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Business Models for the Circular Economy

Opportunities and Challenges for Policy

image of Business Models for the Circular Economy

Natural resources, and the materials derived from them, represent the physical basis for the economic system. Recent decades have witnessed an unprecedented growth in demand for these resources, which has triggered interest from policy makers in transitioning to a more resource efficient and circular economy. This report presents a typology of five circular business models that could support the transition to a more resource efficient and circular economy: circular supply, resource recovery, product life extension, sharing, and product service system models. It reviews the current market penetration and assesses the potential scalability of each business model. Environmental potential is also discussed, as well as risks and unintended consequences that could result from a more widespread adoption of these business models. The report provides a broad set of policy approaches that could help alleviate some of the barriers that currently hinder the widespread adoption of circular business models.

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Policy Implications

This chapter offers a summary of the policy implications that emerge from this report. The discussion is intended to provide a set of high level policy principles rather than specific guidance for individual business models. Thus, the factors that serve to hinder the general adoption of circular business models are identified, and the set of policy approaches that could address them discussed. Developing more specific policy guidance would require more detailed analysis of a particular business model within individual sectors: this could be considered for future work.

English

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