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The central idea to the Circulator tool is that circular business models typically consist of a mixture of different strategies.

The strategies can be organised in three main categories:

  1. sustainable materials management strategies: strategies that directly act upon the material and product resources in the business model
  2. business strategies: strategies that help deliver circular value to the customer;
  3. value network strategies: strategies to engage with actors beyond the company borders in order to achieve circular value networks.

To create a circular business model suited to a specific company or start-up, you can mix strategies from the three main categories and get inspired by existing companies using this mix.

Sustainable materials management strategies

Sustainable materials management is the core of a circular business model. This is the component of the business model that enables creation of economic and environmental value based on a circular management of products and/or materials. In the Business model Canvas framework, these strategies would be a part of the key activities and/or key resources of the business.

Related cases
Sustainable materials management strategies

Business Strategies

These are ways of delivering value to the customer that typically enable the inclusion of sustainable materials management strategies in the business model. In the Business Model Canvas framework, these strategies can be a part of the value proposition, customer relationships, and channels. 

Related cases
Business Strategies

Value network strategies

These are strategies that go beyond the company itself, acknowledging that a truly circular business entails the full value network to be involved in the creation of shared value. In the Business Model Canvas framework, these strategies are usually linked to the key partners.

Related cases
Value network strategies
Recycling / material recovery
Recycling / material recovery
Recycling / material recovery

The valorization of industrial production residues or materials from end of life products into the same or other production chains.

Remanufacture
Remanufacture
Remanufacture

Return product /component to original specifications.

Refurbish
Refurbish
Refurbish

Return product /component to satisfactory working conditions.

Design for shared use
Design for shared use
Design for shared use

Designing products/materials for frequent use by multiple users.

Reuse
Reuse
Reuse

The common use of a product  spread over sequential timeframes.

Repair
Repair
Repair

The correction of a specified fault to prolong the product’s lifetime.

Parts reuse
Parts reuse
Parts reuse

The valorization of components and/or whole products that can be functional in other product chains.

Sufficiency/Extend product lifetime
Sufficiency/Extend product lifetime
Sufficiency/Extend product lifetime

Decreasing the amount of products needed for delivering a given amount of value. This can be realized in several ways, e.g. by shared use, by extension of the product’s lifetime,....  

De-materialisation (production level)
De-materialisation (production level)
De-materialisation (production level)

Decreasing the amount of material used for a given product.

Substitution
Substitution
Substitution

Replace scarce / high impact material with more sustainable alternative.

Low carbon manufacturing
Low carbon manufacturing
Low carbon manufacturing

The adoption of manufacturing technologies with low greenhouse gas emissions.

Avoid toxic substances
Avoid toxic substances
Avoid toxic substances

Avoiding the use or exposure of/to toxic substances, enabling clean and healthy material cycles.

Product oriented PSS
Product oriented PSS
Product oriented PSS

Product-service system focused on the extension of services around a product (e.g. repair service, extended warranty,...).

Use oriented PSS
Use oriented PSS
Use oriented PSS

Product-service system focused on the provision of a service by renting/leasing a product (e.g. rental of cleaning equipment).

Result oriented PSS
Result oriented PSS
Result oriented PSS

Product-service system entirely focused on delivery of a performance (e.g. amount of clean products).

Shared use
Shared use
Shared use

Generating value from the shared use of products by customers.

DesignBuildOperate
DesignBuildOperate
DesignBuildOperate

Business model that grants a company the full rights on design, building, financing and operation of a good (usually infrastructure), in compliance with performance goals and boundary conditions defined by the owner.

On demand
On demand
On demand

Production on demand, eliminating unused stocks.

Branding (eco/premium)
Branding (eco/premium)
Branding (eco/premium)

Enabling a price premium by highlighting/guaranteeing quality and or environmental claims (e.g. certificates, ...).

Cost reduction
Cost reduction
Cost reduction

Providing the customer with a cost reduction compared with traditional alternative products (e.g. avoiding waste handling fees).

Nudging
Nudging
Nudging

Providing small incentives to the customer to adopt a more sustainable behaviour.

Transparency & consumer awareness
Transparency & consumer awareness
Transparency & consumer awareness

Partially or fully disclosing environmental/social information relevant for the product/supply chain.

                                                          

Lean manufacturing
Lean manufacturing
Lean manufacturing

Organising the production chain to minimize any unwanted use of resources.

Stewardship (social, ecological)
Stewardship (social, ecological)
Stewardship (social, ecological)

Including environmental and/or social concerns related to the product/supply chain in the business model.

Lean supply management
Lean supply management
Lean supply management

Organising the supply chain to minimize any unwanted use of resources.

Industrial Symbiosis
Industrial Symbiosis
Industrial Symbiosis

The waste stream of one company is used as input for other company/companies, usually in a specific regional setting.

Take back management
Take back management
Take back management

Organizing logistics (possibly via network collaboration) for taking back end-of-life products from the customer, facilitating the execution of a sustainable materials management strategy.

Platform (online, other)
Platform (online, other)
Platform (online, other)

An online or on-site solution enabling shared use of assets.

Cooperation with customer
Cooperation with customer
Cooperation with customer

Organisation in which company and customer effectively collaborate to create and capture value, going beyond the classical business model.

Localisation
Localisation
Localisation

Organizing the physical flows of resources and products on a local scale (e.g. enabled by local 3D manufacturing, decentralized loop closure,....).

Value network collaboration
Value network collaboration
Value network collaboration

Collaboration between different companies / government bodies, local communities, NGOs throughout the value network to achieve a common goal.

in the mix

0

× Clear mix

Instructions

  1. Click on the strategies to explore
  2. Click 'add' to add them to the mix
  3. See how other strategies relate to your mix
  4. Repeat for a second or a third strategy
  5. Check out the resulting cases for your mix