Circular Business Models
Creating revenue and opportunities
Circular business models define how an organisation creates and delivers value to a wide range of stakeholders while eliminating waste and environmental damage as its materials and products move around the Economy, This can offer new commercial opportunities to generate incremental revenue, transform relationships with existing customers, and attract new customers, at the same time as protecting supply chains against rising costs of prime materials and mitigating resource shortages. Intrinsically linked to Circular Design, examples include dis-assembly, repair remanufacturing refurbishing and remodelling.
Promoting Circular Benefits
Wool is currently a low cost, raw material, and its value was further impacted during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is a by-product of the livestock industry, which is a significant employer in the UK and contributes £291.4m to the economy. Most sheep breeds have to be sheared to ensure animal welfare standards are met, however, the value of wool is very low. In 2020, UK farmers were receiving between 15-30p per fleece, yet paying more than £1 to have each sheep sheared. By replacing other environmentally damaging materials with wool, currently a farming waste stream, the industry could generate additional revenue and accelerate net zero goals.
Novel uses for wool include its use in packaging (WoolCool), insulation/building materials (Therma fleece, Woolly Shepherd, Havelock wool), compost (Dalefoot Compost). Other innovative uses could look to wool to solve challenges such as clearing up oil spills, flood defences and reinforcing land.
Defining the opportunity for circular business models
This challenge aims to define the opportunity for circular business models taking into account environmental and economic factors, and will enable the UK to produce chemicals utilising captured industrial waste gases within regional clusters and dispersed sites.
A critical element of this innovation is data from techno-economic analysis (TEA) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) that will provide assurance to business, government and society that this new pathway is built upon robust methodology and test cases.
Please do make contact if you have an existing evidence base, case studies, or if you want to actively participate with us on this area of work.
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