The Circular Economy – What it Is and How it Works

Blog

 

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
  • Profitability

 

Read the article or access the link to the full interview, How an Antarctic Expedition Gave Birth to A Circular Economy Pioneer, on LinkedIn.