IMAGINE A WORLD WITHOUT WASTE: A CIRCULAR ECONOMY

 

THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY PRESENTS THE GREATEST OPPORTUNITY AND CHALLENGE OF OUR GENERATION. AND A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY DEPENDS UPON IT.

FOR BUSINESSES IT IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO REDUCE  COSTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS, BUILD RESILIENT SUPPLY CHAINS, INCREASE MARKET SHARE, AND STRENGTHEN REPUTATION WITH CUSTOMERS, REGULATORS AND THE PUBLIC. 

 

Circular economy in practice

Make sense of the Circular Economy

The growing popularity of the circular economy, while positive, also raises new questions about how to approach it in the most strategic way:

  • How do you know you are making better decisions when deciding between alternative solutions, materials, investments and partners?
  • How do you ensure you do not create new problems while trying to solve others?
  • How do we prevent chasing compliance with changing demands driven by changing opinions from different sustainability concepts, tools and stakeholders?
  • How do we ensure other relevant topics are also taken into account when investing in and communicating about sustainability?

Maximise your contribution to the Circular Economy

The principles and framework promoted by The Natural Step offer a unique perspective that strategically connects the circular economy with full sustainability.

  • A science-based definition of success that guides decision-making.
  • Focus on root causes to design away the problems of the linear economy and satisfaction of needs.
  • Evaluate material choices in the circular economy.
  • Deal with trade-offs in the shift from linear to circular materials flows.
  • Take account of all dimensions of sustainability when closing the resource loop.
  • Implement various strategic guidelines beyond ‘closed loop’ and ‘zero waste’.
  • Approach the circular economy from a future-oriented, systems perspective.

Co-design, test and pilot circular economy solutions

Strategic, systemic changes are needed to create a truly sustainable and circular economy. That requires new forms of collaborative planning and action. No one organization – whether public or private – can deliver this change on their own. We must learn new ways to collaborate and co-innovate to change the entire economy.

“Through dedicated training courses and general support The Natural Step helps us to keep abreast of the sustainable development agenda, think strategically about our products and services, and we’re benefiting from TNS’s long experience and scientific analysis in this growing field.”

Alexander Hofer
Chief Sales Officer, Chemson Polymer-Additive AG

Through our Sustainability Transition Labs we work collaboratively with our partners to:

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Define the circular economy opportunity: We help governments and businesses understand the opportunities, barriers and strategies for advancing the circular economy within their organizations, their value chains and the province as a whole.

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Accelerate promising ideas: We work with our partners to identify, incubate and scale circular economy initiatives. These include: Strategic, collaborative initiatives to address systemic barriers that individual organizations can’t tackle alone;“ Innovation moonshots” with the potential to transform the economy.
New or improved circular products, services, policies, business models and strategies.

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Build momentum for change: We increase circular economy awareness, understanding and commitment through strategic research, communications, education and engagement activities.

Mark Weick
Lead Director, Sustainability and Enterprise Risk Management, 
The Dow Chemical Company 

Why the circular economy matters

In Europe, the circular economy is a strategic policy objective and it is gaining attention world-wide. Recent studies by organisations such as McKinsey and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation indicate there are significant opportunities across the EU. Similar savings can be found in other regions too:

  • EU manufacturing sector could realise net materials cost savings worth up to $630 billion annually towards 2025
  • stimulating economic activity in the areas of product development, remanufacturing and refurbishment.
  • by adopting circular economy principles, Europe can take advantage of the impending technology revolution to create a net benefit of €1.8 trillion by 2030

 

“Through dedicated training courses and general support The Natural Step helps us to keep abreast of the sustainable development agenda, think strategically about our products and services, and we’re benefiting from TNS’s long experience and scientific analysis in this growing field.”

Alexander Hofer
Chief Sales Officer, Chemson Polymer-Additive AG

We offer you…

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...circular and sustainable product innovation

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... training in circular economy.

... co-innovation in value networks

... events, seminars and workshop

... tools for measuring circularity

... Circular business models and strategy

... inspiration and networking with pioneers

Circular Economy Transition Labs

Through our Sustainability Transition labs we are bringing stakeholders together around shared visions and roadmaps. We are making a demonstrable contribution to the circular economy:

  • Circular Economy Lab Canada is setting out a national blue-print for the circular economy
  • Food Waste Lab Israel,
  • Circular Lab China
  • PVC and Sustainability Lab (Europe) is providing a test-bed and role model case for closing the loop on one of the most widely used plastics through industry collaboration.

A critical friend

The Natural Step acts as an external advisor, stakeholder intermediary and capacity builder to VinylPlus. Our comments are based on our ‘outside-in’ sustainability perspective on the industry and from engaging directly with VinylPlus throughout the year. Download our commentary for 2016 »

Contact TNS Circular Economy coalition

General enquiries about our work in this area can be sent to: chemicals@thenaturalstep.org.

You can contact our circular economy team members directly, or alternatively contact your nearest TNS office.

Richard Blume

Senior Advisor
Sweden, EU

richard(at)sustainintime.com
+46 76 8 43 21 96

Elze van Hamelen

Associate partner
Germany & The Netherlands

elze.vanhamelen(at)sg-associates.eu
+31 (6) 8143 3520

Outi Ugas

Senior Advisor, TNSI chair
Finland

outi.ugas(at)thenaturalstep.org
+358 40 4114541

Edwin Janssen

Senior advisor
Germany, EU

edwin.janssen(at)sg-associates.eu
+31 62 60 78 987

Patrik Sandin

Executive Director
China

patrik.sandin(at)thenaturalstep.org
+86 186 2069 8850

Antonio Vasconcelos

Executive Director
Portugal

avasconcelos(at)thenaturalstep.pt
+351 96 260 45 01