InImpact: The Journal of Innovation Impact

Publisher Future Technology Press
Vol. 7 No. 2 KES Transactions on SDM I - Sustainable Design and Manufacturing 2014
Volume Editors KES International
Journal ISSN 2051-6002
Article TitleA tool for manufacturers to find opportunity in the circular economy -
Primary AuthorJamie Evans, University of Cambridge
Other Author(s) Nancy Bocken
Pages 303 - 320
Article ID sdm14-006
Publication Date 01-May-16
AbstractLiving on a finite planet and operating in a linear take-make-dispose system is placing pressure on our resources and is burdening businesses through increased material costs and scarcity of materials. In a more ‘circular’ economy, materials are continuously reused to minimise resource depletion. Although academic research has focused on key areas such as remanufacturing and eco-design, no practical tools have been identified for manufacturers interested in the circular economy. How can manufacturers identify opportunities to create products and services that align with circular economy principles.

Building on literature, surveys from the automotive industry and case examples, a tool was developed to assist companies in their move to a circular economy. The tool shows benefits, guidelines and examples for each opportunity, as well as key challenges. Workshops were held with manufacturers across industries to test the tool. These workshops resulted in forty opportunities identified.

To make the work widely accessible, the website was created. In the first month it was launched, the site received 3,338 visits across 76 countries, giving insight into the wider demographics of people interested in the circular economy. Universities and government agencies have been using the tool and workshops. This research took insights from the automotive sector. Future research will investigate the use and development of the toolkit in different sectors.
 View Paper