Solving for the Circular Economy and Entrepreneurship with Felix Böck, Founder and CEO Chop Value
How can entrepreneurship also be a benefit to the world? We find out in our discussion with one business leader who solves for reinforcing the principles of circular economy while creating minimalistic, innovative designed consumer products.
Over 100,000 chopsticks are thrown away every single day in Vancouver, Canada. Felix Böck, CEO of ChopValue, discusses creating a circular economy-driven business that transforms this waste into high quality consumer products, furniture and decor.
So what is a circular economy? In simple terms, it’s an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and continual resource consumption. Felix’s company takes it one step further by utilizing a microfactory concept: they work with “franchisees” to provide machinery, marketing materials, and training. This means that the entire process—start to finish—can be sourced locally.
The basic concept is the same everywhere: collecting chopsticks and producing product. But because local market entries likely vary from place to place, every franchisee can establish unique parameters regarding financial goals, resources hired, and products developed.
According to Felix, consumers are now more likely than ever to want sustainable products. He says, “The silver lining for more people taking more time at home is the one or two extra minutes to read into the impact of each product.”
Regarding branding, Felix thinks that it is vitally important for a sustainable product to create a good first impression. But ultimately it’s quality and durability that are key to success.
What advice does he offer for others seeking to build principles of circular economy into their business model? Both new ventures and established enterprises, he says, should be thinking about overall resource efficiency. He leaves us with this food for thought: “If you can do what we do with a little chopstick, imagine what other resources are out there in an urban environment that […] can create similar or bigger businesses.”
Andrew Bernier, PhD
Sustainability, Education Equity and Systems Thinking Research/Design