Circular economy business models

The waste we produce every day is a design, production and delivery mistake made from every one of our providers. When thinking about a new project, a new start-up, it is our duty to take care of the environment and ideate the business model in a circular economy approach.

Today, we already have plenty of information available regarding circular economy business models, so no excuses!

Here are 5 known circular economy business models:

Circular supplies – Replace traditional material inputs with renewable, bio-based, recovered ones. Examples: Royal DSM has developed a cellulosic bio-ethanol in which agricultural residue (baled corn cobs, husks, leaves and stalks) is converted into renewable fuel. The cellulosic bio-ethanol created a new source of revenue for DSM, while reducing emissions, creating jobs and strengthening national energy security.

Resource recovery – Produce secondary raw materials from waste. Walt Disney World Resort sends food waste — including grease, cooking oils and table scraps — from select restaurants in its complex to a nearby 5.4 MW anaerobic digestion facility owned and operated by Harvest Power. The organic waste is converted into renewable biogas (a combination of carbon dioxide and methane) to generate electricity, with the remaining solid material processed into fertilizer. The energy generated helps to power Central Florida, including Walt Disney Resort’s hotels and theme parks.

Product life extension – Extend product lives. Over the past 40 years, Caterpillar’s remanufacturing activity, through its Reman Program, has focused on returning components at end of life to same-as-new condition or quality that reduces costs, waste, greenhouse gas emissions and need for raw inputs.

Sharing platforms – Increase utilisation of existing products and assets. Examples of the sharing economy abound, including transportation (Lyft, RelayRides, BlaBlaCar), lodging (Airbnb), and neighbors helping neighbors (TaskRabbit, NeighborGoods).

Product as a service – Provision of services rather than products. Product ownership remains with supplier. Philips sells lighting as a service, in which the company aims to reach more customers by retaining ownership of the lights and equipment so customers do not have to pay the upfront costs of installation. Philips also ensures the sound environmental management of its products by taking them back at the appropriate time for recycling or upgrading.

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