The fundamentals

Many companies develop their circular business models based on strategies that address circular resource flows from a life-cycle perspective. Even though this may result in innovative business opportunities that have potential to reduce society’s resource throughput, they are not always perceived as attractive for people, which reduces their potential for market success. One business offer is only one of the many possible paths of consumption people can consider. We thus argue that is crucial to understand the many different consumption paths that people may choose between, and to consider the full consumption processes when doing so – from obtainment, to use, and lastly riddance.

This requires a shift in focus; rather than solely exploring opportunities from a production and business point of view, they should also be explored from a user’s point of view. Hence, basing the exploration of design opportunities on the product life-cycle, which is typically done in CE literature, is not sufficient. Instead, opportunities should also be addressed from a user point of view and explored in relation to the consumption process. Addressing product circularity from a user perspective can support the design of attractive products and service offers that fit with and enable circular consumption paths.