Circular Economy

How the circular economy can help you cut specific costs and achieve your climate goals

Your expert for questions

Emanuel Chibesakunda
Partner, Circular Economy, Sustainability Services at PwC Germany
Tel: +49 175 3516769

How to save resources while boosting resilience and competitiveness

Did you know that embracing the circular economy can cut your CO2 emissions by up to 45%?

Whenever your products are thrown away, valuable resources are lost. The circular economy offers a solution: instead of being thrown out, products are kept in use for as long as possible, then reused, refurbished and recycled. In short: they stay in circulation.

And you can profit from this! Embracing the circular economy and its innovative business models can help you cut costs, comply with regulations, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment. With changes to the law and consumer habits, rethinking our economic system is becoming essential.

“The circular economy offers companies a chance to gain a competitive edge, tap new sources of income and improve their resilience against external forces. In short, the circular economy provides answers to some of the most pressing questions facing companies today.”

Emanuel Chibesakunda,Partner, Circular Economy, Sustainability Services at PwC Germany

Our portfolio of services ensures targeted implementation of your circular economy plans and integrates with your sustainability programme.

Do you want to tackle the greatest challenges of our time? Do you want to discover how to use circular strategies to improve your company’s profits and reputation? Do you want to find out where value is being lost and growth hindered in your company?

There are many different approaches to the circular economy, providing a solution to make your company more resilient and more sustainable. Not sure where to start? We’ll provide you with structured guidance for your circular economy transformation.

Our circular economy services

Our experts are here to help you on your journey towards circularity – from strategy and business model transformation all the way to reporting. We offer tailored support in the following eight areas:

How can you ensure that your employees are qualified for the circular economy?

Which regulations do you need to follow?

Where are you losing the most value at material and product level across your product life cycle?

How can you ensure that products you develop comply with regulations?

How can you make upstream and downstream supply chains circular?

How can you develop viable business models for the circular economy?

How can you create networks between relevant players and build sustainable business ecosystems?

How can taking steps towards the circular economy help to reshape your processes?

< Back

< Back
[+] Read More

Any questions?

Contact our experts now.

Our promise

PwC’s Circular Infinity Loop – for the shift to a holistic circular economy

A holistic transformation to the circular economy considers existing and upcoming legal frameworks, international climate agreements, new customer demands and market initiatives. We use our comprehensive experience and industry know-how to help you with the transition to the circular economy – and to create a framework for this process, we’ve developed our Circular Infinity Loop.

PwC’s Circular Infinity Loop is designed to translate the latest insights on the biological and technological material cycles into action-oriented guidelines for designing circular products and services. We use these guidelines to develop ideas for circular services and product worlds, and to link design changes in manufacturing with innovative changes in how products are used. We push the boundaries of how we think about circularity, and open up new horizons for using it to develop profitable, future-proof business models.

1 Less

80% of a product’s environmental impact is determined during its development, before it even reaches the production line. This makes it essential to consider circularity in the design phase.

Infografik: Mit dem PwC-Infinity Loop zu einer ganzheitlichen Circular Economy

2 Longer

One of the aims of the circular economy is to keep products in circulation for as long as possible. Accordingly, circular economy strategies aim to make it possible to repair and refurbish products and their components.

Infografik: Mit dem PwC-Infinity Loop zu einer ganzheitlichen Circular Economy

3 Loop

When products reach the end of their lives, they are dismantled into their components and the materials are recycled. This enables them to be used as raw materials for new products, keeping these materials in circulation.

Infografik: Mit dem PwC-Infinity Loop zu einer ganzheitlichen Circular Economy

4 Leap

The circular economy needs a change in how we think in society. Innovative business models and state-of-the-art technologies drive the circular economy, and will need to be constantly followed and developed even further.

Infografik: Mit dem PwC-Infinity Loop zu einer ganzheitlichen Circular Economy

5 Last

Another goal of the circular economy is to help regenerate natural resources and minimise negative impacts to conserve the natural world for as long as possible.

Infografik: Mit dem PwC-Infinity Loop zu einer ganzheitlichen Circular Economy

Sustainable innovation for the circular economy

We explore and analyse circular economy scenarios for your organisation.

Our Sustainable Innovation team is here to help you design and improve your internal processes and value chains – for a strong brand promise. We’ll integrate tailor-made circular solutions to realise your ambitious goals for both the environment and your business.

Contact us now

Our expertise for a variety of industries

Companies in different industries have different practices when it comes to procurement, manufacturing, sale, use and disposal of their products. Looking elsewhere in your value chain can reveal new cross-sector approaches.

We’re here to help you realise these benefits by applying our expertise in the following fields, which are based on the German National Circular Economy Strategy (NKWS):

Buildings and construction sector

Our focus lies on circular buildings, sustainable building materials as well as reclaiming and efficient recycling construction waste.

Starting points for circularity

  • Ensure sustainable material extraction/procurement; use recycled materials for building infrastructure
  • Improve and extend the usage phase of buildings; apply new business models for building envelopes, building services and interior design
  • Reclaim and reprocess construction waste, components and materials for circular use
  • Use digital tech to drive transparency and efficient use of materials throughout a building’s life cycle


Reusing and recycling plastics and using secondary raw materials in the plastics industry are solutions that minimise the use of fossile resources and reduce the amount of waste generated.

Starting points for circularity

  • Design for reuse and recycling: consider circularity in the product design phase 
  • Improve collection and sorting of waste plastic; use material-specific recycling technologies
  • Introduce reuse models to reduce the use of single-use plastics
  • Educate consumers to raise awareness of the circular economy

Vehicles and batteries

With the growth in regulations, companies need to increase transparency in their vehicle and battery value chains (e.g. by using digital battery passports).

Starting points for circularity

  • Expand vehicle leasing and sharing models (product as a service)
  • Reprocess and reuse vehicle batteries which still have some capacity in energy storage systems (second-life batteries) 
  • Use cloud-based services to manage, monitor and optimise how batteries are used, alongside offering batteries as a service
  • Consider using low-resource, reusable and recyclable materials in the design phase instead of leaving it until later

Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

Maintenance, repairs and innovative business models can help reduce the huge amount of e-waste that we currently produce and keep the value of rare materials in the economy stable.

Starting points for circularity

  • Expand leasing and sharing models (product as a service)
  • Set up comprehensive end-of-use take-back systems (e.g. for smartphones and laptops) and address the rapidly growing second-hand market
  • Make products modular, repair-friendly and easy to dismantle, and target individual components for reuse
  • Ensure effective recycling on a large scale to keep strategically important high-tech metals and rare earth materials in circulation in their pure forms

Clothing and textiles

Sustainable materials and innovative business models help ensure that clothes and textile products can remain in use for longer. This saves resources, minimises waste and has positive social impacts.

Starting points for circularity

  • Design durable, long-lasting clothes; use regenerated and recyclable fibres
  • Use green logistics and cleaner production technologies for textile finishing
  • Introduce new business models, such as clothing rental, repair services and resale services
  • Use new blockchain-powered, cloud-based solutions to ensure traceability of textiles (e.g. in conjunction with digital passports)

More circular economy insights

Follow us

Contact us

Emanuel Chibesakunda

Emanuel Chibesakunda

Partner, Sustainability Services, PwC Germany

Tel: +49 175 3516769

Simon Kehrer

Simon Kehrer

Senior Manager, ESG Transformation, PwC Germany

Tel: +49 151 68869486