Organising for the Circular Economy | A workbook for developing Circular Business Models

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Organising for the Circular Economy | A workbook for developing Circular Business Models

  • Attention for the circular economy (CE) is increasing, in the public as well as in the private sector, both in the Netherlands and across wider Europe. Given the potential contribution of the CE to the larger challenges of our time such as combating climate change and making the energy transition this is a positive development. In 2016-2017 a nationwide study was conducted to assess the current status of the CE in the Netherlands. This research showed that the practical translation of the CE concept to the business community lagged behind the measured interest in the concept. The question of ‘how to translate that interest to practical CE efforts by organisations and companies’ is therefore extremely relevant. This workbook is based on the presumption that the CE will only become reality in the business community if it can lead to a business model, because business models are the foundational component of companies. In the national study a model was developed that provides the basis for Circular Business Models (CBMs). This model underpins this workbook, which was developed with a team in the period 2017-2018.The model consists of seven building blocks that together form a business model for the circular economy. The central idea is to close a cycle with multiple parties. Step-by-step the workbook introduces the reader to the building blocks by offering questions, the purpose being to assist the reader in the development of their own business model; a model that leads to a new value proposition or that shows how to alter a currently existing proposition. Working on a CBM may not be straightforward as it is likely to involve exploring new pathways and unchartered territory. Therefore, thirty infographics are included that are based on the current business situation of companies that are already actively incorporating circularity in their business operations. These infographics are intended to be used as a tool to support and inspire the reader. Each infographic is designed in consultation with the party concerned. The added value of this rich and unique material illustrating how organisations search for totally different solutions when it comes to the development of collective value propositions. The infographics, the central model and the somewhat theoretically informed first section of the workbook together are intended to provide a sufficient basis of understanding for the practical slant of the second part of the workbook, in which one can work on the development of a CBM. The overarching intention is to inspire, through examples, quotes from politics and the private sector, and illustrative facts. The workbook ends with an overview of sources, among which includes the literature used, networks and institutions that can be of assistance and an overview of all the companies and institutions that have provided an infographic.