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To help you with the design of solid circular business models, we've created the Circulator tool. This tool offers a structured approach to design a circular business model based on the knowledge that successful circular businesses apply a combination of 3 types of strategies.

  1. Circular value creation strategies: strategies that directly act upon the material and product resources in the business model
  2. Value proposition 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.

For each of these 3 key ingredients, a range of specific strategies exists from which you can choose to design a circular business model adapted to the context of your company or start-up. The Circulator mixer allows you to select those strategies that fit your context, and explore which companies use that specific combination in their circular business model.

Circular Value Creation Strategies

Circular value creation 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, Circular Value Creation strategies are typically linked to the key activities, key resources and capabilities, or key partners elements.

Related cases
Circular Value Creation Strategies

Value Proposition Strategies

These are ways of delivering value to the customer that typically enable the inclusion of circular value creation strategies in the business model. In the Business Model Canvas framework, Value proposition strategies are linked to the product offer, customer segments and customer relationships elements.

Related cases
Value Proposition 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, Value network strategies can be linked to the delivery channel, customer relationships, key partners or key resources and capabilities elements.

Related cases
Value network strategies
Material Recycling
Material Recycling
Material Recycling

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 (remanufacturing) or to satisfactory working conditions (refurbishment).

Reuse
Reuse
Reuse

The common use of a product  (or product parts) spread over sequential timeframes.

Repair
Repair
Repair

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

Optimal product use
Optimal product use
Optimal product use

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,...  

Resource efficiency
Resource efficiency
Resource efficiency

Decreasing the amount of material used for a given product.

Substitution
Substitution
Substitution

Replace scarce / toxic / high impact material with more sustainable alternative.

Product Service System – product oriented
Product Service System – product oriented
Product Service System – product oriented

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

Product Service System – use oriented
Product Service System – use oriented
Product Service System – use oriented

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

Product Service System – result oriented
Product Service System – result oriented
Product Service System – result oriented

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

Asset sharing
Asset sharing
Asset sharing

Generating customer value by enabling the shared use of their assets 

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, environmental stewardship,...).

Cost reduction
Cost reduction
Cost reduction

Providing the customer with a cost reduction compared with BAU (e.g. shared use, avoiding waste handling fees, reducing resource consumption,…).

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

Logistics  / establishing network collaboration for taking back end-of-life products from the customer, enabling the execution of a circular value creation strategy

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

An online or on-site solution to facilitate matching of supply and demand of materials or assets (e.g. product sharing, material exchange, reuse, etc.)

Value chain collaboration
Value chain collaboration
Value chain collaboration

Organisation in which the company effectively collaborates with customers and/or suppliers 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

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× Clear mix

Instructions

  1. Click on a strategy to explore
  2. Click 'add' to add them to the mix
  3. Repeat for a second or a third strategy
  4. Click on the number below "In the mix" to show the resulting cases for your mix