University of Twente Student Theses


Tackling The Circular Economy: Aiding firms in the design and implementation of circular business models

Ceha, Alexander (2017) Tackling The Circular Economy: Aiding firms in the design and implementation of circular business models.

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Abstract:The global economy is under increasing strain due to the continual consumption of finite resources to provide firms, organizations, and governments with necessary raw materials and to meet their growing energy demands. In order to slow and close resource loops in today’s marketplace a regenerative economic model is required, a circular economy. This paper sets out to aid in overcoming the challenges that businesses are facing prior to, during, and after their transition to a circular economy. The main barrier to entry for many firms is uncertainty, this is the leading reason for a firms distrust in the circular economy. To overcome this source of uncertainty the in-depth analysis of six, tangible, circular business models was carried out with the goal of identifying key, overarching, building blocks (from the business model canvas), and opportunities for sustainable product design principles. This research revealed that there are three key building blocks [Partnerships, Value Proposition, and Revenue Stream] that are not limited to a singular circular business model archetype and should be a strong focal point for any business looking to transition to a circular economy. This study also reveals that certain sustainable product design principles align with specific circular business model archetypes. This information can be utilized by businesses to form their product design strategies in line with their circular business model, under the umbrella of a, single or combination of, sustainable design principles. The results found in this paper should be used by firms who are looking to transition to a circular economy. The identification of the three key building blocks allows for a better focus on areas of disruption within the business model canvas, giving firms the ability to make more informed decisions during the early phases of their transition. The firm should select design strategies based on the sustainable product design principle associated with their specific circular business model archetype. The combination of these results provides a firm with a less uncertain and more validated business model canvas, allowing the firm to exploit a more informed approach to circular business model innovation.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:01 general works, 43 environmental science, 85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Industrial Design Engineering MSc (66955)
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