Making conscious choices
The Circulator is a project funded by EIT Raw Materials aimed at supporting aspiring entrepreneurs in making conscious strategic choices regarding the sustainability of their business model and value proposition.
The project offers a web-based tool providing an overview of the most relevant business models for the raw materials industry in the context of the circular economy circular economy, as well as relevant case studies.
It's all in the mix
The central idea to the Circulator is that circular business models typically consist of a mixture of different strategies, that can be organised in three main categories:
- sustainable materials management strategies: strategies that directly act upon the material and product resources in the business model;
- business strategies: strategies that help deliver circular value to the customer;
- value network strategies: strategies to engage with actors beyond the company borders in order to achieve circular value networks.
Each category groups a number of specific strategies that have been observed in existing business cases.
To create a circular business model suited to a specific company or start-up, the user can mix strategies from the three main categories and get inspired by existing companies using this mix.
To provide more guidance to the user, we have also identified four archetypes (or main blends to stick to the cocktail analogy) that each represent a specific business focus as the main entry point for developing a circular business model.
- Some companies may want to focus on providing a service instead of a product as their main development strategy.
- Others may want to stick to selling a product, but one that is more circular than the ones available today.
- Other companies see opportunities in developing a circular business model together with customers, suppliers and other actors in their value network.
- And a more general approach could be to focus on developing a sustainable business identity with circularity as a unique selling proposition.
The Circulator tool provides these four blends as an additional entry point for companies to identify business cases that fit their preferred strategic approach.
Finally, the user can also freely browse through the case database, making use of individual strategies, country, sector or level of maturity as filters.