How are strategical prerequisites regarding the 3R’s in the Swedish stone

I dokument How circular business models can increase the use of 3R s - a shift towards circular economy (sidor 38-43)

4. Findings

4.2. How are strategical prerequisites regarding the 3R’s in the Swedish stone

turn how does it impact sustainable development?

Forcing powers are needed to succeed with the transformation to increase the 3R’s thoroughly according to respondents. Due to statistical differences among countries respondent 14 and 15 answered:

In Sweden we have mountain of good quality and therefore good supplies, which they haven’t. They have been forced into these thoughts differently, so that can be a basic declaration and it is naturally.

A possible forcing power may be to implement a so-called quota obligation, which in short is a requirement of a certain proportion of recycled material in new products. Though, the current amount of recycled material in society can create a paradox for such obligation according to document 3.

Respondents often responded on possibilities for increasing the 3R’s in terms of environmental positive effects. In return, some believe (e.g., respondent 7 and 19) that these positive environmental effects could improve the image for the company and create a profile as environmental-friendly. However, as respondent 23 said, the virgin production cannot be completely replaced by reused and recycled material:

When you look at the need of new infrastructure until 2045, in terms of sand and stone material, approximately 60% of that infrastructure are not built yet. So, even if you demolish every existing road and railway, it would not even be covering half of the need. Extreme amounts of material are needed for the future infrastructure.

Research question two’s themes regulations, market characteristics, and strategy will now be presented.

4.2.1. Regulations

Public Procurement Act is pointed out as a problem in several ways from both customers, ordering parties, and competitors. Public actors are forced to choose lowest tender and interviewees mentioned a fear of offering creative options, prohibition of side tenders as reasons for avoiding 3R’s. Some respondents (e.g., respondent 10 and 18) also believe that involved parties hide behind Public

Procurement Act and blame the law instead of trying to find solutions. A suggestion regarding changes in Public Procurement Act is presented in document 1 where performers could leave improvement and in turn collect some form of bonus.

Regulations regarding waste and criteria for when material can expire to be stamped as waste and be reused or recycled was a common answer as barrier.

According to several respondents, lack in guidance creates different interpretations from regulatory authorities. Respondent 23 summarised it well:

There is a need to contribute knowledge simply about these materials and about how the industry works and what the problems are, not necessarily the current regulations always, but the application of them. Our different municipalities can interpret the existing rules very differently and it may be better guidance that is needed than new legislation.

Rules and standards such as Allmän Material- och Arbetsbeskrivning (AMA) for material are strict and does not leave room for alternative options. Interviewees 1, 5 and 6 consider this to slow down the progress since regardless of standards like AMA is mandatory or not, the market follows this guidance. In the secondary data, facts of strict regulation on material standards and certifications such as AMA and ISO standards was found to often regulate on European union level (document 2). Additionally, material has its usage areas, though such material characteristics vary in for instance demolition masses. This together with differing project types creates difficulties for implementing a standard of how to use recycled material.

Residual product is categorised as waste or by-product and document 7 says that by-product is regulated similarly as a regular product. Waste though needs to undergo a recycling process with four conditions to repeal the waste stamp, (document 6). Several interviewees (e.g., 4 and 26) want to create a common approach such as EoW criteria in order to make it easier to recycle and reuse material. Some respondent claims that regulations do not hamper, instead it put pressure on the market to change, but the room for interpretation of the regulations needs to decrease. Increased demand for documentation processes was an activity that was mentioned by some in order to further this development. Also document 6 states that such process can be performed by dint of a EoW criteria which is in place for iron, steel, copper, and glass, but not stone materials.

A government assignment has been performed in order to investigate pros and cons for implementing national criteria such as EoW criteria. Document 3 says that it is possible to develop such criteria and that it could have positive effects to a certain degree. However, document 3 points out that such criteria won’t solve all challenges for waste and the conclusion was that EoW criteria is not relevant right now. Decisive cause was presented as lack of common view of how the process for when waste ends to be waste should look like. Further, document 3 suggests the market to become more united before this development takes place. Actors has according to document 3 answered that benefits for EoW criteria are easier, faster, and united judgement which in turn results in more recycled materials.

Recycling and reusing will be obligational in the future, but constraints must appear for pushing the industry to drastic changes, according to respondent 7.

Today, actors fear to set demands since it can increase the prices of products which creates a paradox: actors should set sustainability demands, but the price cannot increase. Additionally, some respondents propose taxes on new material or discount on reused material. Though, a paradox occurs again since we must extract new stone to meet the needs of building the infrastructure, so to set taxes on new stone material can be devastating too (respondent 23).

4.2.2. Market characteristics

The respondents perceived the competition at the market as hard and many of the participants claims that they experience very low margins. Though, some differences in terms of competition appeared on local level and size and type of project. In line with the hard competition, the interviewees considered the market very price sensitive and specifically that the Public Procurement Act focuses on price. Most of the respondents claimed that ordering party in projects values price, function, and quality.

In general, there exists two procurement types within this industry, referred to the interviewees. Partnering is one, which is characterised by two parties planning together and “soft values” such as organisational ability and sustainability is considered. Fixed price is the other type which basically look only at price. The partnering type seems to be preferable to increase recycling and reusing as respondent 26 described it:

…we have delivered a very high sustainability performance due to very good collaboration with the customers and that we gave been given this freedom of how to work.

In procurements, customers set demands from standards such as AMA, security requirements and sometimes demands about renewable energy. Mostly, the demands are about price and functionality according to for instance respondent 12, 23 and 30.

4.2.3. Strategy

Driving forces within the industry was discussed in the interviews and Agenda 2030 is not the main driving force for companies’ sustainability work due to its non-specificness, according to the respondents. However, a positive thing about Agenda 2030 was that it provides united goals on an international level and have created awareness. Furthermore, the respondents’ thoughts about who should pursue the issue about increasing the 3R’s varied. In summary, all of ordering parties, actors (stone material producers and their customers and competitors), and industry organisations are expected to drive the development. What was seen was that most actors said that it depends on the ordering parties since they possess the money (e.g., respondents 8 and 27), and the ordering parties insisted (e.g., respondents 14, 15 and 18). Though, the ordering parties also highlighted that to get real impact, the issue should be worked with together within the industry, with politicians, and with authorities. Respondent 3 meant that:

Sometimes it can be questions that are difficult to handle where it may not be preferable for one individual organisation to push the issue, instead it is a better way to do it through industry organisations.

Additionally, respondents mean that behavioural changes and genuine engagement from all persons in society is a prerequisite for sustainable development. Respondent 25 said:

our consumption society does not hold in the future

This shift requires innovative persons and ordering parties according to respondent 20. Strategically, both the case company and competitor (respondent 3 and 23) said that there is a willingness to expand the work with 3R’s. Some strategical investments in this area have been achieved. For instance, respondent 23 described managerial engagement regarding this topic. Some interviewees meant that partnerships are one strategical aspect. However, other respondents blamed Swedish Competition Act for complicating it, since it is unclear to what grade cooperation is legal.

Another strategical aspect is procurement. Above all, the partnering type of procurement seemed to be preferable to increase 3R’s. Both actors and ordering

parties mean that incentives such as bonuses (from ordering parties to actors) about sustainability actions can be implemented. An important aspect seemed to be establishing sustainability parameters into procurement instead of only economy. However, respondent 28 mean that this is not the way forward to pursue sustainable development, since by definition it is about money and economy.

I dokument How circular business models can increase the use of 3R s - a shift towards circular economy (sidor 38-43)