GOING CIRCULAR?

Topics of the module

Introducing the ReSOLVE framework

McKinsey & Company In The Circular Economics: The Transition from Theory to Practice A special issue, October 2016 states that these 3 principles of the circular economy can be divided into six business actions: Regenerate, Share, Optimise, Loop, Virtualise, and Exchange – together they make out the ReSOLVE framework.



  • Regenerate. Transition to renewable energy and materials in order to cultivate, maintain and regenerate the health of ecosystems and return the acquired biological resources to our biosphere.
In other words, you regenerate when you use materials and energy that are NOT just becoming waste after use. So if you use solar energy instead of fossil fuels, your energy consumption will rely on a perpetual energy source instead of using a finite (and polluting) energy source.
For example, support for the Savory Institute's comprehensive land management has affected the regeneration of more than 2.5 million hectares of commercial land worldwide.
  • Share. Maximize the use of products through the mutual sharing of private or public sharing of products with a minimal emphasis on their re-use throughout their technical life. Extend the life of products with maintenance, repairs, and design for long life.
Examples are business models for sharing cars, but also for computers, tools, and more.
  • Optimize. Improve product performance and efficiency and eliminate waste from their supply chains. Leverage big data, automation and more. None of these actions require a change in products or technologies.
This requires constant research and development in order to find better, more efficient, ways of producing and distributing products.
  • Loop. Keeping components and materials in closed loops and prioritizing those that allow it. For final materials, this means refurbishing products or components. Looping in its purest form is reusing products or parts thereof in the production of new products. But most commonly (and as a last resort) recycling materials, as Michelin, Patagonia, and Škoda do.
  • Virtualize. Deliver utility virtually—books or music, online shopping, fleets of autonomous vehicles, and virtual offices.
The idea is that if you can skip the physical part in the delivery chain you can also skip all the excess energy and pollution that follows. So virtualization can be a way to cut down on unneeded energy consumption in some instances.
  • Exchange. Replacing old materials with new advanced and renewable materials that can be applied to new technologies such as 3-D printing and electric motors.
This can be either a new more efficient product or component, or it can be the refurbishment of old products to extend their lifecycle.
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This project (project no: 2019-1-SE01-KA204-060527) has been funded with support from the European Commission.
The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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