Transition to the circular economy and new circular business models - An in-depth study of the whey recycling

Inga Uvarova, Dzintra Atstaja, Ugis Grinbergs, Janis Petersons, Astrida Gegere-Zetterstroma, Sandra Kraze

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Depleting natural resources and large amounts of waste increase the environmental pressure affecting the economy and humans. Emerging sustainability challenges require new behavioural patterns from both the business and consumers. Responding to these constraints, the circular economy is promoted as a new way towards a sustainable future. While the circular economy provides new principles for improving resource efficiency and reducing waste, most of companies run traditional business models with the perception that competitive advantages can be achieved by increasing production. Instead circular business models seek for increase of profitability and efficiency through adapting various business model innovations. However, their adoption process and results are unclear for many industries highlighting the topicality of this article. This research shows that milk processing companies lack an experience and understanding of benefits and challenges of circular business models. In milk processing, the whey is considered as problematic waste or the production leftover, which requires new treatment. The research provides analyses of the whey recycling circular business models that ensured new revenue streams, higher profitability, return on assets and competitive advantages for milk processing companies. The COVID19 pandemia increases the importance of this issue as the dairy industry due to livestock requirements shall ensure business continuity despite a crises or other risks that slowdown the business.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012019
JournalIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event17th International Youth Science and Environmental Baltic Region Countries Forum - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation
Duration: 16 Jul 202017 Jul 2020
Conference number: 17

Field of Science*

  • 5.2 Economy and Business

Publication Type*

  • 3.1. Articles or chapters in proceedings/scientific books indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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