Integrating Backcasting and Eco-design for the Circular Economy: The BECE Framework

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Circular economy is essential for decoupling economic growth from resource consumption and environmental impacts. However, effective implementation requires a systemic change across supply chains, involving both technological and non-technological innovations. Frameworks are beginning to emerge to foster circular-economy thinking in organisations. However, literature review carried out as part of this research has revealed gaps in their ability to fulfil circular economy requirements. Furthermore, few frameworks provide support on how circular economy requirements may be implemented. To address these issues, this article presents a new framework “BECE” (Backcasting and Eco-design for the Circular Economy), to ensure businesses can implement circular economy requirements more readily. BECE empowers organisations to tackle the circular economy holistically, by embedding the concept into corporate decision-making and by bringing operational and systems thinking together, thus increasing the likelihood of successful implementation. The potential of the BECE framework was tested through a pilot workshop focusing on the development of a CE business model through re-design of products and supply chains. Using vacuum cleaners as an illustrative case study, several product design and supply chain alternatives were identified, including the development of scenarios and action plans for their implementation at the business level. Although the case study focuses on a particular product, the BECE framework is generic and applicable across different products and business sectors.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)526-544
JournalJournal of Industrial Ecology
Issue number3
Early online date28 Apr 2017
StatePublished - 2017