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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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Foreword

Recent decades have seen an unprecedented growth in demand for natural resources and the materials derived from them. Around 80 billion tonnes of minerals, fossil fuels, and biomass were fed into the global economy in 2011, and this is only likely to increase with population growth and improved standards of living. OECD modelling indicates that resource use may more than double by 2060 under business as usual.

English

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