A financial system for the circular economy

About the programme

The Circle Finance Programmes works to improve the financeability of circular businesses by identifying financial, legal and operational obstacles, and designing solutions to overcome them.
We collaborate with financial institutions, circular enterprises, accountants, legal and technological experts to raise awareness and improve understanding of circular business models and to contribute to the design of financing solutions. 

Finance plays a leading role in allocating investments to sustainable projects that accelerate the transition to a low-carbon and more circular economy, but a number of factors inhibit the financeability of such projects: a limited track record, uncertain consumer demand, and other unknowns all hinder the progress of new circular business models. 

Communities of practice

We use a Community of Practice (CoP) approach to address specific financeability challenges for circular business models. In a CoP, financial, accounting, legal, and technology experts join a pre-competitive environment to co-create open-source solutions that can improve a circular business model’s viability. 
community of practice
The Circular Phone - Fairphone
The Circular Phone CoP developed a service contract blueprint and a balance sheet example to support Fairphone in implementing a circular product-as-a-service business model. The CoP also proved the economic and environmental benefits of the new business model, and uncovered the need for smart asset tracking to manage value on the balance sheet– a topic we are exploring in an ongoing CoP. 
community of practice
Building Value: A Pathway to Circular Construction
Implementing circular practices in the built environment sector, the world's biggest consumer of raw material, would be incredibly impactful. One of the big questions, however, is how circular construction should be valued and financed. The 'Building Value' CoP demonstrated the radical potential of the built environment to accelerate the circular economy and formulated key reforms to current methods of valuation and financing to stimulate circular construction. An alternative pathway is mapped from a case study of the Fridtjof Nansenhof social housing project in Amsterdam, due for redevelopment in 2020. 

Building the financial ecosystem

Our community-building approach engages with the people behind financial institutions – investors, relationship managers, product specialists, accountants and risk managers – to thoroughly understand how choices are made regarding circular investment and credit decisions.

Research that matters

We combine insights from our practical projects, case studies, and in-depth research with the knowledge and expertise of our community network to introduce changes or new solutions that are required to help finance circular businesses.


Consultant - Circle Finance Programme
Junior Project Manager - Circular Finance