Elen Macarthur Foundation



The following Toolkit aims to support businesses interested in taking the first steps towards circular economy innovation. The Toolkit draws from the Foundation’s report Towards the Circular Economy, in which we interviewed leading global businesses exemplifying aspects of the circular economy and ran a series of deep-dive case studies on signature products in the medium complexity goods sector. The Toolkit aims to promote open source advancement of business circularity and will be continually updated by the Foundation’s business innovation team.

The circular economy applied to the automotive industry

A case study of the Choisy-le-Roi Renault remanufacturing plant.


In depth - Washing Machines

In some cases, shifting ownership could result in better performance at a better price.


How to use the Toolkit

The Phase 1 Toolkit is just that – a way to make the first steps towards your business applying circular economy thinking.


In depth - Light Commercial Vehicle

Light commercial vehicles account for USD 240 billion of the total annual market for vehicles on the road. How can businesses get extra mileage out of their material?


In depth - case examples of circular products

Can the advantages of re-design for a circular economy match the advantages of products designed for mass production based on low costs and economies of scale?


In depth - Mobile Phones

With 1.6 billion mobile phones produced in 2010, more phones are entering the market than there are consumers. How can businesses extract lasting value out of fashionable items?


Principal value drivers

An outline of specific sources of core economic value creation potential in the circular economy.


Efficiency vs Effectiveness

A key difference in establishing a synergistic relationship between ecological and economic systems.


Schools of Thought and Innovation

The circular economy concept has deep-rooted origins and cannot be traced back to one single date or author. The general concept has been refined and developed by the following schools of thought, and each is a key driver for innovation.


Key Terminology

A summary of some of the key terms use in the Business Toolkit.


But does it actually work?

When explaining why these new business models would not work, manufacturers typically cite a number of key concerns – here we respond based on our own analysis.



Project MainStream launches three new...
23rd January 2015 – Today sees Project MainStream launch a new project outline containing three programmes ...
Download the DIF 2014 Report
23rd January 2015 – We are pleased to reveal our DIF 2014 Round Up Report, which is now available to read a...
Re-thinking Progress, save the date: ...
12th January 2015 – The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is pleased to reveal the dates for our second Re-thinkin...
Our year in review, by Ellen MacArthur
5th January 2015 – Read about our highlights and milestones in 2014 at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

The Economics

The first macroeconomic report series into the size of the prize for business in the transition to a circular economy


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Resource downloads

Film clips, publications, colour graphics, presentations…raw material for a range of educational activities.


Global Partners of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Circular Economy 100 Members