Organizing circularity for lithium-ion batteries. Attaining insights for Toyota Material Handling the Netherlands on how its concepts are contributing to organizing circularity for lithium-ion batteries in their end-of-life phase

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The increasing global demand for more efficient lithium-ion batteries cause negative externalities for the environment and society. Reuse and recycling are for this reason no longer optional, but rather inevitable for the lithium-ion battery industry. The company Toyota Material Handling the Netherlands TMHNL adapted a strategy called ‘Zero Muda’ which aims to reduce wastes in its business activities. This strategy could potentially contribute to better practices, in regard to environment and society, for lithium-ion batteries. To see how the strategy influences circular practices the aim for this research was to explore how perspectives of TMHNL are contributing to the process of organizing circularity. For attaining these insights, the following main research question was formulated: “How are the perceptions of Zero Muda at TMHNL contributing to organizing circularity for the case of lithium-ion batteries in their end-of-life phase?” Through an embedded-single-case-study design, using post-positivism as an interpretive framework, data was analyzed. This research concluded that in order to that attain more circular practices in business a detailed commitment to circularity or sustainability is needed. Within its current strategy TMHNL’s commitment to the circular economy is currently lacking in general, but opportunities are present for more sustainable practices.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen