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Business Model Analysis Using Material Sustainability Frameworks
Apurva Bafana
Apurva Bafana
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Business Model Analysis Using Material Sustainability Frameworks

Evaluate a company's business logic to address and mitigate environmental and sustainability impact of material consumption.

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 ET /
8 weeks, 2-3 hours per week
No experience required
No experience required
Some experience required
Degree and experience required


Being the base requirement in the production of goods, the use of raw materials in the global economy is steadily rising. Both the general public and industry professionals are becoming more concerned about how material consumption contributes to climate change, ecosystem degradation, chemical pollution, and resource limitations. A growing number of industries and individual companies are taking a more comprehensive lifecycle approach to their materials and processes to stay competitive in the long run. Thus, knowledge of sustainable use of resources and different aspects of the material lifecycle becomes increasingly important for success in many types of engineering careers.

In this Build Project, you will wear the hat of a Sustainability Analyst and prepare a business analysis that employs sustainability principles for more efficient use of materials. With the help of an experienced industry expert, you will evaluate an organization using a multistage analysis that involves strategies, drivers, and barriers for business models, the role of governments, and the influence of policies. Sustainability is a cross-disciplinary field of study, and this project will promote the development of your own ideas to become more involved in the transition to a Circular Economy.

Session timeline

  • Applications open
    May 27, 2024
  • Application deadline
    June 23, 2024
  • Project start date
    Week of July 8, 2024
    Week of
    July 8, 2024
  • Project end date
    Week of

What you will learn

  • Explore the concepts of Circular Economy and Sustainable Materials Management  
  • Develop proficiency in mapping out relationships between variables and understanding their effects on the overall system
  • Understand how businesses operate, how value is created and delivered, and what factors contribute to success or failure in the marketplace
  • Systematically evaluate external factors and identify challenges and opportunities in implementing sustainable practices
  • Apply business model analysis tools and develop novel ideas, exploring alternative solutions, and considering unconventional strategies to differentiate the business model and enhance its competitiveness
  • Understand the role of governments and networks and how policies and sharing best practices can enable the circular economy
  • Improve ability to plan and execute a structured search within a limited timeframe and synthesize information for presentations
Build Projects are 8-week experiences that operate on a rolling basis. Selected participants engage in weekly live workshops with a Build Fellow and 2-15 other students.

Project workshops

Introduction to Materials Sustainability
Basics of CE & SMM
Building Blocks of a Business Model
Circular Product Design & Business Model Strategies
Circular Business Model Canvas
Impact, Drivers, & Barriers
Business Upscaling Strategies
Final Presentations


  • Basic knowledge of common sustainability practices and circular economy: you should understand stages of material life cycle, linear economy vs circular economy.
  • Being comfortable reading primary technical and research literature.
  • Information literacy for conducting an effective literature search.
  • Proactive participation in meetings which includes providing feedback on work being presented by fellow students.

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About the expert
Apurva Bafana
's Linkedin

Apurva is a Materials Science Global Talent Fellow at Open Avenues where she works with students leading projects in the area of Materials Sustainability.

Apurva works as a R&D Engineer at Lummus Technology, a technology licensing company. At Lummus, Apurva is the primary contact for knowledge, insights, and analytics for R&D programs pertaining to ultra-high purity petrochemical production and industrial waste-water treatment technologies. She has 4+ years of experience in the field of Chemical Engineering and has also worked on materials rheometry, formulation, and energy efficiency projects.

Apurva holds a a Master's in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Apurva has previously volunteered with Veterans Upward Bound and is now an active volunteer with ENGin where she helps Ukrainian youth improve their spoken English and intercultural skills.