As the year 2021 begins, the conversation on climate action and business escalates. One solution that is being explored in more depth is the circular economy. In this article, Ushma Pandya provides concrete suggestions that can help your company take part in the circular economy.
The circular economy is a trending topic these days and it refers to the idea of keeping materials in use instead of disposing them, generally by landfill/incineration. In the media, we find many examples of how consumers can participate in the circular economy. But it is also possible for companies to participate in the circular economy via their purchasing habits and internal processes.
Here are some ways that we work with clients on incorporating circularity into their office life. Currently, many people are not in the office but we know that businesses are slowing asking their employees to come back. While the office has low occupancy it is a good time to plan for and implement some of the below.
Ensure Good Recycling
At a minimum, make sure that the organization is recycling correctly (i.e. no contamination such as liquids or paper towels in the recycle) and that all recyclables are put in the right bin. In addition, make sure to separate out specialty recycle material such as electronics, batteries, k-cups, etc. And finally implement composting (more on that below).
Just a quick note that PPE is contaminating the recycling streams currently so it is important to train employees as they come back to the office.
Key points covered include:
- Establishing Reusable Systems
- Establishing Circular Systems
- Creating swap spots
Read the full article, Circularity and Businesses: What can businesses do to foster the Circular Economy?, on LinkedIn.
On his weekly podcast, Powering Prosperity Weekly, Indranil Ghosh explores how we can build a more sustainable world through business. In issue 17, he interviews Christian van Maaren, Founder of Excess Materials Exchange, on how the idea of a Circular Economy was born, the benefits, and what is holding back the adoption of this concept.
Over the next few issues, I will be diving into the world of the Circular Economy. But first, let’s take a moment to define what this term means, and why people get so excited by the opportunity:
The main idea of the Circular Economy is to maintain the value of products and materials for as long as possible. Waste and resource use are minimized, and when a product reaches the end of its life, it is used again to create further value. Circular economy principles can bring major financial benefits to companies and reduce the environmental impact of industry.
Renewable energy can address the 55% of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) produced by energy systems*, energy for transportation, and energy for buildings. But it cannot address 45% of emissions attributed to the production of materials, products, food, and the management of land.
According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, applying circular economy strategies in just five key areas—cement, aluminium, steel, plastics, and food—would address half of these remaining emissions.
Points covered in this article include:
- The cost of recycling
- Health and safety issues
Read the article or access the link to the full interview, How an Antarctic Expedition Gave Birth to A Circular Economy Pioneer, on LinkedIn.