Leigh Baker | May 23, 2024

(Updated from an earlier 2020 Balance3 post)

Circular business and supply chain design is a fundamental of regeneratively designed businesses applying Regenerative Business strategies.

These stories, sources and resources could be further inspiration for your regenerative business journey.


Great Wrap Australia, delivering compostable pallet wrap. May 2024

The 2023 Circular Central Victoria report. July 2023

Ocean Plastic face masks made by PADI – to wash and reuse. May 2020

Invasive seaweed being turned into biofuel (along with any stray plastic waste). May 2020

Refurbished, affordable electronics from Back Market . April 2020

BlackBear tyre upcycling . August 2021.

Original Sources

Bill McDonough and Michael Braungart are the authors of Cradle to Cradle and The Upcycle and their work has developed into the Cradle To Cradle Product Innovation Institute. Both their books are well worth adding to your library: CRADLE TO CRADLE and THE UPCYCLE.

Engagement on Circular Economy has ramped up since solo yachtswoman Ellen Macarthur left the ocean and started The Ellen Macarthur Foundation for the Circular Economy – which now offers a wealth of resources.

The Ellen Macarthur Foundation’s Butterfly Diagram is a useful (if slightly complex) visual tool.

This UNEP Circularity Approach diagram is more process oriented – and emphasises the importance of designing circularity in from the ground up.

UNEP Circular Economy diagram https://www.unep.org/circularity


Check your area for Circular Economy collaborations and industry interest groups.

For example, in Australia you can join the Australian Circular Economy Hub.


In May 2024, international standards were published for Circular Economy vocabulary, principles and guidance for implementation

There’s an excellent set of resources now available in this Circular Design Guide – a product of a collaboration between IDEO and The Ellen Macarthur Foundation. They actually range a whole lot wider that just “circular” – regenerative design topics from service-based business to biomimicry are included. A couple of resources from the Circular Design Guide to get you thinking about circular opportunities are:

There’s a nice summary of Circular Economy Business Strategies on Medium by Leyla Acaroglu

This Ellen Macarthur Foundation article discusses the need to Radically Rethink Design

Here’s an IDEO video on Designing for the Circular Economy

What two engineers found out about opportunity in the video How Circular Economy Entrepreneurs Drive the Change and their work to connect entrepreneurs with corporates.

And if listening’s your thing, then the Ellen Macarthur Foundation runs a Circular Economy Show.

Online Learning Resources

The Ellen Macarthur Foudation for the Circular Economy has a Circular Economy Learning Hub you can explore.

EdX Business & Management Courses have Circular Economy: An Introduction

Coursera has multiple Circular Economy courses across industries from metals to fashion.

Industry Specific Resources

Commercial Real Estate: