Innovative Business Models Map

WRAP is supporting new business opportunities that generate value for business through extending product life, conserving resources, and preventing materials from becoming waste, allowing companies to realise the full revenue and profit from their products.

Business models map

Our innovative business models map showcases a range of innovative business models currently in use. 

To get a quick glimpse at the basics of each model, simply click through the pinpointed areas on the map below. If you want to find further information about a particular business model and companies currently employing this model in their businesses, select “find out more” to find further information. Alternatively, you can browse through the innovative business models details.

Map of Alternative Business Models
  • Providing a service system based on an existing product to extend lifetime and optimise performance.

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  • Long-term leasing of products to users with a linked service to extend life and optimise performance.

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  • Long-term leasing of products linked to mobile communications service.

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  • Conventional hire of a product for a short time - enables access to better products without full cost payment.

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  • Short-term rental of vehicles located at strategic points around major cities. Cheaper than car ownership for the users. Maximises asset utilisation.

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  • Made to order - Production is managed to minimise material requirements and avoid potential losses from over-stocking products.

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  • Incentivised return - Encourages customers to return used items for an agreed value. Customers gain value for unwanted items and recycle products via a convenient system. Collected products are refurbished and sold for re-use on appropriate markets.

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  • Incentivised return - Remanufacturing of engines for major plant to extend its lifetime. Cheaper than full engine replacement for customers and reduces quantity of materials required to keep an asset running.

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  • Asset Management - Collection, refurbishing and re-sale of used products. Reduces the quantity of raw materials required to meet the market need.

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  • Collection of used products to ensure they are passed on to an appropriate re-use system.

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  • Peer to Peer - Rental of products between members of the public or between businesses. Gains an income for the product owner and cheaper access to a product for the renter.

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  • Reducing consumption - Employer pays employee to buy a computer for use at work and at home, along with a support package. Reduces quantity of products required to meet market need, reducing number of work computers lost and improving employee motivation.

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  • Peer-to-peer - Online exchange of products between householders with feedback system. Reduces cost of clothing ownership, extends active life and provides users with access to a wide range of products.

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  • Long Life - Products are designed to have a long life time with durability, reducing consumption.

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  • Dematerialised services - Providing a service to provide product benefits where the 'physical' product does not exist at all at the point of use.

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Innovative business models details:

Below you can find the details of all the innovative business models championed by WRAP. Feel free to browse this list to find further details about a number of different models, or use the map above to find a particular business model from this list. 

Product Service System

A Product Service System (PSS) is a service based upon delivering a mix of traditional product offerings and service contracts adaptable to market demand and service outputs. 

The business model is based on the idea that users of a product don’t necessarily need or want ownership of a product, but they are in need of the function the product provides. By offering a Product Service System, businesses can offer these functions on a service contract, rather by selling the physical product. This allows businesses to increase their profits through ongoing service contracts, whilst simultaneously maximising the usable life of their products through servicing, continued monitoring and adapting to consumer needs and demands. 

Examples of businesses using this model:

  • Philips'“Pay per Lux” solution is being used throughout the new, BREEAM accredited 'Excellent', office of the National Union of Students.
  • Rolls Royce sell their engine's thrust as ‘power by the hour’, which includes full in-use monitoring, servicing, repair, remanufacture and replacement. 
  • A Shade Greener offer a 'Boiler for Life' scheme. They install, maintain and service a new boiler for a weekly fee. 
  • Digital lumens provide intelligent lighting systems that reduce lighting-related energy use by up to 90%. As of 2013, they plan to offer their solutions as a service rather than an equipment sale.
  • Bandvulc sell ‘road grip’ (tyre support system) rather than tyres for articulated lorries.
  • Interface FLOR sell ‘flooring services’ through their evergreen lease option. Floor tiles are designed biomimicry for remanufacture once they wear out. 
  • Xerox sell contract ‘print services’ rather than printers. Printers are designed to be remanufactured and reduce waste in operation (e.g. cartridge free).  

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Dematerialised services

Dematerialised Services model relies on providing a service that offers product benefits where the 'physical' product may not exist at all. Using collaboration, sharing and grouping of product needs, this model looks at changing consumption patterns to deliver potential material saving through not producing a physical product for consumers. However, this must be balanced against the materials used in the service infrastructure.

For example:

  • Spotify, NetFlix and Amazon Instant Video provide on-demand delivery of music and film via internet or mail, using outsourced / public infrastructure with minimal overheads.
  • Cloud Computing: Email and document management services on virtual software platforms running on out-of-house hardware.
  • CapGemini amongst other ICT service providers: provision of software or infrastructure as a service  (SaaS or IaaS), rather than the hardware or software on a disk focusing on the activity of the software such as payroll or logistics.

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Hire & leasing

Hire and leasing models encourage long-term hire and leasing of products and drive a longer term approach to product durability, with longer service life, lower maintenance load and lower use of materials and CO2.

For example:

  • Mud Jeans give you the opportunity to lease fashionable, organic produced jeans. During the lease period you can make use of their free repair service. After a year they give you 3 options – keep it, swap it or send back. 
  • Girl Meets Dress rents designer dresses and accessories for special occasions. 
  • Forbes Rentals charge weekly for wide range of domestic electrics and electronics.
  • Emblem Furniture rent furniture and white goods for show homes and 'Home staging'.
  • Leasedrive offer long-term B2B leasing of fleet vehicles.
  • Stone Rent-a-PC is a long-term PC rental scheme designed for the UK education landscape. 
  • ICT hardware providers such as Dell and others rent equipment on long-term lease to companies and provide back-up support and service management and upgrades of the ICT / PCs. 
  • Zipcar is a pay-per-use system for vehicle use. Registered users book a local vehicle, access it through a membership system then use the vehicle for an hourly fee.

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Collaborative consumption

Collaborative consumption models facilitate the rental of products between members of the public or between businesses. Successful iterations of this model generate an income for the product owner and provides cheaper access to a product for the renter. Some of these models can also be non-income based, peer-to-peer, online or offline models for exchange and re-use of products or services.

For example:

  • Airbnb supports the rental of spare bedroom space to private travellers. 
  • Warp it allows internal staff or staff between companies to sell unwanted items and buy needed items.
  • erento is a portal that allows B2B and B2C hiring of many products and tools, and the hiring out of own tools and products.
  • Streetbank is a free online portal that shows products and skills available within a local neighbourhood.
  • Swapstyle allows swapping of clothes and bags for free through an online portal.
  • The Savvy Earner showcases six innovative ways to earn money by putting your unused assets to work. 

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Incentivised return & re-use

Incentivised return & re-use models encourage customers to return used items for an agreed value and customers gain value for unwanted items and return products via a convenient exchange system. Collected products are refurbished and sold for re-use on appropriate markets.

For example:

  • Desso offer a carpet take-back programme and have developed an innovative separation technique to tackle the millions of square metres of worn-out carpet that are thrown away every year.
  • CeX buy, sell and exchange a range of technology and entertainment products.
  • Steelcase Solutions evaluate the state of furniture and offer repair and renovation service prior to replacing with new

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Asset management

A model that takes a sustainable approach to asset management ensures the most profitable internal collection, re-use, refurbishing and re-sale of used products and reduces the quantity of raw materials required to meet market demand.

For example:

  • Carillion worked with WRAP to develop resource efficient and profitable business models around better management of vehicle-based assets. 
  • FLOOW2 is a business-to-business sharing marketplace where companies and institutions can share equipment and as well as the skills and knowledge of personnel.
  • P2PLocal is an online technological and legal contracting solution bringing businesses together to facilitate peer to peer hiring of under-utilised equipment, machinery, plant, and other resources.
  • Reworked cutting tool bits and blades. Dinosaw run a 'cutting tool sales, sharpening and repair' service in New York and Pennsylvania, USA. 
  • Electroversal refurbishment of mobiles, copiers, PCBs (mostly from copiers), power supplies, vending machines etc.
  • Leafield Logistics store and catalogue Admiralty spares and parts for sold-on naval vessels.
  • RDC is an IT asset disposition company specialising in the re-use and recycling of used computer equipment.

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Collection of used products

Collection by a service provider to ensure products/ materials are passed on to an appropriate re-use system.

For example:

  • Globechain's online platform connects corporates to charities, individuals and SMEs allowing them to help each other by donating and re-using unwanted items.
  • Wiltshire Wood Recycling collect waste wood from construction, joinery and other businesses and grade the wood for resale or manufacture into wood products.
  • SOFA collect, refurbish and re-sell used furniture and white goods in the Bristol area.
  • Refurbiz collect, refurbish and re-sell used white goods.

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Long life

Long life models are products specific designed to have a long life time with increased durability, and ultimately reducing consumption.

For example:

  • Kyocera's design concept mean only the toner, rather than the whole toner cartridge, needs to be replaced. As many as 500,000 pages can be printed without replacing anything except toner, significantly reducing waste and cost. 
  • Patagonia aim to make clothes that last a long time and wear out evenly. Since 2012 they have repaired over 26,000 items sent back to be fixed. 
  • Giroflex offer cleaning and care services as well as repairing office chairs
  • Miele design and engineer product for long service life and market it on "lifetime cost" with 10-20 year life. 

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Made to order

Made to order models manage production to minimise material requirements and avoid potential losses from over-stocking products.

For example:

  • Alt-Berg Bootmakers handmade to order and re-sole service for walking, motorcycling, army and police boots.
  • Duo Boots make boots to sizes and to order using a network of fitting retail rooms to define the customers sizing and then, item despatched via online delivery.
  • Made produce furniture designs to order, grouping requests from its online catalogue and placinf orders directly with the manufacturers, reducing stock, wastages, materials and cost.

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Bring your own device

User brings their own device to access services e.g. the employer pays employee to buy a computer for use at work and at home, along with a support package. This model reduces quantity of products required to meet market need.

For example:

  • Citrix pay for a bring your own computer to all staff in the company to use on the company’s network for work and home, saving resources and support time, and improving employee motivation.

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Something to add? 

Do you use a business model not listed here? If you use an innovative business model we’ve yet to hear about, please get in touch and tell us about your experiences

Where Next?

Want to know more about resource efficient business models? Take a look at our information on resource efficient business models across sustainable electricals and sustainable textiles:

REBMs in Sustainable Electricals >>
REBMs in Sustainable Textiles >>