Circular Economy

Circular Economy

 

Supriya Prakash Sen shares an article that encourages practical, and wholly necessary, steps towards repairing our ecosystems.

This young orphaned monkey looking out at us from the ravaged wasteland behind him is symbolic of the shambles we find ourselves in.

However, many complain that there is still no consensus on what the Green New Deal should comprise of for the planet as a whole, or what should be the biggest investment priorities for fixing this rapidly worsening situation. Also, that terms like “green growth”​ and “ESG”​ and “sustainable finance”​ are all the rage, yet the difference between various terms is confusing at best.

To such commentators, I like to point out a simple framework put forth by Oxford Professor Kate Raworth in what she calls “Doughnut Economics”​.

See the inner ring of the Doughnut? This is the #socialfoundation – below which lies shortfalls in human well-being, massive deprivation as we see in so much of the world today.

And beyond the outer ring of the Doughnut- the Earth’s #ecologicalceiling- lies an overshoot of pressure on our planet’s life-giving systems, through climate change, land conversion, etc.

Thus this is the pressing task facing humanity today- i.e to bring all of humanity into that safe and just space, that sweet spot, between the two rings of the doughnut.

However, incrementalism is not going to cut it.

The argument of the #GreenGrowth advocates is that when GDP grows faster than resource use (through water and energy efficiency measures etc), we can achieve relative decoupling of GDP from ecological impacts. But unfortunately, considering the deepening crisis we are in, it would not be enough to get us all into the ring. So, absolute decoupling will be necessary. Mainly, by:

 

Key points include:

  • Shifting energy supply
  • Circular economy
  • Dematerialized consumption

 

Read the full article, A Simple Framework for Ecosystem Restoration – why we should care and how we should deal, on LinkedIn.

 

 

 

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
  • 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.

 

There are four good reasons for holding on to a cash-based economy. Tobias Baer reveals the hidden economic benefits and explains why cash is still king.

Do we still need cash? More and more stores are going cashless. A whole country—Sweden—is intent on becoming the world’s first cashless nation in 2023. The attraction is the savings from avoiding the substantial handling costs of cash. In many places, increasing numbers of consumers have stopped carrying wallets because their phones have become viable substitutes. And government agencies fighting tax evasion love the trail electronic payments leave.

 

Four reasons to keep cash explored are:

-Operational risk

-Privacy

-Hidden economic benefit

-Financial exclusion

 

Read the full article, Why We Need Cashon LinkedIn.