What is a Circular Business?

We’ve developed a circular business framework that defines 5 distinct categories of activities a business can do to become more circular in the way they use resources. By considering each of these 5 categories, businesses can identify opportunities to not only improve their environmental credentials but also discover new revenue streams and opportunities to cut costs and ensure resource resilience.┬áThese activities can be applied internally to the manufacture of products or to the general operation of a business or by enabling other organisations to introduce circularity into their operations.

Circular Design

Circularity starts at the very beginning by designing products to be in use for as long as possible, to be easily repaired and adapted and, when they’re finally no longer needed, to be easily dismantled to allow the materials to be recovered and reused.

Petit Pli have designed their children’s clothing to grow along with the child so they can be used for much longer.

Clean Resources

At the next stage in the product journey, businesses can ensure that all resources that go into the making of their product are as clean as possible. This may mean sourcing renewable energy, buying locally and ethically and choosing materials carefully with their environmental impact in mind.

Pedal Me offer cycle couriers for transporting both cargo and people, avoiding the pollution created by vans.

Resource Recovery

Can you use something that is usually considered waste and end up in landfill to make something new? Many Advance London SMEs have products made from the waste streams from other businesses like Chip[s] Board who make an MDF alternative from potato waste and Aeropowder who make thermal packaging from waste chicken feathers.

Resource Efficiency

Circular businesses get the most out of all their resources. Their processes are optimised to reduce the overall usage and avoid the waste of energy, water and materials.

Winnow have created scales that allow chefs to monitor food waste and adjust their ordering to save both wasted food and money.

Circular Revenue Models

The circular economy isn’t just about how we make things, it’s about generating revenue in such a way that keeps resources in circulation, allowing businesses to realise the most value from them. Some businesses facilitate the sharing economy through online platforms, while others provide a product as a service or lease their products allowing them to hold on to their assets and for those assets to be used time and again.

Library of Things allow people to borrow everyday items, avoiding the need to buy something new that will be only be used a few times.