Designing business models for a circular economy

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nad├Ęge Troussier
Author: Scholtysik, Michel (1); Rohde, Malte (1); Koldewey, Christian (1); Dumitrescu, Roman (1,2)
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: Universit├Ąt Paderborn - Heinz Nixdorf Insitut; 2: Fraunhofer Institute of Mechatronic Systems Design
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 1347-1356
DOI number:


The megatrend sustainability will significantly change the future value creation of manufacturing companies. Their current linear value creation models need to change to conform to the requirements of sustainability. To face the challenges the circular economy has emerged as a promising economic model. With the shift from a linear to a circular economy, companies have to adjust their current business models. However, they still lack knowledge and adequate methods to develop circular business models. Hence, the aim of the paper is a circular business model canvas (CBMC) for designing circular businesses. A systematic literature review was conducted to identify significant criteria for circular business models. The criteria were analyzed utilizing a qualitative content analysis to derive the business model elements required for the circular economy. Existing elements from the Business Model Canvas were enriched and five new elements, e.g., reverse logistics, were found. Then, the business model elements were logically arranged resulting in the CBMC. It guides companies to systematically develop business models for the circular economy. The CBMC was evaluated by applying it within a medium-sized company in the electronics sector.

Keywords: Circular economy, Sustainability, Business models and considerations

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