Circular economy as an enabler of improved resilience and material availability in supply chains

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence


Topic of the dissertation

Circular economy as an enabler of improved resilience and material availability in supply chains

Doctoral candidate

M.Sc. (Tech.) Pasi Rönkkö

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Technology, Industrial engineering and management research unit

Subject of study

Industrial Engineering and Management


Professor Janne Huiskonen, LUT University


Associate Professor Jukka Majava, University of Oulu

Visit thesis event

Add event to calendar

Decreasing supply chain disruptions with the circular economy

The simultaneous worldwide disruptions in the 2020s have shown how vulnerable global supply chains can be. The disruptions have negatively affected companies that have been dependent on global suppliers in particular. Simultaneously, there has been a trend towards a green transition to fight climate change. One recognised and widely studied way towards a green transition is the circular economy (CE). The main principles of the CE include using the products as long as possible, repairing them, remanufacturing them to be like new, and using materials from used products to make new ones. The CE has already been studied, but it is not yet totally mature model and contains various economic and environmental challenges. Therefore, it is important to understand what are the current limitations of the CE and for what types of products the CE is applicable.

In this dissertation, the opportunities of the CE to develop local material flows and supply chain resilience (SCRES) are explored. SCRES refers to a supply chain’s ability to tolerate disruptions and recover from them to a functional state. The dissertation shows that, with the CE, local material availability and SCRES can be improved for some products. These products include, for example, heavy vehicle components manufactured in relatively small production batches. Another example is an electric vehicle battery (EVB), which can be repurposed after the original use for other applications such as energy storage. According to the study, the CE is applicable for expensive and highly specialised products with high residual value, and for products with limited availability of materials.
Last updated: 23.1.2024