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Dr Merryn Haines-Gadd co-creates Circular Business Model Design Guide

Dr Merryn Haines-Gadd Research Associate in Self-healing Product Design at the University of Exeter Business School has co-created a Circular Business Model Design Guide through an Ellen MacArthur Foundation Network collaborative project. The guide has been developed in collaboration with experienced business designers at PA Consulting.  

The practical guide has been designed to help business leaders - from start-ups to SMEs, through to big global players - to identify circular opportunities and business design models that create, deliver and capture value, in ways that also benefit society and the environment.

The four-step guide will help business leaders make decisions about: 

  1. WHERE TO PLAY – identify the circular business opportunities, using the circular value system mapping tool 
  2. HOW TO WIN – create win-win circular value propositions, using the partner mapping tool and circular value proposition template 
  3. HOW TO OPERATE – identify the circular capabilities businesses will need, using the circular capability checklist 
  4. HOW TO PROFIT – select the right circular pricing strategy, using the pricing strategy checklist 

These four steps will help businesses assess and refine the feasibility of the opportunity. The guide can be used in two ways: sequentially, working step by step in a structured way to identify and define new opportunities, or with a focus on areas to test and refine for those with an existing circular business concept. 

Merryn Haines-Gadd, Researcher in Circular Economy and Design, University of Exeter, says: “Recognising the difference between circular value and linear value is a crucial aspect for facilitating the transition to a circular economy. This is why a multi-stake holder, value-led thinking was embedded into the tools and content right from the start. This guide is not only simple and easy to use but also a structured and powerful prompt for steering organisations and educators through their business modelling journey.” 

Mark Lancelott, Sustainability and Business Design expert at PA Consulting, says:  

“The guide explores how to create, deliver and capture value in different forms, recognising that this is critical to creating investable and scalable circular business models. Get this right, and there are real profits to be made, in ways that also benefit society and the environment. 

“We are excited by the opportunities the circular economy presents, and to bring together our capability and insight in both business design and transformation, as well as in product and technology development and manufacturing.” 

Date: 20 January 2021

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