CBI boss draws blank on circular economy

Despite lauding huge opportunities for UK plc if it adopts greener policies, CBI director general John Gridland has admitted that he has not heard of the term "circular economy".

This is despite the CBI being involved in the circular economy taskforce, which was officially launched yesterday (July 4) with great fanfare by Dame Ellen MacArthur.

Speaking earlier today in London, Cridland asked for clarification of the term when edie asked how the CBI’s latest green economy report linked into current government and business thinking around the circular economy.

Cridland apologised for not being aware of the term and said that an “inevitable consequence” of the preoccupation with carbon reduction was that it had taken priority away from other concerns. But he added, “It is one we would support”.

Neil Sachdev, property director at Sainsbury’s, who also sat on the panel debate with Cridland added that he was not familiar with the term.

Dustin Benton senior policy adviser at the Green Alliance, which set up the taskforce, did not seem too perturbed by either Cridland or Sachdev’s knowledge gap.

He said: “Sometimes things take a little while to go up the chain particularly when it comes to such large organisations.”

However, he did point out that the CBI is involved in the taskforce as an observer offering advice and learning from its findings, and said he would “have a word” with the CBI team.

Benton agreed that in terms of public discussion, carbon reduction and climate change has been at the top of the news agenda.

He added that while there had been a lot of energy policy changes going through in recent years, the circular economy was a bit further away from being at the stage where policy would be created around it.

edie staff

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