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Circular design guide developed with leading businesses

A new guide has been launched to help businesses get started with circular innovation, with input from leading businesses and specialist design institutions.

A new guide has been launched to help businesses get started with circular innovation, with input from leading businesses and specialist design institutions.

The Circular Design Guide, launched by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and international design and consulting IDEO, aims to help businesses re-think value creation and long-term business health by applying circular principles to their products and services. 

Circular design offers an alternative to the increasing costs and risks associated with a linear ‘take-make-dispose’ economy. 

The risks of business-as-usual include price volatility, resource supply constraints and increasing regulation. 

Instead, the guide shows how circular economy thinking - which prioritises reclaiming and reusing materials at end-of-life - can deliver sustained success. 

Design challenge

The guide includes 24 methods to seize potential design opportunities, including interviews with designers, worksheets, case studies and links to helpful technical tools.

Tim Brown, chief executive at IDEO, said: “Transitioning to the circular economy is one of the most important design challenges of our time. For designers, it means re-thinking traditional approaches and re-training in circular principles. 

“This guide was created to provide the tools needed to move from ideas to action, creating solutions for the circular economy that give businesses as competitive edge and are regenerative for our world.”

EU law

A recent forecast of business models revealed that strategies focused on sustainability and circularity will be vital to business success in the coming years.

The EU’s forthcoming circular economy package, expected to be agreed by member states later this year, will encourage businesses to place more emphasis on better product and packaging design.

The EU estimates the regulations will save businesses up to eight per cent of annual turnover by improving efficiency and preventing waste.

Once the package has been agreed, there is a two year limit for the regulations to be passed into national law, which could come before the UK officially leaves the EU.

Under the government’s plans, all EU law will be transposed into domestic law when the UK leaves.

To access the Circular Design Guide, click here.