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What are circular economy business models?

Circular economy business models keep products and materials in use, by design, for as long as possible to get the maximum value from them.

A circular economy approach ensures that materials are retained within productive use, in a high value state, for as long as possible. It focuses on reshaping business and economic systems so that waste is ‘designed out’ of how we live.

Circular economy business models can:

  • Offer new commercial opportunities
  • Contribute to business growth and sustainability
  • Generate new revenue
  • Transform a business’ relationship with its customers
  • Protect our economy against resource shortages and the rising cost of materials.

Examples of circular economy business models

Hire and Leasing

Hire or leasing of products as an alternative to purchasing.

Performance / Service System

Providing a service based on delivering the performance outputs of a product where the manufacturer retains ownership, has greater control over the production of a product, and therefore has more interest in producing a product that lasts.

Incentivised Return

Offering a financial or other incentive for the return of ‘used’ products. Products can be refurbished and re-sold.

Asset Management

Maximising product lifetime and minimising new purchase through tracking an organisation’s assets, planning what can be re-used, repaired or redeployed at a different site.

Collaborative Consumption

Rental or sharing of products between members of the public or businesses, often through peer-to-peer networks.

Long Life

Products designed for long life, supported by guarantees and trusted repair services.

Further Details

If you are interested in being supported to develop these business models, please contact: cheryl.robb@zerowastescotland.org.uk.

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