What is Circular Economy?
A circular economy aims to keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life.
Unlike the linear cradle-to-grave model of production and consumption, the Circular Economy seeks to keep resources at their highest utility and value for as long as possible.
This doesn’t mean simply redoubling our efforts to recycle – welcome though this would be – but requires systemic, wholesale change across organisations, including re-thinking product design, business models, and the supply chain.
Why is Circular Economy important?
There are a number of reasons why a switch to Circular Economy is so important, such as the increasing demand for a limited supply of raw materials and the negative impact a linear economy is having on the earth’s climate, as well as the potential opportunities a Circular Economy offers to businesses.
The truth is, we are currently using twice the amount of resources that planet Earth can currently produce and by 2050 we will need five times the amount to sustain the basic needs of the world population.
Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity has used more from nature than our planet can renew in the entire year. In 2018, it fell on August 1.
Despite the global drive for greater efficiency humanity is using 1.7 times the amount Earth produces.
The construction industry is responsible for around 1/3 of total waste generated in the EU and is therefore a prime candidate for applying a Circular Economy approach.
How a Circular Economy benefits you?
A Circular Economy is not a recycling initiative to be consigned to the sustainability or the facilities management teams within an organisation.
It is transformative by its very nature and, if implemented properly, has the potential to be a value driver.
Here are some of the benefits your business can experience from implementing a Circular Economy business model:
- 1. Save materials and reduce the need to duplicate value-added activities, thereby reducing costs, such as producing building materials from extracted materials instead of re-using existing ones,
- 2. Mitigate against the risks of future price volatility and impending legislation
- 3. Reduce the environmental impact from production and consumption
- 4. Create closer and more frequent customer interaction
- 5. Promote innovation at every stage of the value cycle from downstream logistics to the way you market your product
How can Longevity Partners help you?
The Circular Economy is a broad, multifaceted concept with significance for every area of your business.
Longevity Partners can assist you in understanding how your business could benefit from a Circular Economy by:
- Profiling current business practices to identify opportunities for Circular Economy business models
- Developing Circular Economy strategies to strengthen your organisation’s core processes
- Implementing Circular Economy trials and initiatives
- Performing life cycle assessments to understand the embodied environmental impact of your current operations