Content of this unit
Tools to develop or improve business processes, products and services
1. In the previous unit you could learn about the concept of the Business Model Canvas and its building blocks.

Canvas Business Model can be used to develop and improve your business processes. It's simple and straightforward to help you visualize all the necessary components and interfaces on a surface, ranging from resources to value creation, gaining profits.

Economic Business Model Canvas

In this section you can take a look at the triple layered Business Model Canvas (TLBMC), which is a business model canvas that can be applied for circular businesses, and which basically adds two new layers to the original Canvas. The second layer is built with nine environmental elements that follow a lifecycle approach and the third layer with nine social elements that follow a stakeholder approach.

Environmental Life Cycle Business Model Canvas

Social Stakeholder Business Model Canvas

You can use TLBMC to better visualize the relationships between the economic, environmental and social aspects of your business model.

To better understand this tool check the TLBMC of Nespresso (world leader in coffee machines and coffee maker technology) below:

Economic Business Model Canvas - NESPRESSO

Economic Business Model Canvas - NESPRESSO

Social Stakeholder Business Model Canvas - NESPRESSO

When analysed together, the three layers of the business model make more explicit how an organisation creates multiple values – economic (value proposition), environmental (functional value) and social (social value).

2. Value chain creation 

A value chain is the full range of activities from conception to delivery – including design, production, marketing and distribution – businesses conduct to add value to their products or services.
Watch the videos below explaining the creation of value chain, as well as highlighting its importance and also making you understand how value chain analysis can help identify a company's strengths and weaknesses:

In the context of circular businesses, the entire value chain needs to work together for mutual gain. Products need to be designed with future uses in mind and all members of the value chain need to work with different business models, and levels of incentivisation, to give the client longer term benefit and higher residual value of their asset.

3. System thinking

It is important how we learn from nature’s brilliance. Nature uses the longest threads to weave her patterns. Each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry (Richard Feynman).

Ecosystem models offer the keys to abundance. An economic system inspired by ecosystems would work with what is locally available, such as naturally occurring energy resources that express the laws of physics, first and foremost. Physics describes the underlying forces that are dynamically utilised by every species on Earth. This insight is the pathway to sustainability. Emulating the function and effectiveness of ecosystems and natural habitats is a pragmatic way to achieve sustainability and high resource productivity while remaining competitive and generating additional value.

Making paper out of stone can have multiple positive effect on the “system” its production is part of.  Learn about this by watching the below short film, then reflect on the following: Why is system thinking important?

“System thinking” is at the core of the concept of Circular Economy, it helps us create a more sustainable world.
The Blue Economy model by Gunter Pauli is about “system thinking” for the environment and sustainability, and helps you understand how you can apply circularity in your business in a sustainable way.
Check the collection of 200 Blue Economy innovations at the below link, which have attracted by 2016 approximately $4 billion in investments and generated some 3 million jobs worldwide.