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

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Verde Nieto is a globally recognized figure in the sustainability field, having been trained by Al Gore at the Alliance of Climate Change

Positive Luxury: In the 'year of nature', greenwashing and incremental improvements won't cut it

EXCLUSIVE: As businesses strive to tackle the intertwined climate and resource crises, they must place nature and biodiversity at the centre of all financial considerations in 2020, a new forecast featuring input from Paul Polman, WWF and Paul Hawken warns.

A bin lorry of fashion waste is landfilled or burned every second globally. But brands striving to buck this trend are emerging and growing rapidly. Image: E&K

Zero-waste is the new black: How SMEs are disrupting fashion's waste crisis

In the second of a two-part feature, edie's senior reporter Sarah George spotlights the businesses working to combat fashion's growing waste problem by pioneering truly circular systems in what is widely regarded as one of the world's most linear sectors.

Businesses are gearing up to redefine their purpose

10 ways business leadership will evolve during a crucial decade for sustainability

Sustainability experts and thought leaders were in attendance at edie's Sustainability Leaders Forum to outline how the role of business in a society battling social and environmental crises like never before will change.

The survey charts rising support for circular business models, but persistent barriers to scaling them up. Image: ING

In numbers: Are businesses and consumers ready for the circular economy shift?

A shift away from linear 'take, make and dispose' models is widely touted as a key requirement in the transition to a net-zero, more resource-efficient world. But how prepared are businesses and individuals to make that shift, and what barriers are stopping circularity?

The Q&A is available to watch on-demand

Bold targets and lifecycle assessments: Experts outline key drivers to combat single-use plastics

Sustainability experts from Sky, Surfdome and Nestlé have outlined how bold aspirations that target problematic plastics through the broader view of climate change can help spur the private sector towards a circular economy.

The report provides an update as to how far business action on resource efficiency is from being "one-planet compatible" 

Corporates failing to make circular economy transition, damning report finds

More than 100 billion tonnes of virgin materials are being consumed annually by business, with progress to boost reuse and recycling rates stagnating, a damning new report has concluded.

Morlet has led the Foundation's work for more than eight years, giving him a birds-eye view of the circular economy conversation 

Ellen MacArthur Foundation boss: Natural Restoration 'hardest' part of circular economy shift

EXCLUSIVE: Against a backdrop of wildfires and growing climate activism, the chief executive of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has called on businesses to develop holistic action plans to combat the complex challenge of restoring natural systems.

The tool's launch event heard from businesses which have been trialling Circulytics, and Foundation representatives. Pictured L-R: and CHEP Europe's Michael Pooley; DS Smith's Stefano Rossi; Enel's Luca Meini and The Foundation's data and metrics lead Jarkko Havas.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation unveils 'landmark' digital tool to help businesses track circular economy progress

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has today (14 January) launched a new digital tool which enables businesses of all sizes and sectors to measure their contribution to the circular economy and identify ways in which to close the loop further.

The fund will cover companies operating in four key sectors: food, urban systems, supply chains and lifestyle. Image: Credit Suisse 

Credit Suisse unveils SDG-aligned consumer fund to accelerate circular economy shift

Swiss investment bank Credit Suisse has launched a consumer fund aimed at spurring progress towards the targets of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12: Responsible Production and Consumption, as consumer demands for green finance grow.

Coca Cola's broad vision is for a world without waste

Redesign, collaborate and collect: Inside Coca-Cola European Partner's plastics strategy

EXCLUSIVE: Coca-Cola European Partners' (CCEP) vice president of sustainability, Joe Franses, looks across the company's four-pillar sustainable packaging roadmap to outline how collection, redesign and removal can ensure that all its packaging is collected and reused.

Adidas of any condition will be accepted - but they have to have been purchased in the UK within the past five years. Image: LWARB

Infinite Play: Adidas launches buy-back platform to combat fashion waste

Sportswear giant Adidas has launched a new circular economy service, whereby consumers can trade-in used or unwanted sportswear for rewards.

Respondents concluded that existing systems are "wasteful and degenerative by design" - and that businesses could re-shape them more deeply, broadly and rapidly than consumers. Image: Xynteo 

European CEOs: Changing consumer behaviours is the next sustainability frontier

The chief executive officers of some of Europe's largest corporates have concurred that although consumer awareness of sustainability issues is rising rapidly, the responsibility for changing behaviours ultimately lies with big businesses.

Startup Thrift+ has been growing rapidly since it was founded in 2016. Image: Thrift+

Farfetch launches 'on-demand' donation service in circular fashion drive

Digital fashion platform Farfetch has unveiled a new service whereby customers can donate clothes and accessories they no longer use for free.

(L-R): BlackRock fund manager Evy Hambro; Ellen MacArthur Foundation chief executive Andrew Morlet; BlackRock fund manager Sumana Manohar and The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s executive lead for plastics, fashion and finance, Rob Opsomer. 

BlackRock launches its first dedicated circular economy investment fund

The world's largest asset management firm, BlackRock, has launched its first investment fund dedicated to accelerating the global development of a circular economy.

Burberry believes that keeping its products in use longer will play a key role in reducing its end-to-end carbon emissions. Image: Burberry 

Burberry forges resale partnership in bid to 'make fashion circular'

Luxury brand Burberry has signed a partnership to sell its second-hand products through consignment marketplace The RealReal in the US.

Birmingham's CAZ was due to be launched early this summer

Coronavirus: London pauses ULEZ as Birmingham asks to postpone Clean Air Zone launch

In the same week that Transport for London (TfL) suspended charges for the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), Birmingham City Council has asked the UK Government for permission to postpone the launch of its Clean Air Zone.

Currently, 93% of the company’s packaging, both plastic and non-plastic, are recyclable

Mondelez signs up to UK Plastics Pact and Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Global Commitment

Global chocolate producer Mondelēz International, which owns brands including Cadbury and Dairy Milk has signed up to two major initiatives to tackle plastics waste in the UK and globally.

All of edie's podcasts are available to listen to via iTunes and Spotify

Sustainable Business Covered podcast: A circular economy road trip

For episode 83 of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast, the edie team brings you four exclusive interviews with businesses innovating to bring about truly circular models - Elvis & Kresse, Teemill, Mulberry and Young Planet.

 The Environment Bill will soon mandate net-gain for all housing developers

Developers 'must go beyond biodiversity net-gain requirements': Report

Ecology consultancy EPR has unveiled a new support package for developers striving to meet the UK Government's housing targets while going beyond compliance with the new Environment Bill's biodiversity net-gain requirements.

According to the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, a bin lorry full of fashion is landfilled every second globally. Stock image.

Fashion industry must cut resource use by 75%, experts warn

A group of academics, businesses and thought leaders have penned a plan to help fashion firms align with planetary boundaries and address the climate and nature emergencies, headlined by a call to dramatically cut virgin resource use.

Each week, edie rounds up some of the best sustainability stories across five key pillars

Carlsberg's electric trucks and Abu Dhabi's plastics ban: 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.

The inquiry had received 51 submissions before it was suspended in December 2019

MPs relaunch probe into the UK's electronic waste mountain

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has re-launched its inquiry into how policymakers, businesses and the public can collaborate to tackle electronic waste - the world's fastest-growing domestic waste stream.

The strategies build towards the bloc's net-zero target for 2050

Everything you need to know about the EU's new Circular Economy Action Plan and Industrial Strategy

The European Commission has today (11 March) unveiled its Circular Economy Action Plan, a sweeping set of commitments aimed at ensuring that circularity and resources efficiency acts as a "prerequisite for climate neutrality" in line with the European Green Deal and Industrial Strategy.

All materials used for packaging consumed in the UK account for 1.7% of the country’s total emissions 

Lifecycle approach required: Government's plastics policies could triple UK packaging emissions

The UK Government's ban on unnecessary single-use plastics could inadvertently triple the carbon emissions associated with packaging, unless policies are introduced to prioritise an "overall need to use less material" and to improve the energy efficiency associated with material production and recycling.

Pictured: The updated version of Chevrolet's Bolt EV. Image: GM

General Motors unveils $20bn electric vehicle transition plan

General Motors (GM) will spend $20bn (£15.25bn) on electrifying its vehicle portfolio by 2025, as part of a new electric vehicle (EV) strategy.

Earlier this year, Nestlé committed £1.59bn to source food-grade recycled plastics to be used in its packaging

Nestlé signs up to European Plastics Pact to push for 100% recyclable or reusable packaging

Food and beverage giant Nestlé has announced that its European business is following in the footsteps of its UK operations by signing up to the European Plastics Pact to help achieve its goals of ensuring packaging is 100% reusable or recyclable by 2025.

CLG Europe is calling for clarity and direction on a plethora of low-carbon innovations

Corporate leaders want decarbonisation as central focus for Europe's Industrial Strategy

Business giants including Unilever, Interface, and Coca-Cola have called for the new European Industrial Strategy to focus heavily on decarbonisation in a way that sets out clear strategies for investment into low-carbon solutions and provides price incentives for new goods and services.

The trial received much positive feedback from shoppers, who cited practical reasons as well as environmental concerns for choosing refillable options. Image: M&S

M&S expands refill scheme amid growing customer appetite for plastic-free groceries

Marks & Spencer (M&S) is set to extend its packaging-free refill offering for dried and ambient products such as coffee and pulses this month, following a successful trial.

The guidelines can enable businesses to locate leakage hotspots and identify and remedy factors that are causing plastics pollution across the value chain

Plastic Leak Project launched to measure plastic pollution across corporate value chains

A new science-based metric has been produced by a range of public, private and scientific stakeholders that will enable businesses to conduct plastic leakage assessments to identify hotspot areas to combat the amount of plastic seeping into the natural environment.

Amid call to boycott new clothing, many famed high street fashion retailers are grappling with losses and rethinking their business models. But online businesses? Not so much, argues senior reporter Sarah George

How online retailing is allowing fast fashion to thrive

In the first of a two-part feature, edie's senior reporter Sarah George explores how booming profits for online retailers are driving a fast fashion mindset in the UK that could undermine efforts to champion sustainability in the fashion sector, unless business and consumers find their voice.

Foods included on the list range from grains, sweet potatoes and pulses, to seaweed and cacti

'Encourage and enable': How Unilever is walking the talk on plant-based diets

EXCLUSIVE: After its report detailing 50 foods which consumers should eat more frequently to help tackle environmental issues went viral last year, Unilever's largest food brand Knorr has detailed its work to embed the campaign's aims across its own supply chain.

Pictured: Glencore's Ferrochrome smelter in Lydenburg, South Africa

Glencore slams BP's net-zero target as it outlines measures to cap coal use

The chief executive of coal giant Glencore dubbed BP's 2050 net-zero target "wishy-washy" as he outlined how his firm will tackle scope 3 emissions through to 2035.

The report claims that the average flexible working centre can help generate carbon emission savings of 118 metric tonnes annually between now and 2029

Can flexible workspaces help businesses reduce their carbon footprint?

As more companies move their corporate real estate portfolios to account for a growing flexible workspace market, a new report suggests that this could help improve staff health and wellbeing while cutting carbon emissions.

Pictured: LWARB chief executive Wayne Hubbard and GCOC's senior director Alison McRae

Glasgow and London-based sustainable business organisations partner ahead of COP26

Glasgow's Chamber of Commerce and London's Waste and Recycling Board have forged a partnership, in a bid to help businesses in both cities make circular economy shifts ahead of COP26 in November.

Unilever re-wrote its purpose in 2010, first began labelling its brands as purpose-led in 2015 and, this year, combined its business and sustainability strategies. Image: Rachael Rothman

Purpose and profit: Unilever on how to drive benefits across the triple bottom line

Last summer, the chief executives of more than 180 corporates signed a declaration stating that the purpose of big businesses is no longer to simply generate profit for shareholders - that action must also taken to address social and environmental issues. But how can businesses without purpose "built-in" begin this transformation?

This episode features five exclusive interviews with sustainability leaders

Sustainable Business Covered: Igniting a decade of climate action at the Leaders Forum (Part Two)

The second part of this podcast special is brought to you live from our Sustainability Leaders Forum, where edie asks leading sustainability experts from Mars, British American Tobacco, the Fairtrade Foundation, Futerra and Hilton how will business leadership be redefined during a decade of deliverance?

WATCH: Jonathon Porritt's inspiring Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech

edie's Lifetime Achievement Award-winner Jonathon Porritt, founder-director of Forum for the Future, delivered a rousing call to action to the private sector to "recarbonise" the planet by forging partnerships that pull carbon out of the atmosphere and assist with the ongoing net-zero transition.

Pictured L-R: ClimateCare CEO Vaughan Lindsay; IFC director Ousseynou Nakoulima; Interface's Erin Meezan; Vattenfall's Annika Ramskold and Futerra's Solitaire Townsend discussing how businesses can respond to the climate emergency. 

Seven top tips for kick-starting your organisation's net-zero transition

Last year, dozens of 'climate emergency' declarations were made by governments, local authorities, political parties and businesses. But how can sustainability, CSR and energy professionals help their organisations respond to these declarations with ambitious, impactful and long-lasting actions?

BT estimates the move will mitigate one million waste items per year

BT introduces fines for hardware hoarders in bid to reduce waste

Telecoms giant BT will charge wi-fi customers £50 if they do not send their routers back at the end of their contracts, in an effort to minimise its plastic and electronic waste.

For all the benefits they bring in terms of low-carbon power and transport, batteries pose significant resource and social challenges. Image: World Economic Forum 

Carmakers make joint pledge to make battery supply chains sustainable

Volvo, Audi and BMW are among the cohort of carmakers to have joined a joint initiative aimed at creating battery value chains that are environmentally and socially sustainable.

The analysis covers green bonds issued by businesses, financials, governments and government bodies

Green bond issuance soared to $185bn in 2019, report reveals

Global green bond issuance last year reached an all-time high in terms of both individual bonds issued and collective value issued, global law firm Linklaters has concluded.

Pictured clockwise from top left: The Congress Centre; plastics campaigner Melati Wijsen; activist Greta Thunberg and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Images: WEF

Davos 2020: Calls to climate action and everything else you may have missed

Over the past few days, reports and announcements around sustainability have been launched at a pace, as more than 3,000 business leaders, policymakers and thought leaders and Bill Nye gathered in Davos for the World Economic Forum (WEF). This round-up highlights the key green talking points that you need to know.

The ACEA represents carmakers including Ferrari, Groupe Renault and Volkswagen 

Carmakers renew calls for low-carbon revolution as grim sales figures loom

Some of the EU's largest auto players have called once for a mass rollout of electric vehicle (EV) recharging points and refuelling stations for fuels like hydrogen, as the industry offered up more clues as to how it intends to lessen its climate impact.

The Prince of Wales launched his Sustainable Markets intiative in Davos

Reshape economy to fight climate crisis, says Prince Charles

The Prince of Wales has urged business and political leaders at Davos to embrace a radical reshaping of economies and markets in order to tackle the climate crisis.

Unlike previous ambitions, Microsoft's new target covers Scope 3 emissions. Pictured: Microsoft's flagship UK store on Oxford Street, London. 

'Transformation through transparency': How Microsoft will collaborate to meet its carbon-negative goals

EXCLUSIVE: As it strives to meet its boldest sustainability target to date - becoming "carbon-negative" by 2030 - Microsoft will need to forge innovative collaborations with businesses across and beyond its supply chain.

The 50% reduction in waste to landfill will be underscored by Starbucks joining the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative

Starbucks to halve environmental impacts as part of 'resource-positive' strategy

Global coffee company Starbucks has announced new preliminary targets to halve carbon emissions, water use and waste sent to landfill by 2030, as part of a new long-term mission to become resource positive by storing more carbon than emitted, eliminate waste and replenishing freshwater.

Pictured: The refill station for bulk goods that will be installed for the trials. Image: Asda

Asda to pilot packaging-free, refillable versions of popular groceries

Asda will begin trialling packaging-free, refillable versions of some of its most popular products in May, the supermarket has confirmed today (16 January).

The webinar is now available to watch on demand for those who've registered

Available on-demand: Watch all three sessions of edie's single-use plastics online event

Sustainability experts from Sky, Nestlé, Eurostar, Canary Wharf Group and Surfdome all discussed the role of businesses in collaborating, innovating and actuate to eliminate single-use plastics, as part of an online event that is now available to watch on-demand.

FMCG giant Henkel owns some of Europe's most recognisable brands, including Schwarzkopf and Persil. In 2018, 51% of its packaging portfolio by weight was plastic. 

Inside Henkel's plastics packaging strategy

EXCLUSIVE: Henkel's international director of packaging technology Thorsten Leopold has outlined how and why the company developed its three-pronged plastics strategy, and how the framework's targets have helped the multinational take plastic action "beyond its own four walls".

Colgate has confirmed that the toothpaste has been certified to EcoCert and Forest Stewardship Council standards

Colgate launches recyclable plastic toothpaste tube

Colgate Palmolive has launched a new vegan-friendly toothpaste range packaged in a first-of-its-kind recyclable plastic tube, with the technology set to be shared with competitor brands.

edie looks at the trials and projects that have proved successful in combatting plastics waste

Naked products and take-back schemes: How are businesses designing their way out of single-use plastics?

To mark edie's Plastics Week of content dedicated to helping businesses design their way out of single-use plastics, this round-up features the innovative ways that business giants have started to turn the tide on plastics waste.

(L-R) Presenter Beth Knight, corporate responsibility director, EY, JPA Furniture’s Fiona Edwards and Chris Holder and compere Michaela Strachan

Meet the sustainability leader: Social Sustainability & Community Development - JPA Furniture

With entries now open for edie's Sustainability Leaders Awards 2020, this new feature series showcases the achievements of the 2019 winners and reveals their secrets to success. Up next: The winner of our Social Sustainability & Community Development Award, JPA Furniture.

The roundtable heard from experts representing organisations across the retail sector value chain

Servitisation and social media storytelling: How retailers are approaching sustainability in 2020

January is now probably just as synonymous with retail discounts as it is with New Year's resolutions. But following a year of unprecedented climate activism, how are retailers planning to increase sustainability action and embed a 'purpose-beyond-profits' approach in 2020?

Starting from Monday 13 January, edie will run a series of exclusive interviews, in-depth deep dives, webinars and reports outlining approaches to eliminating single-use plastics

Plastics Week: edie launches content campaign to help business eliminate single-use plastics

Running from 13-17 January, edie's Mission Possible Plastics Week includes exclusive interviews, podcasts, reports, webinars and in-depth feature articles – all dedicated to turning the tide on single-use plastics.

Amid a turbulent year for the UK's car industry, electric car registrations skyrocketed 

Electric car registrations surged to record levels in 2019

More electric cars were registered in the UK during 2019 than any other year to date, as diesel car registrations fell by more than one-fifth on a year-on-year basis.

The Business Leadership Inspiration Sessions are being held during edie's Mission Possible Plastics Week 2020 (13-18 January)

Single-use plastics: Two weeks left to register for free online event

Registration is now open for an afternoon of live, interactive webinar presentations and discussions from companies such as Eurostar, Nestlé and Sky on Thursday 16 January - all dedicated to helping businesses collaborate, innovate and actuate to eliminate single-use plastics.

KFC's vegan burger (pictured) proved a hit during trials last summer.

Veganuary: Fast food giants launch plant-based meals as red meat sales plummet

Food-to-go giants including Greggs, KFC and McDonald's have all launched new plant-based options to mark Veganuary, after supermarkets recorded a plunge in meat sales which looks set to continue into 2020.

How many of the below will you take on this year?

20 New Year's resolutions for sustainability professionals in 2020 and beyond

A new decade is upon us, and as the window to reverse and alleviate the climate crisis shortens, new long-term targets can provide sustainability professionals with the motivation and drive to transform their organisations into forces of good.

It may feel like sustainability has dominated pop culture in 2019, but does progress exist beyond pockets of discussions? Image: BAFTA

How has pop culture responded to the climate emergency in 2019?

From Coldplay cancelling their tour until they can find a carbon-neutral option, to James Bond producers debuting the spy's first fully electric car, all the signs point to sustainability shaping pop culture. But how deep does this impact run, and what's in store for 2020?

Land use by humanity - most of which, by area, is for agricultural purposes - generates 23% of greenhouse gas emissions annually

Reach 'peak meat' by 2030 to tackle climate crisis, say scientists

Livestock production needs to reach its peak within the next decade in order to tackle the climate emergency, scientists have warned.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen unveiled the strategy at a special session at COP25

Europe's 'man on the moon moment': Green Deal to create world's first climate-neutral continent

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has unveiled 50 sweeping plans to enable the EU to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, claiming that the Green Deal was "more than just a vision, it is a roadmap for action".

Mars’s circular packaging plan includes a goal for 100% of its plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, while Nestlé is part of the UK Plastics Pact pledge

Mars and Nestle spearhead chemicals recycling scheme for plastics

Mars and Nestlé have teamed up with packaging solutions firm Citeo, energy giant Total and recycling technology provider Recycling Technologies to develop an industrial chemical recycling process for plastic packaging in France.

Humanity currently uses 1.75 Earths' worth of resources annually - which could rise to two Earths' worth by 2030 if businesses, governments and individuals don't make radical circular economy shifts 

Earth Overshoot: Seven top tips for making your business 'one-planet compatible'

Held to mark Earth Overshoot Day 2019 (29 July), edie's most recent webinar saw experts from Tesco, AB Sugar, Global Footprint Network and Centrica Business Solutions discuss how businesses can operate within planetary boundaries. Here, edie rounds up the key takeaways.

The benchmark measures progress against the Paris Agreement's 2C trajectory 

Car giants 'driving with the brakes on' towards climate goals, report warns

The world's 25 largest car manufacturers are collectively failing to act in line with the Paris Agreement in terms of both electrifying their portfolios and strengthening climate governance, new analysis from CDO and the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) has warned.

Image: World Economic Forum. CC BY 2.0

UN appoints Mark Carney to help finance climate action goals

Mark Carney has been appointed as UN special envoy for climate action and finance as he prepares to step down as governor of the Bank of England in January.

Green Friday: The retailers championing sustainability over spending for Black Friday 2019

Today (29 November) is Black Friday, the biggest sales event of the year. But with consumers increasingly prioritising purpose over profit and climate change climbing the ranking of public priorities, some retailers are taking note and using the occasion to champion resource efficiency, social sustainability and environmental conservation.

The report authors are urging Ministers to speed up the introduction of new waste and resources legislation around carpets. Image: Reuse Warehouse/ CC BY 2.0 

Report: Carpet experiencing lower UK recycling and reuse rates than plastics

Green campaign groups are calling on the UK Government to implement stronger circular economy requirements around carpets, after research concluded that just 2% of the 130,000 tonnes sent to the industry's recycling body annually are recycled.

The aim of the boxes is to mitigate food waste and make nutritious products more affordable. Image: Morrisons

Morrisons launches discounted boxes of food past 'best before' date

Morrisons has partnered with food redistribution app Too Good to Go to offer discounted boxes of products that are past their 'best before' dates to customers.

One-planet compatibility is also a way to demonstrate companies’ comprehensive contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the report added

Earth Overshoot Day: What is the business case for one-planet compatibility?

Monday 29 July will mark Earth Overshoot Day - the day that humanity uses up all of the planet's natural resources for the year and the earliest it has ever occurred. In response, a new whitepaper explores how business can champion energy efficiency and the circular economy to become one-planet compatible.

Businesses suited to selling flex include large energy users such as supermarkets and manufacturers

Northern Powergrid urges businesses to sell flexibility services

District Network Operator (DNO) Northern Powergrid has opened an online auction aimed at procuring 100MW of flexible energy capacity across, largely from businesses.

Nestlé, Walmart and Borealis join the more than 400 organisations that have signed up to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment

Nestlé, Walmart and Borealis sign up to Ellen MacArthur Foundation's global plastics commitment

The world's largest food company, Nestlé, and the world's largest retailer, Walmart, have joined chemicals company Borealis in becoming Core Partners to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's New Plastics Economy.

The latest episode features five exclusive interviews

Sustainable Business Covered podcast: The Net-Zero November business relay

Episode 75 of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast lands during edie's Net-Zero November and delivers five exclusive interviews with energy and sustainability experts from the likes of National Trust, Costa and Yorkshire Water to discuss how businesses can transition to net-zero emissions.

Emissions from the livestock sector are estimated to account for 15% of the global total. 

Report: Food giants must go beyond plant-based products to climate-proof global systems

While one-half of the world's largest food companies are now working to increase investment in plant-based proteins, meat sales are still increasing and action on climate change remains "fragmented and isolated", Forum for the Future has warned.

Northcote will be speaking at edie's Sustainability Leaders Forum in February 2020

John Lewis & Partners: Net-zero a commercial opportunity for business

EXCLUSIVE: John Lewis & Partners' decision to set a net-zero target before the UK Government enshrined its 2050 target into law evidences the fact that sustainability and profitability now go hand-in-hand, the retailer's director of corporate responsibility has claimed.

The 2050 climate objective will be “the big highlight” of the Green Deal

Circular economy 'number one priority' of European Green Deal and net-zero ambitions

The circular economy, including new waste and recycling laws, will represent "half" of the EU's effort to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and will be erected as "the number one priority" of the upcoming European Green Deal, officials have said.

Pictured: Inside Newlife stores' shop in Moreton, Merseyside. Image: Newlife stores

'Pre-cycling': Closed-loop scheme for surplus fashion stock grows

The number of high-street fashion giants to have entered an agreement to sell their end-of-line surplus stock through a third party at a discount, in order to benefit charity, has reportedly grown this year.

Gough believes that corporates must make capitals thinking a core foundation for business decisions, rather than keeping it within a trial or side-project

'To truly embed sustainability, businesses must redefine value itself'

EXCLUSIVE: As ever more companies strive for sustainability which stretches beyond the confines of a separate CSR department, they will need to explore ways to define success beyond monetary value.

Other signatories to the commitment include Kering, Marks & Spencer, Gap and Adidas

Fashion giants 'must 'urgently accelerate circular economy action'

Of the 213 circular economy targets for 2020 set by 90 big-name fashion companies taking part in a collaborative circular economy campaign, just one-fifth (21%) have been met.

The retailer claims that the removal of 5p carrier bags alone could save five tonnes of plastic annually, if scaled up nationally. Image: John Lewis & Partners.

John Lewis trials swathe of new recycling and reuse offerings

John Lewis & Partners has launched a string of seven new initiatives aimed at helping customers to reuse packaging and recycle items which are not currently collected by most domestic kerbside services.

Zalando will rollout a range of energy efficiency and green transport measures. Image: Zalando

Online retailer Zalando commits to net-zero emissions and plastic-free packaging

Online fashion platform Zalando has confirmed it will operate as a net-zero carbon emissions business from today (30 October), as well as committing to eliminating single-use plastics from its packaging by 2023.

Loop will enable UK customers to buy refillable products online and have them delivered in reusable containers. Image: TerraCycle

Sky backs TerraCycle's 'zero-waste' refill platform with £1.5m investment

Media giant Sky's Ocean Ventures investment arm has committed $2m (£1.56m) to TerraCycle's Loop platform - an offering whereby businesses provide product refills to consumers while retaining ownership of their reusable packaging.

The company’s service has grown in popularity over the last couple of years, with an average of £500,000 each week paid out as part of the trade-in service

O2 recycles three million mobile devices in a decade

Telecoms company O2 has received more than three million devices as part of a trade-in scheme to boost the recyclability of smartphones, a move that has stopped more than 450 tonnes of phone-related waste from going to landfill.

Honda says movement towards electrification has "gathered pace significantly"

Honda pledges to electrify European portfolio by 2022

Carmaker Honda has committed to removing vehicles which rely solely on internal combustion engines from its European portfolio by 2022, three years ahead of the target's initial deadline.

The report found that 60% of business’ plastic packaging is now reusable, recyclable or compostable today

Business giants making 'promising' progress in tackling plastic waste

Over the last 12 months, some of the world's biggest businesses have made "promising" progress in efforts to eliminate single-use plastics and transition to a circular economy, according to a new report which revealed that pledges to increase recycled plastic in packaging have grown five-fold.

As of May 2019, P&G had used more than 34,000 metric tonnes of PCR in packaging

P&G to more than double recycled plastic content for home cleaning brands in Europe

Procter & Gamble (P&G) has announced it will more than double the amount of recycled plastic used in its packaging for domestic cleaning brands such as Fairy and Flash in Europe by 2020.

TerraCycle's approach to its mission to "eliminate the idea of waste" has evolved past "recycling the non-recyclable", according to Szaky

TerraCycle: The global refill revolution is here to stay

EXCLUSIVE: With consumer concerns around plastics and climate change skyrocketing, brands are increasingly betting on reuse and refill models to minimise both carbon and waste, TerraCycle's chief executive officer Tom Szaky has revealed.

The new PCR bottles will be rolled out across Dove's original range, plus its Baby and Men+ products. Image: Dove

Dove unveils plastic-free beauty bar packaging and 100% recycled plastic bottles

Dove has committed to removing all non-recycled plastic from certain bottle lines by the end of the year and debuted a new, plastic-free packaging format for its beauty bar soap.

Plastic Bank plans to collect 30,000 metric tons of plastic waste over the three-year period – equivalent to stopping 1.5 billion plastic bottles from entering oceans and waterways

SC Johnson to improve recycling infrastructure in developing nation to combat ocean plastics

SC Johnson has partnered with economic development firm Plastic Bank to upscale access to recycling infrastructure in developing regions and leverage blockchain technology to stop plastic waste from entering into oceans while improving economic and social outlooks for communities.

Image credit: HPE/Mischa Halle  

Sustainable Business Covered podcast: A circular economy technology tour with HPE

For episode 73 of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast, edie reporter Sarah George takes a tour of Hewlett Packard Enterprises' (HPE) Technology Renewal Centre in Scotland - a facility helping to tackle e-waste by refurbishing and recycling retired business tech.

The FCA said the statement 'will provide a foundation for its future work on climate change and green finance'. Image: FCA

FCA launches new measures to tackle 'greenwash' as green finance booms

The UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has unveiled a string of new measures designed to prevent issuers from 'greenwashing', covering challenges such as climate risk reporting and the accessibility of 'green' products such as mortgages.

Carlsberg, Coca-Cola, Absolut and L'Oreal are charting a course to a waste-free world

Paper Bottle Community: Is this the beginning of the end for the single-use plastic bottle?

EXCLUSIVE: Following the launch of Carlsberg's paper bottle prototypes, edie explores how Coca-Cola, The Absolut Company and L'Oréal are joining the brewer to scale-up paper-based solutions that replace or rival single-use plastic bottles.

Waitrose & Partners has calculated that the switch will mitigate the use of 18 tonnes of plastics annually. Image: Waitrose & Partners

Waitrose ditches plastic shrinkwrap for can multipacks

Waitrose & Partners has removed the plastic wrap from several of its best-selling multipacks of canned products, after consumers branded it "unnecessary".

TerraCycle has partnered with PZ Cussons to develop a recycling scheme for the refill pouches. 

PZ Cussons launches hand wash refills to slash plastics packaging

Healthcare and consumer goods giant PZ Cussons has launched its first hand wash refill offering, as it strives to reduce the amount of plastics used in its packaging by 25% by 2025.

Howard Boyd (left) gave a keynote speech on the state of climate risk reporting. Image: Sarah George

Environment Agency targets net-zero by 2030

England's Environment Agency (EA) has committed to reaching net-zero carbon in its operations and supply chain by 2030 - two decades ahead of the UK Government's national target.

Jackson believes that closed-loop, low-carbon supply chains will be a huge advantage for Apple

How closed-loop supply chains are spurring Apple's decarbonisation efforts

EXCLUSIVE: Apple's vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives Lisa Jackson believes that companies should look at the synergies between the circular economy and decarbonisation in order to create resilient supply chains.

The collection of more than 600,000 tonnes of plastic packaging annually by 2025 will be facilitated through investment and partnerships in infrastructure and collection processes

Unilever to halve use of virgin plastic and collect more plastic packaging than it sells by 2025

Unilever has announced it will halve its use of virgin plastic by 2025 by reducing plastic packaging by more than 100,000 tonnes, increasing the amount of recycled plastics it uses and collecting and processing more plastic packaging than it sells.

Image: EcoAct 

Half of UK businesses 'targeting carbon neutrality by 2030'

A survey of 502 UK businesses has found that almost half are aiming to be carbon-neutral by 2030, with 8% claiming they had already reached this milestone.

The majority of e-waste generated globally is unaccounted for, seeping into regions such as Agbogbloshie slums of Ghana (pictured)

E-waste: Can businesses solve the world's fastest-growing domestic waste stream?

edie reporter Sarah George places the world's fastest-growing domestic waste stream, e-waste, under the microscope, and investigates how businesses are tackling the global phenomenon.

"Greenwashing", a lack of information and a lack of products were cited as key barriers to SDG-aligned investing

Survey: Two-thirds of UK public want their investments aligned with the SDGs

A new Government-led study on financing the progress towards the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has found that more than two-thirds of UK investors want their portfolios to solely support projects driving progress against the 17-Goal agenda.

Dulux Trade estimates that more than 700 million litres of paint are sold annually, with more than 55 million litres of waste paint sent to landfill or incinerated in the UK every year

Dulux Trade and Veolia partner to launch 35% recycled paint

Paint manufacturer Dulux Trade has launched a new partnership with Veolia UK to offer a new matt emulsion made from 35% recycled paint, which also produces 10% lower carbon emissions per litre.