​The National Zero Waste Council Circular Economy Working Group, in collaboration with the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, commissioned circular economy case studies relevant to North America to understand opportunities for scaling circular economy business models in Canada. To showcase a range of business models at least one example of the five circular economy business models identified in the 2014 Accenture report, Circular Advantage, are profiled. Product-as-a-service is a cornerstone circular business model so rather than one in-depth case study, several business snapshots showcase how product-as-a-service can be a successful business model across many sectors.

Business Models



Circular Supplies: Provide renewable energy, bio based- or fully recyclable input material to replace single-lifecycle inputs


Resource Recovery: Recover useful resources/energy out of disposed products or by-products


Product Life Extension: Extend working lifecycle of products and components by repairing, upgrading and reselling


Sharing Platforms: Enable increased utilization rate of products by making possible shared use/access/ownership


Product as a Service*: Offer product access and retain ownership to internalise benefits of circular resource productivity

*Can be applied to product flows in any part of the value chain



Enterra Feed Corporationhttp://www.nzwc.ca/focus/circular-economy/case-studies/CaseStudies/EnterraFeed.pdfEnterra Feed Corporation#9e0b0f
Enviro Image Solutionshttp://www.nzwc.ca/focus/circular-economy/case-studies/CaseStudies/EnviroImage.pdfEnviro Image Solutions#ed1d24
Nico Spacecrafthttp://www.nzwc.ca/focus/circular-economy/case-studies/CaseStudies/NicoSpacecraft.pdfNico Spacecraft#000000
Toronto Tool Libraryhttp://www.nzwc.ca/focus/circular-economy/case-studies/CaseStudies/TorontoToolLibrary.pdfToronto Tool Library#6d6e71



BMW Drive Nowhttp://www.nzwc.ca/focus/circular-economy/case-studies/CaseStudies/BMWDriveNow.pdfBMW Drive Now#d1d3d4
Philips Light as a Servicehttp://www.nzwc.ca/focus/circular-economy/case-studies/CaseStudies/PhilipsLight.pdfPhilips Light as a Service#d1d3d4
Rent frock Repeathttp://www.nzwc.ca/focus/circular-economy/case-studies/CaseStudies/RentFrockRepeat.pdfRent frock Repeat#d1d3d4


Case Study Analysis

Four circular economy case studies were analyzed for common themes to understand opportunities for innovating and scaling circular economy business models. A number of key themes were identified.

Key Themes