TUTCRIS - Tampereen teknillinen yliopisto


Towards a circular economy by leveraging hazardous resources: A case study of Fortum HorsePower



JulkaisuJournal of Cleaner Production
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - 1 syyskuuta 2019
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli


The increasingly efficient use of scarce resources is a central theme in the gradual transition towards a circular economy. Hazardous materials represent a category of resources that is often difficult—and potentially risky—to transport, store, or neutralize. As a result, hazardous materials are rarely included in closed material loops. The present paper analyzes HorsePower, a business concept centered around an innovative way of utilizing horse manure. Horse manure is generated in millions of tons in horse-rich countries such as the UK, Germany, and France. It is a hazardous resource, as it may spread diseases, and cannot be disposed of or landfilled economically. The content analysis of 21 semi-structured interviews carried out with different business actors participating in the HorsePower business network reveals that the success of HorsePower stems from its ability to combine the complementary capabilities and material needs of a relatively complex network of business actors including stables, sawmills, logistical service providers, and heat and power plants. Each actor receives added value; the benefits from participation are greater than the sacrifices of participation. Furthermore, the findings show that certain types of hazardous resources, when combined with resources produced by another actor, may be burned efficiently and safely in specific power plants, reducing the need for other types of fuel. The observations imply that novel approaches for effectively sharing ideas and resource needs across organizational boundaries are needed to facilitate the development of additional innovative CE business concepts, leveraging both actor-specific capabilities and intra-actor resource dependencies.