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Do you want your business to be circular? Learn the 10 key rules.

04.05.22|4 min
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Circularity – an idea and an opportunity for business growth. It sounds inspiring, but what it means in practice? We clear your doubts, answer your first questions and give you our “ten commandments of circularity”. With these 10 simple rules you can start your circular adventure even today.

In the article you will find:

  • a definition of circular economy
  • challenges and opportunities related to circularity in business
  • ten commandments of circularity – 10 most important principles you can implement

What is circular economics?  

Circular economy is one of the most common terms in the debate on broader environmental changes in the
economy. Terms such as closed-circuit economy and circularity are also used to describe the phenomenon.

All of these terms are very similar in meaning. Circular economy is nothing else than a paradigm shift from a linear economy  of take-consume-throw away to take-consume-reuse.

Its key premise is to extend the life cycle of a product, that is, the time from purchase to throwaway. Thanks to this, a product has a chance to increase its value instead of losing it. This becomes feasible by ensuring the possibility of repair, renovation, remanufacturing, recycling. As it is easy to guess, it causes the necessity of introducing strategic and operational changes in companies. There is a chance for completely new business models, new markets, new consumers.


Challenge, necessity and opportunity  

Circularity is not only a trend, but a necessity that is and will be mandated by a number of European Union laws and regulations. The most important changes were introduced by the European Commission in the Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP), which is part of the Green Deal. It is an economic strategy that aims to achieve EU climate neutrality by 2050.

The Green Deal significantly influences the way products are designed, promotes circular economy processes, encourages sustainable consumption and aims to ensure that waste is prevented and that used resources remain in the EU economy for as long as possible.

While we are not yet fully operating within its system and no company is 100% circular, the impulse for circular action is emerging in many industries. Already today, many companies are recognizing the opportunities associated with environmental action. Beyond meeting regulations, it’s about staying ahead of competitors, strategic thinking that has the potential to lead to entirely new opportunities.

Circular practices can already be seen in almost every sector of the global economy. In our latest publication, “The Impulses of Circularity,” we analyzed the case studies of several consumer electronics companies Dell, Electrolux, Bang&Olufsen, Gerrard Street.

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Ten commandments of circularity

However, the idea of circular economy sounds rather high-minded. It can be difficult to transfer these principles to your own business.

Thinking of those ambitious, aspiring to change but taking their first steps, we have prepared ten commandments of circularity. These are 10 simple rules and good practices that you can quickly start implementing.

  1. Lifecycle mapping
    The service life of individual parts needs to be defined and clearly marked.
  2. Modular design
    Product design must be module-based. Parts that can potentially fail should be amassed in one component.
  3. Homogenous materials
    When designing for recycling, ensure that as few various materials as possible are used within one
    product. Ideally, they should all be recyclable in one operation.
  4. High-quality materials that are durable
    It is important that durable materials are used in products designed for refurbishment.
  5. Preventing aesthetic aging
    When designing products for long-term use you must account for product aging.
  6. Hassle-free disassembly
    Easy and quick repair saves time and costs.
  7. #07 Easy refreshing
    The positions of individual parts of a product should be marked to make it easy to disassemble and reassemble.
  8. Clear and accessible documentation
    A product should bear an easily accessible code (such as QR/SN) to identify product type and help locate relevant documentation.
  9. Standard markings
    Individual materials should bear standard markings to help assign a material to a specific fraction, thus increasing the quality of separate collection of materials for recycling.
  10. Clear markings
    The positions of individual parts within a product should be marked to make the product easy to disassemble and reassemble.

You can have all these rules available as a poster.

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