Is prosperity dependent on resource consumption? Two separate reports are saying no, and instead proposing a new model of industrial organisation that decouples economic growth from resource consumption, and which has the potential to deliver hundreds of billions of dollars in savings.
‘A Global Redesign: Shaping the Circular Economy‘ – a report from UK think tank Chatham House suggests that this approach has the potential to deliver transformative change that brings with it significant business opportunities.
“A ‘circular economy’ (CE) is an approach that would transform the function of resources in the economy,” the report’s website states. “Waste from factories would become a valuable input to another process – and products could be repaired, reused or upgraded instead of thrown away.” Read more here.
A second report, commissioned by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and titled ‘Towards the Circular Economy‘, suggests that a shift to a circular economy could represent annual net material costs savings of up to US$ 630 billion, and that’s just in a subset of EU manufacturing sectors.
According to this report, a circular economy is, “an industrial system that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design”, and whose primary aim is to ‘design out’ waste.
“Waste does not exist—products are designed and optimised for a cycle of disassembly and reuse,” the report states. Read more here.