This white paper introduces you to the Value Hill. A practical tool used in the CIRCO methodology. Developed and written by Nuovalente, Circle Economy & Sustainable Finance Lab, TU Delft and Het Groene Brein.

The Value Hill visualizes the stages of a product's life cycle. This makes opportunities for adding value to the product clear to designers and entrepreneurs. In addition, positioning on the Value Hill shows opportunities for circular strategies in the industry. Finally, the Value Hill provides an overview of the circular partners and partnerships that are essential.

The Value Hill model is also called "value pyramid" and is broken down into three phases: The 'before use' phase is about how value increases step-by-step in creating the product (mining, manufacturing, distribution). The second phase is the "use phase" in which the product is at the peak of its value. Finally, the third stage shows how the product loses value and slips down the hill.

The Value Hill model seeks to avoid this last stage and puts all its efforts into value creation. The model is inspired by statements and research from the Ellen MacArthur foundation that says:

"Circular economy is an eco-system in which the waste of one system, is food for another."

Watch the video for more explanation:

Working with the model reveals how this can be done for the each stage of the product. So how can all or parts of the product be returned to the "before use" stage?


Go to whitepaper You go to an English version



The circular economy does not arise by itself. CIRCO (a program of TKI-CLICKNL) focuses on getting a new market moving. CIRCO therefore activates - with the support of the government - entrepreneurs and creative professionals to (re)design products, services and business models in order to then do circular business.

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Delft University of Technology

Within the Faculty of Industrial Design at TU Delft, the Department of Design for Sustainability deals with sustainable product development and design within the circular economy.

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Regular events are organised around various circular design themes

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