Path Forward

The project team has decided to extend the pilot into 2016 to allow time for more opportunities to develop, and for companies that joined late or expressed interest to join the pilot to get engaged. The project team also plans to continue developing our collaborations with solution providers from academia, materials handlers, governments and nonprofits to bring more options to the table for consideration by the participating companies. 

The US Materials Marketplace will open participation to a much broader audience in mid-2016, with targeted recruitment focusing on US BCSD, WBCSD and Corporate Eco Forum members not in the pilot, and companies affiliated with other collaborators outlined below. The project team’s goal in the US is that by the end of 2016, we will have established a permanent and active Materials Marketplace with at least 100 participating companies.

In parallel, we are working with colleagues at the WBCSD and its Global Network Partners to develop similar materials marketplace projects in other countries with the goal of scaling up and connecting them in a global movement toward a circular economy. Other potential collaborators expressing interest in working with us on global scale up include the European Commission, the G-7 Alliance for Material Efficiency and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. 


The three organizations leading the pilot implementation funded the pilot, with the US BCSD bearing the majority of costs through company onboarding, materials research and transaction facilitation. In phase two, participants will be asked to make contributions to help offset the costs of operating the marketplace. The central goal in phase two will be to allow more time for companies to experience the value of the marketplace in their business operations. There are a number of long term revenue models, including membership and pay-per-transaction, for example, that will be more fully developed in 2016 during phase two of the pilot.

Regional, National & International Collaboration

Since 1995, the US BCSD has worked in more than a dozen city and state-level by-product synergy networks in North America, the United Kingdom and China. Each of these regional projects - examples highlighted below - share similar objectives, including landfill diversion, positive environmental impacts, economic development, and local business engagement on zero-waste objectives. We see an opportunity for collaboration between regional and national projects in both the United States and around the world. 

To this end, we’re designing a cooperative model in which regional marketplaces join the co-op under agreement to share outcomes with other co-op members, and in return gain access to marketplace activities from other regions. This nonprofit system allows for city-level, state-level and national-level participation and information exchange between each type of project. As other countries implement their own marketplace programs, this co-op structure will connect them with others in the network while allowing them to retain control and ownership of their country’s data and activities. The co-op approach should allow for growth and increase knowledge exchange about what is working, what’s not, policy developments that help accelerate the marketplace and those that are in the way. The system will be inclusive and not exclusive.

WBCSD Global Network

The WBCSD Global Network of 70 national business councils offers a natural growth path to scale the marketplace system internationally and link it globally through the same cooperative structure that would allow for national ownership and responsibility for each marketplace, while simultaneously committing to share results and outcomes with all other co-op countries. Countries in green have active national business councils.

Select US BCSD Regional Projects