What is Circular Economy?

Circular economy thinking engages organizations to the challenging topics of the global economy. How to move from a linear “take-make-waste” economic model to a Circular Economy that is waste-free, and causes zero-emission? Circular Economy is a mindset and a renewable system in which the use of resources, components and energy is maximized without producing loss, waste and pollution.

Circularity aims for decoupling and value preservation. As a results, it ensures that the value tied to products is maintained in the economic cycle for as long as possible. This approach mobilizes creativity, innovation and disruptive thinking in a way, that unleashes actions that are good for the People, for the Society and for the Planet.

Comprehensive information package you can find on Ellen MacArthur Foundationin website

The Circular Economy presents a huge potential for global economic growth. Sitra estimates, that carbon neutrality will create € 6,000 billion market for smart green solutions by 2050. Responsible investing is becoming the new norm and new regulations aimed at reducing emissions are constantly growing. It can be seen, that different business models will increasingly shift to a Circular Economy model, e.g the use of technology in optimization, and the sharing economy market.

Five reasons to embrace Circular Economy thinking

By applying Circular Economy strategies,

  • organisation creates sustainable value for stakeholders
  • minimises their environmental impact and material costs
  • meets the demand of the Customers by developing responsible and environmentally friendly products and services
  • increases resilience and self-sufficiency of materials
  • meets the requirements of new EU Climate law and other regulatory requirements

Turning today’s problem into potential of economic growth and wellbeing by applying Circular Economy principles.

6 ways to develop Circular Economy business model 

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  1. PRODUCT AS A SERVICE: By dematerialisation and resource productivity organisation can offer benefits without selling product ownership.
  2.  PRODUCT LIFE EXTENSION: Extending and ensuring product´s longevity and durability by repairing, remanufactoring, reselling and upgrading. 
  3. RENEWABILITY: Organisation can offer clean alternative for toxic, polluting and non-recyclable products by favoring renewable, recyclable and biodegradabel materials.
  4. SHARING PLATFORM: Creating a distributing and product sharing platforms  for access-based models (renting and leasing).
  5. RESOURCE RECOVERY: By recycling, reusing and recovering resources from materials, by-products and waste, organisation can reduce their raw material costs, discover new products and revenue models and strengthen their self-sufficiency of materials.
  6. LIFE CYCLE & ECOSYSTEM DESIGN: Designing out waste, circulation of, regeneration of natural ecosystems and fluidity of resources, materials and knowledge in the ecosystem, are examples of new competence needed.

Regenerative design approach is the foundation of circularity. Here are few basic tips!

  • First of all ask yourselves, is there a way to meet the Customer need by offering service rather than a product?
  • Design the product to be long-lasting, high-quality and repairable
  • Make sure that the materials are able to disassemble according to the quality of the material
  • Provide maintenance and repair service for the product
  • Make sure the product can be updated
  • If the product is no longer in use, its material can be utilized by re-selling or recycling
  • Design and build your supply chain, partner network and procurement practices based on circularity

Tools to support the development of responsibility and circularity

The Finnish Entrepreneur´s Climate Guide by the Finnish Entrepreneurs’ Association
The Finnish Entrepreneur’s Climate Guide produces by the Finnish Entrepreneurs’ Association makes it easy to go through ways to curb climate change, achieve cost savings and improve profitability.

Disrupt Design Toolkit by Unschool
A free toolkit for professionals interested in applying the principles of the circular economy to products, services, or business plans

Circular Design Guide by collaboration between the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and IDEO
You will find methods to help you understand, define, make and publish innovations in the circular economy. For each step, you will find materials to utilize for you and your team.

Building block of Carbon Neutrality by Sitra
Guide helps to understand the holistic nature of the change, find out the starting situation and draws up its own roadmap for carbon neutrality

Selection of tools for monitoring and verifying impacts: