Circular Business Model Design Guide


The circular economy (CE) is a key enabler of the shift to sustainable business practices, represented in the UN Sustainable Development Goals as SDG12: responsible production and consumption. It has an important role in protecting life on water and on land (SDGs 14 and 15) and contributing to climate action (SDG13).

According to a report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF), only five per cent of the material value of goods produced is recovered.1 The CE provides a genuine economic alternative.Restorative and regenerative by design, it aims to maintain the value and use of products, components and materials at all times. This means enabling reuse, multiple uses, cascading uses, or fully closed loops for technical or biological resources. 

Circular businesses have an important role in the transition to the circular economy, and there is commercial opportunity to recover, generate and maximise value within production and consumption systems. This is delivered through product life extension, re-use, remanufacturing, up and downcycling, and recycling. New business models, the use of new disruptive technologies and new mindsets, particularly around technology, are also key.

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University of Exeter Business School


PA Consulting

August 5, 2021
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