So what is
Circular Economy is increasingly seen as a key approach to operationalising goals and supporting the transition towards a sustainable society by enhancing competitiveness, economic growth and sustainability in many parts of modern society.
It is defined by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as “an economy that provides multiple value creation mechanisms, which are decoupled from the consumption of finite resources”.
But why is it so important?
WHY do we strive for Circular Economy?
Our society, as we’ve been used to it for decades, follows a linear economy of “take-make-consume-dispose”, meaning that we’re ‘borrowing’ capacity from future generations. Such behaviour is unsustainable and prolonged linearity is already showing its effects.
Circular Economy aims to break our linear habit by following basic principles to decouple value creation from the consumption of finite resources. Available cases of Circular Economy are already showing great business potential for companies, displaying both resource effectiveness and a decoupling of business growth and carbon footprint.
The linear economy, that our society is currently designed within, leads all too often to problems from our “take-make-consume-dispose” patterns.
As a global society, we currently consume around 1.7 times the carrying capacity of the globe - and for many countries, this figure is much worse.
Increasing amounts of raw materials are being defined as critical materials, due to their vital importance for the functioning of modern technologies and economies - and simultaneously, the risk of future supply, due to shortage.
Climate change is the biggest focus for global society at the moment. It has been broadly agreed within the United Nations, that global society should attempt to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
Circular Economy efforts are estimated to have the potential to contribute to just under 50% the savings in carbon footprint (the proxy measurement of fossil fuel emissions causing climate change).
Our ingrained linear mindset leads us to believing that we can just thrown stuff away, when we’re done with it. But ‘away’ doesn’t actually exist ...
One example of our throw-away mindset is ocean plastic - waste plastic material that makes its way through the world’s waterways, into the oceans.
It is estimated that if we keep producing plastic waste at the rate we have been doing so over the past couple of decades, there will be more plastic in the oceans, by weight, than fish in 2050. And we eat the fish that eat the fish that eat the fish that eat the plastic.
According to scientists, we are entering the sixth mass-extinction of earth’s species, with around 75% of today's animal species threatened to vanish within the next 300 years. The unique characteristic of this mass extinction is that we humans are creating it.
The European Commission estimates that 90% of biodiversity loss is caused by resource extraction and processing. Current circular material use rate in the EU is estimated to be at 11.8%. Our increasing consumption and lacking ability to circulate is contributing directly to the dwindling diversity of life on our planet.
WHAT is Circular Economy?
Circular Economy seeks to respect planetary boundaries through increasing the share of renewable or recyclable resources, whilst reducing the consumption of raw materials and energy, thus reducing emissions and material losses.
There are many ways to achieve circularity, ranging from new business approaches, through circular product development and production, to circulating end-of-use products at a product, component or (ultimately) materials level.
HOW do we achieve Circular Economy?
Achieving a Circular Economy requires a fundamental change of mindset within the business, all the way from the strategic decisions made for the company and its value chain, through the tactical ways of managing and setting goals for the company, to the everyday operations of designing, developing, and applying circularity principles.
ready2LOOP can help you understand your company’s current Circular Readiness, which is key for planning a successful transition to increased circularity. We can also assist your systematic transition to Circular Economy.
WHO to involve in the process?
Everyone! The change we need to make is fundamental, and that requires sharing knowledge with and gaining inputs from as many different people within both your company and your value chain.
The ready2LOOP platform is designed to incorporate as many colleagues from your company as possible - in fact we provide you with a measure of how inclusive you are of the different functions from your company.
In addition, we also help you to engage with your value chain, making good ideas and intentions into tangible actions.
WHEN do we start?
Start today! The 100% circular company does not yet exist, so there’s always something that we all can improve.
We’ve designed the ready2LOOP platform so that you can get going with a single Circular Readiness assessment now - or that you can arrange a department-wide workshop as a kick-off of your transition. The platform is always open for you to add and invite colleagues, who can engage as they get the opportunity.
Get started today!
Regardless of whether you want to start your transition to Circular Economy by yourself, or get help along the way through an Accelerator, you should start by assesing your current Circular Readiness. Sign-in and get started for free!