Circular economy

DEFINITION: An industrial economy that promotes resource efficiency by replacing a linear ‘take, make, dispose’ model of production with one where materials function at their highest utility at all time. The circular economy model aims to extract maximum value from resources while in use, and then recover and reuse these materials at the end of each service life.

See also: Sharing economy

See also: Servitisation

See also: Access economy

See also: Circular Economy Package

Related items

Remanufacturing alone could create 300,000 jobs within 15 years, by Green Alliance's calculations

Report: UK could create 450,000 jobs through circular economy transition

With better Government support to scale up the repair, reuse, recycling and remanufacturing sectors, the UK could create almost half a million new jobs by 2035.

The hour-long webinar explored the practicalities of implementing circular economy models and partnerships

How can we accelerate the circular economy transition? Here are 5 top tips

With COP26 on the horizon and the economic recovery from Covid-19 continuing, much has been said in recent weeks about the climate and social benefits of the circular economy. But how can businesses and public sector organisations help accelerate the transition away from taking, making and disposing?

Pictured: A member of the RETURE team working on a repair at the Oxford Street store. Image: Selfridges 

Selfridges unveils circular economy offerings for weddings as SEEN launches beauty packaging recycling

Retail giant Selfridges has launched a new service enabling wedding parties to rent outfits and accessories or to buy second-hand, in the same week that beauty agency SEEN Group is debuting a new recycling scheme for beauty product packaging.

The webinar featured a Q&A segment and is available to watch on-demand 

Available to watch on-demand: edie's Earth Overshoot Day webinar

Readers interested in learning about the intersections between the green recovery, circular economy and net-zero transition are encouraged to retrospectively watch edie's Earth Overshoot Day webinar. 

There are now 76 product lines available in a refill format. Image: Asda

Asda expands plastic-free refill offering

Asda has more than doubled the number of product lines available in refillable formats at the first store to trial the offering, located in Middleton, Leeds.

Image: Arc'teryx 

Circular economy: Arc'teryx launches resale, care and repair services

Outdoor clothing and equipment brant Arc'teryx has launched a new programme enabling consumers to resell, repair, upcycle and extend the life of their products.

Image: Made.com

Made.com launches giving platform for used homewares in circular economy push

Online home and lifestyle retailer Made.com has launched a new service enabling customers to list used goods for resale or free donation, as part of its drive to become a "truly circular business'.

Pictured: Ikea's Greenwich store

Ikea launches buy-back service in all UK stores

Following a string of Covid-19-related delays, Ikea has launched its long-awaited buy-back scheme for furniture across its UK stores.

Image: Preloved Vintage Wholesale

Asda launches second-hand fashion offering in 50 UK stores

Following a successful trial in 2019, Asda is rolling out a second-hand fashion aisle to 50 of its UK stores, in a bid to encourage a more circular economy for clothing.

Mulberry's new strategy comes ahead of Earth Day on Thursday (22 April)

Regenerative and circular net-zero transition: Inside Mulberry's new sustainability strategy

In an exclusive interview with edie, Mulberry's chief executive Thierry Andretta explains how its new ambitions to reach net-zero by 2035 and champion transparency, regeneration and circularity will be delivered.

The service is being piloted at 15 US Nike stores initially. Image: Nike 

Nike Refurbished: Shoe giant launches new service to help combat waste

Nike has launched a new service whereby shoes can be refurbished and resold, thereby extending their lifespan.

Rental, repair, reuse and other services could help reduce overconsumption

Servitisation and the circular economy: How can businesses encourage shoppers to consume less?

Often, when businesses make resource efficiency commitments, they stop short of committing to shifting to business models that will see them selling fewer products. But why - and which businesses have overcome this challenge?

The pandemic also highlighted that some societies are more at risk from macro-disruption, whether that be disease-based or climate-induced

Why the circular economy is primed to improve social sustainability and value chain resiliency

EXCLUSIVE: The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the fragility of both society and the sprawling value chains that the economy relies on. Shifting nations to a circular economy could be key in delivering a green recovery that champions sustainable income and environmental stewardship.

The week will provide edie readers with an array on insight as to how to embrace the circular economy

Circular Economy Week: edie kicks off week of zero-waste themed content and events

Running from 22-26 March, edie's Circular Economy Week includes exclusive interviews, podcasts, reports, webinars and in-depth feature articles - all dedicated to embracing closed-loop models.

Pictured: A customer using the Farfetch Donate scheme, run in partnership with Thrift+

Circular economy models reduce costs and boost sales for major fashion brands

Outerwear brand FW and fashion platform Farfetch have revealed the results of two-year pilots of circular economy models, pledging to expand them following positive financial results.

Image: P&G

P&G launches refillable shampoo bottles in the UK

Procter & Gamble (P&G) has launched a refill format that uses 60% less plastic across several of its most popular shampoo brands in the UK.

Circular models involve designing out waste and pollution and keeping products and materials in use 

Survey: Circular economy businesses outperform those that take, make and dispose

Companies using circular economy models like refill, resale and repair generate have seen sharper revenue upticks than their traditional competitors, new market research has found.

All three sessions will be available to wactch on repeat for those who register

edie to host afternoon of online events on nature-based solutions and climate adaptation

On Thursday 9 September, edie will be hosting three back-to-back online events focused on how businesses can harness nature-based solutions while adapting to the changing climate to improve resiliency.

Pictured: Co-op's festival shop at Leeds. Image: Co-op

Co-op to host reverse vending machines at music festivals, turning recycled plastic bottles into uniforms

Supermarket Co-op has confirmed plans to host reverse vending machines for plastic bottles and drinks cans at five music festivals this summer, and has forged a partnership to recycle the collected materials into uniforms for staff.

Japan's new renewables targets and Leeds' Climate Innovation District: The sustainability success stories of the week

As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.

Academics and businesses will explore circular solutions for industries including textiles, plastics, construction and metals

Exeter to play host to UK's first national circular economy 'hub'

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is investing £3.5m to create a new circular economy hub at the University of Exeter, which will be used to coordinate research and development across the country.

The research warns that agriculture is lagging behind, with just 0.1% of its annual $8trn going into circular initiatives

Circular economy attracting $1.3trn in annual investments, but dwarfed by linear spending models

Governments, investors and corporates collectively funnel more than $1.3trn annually into circular economy initiatives, but this is just a fraction of the money that is currently spent on linear methods of consumption and resource use.

The UK consumes natural resources at more than twice the rate considered sustainable

Report: Circular economy could deliver 80% of UK's next carbon budget

By embedding circular economy principles in major policy frameworks, the UK could deliver 80% of the additional emissions cuts needed to meet its Fifth Carbon Budget, which covers 2028-2032.

Pictured: The Movano-e. Image: Vauxhall Motors

Vauxhall to only sell pure electric cars and vans from 2028

British automotive brand Vauxhall Motors has confirmed that it will not sell any cars or vans with internal combustion engines (ICEs) from 2028 onwards, including hybrids.

Pictured: Plastic waste dumped illegally in Turkey. Image: Caner Ozkan / Greenpeace

Turkey reverses ban on plastics imports for recycling

Just eight days after a ban on the import of certain kinds of plastic waste was instated by the Turkish Government in a bid to reduce plastic pollution, the mandate has been lifted for PET.

Some 300,000 tonnes of electricals are binned from UK homes and businesses each year. Material Focus estimates

E-waste recycling boost 'needed to enable transition to net-zero'

The UK alone is losing at least £13.6m worth of critical raw materials for the net-zero transition, such as lithium, to the linear economy each year, due to a lack of capacity for recycling used electricals and electronics.

#SustyTalk: Alpkit CEO David Hanney on B-Corp certification

edie's #SustyTalk interview series continues with an exclusive discussion with outdoor brand Alpkit's co-founder and chief executive David Hanney.

The Government claims the new rules could extend the lifespan of some products by 10 years

UK's 'right to repair' laws come into force, in bid to cut electrical waste

Manufacturers of goods including washing machines, TVs and fridges will be mandated to do more to help customers repair them for longer from this week, under new Government rules.

The sector has reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 46% since 1990

UK's waste management sector targets net-zero emissions through £10bn infrastructure overhaul

The trade body representing the UK's resource and waste management industry has unveiled a sector-wide commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2040, through a £10bn investment into new recycling infrastructure and a focus on zero-emission vehicles.

Image: Carbios 

FMCG giants unveil world's first plastic bottles recycled using enzymes

L'Oreal, Nestle Waters, PepsiCo and Suntory Beverage & Food Europe have unveiled plastic bottles made entirely from post-consumer waste recycled using enzymatic processes, in what they describe as a world first.

#SustyTalk: Canon's Andy Tomkins on preventing e-waste and creating a circular economy for plastics

edie's #SustyTalk interview series continues with an exclusive discussion with Canon's sustainability engagement manager for EMEA, Andy Tomkins.

Items marked "destroy" are said to be a mix of unsold and returned goods 

Amazon accused of wasting and destroying mountains of unsold products in the UK

Online retail giant Amazon has been accused of destroying millions of unsold items every year by ITV, which sent journalists to film undercover at the Dunfermline warehouse.

Pictured: The first Asda refill stations, in the Middleton store

Asda to add plastic-free refill stations to more UK stores

Following a successful trial in one store, Asda is adding refill stations for products including tea, cereal and pasta to four more UK locations by the end of 2021.

Image: GM/EVgo

General Motors to funnel $35bn into EVs by 2025

General Motors (GM) is increasing its funding for electric vehicles (EVs) and automated vehicles (AVs) by 75% over the next five years.

Even the best performers in the report were deemed to be 70% ready for the EV transition

Europe's biggest carmakers 'not on track' for EV transition

Toyota, Ford and BMW are among the eight major European automotive firms accused of being unprepared for the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) in a new report from Transport & Environment.

Customers will continue to get discounts for reuse, and, in geographies including the UK, a 5p surcharge will apply to disposable cups

Starbucks to launch reusable cup sharing programme in the UK this year

Starbucks has announced plans to launch a reusable cup 'sharing' initiative in all British, French and German stores in the coming months, ahead of a roll-out across Europe, the Middle East and Africa by 2025.

Image: The Vegetarian Butcher

Unilever forges fungi partnership to scale up plant-based protein

As part of a plan to reach €1bn in sales target for plant-based meat and dairy alternatives, Unilever has partnered with a food-tech firm producing fungi-based mycoprotein.

Up to 80% of collected flexible plastic will be recycled in the UK

Manufacturing giants unite on £1m Flexible Plastic Fund

Mars UK, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever are all supporting a new £1m initiative to improve the recyclability of "flexible" plastic bags, wrappers, films, pouches, packets and sachets.

The guide is free to download for edie users

edie launches new business guide on the circular economy

Organisations looking to accelerate the transition to a circular economy now have access to a comprehensive 'edie explains' guide which breaks down everything there is to know about achieving a zero-waste world.

edie Explains: The circular economy

Why is adopting a circular economy so important? What does a circular economy look like in practice? How does the circular economy apply to business? Which organisations are most suited to going circular? What are the business benefits of going circular? This new explains guide answers all these questions and more.

Iceland is also exploring alternatives to soy, but Walker admits that there aren’t any commercially scalable solutions ready

Iceland boss Richard Walker: Collective business activism required to hold politicians to account

EXCLUSIVE: Iceland Foods' boss Richard Walker believes that 'collective business activism' is essential in driving policymakers to align with the sustainability movement, following a recent letter sent by food retailers to the Brazilian Government urging them to reconsider a new land bill that could increase deforestation.

PLFs are found in products including paint, cosmetics, shampoos and adhesives. They are classed as 'low environmental concern' in terms of toxicity, but bear a high carbon footprint and are hard-to-recycle. 

Consumer goods giants team up for greener chemicals drive

Unilever and Crown Paints are among the members of a new task force exploring how to make the polymers commonly used in consumer products - often based on fossil fuel derivatives - more sustainable.

Image: Pandora

Pandora to ditch mined diamonds over sustainability concerns

The world's largest jewellery brand, Pandora, has announced plans to stop sourcing mined diamonds and to switch to only lab-grown alternatives.

We round up new resource and nature commitments, as well as innovative product launches 

Shampoo bars and sustainable shoes: Rounding up the big Earth Day product announcements

A string of big-name brands, including SC Johnson and Vans, have bolstered commitments on resource use or launched products with circular economy principles to mark Earth Day 2021. Here, edie rounds up the announcements.

HP notes that focusing on the circular economy will assist with the net-zero ambition

HP targets net-zero value chain by 2040

HP has confirmed it will transform parts of its business from a transactional model to a services-based proposition, as part of a sweeping new climate strategy that will see the business's value chain reach net-zero by 2040 and embrace closed-loop materials.

Pictured: Work on one of SnowChange's nature restoration projects. Image: Google/SnowChange Cooperative 

Regenerative agriculture and AI for solar: Google funnels €10m into projects tackling climate change

Google's charitable arm Google.org has outlined how it will allocate a €10m Impact Challenge on Climate funding, naming winners in fields including solar farm optimisation and regenerative farming.

 The partnership believes it can raise $1bn initially

Additional $600m for low-carbon solutions as BlackRock forms new investment partnership

The world's largest investor, BlackRock, has forged a new partnership with Singapore-based Temasek to scale up investment in low-carbon technologies.

Most respondents are planning to fly less, with 5% planning to do away with business flights altogether 

Most UK business travellers to fly less after lockdown, survey reveals

A survey of more than 1,400 frequent business travellers in Europe has found that UK-based professionals, in particular, are planning to fly less once Covid-19 restrictions lift.

Many PC&P formats are hard-to-recycle, including black plastics and flexible films (pictured)

Report: 6 in 10 plastic packaging companies have no environmental policies

An analysis of 83 of the world's biggest publicly traded plastic packaging firms has found that almost two-thirds report no policies on sustainability-related topics like waste or carbon.

Previous Ellen MacArthur Foundation research concluded that 45% of global annual emissions are linked to resource consumption

Report: UK must halve resource consumption to tackle climate change and nature loss

If the UK set a legally binding target to halve resource consumption by 2050, it could put itself on track to meet domestic nature and climate targets while also driving progress abroad.

Registrants can still access recordings of all three sessions.

Available to watch on-demand: edie's Circular Economy Inspiration sessions

Experts from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Ikea, Innovate UK and The Body Shop took part in The Circular Economy Inspiration Sessions - an afternoon of live, interactive presentations and discussions on Thursday 25 March.

The award-winning edie editorial team delivers four exclusive discussions on the circular economy

Sustainable Business Covered podcast: How can the circular economy help us get to net-zero?

The new edie podcast episode is streaming now, featuring four exclusive interviews to mark Circular Economy Week.

#SustyTalk: Kao Corporation's Dave Muenz on plastic packaging innovation

edie's #SustyTalk interview series continues with an exclusive discussion with Kao Corporation's senior vice president for ESG, Dave Muenz, hosted as part of our Circular Economy Week.

The WBCSD has more than 200 member businesses

Building resilience post-Covid-19: Businesses urged to 'reinvent capitalism' and regenerate nature

If the climate crisis is to be averted and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals to be met, businesses must help to "reinvent capitalism" so the "true value" of nature and society are appreciated.

The Government also promised to explore the introduction of consistent recycling collections for households and businesses across England

Government launches consultations on Deposit Return Scheme and Extended Producer Responsibility

MPs have today introduced new consultations to create the largest ever overhaul to the waste and resources sector, recommending that manufacturers cover the full costs of recycling packaging waste, standardising domestic and commercial waste collection and introducing a Deposit Return Scheme for certain types of packaging in 2024.

SustyTalk: Planet Patrol's Lizzie Carr on single-use plastics and business activism

edie's #SustyTalk series continues during Circular Economy Week, with Planet Patrol's founder and activist Lizzie Carr discussing public attitudes towards single-use plastics and how businesses can become activists to help create a closed-loop future.

The report is free to download for edie users

edie launches updated best-practice guide for businesses tackling single-use plastics

edie has today (24 March) launched an updated report that outlines the steps businesses can and should take to identify, reduce, replace and eliminate single-use plastics from their operations, supply chains and products and services as part of efforts to build back better from the coronavirus pandemic.

Single-use plastics: The 2021 roadmap for sustainable business

It’s been one of the biggest sustainable business issues of the past decade: tackling the scourge of single-use plastics. But has the progress delivered in 2019 off the back of the so-called “Attenborough effect” been offset by the pandemic?

Plastic recycling is rising up the environmental agenda in the UK again, with the end of lockdown on the horizon

Recycling gap: Most Brits claim they recycle plastic at home, so why aren't rates improving?

A new survey of 5,000 adults has revealed that eight in ten UK adults recycle at least three-quarters of the plastics waste produced in their homes. So why is the UK's domestic plastics recycling rate stagnating?

How much waste does the UK produce? And how much is recycled?

In charts: How big is the UK's waste mountain - and what are we recycling?

As part of edie's Circular Economy Week campaign, we take a look at the official facts and stats regarding some of the UK's biggest waste streams, outlining how much is generated and what proportions are recycled.

#SustyTalk​​: Biffa's Jeff Rhodes on the Resources and Waste Strategy

edie's #SustyTalk interview series continues with an exclusive discussion with Biffa's head of environment & external affairs Jeff Rhodes, hosted as part of our Circular Economy Week.

Circular economy principles include nature restoration, as well as minimising resource use and maximising reuse and recycling

How businesses are enhancing water stewardship using circular economy principles

To mark World Water Day 2021, edie explores how businesses regarded as leaders in corporate water stewardship have put circular economy principles into practice in supply chains and operations.

The proposed policy changes are designed to reduce waste at the source while also increasing recycling capacity

Fashion brands set to cover recycling costs under new UK Government plans

The UK Government has today (18 March) begun consulting on measures to reduce waste from sectors including fashion, furniture, electricals and electronics - including new charges that would see businesses contribute to recycling costs.

Pictured: VW's ID.3, which it will use in car-sharing services across Germany

VW aims to double EV sales in 2021

Volkswagen (VW) has committed to selling more than 450,000 electric vehicles (EV) globally in 2021 - more than double the amount it sold in 2020 - as part of its Covid-19 recovery efforts.

The company spent 18 months evaluating more than 60 formulas to find a solution with a low environmental impact

Garnier launches shampoo bars with reduced environmental impact

L'Oreal brand Garnier is launching a new range of shampoo bars, packaged in 100% recyclable materials, that offer a 25% reduction in environmental impact compared to liquid shampoos.

The 2021 Sustainable Business Leadership Report

edie's annual survey reveals what "business leadership" looks like for sustainability, CSR and energy professionals across the UK, following our first two reports in 2019 and 2020. With businesses responding to the pandemic in different ways, leadership is being redefined.

Bond proceeds will be spent on projects relating to clean transportation, energy efficiency, pollution prevention and control and renewable energy.

Daimler prices €1bn green bond to help finance EV transition

Mercedes-Benz's parent company Daimler has priced its second major green bond at €1.02bn, with funds set to be spent on delivering its climate and electric vehicle (EV) targets.

each sector faces its own challenges and opportunities in embracing the green recovery

Sector by sector: What are the key ingredients to achieve a green recovery?

Over the past 12 months edie has collected data and spoken to leading sustainability and energy experts on how key UK sectors can achieve a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Here, edie summarises some key themes found in our detailed sector insight reports.

In 2019, the brewer confirmed that efforts to halve its direct (Scope 1) and power-related (Scope 2) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, against a 2016 baseline, by 2025 had been approved by the SBTi

Molson Coors unveils bottles with 90% lower carbon footprint

The Molson Coors Beverage Company is rolling out new glass beer bottles that have reduced the carbon emissions associated with production by up to 90%.

The Sessions form part of a dedicated week of action inspired by edie's Mission Possible Plastics Hub

Next wave of speakers confirmed for edie's circular economy online event

Experts from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Ikea, Innovate UK and The Body Shop have been confirmed among the first wave of speakers for The Circular Economy Inspiration Sessions – an afternoon of live, interactive presentations and discussions taking place virtually on Thursday 25 March.

Pictured: The Volvo XC40 Recharge

Volvo Cars to go fully electric by 2030

Volvo has outlined plans to stop selling petrol, diesel and hybrid cars by the end of the decade.

Drax first began capturing carbon from bioenergy processes in 2019 

Drax unveils plans to host UK's largest carbon capture project by 2027

Drax has begun the planning process for its proposals to scale up bioenergy with carbon capture (BECCS) arrays at its Yorkshire power plant.

Of the 111 companies in global heavy industry surveyed, only 16 are well on track to aligning strategies with the Paris Agreement

Global heavy industry failing to align with Paris climate goals

Only 14% of publicly listed companies in the steel, cement, aluminum, paper and mining sector are on track to meet the Paris Agreement's 2°C climate target, according to a report by the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI), a global investor group supported by the UN. Still, some European companies offer hope, EURACTIV Germany reports.

Lockdown, aside from meaning we spend more time at home, has changed shopping habits

eBay: Shoppers increasingly looking for 'eco' and 'sustainable' homewares during lockdown

eBay has revealed that searches for 'eco furniture' and 'sustainable furniture' have more than doubled year-on-year, suggesting that shoppers are increasingly looking for pre-owned and refurbished products due to lockdown.

Read on to find out how 16 of the world's biggest carmakers are approaching the EV transition. Images (clockwise from top left): Nissan, BMW, JLR, GM

From Audi to Volkswagen: How are big carmakers approaching the EV transition?

After Ford and Jaguar announced plans to go fully electric this week, edie looks at the commitments the world's biggest carmakers have made to electrify their vehicle portfolios.

Pictured: Ford's fully electric Mustang Mach-E

Ford vows to only sell electric vehicles in Europe from 2030

Just days after Jaguar confirmed plans to only offer electric cars from 2025, Ford has committed to stop selling petrol and diesel models in Europe by the end of the decade.

The report outlines policy recommendations spanning from nature restoration to using hydrogen in heavy industry 

Green recovery: MPs call for VAT breaks for energy efficiency, electric vehicles and circular economy

MPs are urging Boris Johnson's Government to take a broader "green recovery" approach, going beyond low-carbon electricity and transport to provide policy supports for nature restoration and the circular economy.

Pictured: An artist's CGI rendering of the proposed Gigafactory, aerial view. Image: Coventry City Council 

Coventry unveils plans to host battery Gigafactory by 2025

Coventry City Council has partnered with a local airport to develop plans for a major battery Gigafactory that would help to scale up the local electric vehicle (EV) and energy sectors.

Pictured: Jaguar's only pure electric car to date, the I-Pace SUV. Image: JLR

Jaguar to switch to fully electric vehicle portfolio by 2025

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will stop producing petrol and diesel vehicles under its Jaguar brand by 2025 and switch to electric-only models, as part of a sweeping new business strategy.

Pictured: Leeds town hall

Leeds and London to host new green finance research hubs

A new government-backed body dedicated to green finance research is set to launch in April, with physical "hubs" in Leeds and London.

Image: HP 

HP unveils sustainability 'changemaker' and 'catalyst' schemes

Tech giant HP has launched a new scheme offering industry partners the resources and traning they need to accelerate sustainability progress, in the same week that Octopus Energy unveiled what it claims is the world's first energy technology research organisation.

The initiative is being supported by Reverse Resources, The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and P4G

Fashion giants collaborate on Bangladesh textile reuse scheme

A group of 30 fashion brands, manufacturers and waste management firms have launched a new collaborative scheme to capture and reuse textile waste in Bangladesh.

edie also hosted a bespoke roundtable discussion with sustainability representatives present at the Forum, sponsored by EDF

Sustainability Leaders Forum: Five top tips for turning climate ambition into action

With the dust settling on three days of thought-provoking conversations at edie's Sustainability Leaders Forum (SLF), edie rounds up how businesses can make 2021 a super year for climate action, which turns ambition into action for corporate sustainability.

The circular economy is a key pillar of the company’s sustainability strategy and will also assist with efforts to reduce emissions

Absolut hits recycled materials target four years early

The Absolut Company has met a target to use 50% recycled material in its glass bottles four years ahead of schedule.

#SustyTalk: Enterprise's Iain Macbeth on fleet electrification in the time of Covid-19

edie's #SustyTalk interview series continues with an exclusive discussion with Enterprise-Rent-A-Car's director of electric vehicle (EV) strategy, Iain Macbeth.

The report names the shift away from animal protein as a "lever" for changing the global food system for the better

Biodiversity loss: Agriculture 'threatening 86% of at-risk species', says major UN-backed report

Global food systems are the world's biggest driver of nature loss and urgent systemic change to address this will result in an uptick of plant-based diets, according to a major new report.

A host of green finance experts met virtually on day one of the Sustainability Leaders Forum

Finance and policy: The external drivers forcing businesses to take climate action

Sustainability professionals have often found frustration when trying to embed CSR across an entire organisation, but the mainstreaming of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing looks set to create new momentum behind the green recovery.

The Sustainability Leaders Forum is running through to Thursday (4 February) in an all-new virtual format

Beyond net-zero targets: What role can businesses play in solving the climate emergency?

Recent months have seen the numbers of businesses committed to net-zero climate targets expanding exponentially. But beyond these long-term, high-level ambitions, how can firms of all sizes and sectors deliver change on the ground?

According to think-tank Circle Economy, less than 9% of the 100 billion tonnes of virgin raw materials extracted each year are reused or recycled 

Governments urged to accelerate circular economy transition through green recovery plans

As nations continue to deliver their strategies for the economic recovery from Covid-19, they must better embed measures to improve resource efficiency, recycling, reuse and nature restoration, according to a major new policy briefing.

Image: Vincent Zafra / Illusion Story https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:VincentZafra&action=edit&redlink=1

Robert Downey Jr launches ESG venture capital funds

Renowned actor and producer Robert Downey Jr. has launched a new Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) venture capital investment fund aiming to support sustainability products and services, clean energy and resource efficiency.

Image: Waitrose & Partners, taken pre-Covid-19

Waitrose Unpacked: Supermarket unveils next steps for plastic-busting refill scheme

After trials of packaging-free, refillable products proved popular with shoppers and reduced the supermarket's plastic footprint, Waitrose & Partners is planning to make the format easier to use - and to roll it out to more stores in future.

Circle Economy has repeatedly stated that the majority of global annual emissions are released during the extraction of materials and manufacturing of goods

Circular economy can slash global emissions by 39%, says major new report

A major new report, released to coincide with the original dates for the World Economic Forum's event in Davos, has found that 39% of global annual emissions could be mitigated by changing the ways in which we use natural raw materials.

Giraffe Innovation’s Rob Holdway and compere Julia Bradbury (right) present P&G with the award

What makes a sustainability leader? Meet circular economy innovators, P&G

With less than a month until the 2021 Sustainability Leaders Awards, this feature series showcases the achievements of the 2020 winners and reveals their secrets to success. Up next: The winners of the Circular Economy Innovation of the Year, Procter & Gamble.

Images (clockwise from top-left): Taco Bell UK, M&S, Subway, Wagamama 

Veganuary: Asda unveils plant-based 'butcher' as campaign gets record 440,000 sign-ups

The Veganuary campaign has received a record 440,000 sign-ups to its 31-day challenge - and, keen to grab a piece of the plant-based action, the UK's biggest supermarkets and food-to-go chains are debuting new products.

edie's content editor Matt Mace and compere Julia Bradbury (right) present Toast Ale's COO Louisa Ziane with her award

What makes a sustainability leader? Meet award-winning brewer Toast Ale

With the 2021 Sustainability Leaders Awards entry deadline approaching, this new feature series showcases the achievements of the 2020 winners and reveals their secrets to success. Up next: The winner of our SME of the Year, Toast Ale.

#SustyTalk: London Waste and Recycling Board's Wayne Hubbard on the circular economy during Covid-19

edie's #SustyTalk interview series continues with an exclusive interview with the London Waste and Recycling Board's chief execiutive Wayne Hubbard.

Pictured: Ikea's Greenwich store

Ikea unveils national buy-back scheme for used furniture in drive to become 'fully circular'

Ikea will start buying back customers' used furniture at stores across the UK and Ireland next month, in an effort to discourage "excessive consumption" and become a "fully circular" business by 2030.

Read on for some shocking sustainability statistics about our Christmas habits

In numbers: What is the environmental impact of Christmas?

Christmas is said to be the most wonderful time of the year - but it's also the most wasteful. With less than a week left until the big day, edie rounds up some of the most shocking environmental statistics for the season.

Businesses are planning to launch sustainable products and services to appeal to customers in 2021

Survey: Three-quarters of UK businesses turning to sustainability to bounce back from Covid-19

A survey of 1,000 UK businesses has found that more than three-quarters are planning to increase their sustainability focus in 2021, as part of their plans to financially recover from Covid-19.

The Roadmap will help Lendlease align with the 1.5C trajectory

Lendlease outlines roadmap to reach zero carbon emissions in Europe

International property and investments group Lendlease has launched a new roadmap which outlines how eliminating diesel use on construction sites and procuring 100% renewable electricity will help the company reach net-zero emissions by 2040.