In a circular economy, growth comes from ‘within’, by increasing the value derived from existing economic structures, products and materials. This major report quantifies the benefits for Europe – in terms of growth, household income, and environmental outcomes – of adopting a circular development path compared with our current linear one. Incorporating in-depth analysis of three of Europe’s largest basic needs, mobility, food and the built environment, the report provides a vision of how the circular economy could look, and highlights wide-ranging implications for government and business leaders.
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The report describes the concept of the circular economy and outlines its key characteristics. It draws attention to both the benefits and challenges in transitioning to such an economy and highlights possible ways to measure progress.
The report explores the circular economy from a product perspective, applying a systemic approach and transition theory. Drivers of product design and usage are discussed in the context of emerging consumption trends and business models. For governance to be effective, it has to address the product life-cycle and the societal context determining it. Indicators and assessment tools are proposed that can help fill the current data and knowledge gaps.
The Circular Phone report provides practical answers to common financing pitfalls for circular businesses, using Fairphone as the real-life example. All learnings and contract templates created during the project are now available as open source and ready for other companies to apply to their products.
This report gives companies the tools to jumpstart and run circular business models where ownership of products is retained to a certain degree. This incentivises companies to create high-quality and durable products, while customers enjoy the performance of a product without the hassle. So far, businesses striving to implement “Product-as-a-Service” models have had the challenge of reconciling the need to find financing parties with the complexities of their own business model.
To achieve a financeable model for the Circular Fairphone Service, the Community of Practice created a blueprint for Fairphone’s business model. Through the creation of a legal template – a 1st Circular Service Contract- and a financial cash flow tool, the group has proven that the gap between the businesses and financiers can be bridged. One of the other concrete and practical outcomes was a 5-year cash flow projection that enables financiers to assess the benefits and risks of their investment.