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How can the Circular Economy create value for your business?

We can help you reap the benefits from Circular Economy

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Keeping customer connections

The circular economy is an opportunity worth trillions – read the report to learn:

  • how major retailers have successfully created and implemented circular initiatives – including eBay, H&M and Asda
  • customers’ views on resale, donating, recycling – what compels them to do it and how retailers can align around their preferences
  • the questions every retailer should be asking to take advantage of the opportunities.

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The opportunity for business

Our current economic model is inefficient. Much of what we produce ends up in landfill, with only a fraction (circa 5%) of the value we put into making things recovered after use.

With a finite level of resources, volatile commodity prices, and a growing consumer middle class, business cannot keep doing business the same way.

This is more than an existential threat to businesses. Companies thinking differently, thinking circular, are finding ways of creating value now. Creative thinking about business models based on service propositions, and capturing the embedded value in products are helping companies like Philips, Renault, British Sugar, and Brambles compete in markets in new ways.

Source: Ellen MacArthur Foundation growth within report

We believe the Circular Economy will increasingly be a disruptive force, and that businesses need to understand the opportunities and threats it presents. They need to rethink, and transform, and they need to do that now before they get left behind.

the circular economy model

Today's economy is primarily linear, and follows a 'take, make, use, and dispose' model, relying on large quantities of cheap, easily accessible materials and energy.

A Circular Economy is restorative and regenerative by design, and aims to keep products, components and materials at their highest utility and value at all time. They do this by focusing the entire product value-chain on:

  • reusing, refurbishing and recycling

  • maximising inherent value in products and by-products

  • reducing material and energy costs

  • consumption of services rather than purchasing assets.

The benefits to business

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that the Circular Economy will create in excess of €1 trillion in value in Europe alone by 2025. Adopting circular principles could mean you will:

  • access additional value from your materials and assets - create new sources of wealth

  • apply more efficient operating models - reduce operation costs

  • develop longer term service-based relationships with end consumers - build customer intimacy

  • create opportunities for financial returns with less risk - attract more investment

  • attract consumers and employees who care about their global impact - enhance your brand

  • foster deeper collaboration across value chains - identify new opportunities

  • create less waste in a world with finite resources - build in resilience.


The CE100 is a group of leading global organisations seeking to accelerate the transition to a Circular Economy, set up by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Members include: Unilever, Philips, Apple, Cisco, Google, Nike, eBay, Ikea and now PA.

Membership of CE100 provides unique opportunities for multi-organisation collaboration in innovative development programmes around Circular Economy.



How we can help you

We can help you start implementing the Circular Economy.

Our time-bound and focused Circular Economy Assessment Toolkit can help you identify what the opportunities are for your business. We will:

  • inspire and gather people to raise awareness of the Circular Economy, and opportunities using proven techniques for innovation and design

  • prioritise the opportunities based on potential value, sector readiness, and the potential of technology

  • develop prioritised opportunities and assess their feasibility

  • justify and develop the commercial case to seek funding to deliver the opportunity.

We can then help you deliver the opportunities, drawing on our breadth and depth or our sector and service capabilities:

  • define new circular business models - assess market opportunities, design new customer value, propositions, tilt from product to service orientation, develop circular two way processes and systems

  • create new service experiences - design new customer experiences, 'sensorise' products, visualise and interpret 'big data', develop new pricing and revenue models

  • design products for upgrade and disassembly - identify and asses new technologies and IP, product tear-down and lifecycle assessment, design for upgrade and disassembly, redesign packaging 

  • reinvent manufacturing - new production techniques and technologies, process for disassembly and remanufacturing, improvement of throughput, cost and waste

  • collaborate with partners – establish effective partnering across the supply chain, and cross industry, renegotiate contracts, optimise reverse logistics and distribution, digitise the supply chain 

  • make it happen – accelerate early stage technology development, make the investment case, rapidly deliver out of the ordinary transformation in an agile way, engage leaders and staff to think circular.

Our experience


Developing a revolutionary kitchen towel from concept to retail shelf, using consumer insights and designing a production system to minimize waste.



Developing a new business strategy and the changes needed to move from a product business to one that designs and delivers services.


Shaping the business model and customer value propositions for clean vehicle tyres based on a circular business model, allowing engagement with OEM's.

United Nations Global Compact

Supporting the UN Global Compact by creating a toolkit for executives to understand the impact of emerging disruptive technologies on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, including: Unmanned Air Systems, Next Generation Robotics, Internet of Things, Digital Agriculture, Artificial Intelligence, Gene Editing, New Realities, and the Microbiome.

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Contact us

To find out more about what value Circular Economy can bring to your organisation, get in touch with one of our experts today.

Mark Lancelott

PA business design and sustainability expert

Steve Carden

PA product design and engineering expert

David Rakowski

PA technology innovation expert

Contact the authors

Contact the design team