Circular economy's multi-billion dollar prize

Those of you following developments in Davos, Switzerland last week will probably be aware of an incredibly timely and thought provoking presentation that underlines a growing issue with immense ramifications for the UK economy.


Alas, I am not talking about David Cameron’s much poured over speech. Rather, I am referring to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s new report – Towards the Circular Economy Volume 2: opportunities for the consumer goods sector, which builds on the foundation’s first report, launched at Davos last year.

Since the world first awoke to this economic concept, businesses and governments alike have taken note, not least to the multi-billion dollar opportunity that circularity could bring to depressed economies around the world.

As last week’s report points out, a circular economy could be worth $700bn for the consumer goods sector alone. This figure is not to be sniffed at. Consumer goods globally account for around 60% of total consumer spending and 35% of material inputs into the economy, argues the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Most striking perhaps is the fact that the consumer goods sector absorbs more than 90% of the world’s agricultural output, which arguably will be the world’s most embattled resource in future years.

For those of you that read the report’s analysis, the evidence has all stacked up and the adoption of a circular economy is vital, not only in terms of the material savings but also in ensuring supply chain stability. Without this, economies will simply crash.

Next month will see the launch of the Circular Economy 100, which brings together an alliance of globally renowned businesses and provides a platform to help build capacity for a circular economy across global markets.

We are truly moving into a new era and one that our Resource Revolution campaign is tracking across the waste and recycling sector.

Nick Warburton

Topics: Waste & resource management
Tags: | Circular economy | David Cameron | ellen macarthur foundation | resource revolution | supply chain
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