Circular economy refers to a model in which economic growth does not go hand in hand with the exploitation and consumption of natural, non-renewable resources.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation mission is to develop and promote the idea of a circular economy. They work with, and inspire, business, academia, policymakers, and institutions to mobilize systems solutions at scale, globally.
Clear Office Inc looks to join the growing list of leading companies innovating products and processes for the future.
Re-Think: The Circular Economy
The aim of a circular economy is the resource-efficient and sustainable use of natural resources, their reuse and recycling within a circulatory system and the prevention of waste. The fact’s are that in the system of circular economy companies generate an additional value from the materials re-used.
There’s a world of opportunity to rethink and redesign the way we make stuff. ‘Re-Thinking Progress’ explores how through a change in perspective we can re-design the way our economy works – designing products that can be ‘made to be made again’ and powering the system with renewable energy. It questions whether with creativity and innovation we can build a restorative economy.
Re-Design: Circular Economy Design
Companies need to build core competencies in circular design to facilitate product reuse, recycling and cascading. Circular product (and process) design requires advanced skills, information sets, and working methods. Areas important for economically successful circular design include: material selection, standardized components, designed-to-last products, design for easy end-of-life sorting, separation or reuse of products and materials, and design-for-manufacturing criteria that take into account possible useful applications of by-products and wastes.
The shift to a circular economy requires innovative business models that either replace existing ones or seize new opportunities. Companies with significant market share and capabilities along several vertical steps of the linear value chain could play a major role in circular economy innovation and driving circularity into the mainstream by leveraging their scale and vertical integration. While many new models, materials, and products will come from entrepreneurs, these brand and volume leaders can also play a critical role. Profitable circular economy business models and initiatives will inspire other players and will be copied and expanded geographically.
Re-Purpose: New Life Cycles
For widespread reuse of materials and higher resource productivity to become commonplace, market mechanisms will need to play a dominant role, supported by policy makers, educational institutions and popular opinion leaders. These enablers include:
New and additional skills are needed for cascades and the final return of materials to the soil or back into the industrial production system. This includes delivery chain logistics, sorting, warehousing, risk management, power generation, and even molecular biology and polymer chemistry. With cost-efficient, better-quality collection and treatment systems, and effective segmentation of end-of-life products, the leakage of materials out of the system will decrease, supporting the economics of circular design.