Chapter 4
The Circular Economy: Maintaining and Capturing Value

Circular businesses allow products to stay at their highest level of value for as long as possible.

In the context of the Value Hill (Achterberg et al., 2016), value is added while the product moves “uphill” and circular strategies keep the product at its highest value (top of the hill) for as long as possible.

The path that products take while travelling up and down Value Hill is divided into three phases.

  1. The pre-use phase (mining, production, distribution) is displayed on the left as value is added in every step and the product moves uphill.
  2. The second phase is the in-use phase and is depicted at the top of the hill. Here the value of a product is at its highest.
  3. The third phase is the post-use phase, where the product loses value as it moves downhill.

By feeding the complete product or its components back into a previous phase, value is captured.

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