Circular Economy Business Models

Circular Economy Solutions for Your Business Model

The Circular Economy Pack contains 26 circular economy business models frequently discussed in the literature. The patterns are based on a review by Lüdeke-Freund et al. (2018) of several circular economy business model frameworks found in the academic and practitioner literature. Their review shows that some circular economy business models are frequently discussed, while

some are framework-specific and some use a different wording to refer to similar models.

Behind the Scenes

Lüdeke-Freund et al. (2018) reviewed in total 12 studies from 2010 to 2016 and found 37 circular economy models. The identified business models were described in detail along the business model elements proposed by the “Business Model Canvas.” This initial set of 37 circular economy business models was reduced to 26 by merging doublets and similar models. A morphological analysis was applied to these 26 models, which included defining the major dimensions of the circular economy business models (value proposition, value delivery, value capture, and value creation) and identifying the various characteristics of these dimensions. Based on this morphological analysis, a broad range of design options for circular economy business models were identified and a typology of six major patterns was proposed.

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Useful For

  • Thinking about circular economy solutions in your company
  • Creating circular economy startups
  • Teaching circular economy business models

Find Out More

Lüdeke‐Freund, F., Gold, S., & Bocken, N. M. (2018). A Review and Typology of Circular Economy Business Model Patterns. Journal of Industrial Ecology.

About the Creators

Florian Lüdeke-Freund is leading the Chair for Corporate Sustainability at the ESCP Europe Business School in Berlin and is academic director of the master in entrepreneurship and sustainable innovation. He is an expert in research and teaching on corporate sustainability management and sustainable entrepreneurship, with a particular focus on innovation and business models. As well as publishing numerous journal articles and book chapters on these topics, he has co-edited several journal special issues, including an Organization & Environment special issue on “Business Models for Sustainability”. His publications on sustainable business models are regularly among the most downloaded and most cited papers in their respective journals (e.g., Journal of Cleaner Production, Organization & Environment). Florian founded as an international research hub with 25 members from more than 10 countries.

Stefan Gold is professor of sustainability management at the University of Kassel. He has expertise in for example sustainable supply management.

Nancy M.P. Bocken is professor at the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics at Lund University. Nancy’s research evolves around the broad field of Sustainable Business Management and Practice. Within this, she is exploring the areas of sustainable business models, business experiments for sustainability, sustainable innovation, circular economy, scaling up sustainable business, and closing the ‘idea-action’ gap in sustainability, through development, testing and application of novel tools, methods and approaches.

How It Works

Use the Pattern Pack to Build your Business Model

The Smart Business Modeler allows you to explore the different suitable business model patterns, gives you guidance and relevant information.

Business Model Patterns

Wizards Guide You Through The Process

Every time you drag&drop a pattern onto your business model canvas, our ‘wizards’ will indicate, which elements of your business model should follow that patterns’ logic and automatically insert the pattern where it is most-suitable.

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The Smart Business Modeler allows remote teams to work jointly on business models.

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Step-by-step guides, playbooks, wizards and a library guide you through the process so that anyone can become a successful entrepreneur.

Pattern Packs

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