Impact Goal Rush
Impact Goal Rush

Episode 17 · 1 year ago

Jasper Steinhausen - How a CEO can transform a business for a sustainable circular economy


Jasper Steinhausen of talks about how CEOs and Exectutives are transforming their business for a sustainable circular economy.

As a business owner and a CEO of your company, how can you take the first step towards the circular economy? That's what we're going to be talking about in this episode. Hello and welcome to the impact go rush podcast. This is the podcast for impact entrepreneurs. This podcast aims to amplify the voices of impact entrepreneurs addressing the United Nations Global Goals, Aka Sustainable Development Goals. Listening to fellow impact entrepreneurs on their journey in this new goal rush of making a bigger impact, get inspired to learn how to entrepreneurship, you can grow your impact to make the world a better place, leave a legacy and live a more meaningful life. I'm your host. Wound time. Welcome to episode number seventeen of the impact goal rush. In this episode we have Jasper Steinhausen of urwborrows dot works, and he works with CEOS and executives on their journey towards a sustainable circular economy. If you are a business owner or CEO of a company with physical products, you want to listen in to this episode to learn how you can take your first steps towards the circular economy. JUSTPER GIVES US concrete examples of how he is taking executives through this transformation, and usually it starts with the mindset and he talks about how, through the process that they've developed, how he works with all these company is to help them become more circular in their thinking, in their process, in terms of their physical products that they're manufacturing, and it completely transformed the business and the mission of a company. So it's fascinating how he's working with all these businesses to listen in. I hope you enjoy this episode. If you miss the previous episode, we had Erica purvise of technical nature. She's a sustainable design and business strategist and introduces us to the concepts of circular economy. Should love working with small business owners. So if you haven't listened to that episode, that's episode number sixteen, so go check it out. So back to today's episode. Here is my conversation with Justper Steinhausen of rborows works. Enjoy the show. Welcome to the impact goal rush. Why must businesses embrace the circular economy? Well, thank you and thank you for having me. Ultimately it's about survival, but I guess you could say it's kind of gramatic to put it like that. But if you, as a as a business leader or business owner, feels like you nurse, you must do something to work on cutting costs, to attract talent, to increase and motivate your staff, stimulate innovation, attract investors or improved brand, brand value. If any of that is something like, you know, that's on my plate, then the circular economy as a toolbox is really worth investigating. So so that's really why this is an...

...impactful tool for business and business development that's significantly better aligned with the world and in tune with with the markets and the development in the market, that changes in the market. That than what we're used to seeing. And how is it different from from sustainability? Well, you could say that one of the biggest differences is really that the circular economy is thinking in terms of regenerating. It's about it's a whole mindset about creating. Where you have sustainabilities very much about minimizing, right, so you will have that. Most people's about. You know, that's a void that's reduced, that's minimize. The ultimate goal is zero, zero waste, zero chemical, Sero, whatever, Siro Carbon, whereas here it's about aiming for a positive impact and there's so much more energy in that and also means that we are creating so so in terms of vocabulary, this is significantly closer related to the business language. Right. So any businessman gets up in the morning to create some and if he looks at the world of Sustainability and he hears an engineer walking about it's about reducing no wonder. He kind of things, well, we're not doing the same game, right, but if you go up and say hey, let's create something, this is the same game he is on. We are on the same scene. So it makes it so much easier to connect it and thereby unleash some of those, as I said, very, very crucial business value opportunities that I just mentioned. Really Cool, you know, for someone who's new to the concept of circular economy, can you briefly give a given like a definition of what it means? Yeah, well, the circular economy is really it is, says, kind of like a new economic paradigm, any way of looking at things that really initiates and focuses on how do we keep value, keep the materials that we all you know, everything in products and whatever we do. How do we keep them in the marketplace for as long as possible. How do we make sure that we utilize the value of them and how do we make sure that once they are then, you know, the product that we don't really use? The problem in logo. How do we get it back in the value system again, to and and, as preferable, even upgrading the value of the actual material? So it's really about flow. It's a material flow and it's about increasing and maintaining value. It's about new business models, is about creating better solutions again that has less material higher value. So so that company a nation of really adding more value, giving more flexibility, while solving some of the environmental problems that we have put ourselves in. Be a climate change, be resources, beed by it. Ever, see you know whatever. There are lots of lots of stuff to look at, unfortunately for business owners, and see us out there. What are...

...the first steps to start moving towards the circular economy? Well, you know that transition. It really really starts with a mental transition, right. So with this as kind of like in any other change process. Actually, you could look at this as anything else you wanted, he wanted to do. You have to as a leader of this. You have to be able to imagine the outcome. You have to be able to set up understand enough to really be able to set a vision and and to be able to imagine the value and the outcome on the other side of of such a process. Otherwise you will never start there right. So, so really immersing themselves and perhaps some of their team members, depending on what kind of set up, you have to get the fundamentals of this circular business mindset internalized. So that's really the starting point, because if you if you can really grasp what it is and why this is a business concept, not what you used to that this is just a minimizing something you have to do, but really this is a way of create eating more business, cutting costs, attracting talent and trailing, attracting investors and so on and so on, as I said before. Well then you are not really going to go for it. So that's the starting form. That's really cool. So it starts with the mindset, in the the future vision. Yes, just but could you share this? What's your background? How did you end up running or borrows? Yes, yeah, sure, well, I've I've been I've been on sustainability since I was, you know, a bit kid, I don't around teenage, early teenage years or something. So it's been my pathway all my life and just, you know, getting deeper and deeper into it up through my different educations. I have have sort of a sustainability background and my master's and then I've added to that journalism and marketing and business development in different kind of coaching and training sessions on that and a lot on really on leadership. And you know, how do you run businesses today and how do you how do you start a business today? You know, all these sort of modern bay today's versions of how to really do stuff. So it's that sort of that journey of transitioning from the sustainability part into the business and leadership path and sort of combining them and and I've always been working on at least of safe from from somewhere in the early part of this century I kind of realized that the whole sustainability and back been really working on climate issues was just such a and an opportunity. You really be viewed as a creative platform for something, something to create, create new innovation, new products, new opportunities, produce costs and so on and so on. And so on. So so I had that shift, that sort of Aha moment somewhere back in I don't know, two thousand and three,...

...four, five, somewhere around that. And then back in two thousand and eight I participated in the first event in Denmark where Michael Brown God and with the one of the two fathers of the concept of credits a cradle, which is really sort of the well, I guess you could say, it's kind of like the core of the circular economy. Yeah, he was in Denmark and present that the concept, and it's kind of like Aha, here is someone has really turned that hole, the way I've been looking at thing, and you know, with that positive approach that I've had, into a concept. Here is you know, here ideas, here, this is how you do this is step one, this is step to, this is what you aim for. Service really sort of a conceptual approach. Its conect. Okay, this is it. It just says Click, you know, this is what I've been looking for without really knowing it was there. So this is what I've been doing and here's a guy telling me, you know, we have actually put that into a concept. This is this is it. And ever since they're I've been working with the different disciplines to we have the cradles a creaty, we have the stricular economy, we have the donor economy and we have all kinds of subdisciplines, sharing economy, performance economy, symbiosis, so on and so on, so on the different disciplines. But it's all the same. It's about leaving that linear approach is just we take stuff off the ground, we produce something, we use them, we throw it out and then said here, how do we how do we make sure that we can just throw value out of them UN up in the end and we can't just dig out for up off the ground forever, because it is, you know, we are living on on a chunk of mass and at some point, sooner or later, we run out. You can't just do that forever. Right. So it doesn't work in either ends of that equation. Right. So, so that's really sorry. Ever since that's just been trying to perfect that idea of a capability of seeing where is it that this current systems are leaking value and what could we do to extract that and turn it into value for for us and for our clients and our owners and whoever the whole system right, so really multiple win. How do we make sure that it's better client, better for our business, better for the work build, better for the society? So that's I think that's the journey. So it's really cool. We've met quite a few years ago and you and your co founder, Camilla runs or a borus and could you show us, you know, how you guys work, what do you offer? How do you work with the CEO's and top executives that you you know they you with? Yeah, sure, thank you. Well, we have sort of three main areas that we work in and the first one is really competence has it's where we we create that light bulb moment where the leaders can ah, now I get... right, kind of like, as I said, what I had back in two thousand and eight, just really trying to use more than the last decades of experience on saying what's the difference that really makes the difference in making people get it right. How do you get it right? So so it's really bends online competence programs for leaders or the key team members to get it right. So it's not a lengthy course or anything. It's just what is it you need to get it right so you can start are well, why are we doing that? When you start asking different questions back home. So that's really the purpose of it. So so that's one of them. The second one area is is really on designing and facilitating processes. So when people need to think together, that could be within the same department or it could be across a business or could even be complete value change. How do we get them to work to develop some of these solutions together right, because it's it is a holistic thing. So you can't just it's not a one man show right. You got to think and work across to get the new perspective, to get the new ideas, to solve the problems, to make the changes. So so how do you really do that? So that's the second lake and then the third lake is on strategy processes and and leadership support, and that's where we have our mentoring and coaching programs. So and where we also do, you know, different kinds of strategy processes for leader, for groups of leaders or the executives themselves, depending on size of company. So those are sort of the three things. So so competence to get people to get it, to get have that opportunity to start at all processes, to have people think when they need to develop something, and strategy and leadership. And how do you how do you lead that? How do you get there? Whether we want to go? WHAT'S THE VISION? Everything related to that? Awesome for the work that you do. Do you have any good examples of clients that you've with and how they have changed? Yeah, well, good question. One time that I could mention is it's a small Swedish company that produces signs. So you know, whenever you walk into a mall or anything, you see assign and this or on the on the facade of a building, you know that's that's what they produced and they were just, you know, eighteen people, so fairly small company and the owner, they're really wanted to change and to get that. He had he had had that sort of moment with himself that I need to turn this into a company that just really helps to create a better world. I can't live with myself or since I can look my kids in the eyes and tell them, you know, I didn't really do what I could. I just continued the old way. So he wanted that change and that's where, when when we came in, to help him help me do that. And you know, the interesting thing is that we've actually, over the course of our collaboration, really turned in profit. It's actually been a green turnaround, because he was struggling, or...

...they were struggling making money. So just sort of really balancing out and and they've had their best. They're even actually through two thousand and twenty. They've had month that were all month I've actually been better on all. Two Thousand and twenty has been significantly better than the years before. So even in this time the managed to jopperform it. So so we've done a lot of changes to the business and the model and the market and who they're really trying to address, right, so they were they were focusing on the wrong people or they were focusing on anybody who wanted in it. So just narrowing down and saying who is it that has shares your interest, which shares your vision, who wants to to move on sustainability. And then they've been working a lot on the material side. So one of the materials they they have in their signs and they have created also different, different solutions, for instance for malls where you know pop up shops and things come and go. And you know in some, some areas you have that the more kind of defines the design of the science. So you know, this is where you put you aside and then you just come with whatever you have right. And normally whenever somebody moves in or out, they have to throw it out because you know, we need a new one. But they made it at this area as actually it's just a thin film that they change on it. So you know, from material standpoint, they might change one percent so the rest can just stay. So again they're prolonging the majority of the materials and just make a slight, slight change, which makes it cheaper for the for the new new popup shop that moves in, to get their logo in. And of course we need significantly less material altogether. So today there starting to make different kind of innovations in their where where you can simply, and they also staying to take back old signs and we use the material or the components, so so on. Various there's that they say are starting to either reduce costs for themselves and or we cost for their clients, and then they really build brand loyalty, because those companies that feel like Hey, I need I'm on this journey as well. Of course they want to have it also in what's signaling out to the world in front of their their office. So so that's an example. And then with a lot of other things has been happening. But just to keep it brief it that's been part of their journey and actually interesting enough that we've also did a vision process with them. So they're completely changed from seeing themselves as a sign company to really saying, well, it's about creating a positive impact in urban environments. So they also starting to address you know that we have a lot of signmakers. It's just about making more noise, right, bigger, better, more powerful, more color, when it's kind of like hey, is that really good for people? Is that and do we... that? Right? So saying, okay, how can we be more impactful with the right kind of design? It's just not it's not just more power, it's your less is more. Really, how do we stand out without just distracting and bombarding people's brains even more? It so, so they had earlier on they had one of these picture from a city. I think it's from Tokyo or something. You know, we just have signs all over and I was kind of like one of their are so, you know, this is great and this is business right, and then it's kind of like no, this is not great, this is horrible, right, this is not people friendly. You know, we gotta we got to reverse that track. So so on so many areas, this is whole approach about creating value. Adding more to it means that today is a completely different company. Yeah, I think that's fascinating. It's like more science means people are loss right, because you could you don't have directions, you know, exactly confused. So so how do we don't just not just turning up the volume but really making better solutions, right, something that as clearly benefits the community where it's in? So also starting to to look towards getting, you know, whole campuses in like it could be hospital the areas or something, and you know, do everything there and then really make sure that, again, that it's it gives back both from an environmental point of view of the choice of material and the design and everything, but also on on that. You know, how do we really make it people friendly? How do we just not just turning up the volume anything, but really how do we make something that's actually a nice environment. I'm a good place to be in something that way it's not stressing us but making us more calm, more at ease. Right. So, obviously, areas like health, in the health sex or that, it makes sense that you actually try to make it a good experience from the campus area, you from time you walk in the campus. So yeah, so again you can see how this translate into a completely different value proposition all the sudden, whereas before it was just, you know, we have these kind of signs. What are you looking for? And it very must because of becomes also our price issue. Right, to go with you or somebody else, right. But but now all this and it's a completely different value proposition coming in here into a dialog about how do we actually create the best for the area you're in and what kind of solution? And you looking too to buy the product or in the product we upgradd often or not? Should it? What do you have already? Could we take that back and use it perhaps for some of the components? And you know, so completely different company today. I think that's a that's an amazing story, an example of circular economy business. For someone WHO's listening and they're starting this journey. You know any advice you would share? Well, I think it's really about getting going and it's about challenging the assumption that you might have of what sustainability is.

And then I would say, especially as we'll be called this right now, that you know really take in that two thousand and twenty was actually a century. There's been so much chains mentally and in what we do and what we expect that it equals what we normally do in a decade. So if and we people have had all kinds of experiences, that also just means that you know everything, from what it how painful it is that you cannot see people around you. So every relations we have two people and to two things around us. A lot of people have spent a lot of time in nature and in too, so so that combine nation that sort of upgoing trend we have had on that. We need to take sustainability series, we need to work on climate changes and so on. That's just again been pushed massively and we know now that if we want, we can make dramatic changes in twelvemonth. So don't walk around saying, okay, I'll deal with climate as well. It's really, really critical or whatever it is that you focus a plastic or whatever is your head where it's relevant for you to focus in and then just, you know, go out to your market and say, you know, I'll be doing this over the next ten years because, well, if it's so critical, last time you said something we're critical, you change it in three weeks. Why should I accept that? You need ten months, ten years now, right. So you gotta you, you just can't, can't go back to the old mindset. You really have to embrace it and you have to work on it. And then, as I said in the beginning, because there's such huge opportunities in it, it's also pretty wise to look at it. But I would say that's really don't. Don't push it, don't say will get so that later, because the market won't accept it. Yes, so get just get started and get going. Yeah, good. Thank you very much, Jasper. It's been such a pleasure seeing you again and having this interview. Well, thank you, it's been on my pleasure absolutely. So they go. That was juster Steinhausen. What's been your biggest takeaway from this episode? Let us know in the comment section on our social media page. If you haven't subscribed yet. Please do subscribe. This will really help us grow our podcast and if you can think of someone that would benefit from listening to this podcast, please do share it with them. So in the next episode we move on into education system, transforming the education system. So we have Zennah Hobson, who holds the Third Millennium Education Podcast, and she talks about the transformation required in the education system. She's a former head of off set, which is a governed body assessing the quality of education in the UK, and she was a winner of entrepreneur of the year at one point in the career, and so she's got a wealth of knowledge and experience in the education system and she's going to be talking about what she's observing and how we can help change the education system. So that's next week's...

...episode. Thank you very much for listening in to the end of this episode. We really appreciate you. This is the impact go rush. My name is Winton and I'll see you in the next episode.

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