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How to implement circular business models

How to implement circular business models

Written by Nina Peitler | Reviewed by Angelo Spörk

Created on: 25 Nov 2020 | Updated on: 25 Nov 2020

News category: "News on Living Innovation"

Nancy Bocken, Professor in Sustainable Business on implementing circular business models

Our guest in this week's Responsible Innovation Story is Nancy Bocken, Professor in Sustainable Business at Maastricht University, and Fellow at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. She leads the European Research Council funded project Circular X, a 5-year research project focused on experimentation with circular service business models. For her, Circular Economy brings together the business case and the environmental case.

“To shift towards sustainability, we need to move away from the dominant 'Take, Make, Dispose' paradigm.”

What are some practical steps businesses can take on their journey towards more circularity?

“We support companies in the transition from selling products to subscription, renting or leasing services. In addition, we assess potential impacts of this new business model on the environment.” 

In Project X, experimentation plays an integral part.

“Especially in large companies, we cannot transform business models overnight. It has to happen unit by unit or product by product. This is where experimentation comes in.”

Our most important insights from this interview with Nancy Bocken:

·       Circular business models provide a strong lever for systemic change towards sustainability.

·       In many companies, however, shifting away from the 'Take, Make, Dispose' paradigm still has a long way to go.

·       Practical experimentation with circular business models can help companies find new, innovative services that align profit and planet. 


Enjoy watching the full interview with Nancy Bocken at


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