The potential for a circular economy in the nonroad mobile machinery industry-The case of Linde Material Handling GmbH

Sergey Makaryan, Holger Hoppe, Karen Fortuin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


The implementation of circular economy (CE) principles in the nonroad mobile machinery (NRMM) sector in industrial companies can pose considerable challenges, yet it offers opportunities, imperative to sustain future business growth. This study explores the potential of CE principles at Linde Material Handling GmbH (LMH) on a micro level. To highlight opportunities and challenges, the business model, environmental aspects, and technological developments are examined. The results show that a large product portfolio with integrated services offer a circular business model known as product-service system (PSS). A high-quality refurbishment and battery take-back represent a first closed-loop system. By conducting a life cycle assessment (LCA), the company became aware of the products’ environmental impacts and found improvement areas. Key future opportunities lie in strengthening asset, fleet, and energy management through modular production practices. The successful transition to more digital methods and tools will allow for predictive maintenance, better customer understanding, and less manual tasks. From an organizational perspective, long-term incentives prioritizing product value over multiple use cycles need to be set, this aspect was lacking throughout CE literature, yet is crucial in moving toward closing material loops. These findings can support practitioners in identifying opportunities and challenges in their business, environmental, and technological strategies when implementing CE principles.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCircular Economy and Sustainability
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1: Management and Policy
EditorsA. Stefanakis, I. Nikolaou
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780128198179
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Business model
  • CE implementation
  • CE strategies
  • Circular economy
  • End-of-life management
  • Forklift trucks
  • Heavy vehicles
  • Nonroad mobile machinery
  • Product-service system


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