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Circular Strategy & Opportunities

There are so many ways for enterprise to work sustainably and to actually boost business from doing so! What follows is a brief account of how your company can make a positive impact by implementing a circular business model.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and IDEO have jointly developed The Circular Design Guide. The guide is really an ideal tool for identifying opportunities to make your business more sustainable. By joining the circular economy, you prolong the life of your product, thus furthering a positive cycle and, incidentally, generate numerous opportunities to expand your range of services.

  • Reuse – this way, you extend how long a product or a material stays in use. This might mean offering a product as a service, as in car sharing schemes, or reselling old possessions as on e-bay.

  • Refurbish - You design a product that can easily be repaired or upgraded to prolong use. There are many ways to have the product come back to you - this time as the service provider.

  • Remanufacture – Your product returns to the manufacturer after use to have any necessary components replaced before re-entering the market. Restore your product to new or better standard.

  • Recycle - You design a product that is made from pure materials, standardised to be recycled and returned to a raw natural state.

So how do you go about it? A start is to follow these steps:

1.) Define your challenge based on weaknesses/opportunities

2.) Find circular opportunities as in;

- Can your product be a service in some way?

- Can you make it easier for your users to repair it themselves?

- Can you minimise the waste stream your product produces?

- Can any of your materials be sourced more locally?

3.) Build a cross functional project team

4.) Circular buy-in & stakeholder mapping

5.) Develop or redefine your business model from a circular design perspective

6.) Create brand promise - How does your circular opportunity reinforce your brand value?

Source & Copyright © Ellen MacArthur Foundation + IDEO 2016.

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