Prior research recognizes the need for systems thinking and collaboration, but existing CBM tools and methods often implicitly assume that the focal firm has direct access to end customers, usage data and end-of-life phases. However, upstream suppliers who lack this access often produce key components of the final product – particularly in manufacturing – and could thus be an impactful actor in driving circular solutions. We therefore aim to explore and explain how non-end-user-facing manufacturers, i.e. first-tier suppliers, drive CBM adoption through their value chain and stakeholder partners, and how existing CBM archetypes need to be extended for these novel constellations. For this purpose, we conduct an action research case study with a Swedish first-tier manufacturer who is starting to develop CBMs for its marine engine product lines which are currently sold in a linear fashion through boat manufacturers and dealers to end users. Expected results include an extended CBM canvas that accounts for CBM archetypes based on more complex value chain and stakeholder collaborations. By exploring how companies further upstream in the value chain initiate and build CBMs, we aim to advance and bridge knowledge on multi-actor CBMs and circular supply chains. We thereby hope to invite more research into how non-traditional actors can drive circular industry transitions.


  • The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics

Publishing year







Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on New Business Models: Sustainable Business Model Challenges: Economic Recovery and Digital Transformation

Document type

Conference paper


LUMSA University


  • Business Administration
  • Environmental Sciences


  • Business model
  • First-tier supplier
  • Collaboration
  • Value chain
  • Circularity

Conference name

7th International Conference on New Business Models

Conference date

2022-06-23 - 2022-06-24

Conference place

Rome, Italy




  • Resource-Efficient and Effective Solutions based on Circular Economy Thinking - Phase 2


  • ISBN: 979-12-210-1188-3