The National Zero Waste Council of Canada has produced a very handy business toolkit on the Circular Economy. The toolkit is a how-to guide for businesses of all sizes, and sectors, beginning to explore the opportunities of circular modes of production and service.
If you’re wondering what the circular economy is, it is an alternative to the conventional, linear “take-make-use-dispose” economy of production and consumption which relies on the availability of large quantities of relatively cheap materials and inputs in the production of goods and services and that produces significant volumes of waste.
The circular economy keeps products, components and materials at their highest utility at all times.
In practice this means: preventing waste through innovative business models or improved design; lengthening a product’s life through enhanced re-use, repair or re-manufacture; and improving end-of-life processing and resource recovery.
A circular business makes greater use of its physical assets, prolongs their life and draws more on renewable sources.
Research shows that today’s business practices will generate a global resource gap of eight billion tons between the supply and demand of natural resources by 2030. Forward-looking companies are looking for novel ways to maintain control over key resources while reducing risks and enhancing competitiveness.
Some great examples of larger corporations who are adapating circular economy principles are Philips, Telus, Marks and Spencer and Unilever.
The Circular Economy Business Toolkit can be found in the Waste Section of the Pledge under Additional Resources.
The toolkit was prepared with the help of BBOT member, ESC committee member and Pledge Taker Coro Strandberg.