Unilever and Forum for the Future launched Circular economy business model toolkit

Toolkit-Logo (Source: Forum for the Future)

London, UK — Unilever and Forum for the Future have developed a toolkit that identifies 10 different circular business model archetypes. For each archetype, they selected appropriate examples of business cases, from Nespresso and M&S Schwopping to Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe initiative and Ecover’s Glocal project. For each business case in the toolkit there is more detail on the potential market growth opportunities, the potential to apply the example to brands and the scalability of the case.

The ten different archetypes are:

  1. Closed loop recycling: Using recycled products as raw materials to manufacture new products
  2. Downcycling: Turning materials from one or more used products into a new product with lower quality.
  3. Upcycling: Turning materials from one or more used products into a new product,implying an improvement in quality.
  4. Industrial symbiosis: Sharing services, utilities and by-products among industries to improve resource efficiency.
  5. Collection services: Providing a service to collect old or used products.
  6. Product service system: Offers that put the focuses on offering a solution rather than a product only. This leads to a marketable set of joint products and services that are capable of fulfilling a user’s needs together.
  7. Lock-in: An offer that encourages consumers to carry on using a specific product or service on a regular base.
  8. Local loop: As production processes are re-shored back into the countries where the business has its main markets, the local manufacturing loop becomes closer and benefits clustering of industries.
  9. Modularity: A design that divides a product into smaller parts that can then be independently created, used and replaced.
  10. Personalisation: Company creates data management opportunities that enable product personalisation.

Unilever has already begun to put the toolkit to good use, says Gavin Warner, Director of Sustainable Business at Unilever: “We have found the Circular Business Model Toolkit immensely helpful as a tool that helps our teams visualise scenarios for better product sustainability, and are certain that they will be a valuable resource for other business leaders and decision makers as well.”

He hopes businesses will be inspired to use the toolkit to think differently about product life-cycles and experiment with more challenging design and material choices. The toolkit is free to use, downloadable and also includes an exercise which can be used in workshop and learning situations.

The toolkit can be downloaded as card check or as infographic.

Source: Forum for the Future