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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edie Explains: The circular economy

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Sustainability experts from an array of businesses came together in London to discuss the potential solutions to energy and waste issues related to the circular economy

Circular roundtable: How can businesses accelerate the resource revolution?

Sustainability and corporate responsibility managers from a range of businesses recently gathered in London for an exclusive roundtable hosted by edie and EDF Energy, to discuss how organisations are stepping up efforts to accelerate a circular economy.

Ikea UK claims that the store, which it hopes will gain BREEAM ‘Excellent’ accreditation, is its most sustainable to date

Living Lagom in London: Inside Ikea's new 'leading' sustainable store

edie reporter Sarah George takes a trip to Greenwich to learn how Ikea's new store - touted as its "most sustainable" UK location to date - evidences the company's shift towards circularity and 'climate-positivity'.

This 30-minute masterclass offered a taster of the full Sustainability Leadership Programme that has been developed by Cranfield University for edie's network of sustainability professionals

30-minute masterclass: Seven ways to adopt the circular economy across your business

During a 30-minute masterclass webinar hosted by edie last week, Cranfield University's senior lecturer in circular innovation Fiona Charnley outlined the essential skills needed to implement circular economy principles. Here, edie rounds up her key takeaways.

BNP Paribas has created a range of targets and KPIs to put in place a sustainable finance strategy.

BNP Paribas aligns with SDGs and Paris Agreement in new sustainability strategy

French banking giant BNP Paribas has outlined its latest strategy to accelerate its commitment to sustainable development.

The pilot scheme's approach has been described as “going beyond simply aiming to minimise impact

Alpro and WWF pilot new nature-focused science-based target scheme

A pilot project has been set up to take science-based targets to the next level and "respect planetary boundaries" by WWF and food and drink firm Alpro.

IONITY's first UK chargers are currently being installeed in Gretna Green, Scotland, and Maidstone, Kent

IONITY one year on: How carmakers are delivering on Europe's 'super' EV charging network

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The company’s entire paper-based product packaging is currently on track to reach zero deforestation by 2020

HP pledges to make all printed pages 'forest positive'

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Asda has also taken steps to make its plastic packaging more recyclable

Asda removes 6,500 tonnes of plastic from own-brand packaging

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The 30-minute masterclass offers a taster of the brand new Sustainability Leadership Programme, developed by Cranfield University for edie's network of sustainability professionals

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SolarVille aims to showcase how neighbourhood energy solutions could be created using blockchain

Ikea creates blockchain solution to "democratise" renewable energy

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Creating a sustainability culture in the construction industry involves going

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More than 100 outlets have joined the scheme so far

UK cafés and restaurants pilot lunchbox refill scheme to slash plastics waste

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The scheme will fund large-scale conservation and restoration activities across Scotland's forests, lakes and coastline

'The £1bn challenge': Natural capital investment project launched in Scotland

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Scottish Wildlife Trust have teamed up to launch a new project aiming to attract £1bn of investment in protecting the nation's natural capital.

The bottle consists of 100% recycled material and is, in turn, 100% recyclable

SC Johnson launches industry-first 100% ocean plastic bottle

Home cleaning product manufacturer SC Johnson has developed the industry's first plastic bottle made entirely from recycled ocean plastic for its Windex cleaning brand.

Between $80bn and $120bn is lost from the global economy every year due to a non-circular system for plastic packaging

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Zipcar launched in the UK in 2003 under the name 'Streetcar'

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The Government is concerned that a lack of digital record keeping in the waste industry is being frequently exploited by organised criminals

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Registration for free-to-attend show is now open for sustainability, energy and environment professionals

Turning ambition into action: edie Live returns for 2019 with host of new features

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Around 300,000 tonnes of clothing is currently wasted each year in the UK, according to the EAC

Tax fashion brands to fund circular economy for garments, MPs urge

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UK recycling rates for plastic packaging have stagnated at between 38% and 45% for several years

Plastic budgets: Climate Change Act model could solve UK plastics crisis, MPs claim

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Ikea to launch furniture rental offering as part of circular economy shift

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This week's annual summit in Davos was the 48th hosted by the World Economic Forum

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Loop will enable customers to buy refillable products online and have them delivered in reusable containers

Consumer goods giants team up to launch 'zero-waste' refill service

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One-third of the food produced for human consumption globally is currently wasted

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SC Johnson chairman Fisk Johnson recently visited Indonesia to further explore the global plastic pollution problem

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Dhruv Boruah will be supporting edie’s Plastics Thinkathon at the Sustainability Leaders Forum on 5-6 February

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PwC is urging finance firms to assess the financial damage trends such as deforestation, rising carbon emissions and ocean pollution could cause to their portfolios

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After launching the first jointly-developed EVs in 2022, VW and Ford may co-develop autonomous vehicles

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Over the two Thinkathon sessions, the group will explore how businesses can play a leading role in eliminating unnecessary single-use plastics

edie opens applications for 'Plastics Thinkathon' at Sustainability Leaders Forum

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The deadline for nominations is this Friday, 18 January 2019

Nominations for edie's '30 Under 30' campaign close THIS FRIDAY

Ambitious young sustainability and energy professionals have until this Friday, 18 January, to apply for 30 Under 30 - an all-new networking programme created by edie for the next generation of business leaders to share ideas and further their careers.

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Karen Hamilton has served as Unilever's global VP for sustainable business for more than a decade

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The global livestock industry accounts for 15% of the world's carbon emissions, and uses 83% of all existing agricultural land

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Love them or hate them, New Year's resolutions are a tool to motivate and inspire individuals to start a new calendar year with renewed focus. Here, edie has listed 19 resolutions for sustainability professionals in 2019 that will help businesses ignite a new era of leadership.

Optimise Prime will launch in early 2019, with the first of the new EVs set to be deployed across London, the South East and East of England in the second half of 2019

World's biggest commercial EV project set to launch in London

Several big-name businesses, including Uber and UK Power Networks, have teamed up to launch a three-year project aimed at determining how the UK's business community should be supported as it undergoes the electric vehicle (EV) transition.

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The Environmental Audit Committee estimates that UK consumers are now buying an average of 26.7kg of new clothing every year

Is the fashion industry about to have its 'plastics moment'?

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ASOS's chief executive Nick Beighton was one of several brand representatives to face questioning from the EAC over sustainability challenges

ASOS boss: The circular economy is the only way forward for fashion retailers

Fashion retailers that fail to adopt circular economy principles and encourage consumers to make their clothes last longer will fail to survive in a new era of consumer awareness, ASOS's chief executive Nick Beighton has argued.

The bond will be used to finance renewables and built environment projects

How ING achieved boardroom buy-in to launch its second green bond

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The NCFA is urging corporates in

Corporates 'set to lose $1.6trn' without action on natural capital

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edie has rounded up five ways retailers are using Black Friday to promote brand purpose beyond their products

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JLL, Interface, Burger King, Nestle, Sainsbury’s, Sodexo and European Metal Recycling have all been selected as Waste to Wealth “Champions”

UK businesses target resource productivity through 'waste to wealth' commitment

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Tetra Pak said in a statement that the partnership's work could double the overall value of used beverage cartons

Tetra Pak partners with Veolia to improve recyclability of beverage carton components

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The discussion at the V&A was the most-attended select committee hearing in UK history. Photo: UK Government/ Gabriel Sainhas

Corporate action on fashion sustainability 'insufficient', MPs warned

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In 2017, local authorities spent £700m on collecting and sorting recycling, compared with £73m from major businesses including leading supermarket chains and retailers

Retailers to pay up to £1bn for recycling under waste strategy

Supermarkets, retailers and major drinks brands are set to pay tens of millions of pounds more towards recycling their used packaging under the government's new waste strategy expected to be published this month, the Guardian understands.

Glasgow City Council is developing initiatives to implement closed-loop practices across the built environment, food, textiles, plastics and energy

Glasgow unveils ambition to become Scotland's first 'circular city'

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The construction and built environment, energy infrastructure, food and drink and manufacturing sectors could all reap economic benefits by implementing closed-loop solutions

Scotland's cities can unlock £1bn circular economy boon, says report

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Business giants join Ellen MacArthur Foundation's global commitment to eradicate plastics pollution

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Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) beverage bottlea will incorporate 33% recycled PET content by 2025

PepsiCo to use 25% recycled content in plastics packaging by 2025

Beverage giant PepsiCo has revamped its approach to plastics by pledging to use 25% recycled content in plastic packaging by 2025 and working with suppliers and partners to advocate for improved recycling infrastructure and policy across the globe.

Through the partnership, the two companies will invest in recycling structure capacity and develop new, closed-loop processes and business models

Unilever partners with Veolia to create circular economy for plastic packaging

Consumer goods giant Unilever has today (24 October) agreed a partnership with waste management Veolia, which will see the companies work together to develop innovative solutions to the plastic waste crisis.

The Government has shed more light on the implications a 'no deal' Brexit could have on the nation's green economy

Could a 'no deal' Brexit be a 'golden opportunity' for the UK's green economy?

In light of the Government’s latest wave of 'no deal' Brexit planning updates, resource management experts have claimed that the scenario could force the UK to manage its waste more efficiently.

H&M Foundation's innovation lead Erik Bang says 'seeing is believing' when it comes to changing consumer behaviours around textile recycling

Fashion industry 'playing catch-up' with the circular economy, says H&M Foundation

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P&G has pledged to ensure all packaging is 100% recyclable or reusable by 2030

P&G joins Circular Economy 100 to accelerate closed-loop transition

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This week's best innovations could drive significant change across the packaging, waste management and fashion industries

Plastic-fighting bubbles and AI-powered bins: The best green innovations of the week

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Cheshire explained that greenhush and greenwashing could both harm business reputations. Tucker Images

No more 'Greenhush': Sir Ian Cheshire urges business to get vocal on sustainability

The chairman of Barclays UK and Debenhams had suggested that the business community has a "moral imperative" to deliver and communicate real change that brings in new business models to alleviate key climate concerns.

The circular economy route map sketched more than 100 practical actions - but how many have been taken so far?

How close is London to achieving a circular economy?

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Unilever has committed to increasing the recycled plastic content in its packaging to at least 25% by 2025

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C&A Foundation has provided funding for the innovative projects which it believes could bridge the gap in the implementation of circular business models

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VF Corporation are working with the Renewal Workshop to ensure that all products hosted on the platform are suitable for purpose

The North Face Renewed: VF Corporation takes next step into 'new world' of servitisation

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SUEZ hosted a string of workshops to gauge stakeholder opinion on policy changes

SUEZ calls for extended producer responsibility system to spark 'waste revolution'

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(L-R): Presenter edie’s business development director David
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Henkel will explore closed-loop partnerships and solutions which enable consumers to reuse packaging

Henkel bolsters its sustainable packaging strategy

German chemical and consumer goods firm Henkel has joined the corporate war on waste with a pledge to ensure consumers can recycle, reuse or compost its packaging by 2025.

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Burberry has also confirmed that it will no longer use real fur in its products. Image: Mparweo/Wikipedia

Burberry to stop burning unsold products as part of resource efficiency drive

Luxury fashion brand Burberry has announced it will stop destroying products deemed unsaleable with immediate effect, just months after it was revealed that the brand had burned more than £28m worth of stock over the past 12 months.

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The report highlights that Europe is primed to embrace a new circular economy, with EU industrial emissions potentially reduced by 56% by 2050

Report: Circular economy a 'powerful force' to meeting Paris Agreement goals

Circular business models and greater material efficiency of products in the transport and built environment sectors could reduce emissions by 3.6 billion tonnes annually - putting the globe on course to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement.

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Brewster Bros anticipates that by selling recycled products made at the facility, the plant will achieve an annual turnover of £3m

UK's largest recycling centre opens in Scotland

The UK's largest recycling centre has officially opened in Livingston, Scotland, on the same day that waste experts called on the UK Government to scrap weight-based recycling targets post-Brexit.

The jeans, which took more than a year to develop, are  made from organic cotton and coloured with dye derived from plant waste

Cradle to Cradle: C&A launches 'world's most circular' jeans

Fashion retailer C&A has this week launched the world's first Gold level Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Certified jeans, and is now providing other clothing brands with the tools they need to produce equally sustainable denim garments.

One of the strategy’s flagship goals is seeing the Group’s estate become “the world’s first SDG compliant city”

Making Sustainability Real: Inside Canary Wharf Group's bold net positive strategy

EXCLUSIVE: British property giant Canary Wharf Group (CWG) has this week unveiled a sweeping new 2030 sustainability strategy, including goals of becoming a circular economy leader, transforming its estate into the world's first 'SDG-compliant micro-city' and becoming net positive.

Schreve said that investors need to ensure that the green finance market focuses on backing “quality” over quantity for environmental and social funding opportunities

How ING is avoiding greenwash in the new green finance era

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edie spoke to the company’s responsibility programme director Pauline Bohl before the revelations of burning stock became public knowledge

The burning question: Can Burberry spark a resource revolution in the fashion industry?

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Cup innovations, blockchain trials and the Sustainability Leaders Awards: Top 10 sustainability stories of July 2018

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Around 15 million tonnes of used textile waste is sent to landfill each year in the US

Delta Air Lines to recycle 158 tonnes of old uniforms in textile diversion scheme

Delta Air Lines has announced that it will send more than 158 tonnes of its old uniforms to be upcycled or recycled in what it claims will be one of the largest textile diversion schemes by a single US-based corporation.

Globally, IKEA has already trebled the sales from its 'sustainable life at home' products

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Starbucks has this week introduced its 5p paper cup charge to all 950 UK stores, with the proceeds of the charge to be used by environmental charity Hubbub to fund a plastic boat set to clean up waste in the Thames.

The company’s Breaking the Plastic Habit campaign is a year-long scheme to pilot new technologies, innovations and behavioural change approaches to help reduce reliance on plastics

Canary Wharf Group commits to becoming world's first plastic-free commercial centre

Canary Wharf Group (CWG) has pledged to become a plastic-free community across its 16.5 million sq. ft London real estate, in a bid to help businesses and the wider community reduce the amount of single-use plastics in circulation.

On the Mission Possible sofa with Interface's Jon Khoo and Kingfisher's Caroline Laurie

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Fashion and textiles are considered the second largest contributors to pollution in the world accounting for 10% of global carbon emissions

Luxury sector unites to create roadmap for sustainability

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The metrics aim to help corporates assign a monetary value to natural resources which are often depleted through the sourcing of raw materials

Business giants launch new natural capital metric

A global network of big-name companies including Mars, Asda and Primark have today (July 11) unveiled a new set of metrics to help other organisations identify, measure, and value impacts and dependencies on natural assets, raw materials and natural infrastructure.

Almost one-fifth of sustainability leaders think 100% of their range will be low-carbon by 2028

Majority of products to be low-carbon within a decade, say firms with science-based targets

The majority of executives at global corporations which are leading the transition to a low-carbon economy believe most of their company’s branded products or services will be classed as low-carbon by 2028, new research has revealed.

This weekly round-up explores how businesses across the world are ramping up efforts across all areas of sustainable development

Plastic-free supermarkets and lessons in leadership: This week’s top 5 sustainability success stories

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.

Sandrine Ricard told edie that all 17 SDGs will be applied across the firm's operations, from offices to its supply chains

Pernod Ricard to embed SDGs in sustainability strategy

EXCLUSIVE: Beverage giant Pernod Ricard is set to align its sustainability strategy, which also applies to its owned brands such as Chivas Brothers, Malibu and Absolut Vodka, with the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals "in the near future".

The training will be offered to 15 of ASOS' core designers this month, with a wider rollout in the pipeline

ASOS launches circular fashion training programme

Online fashion retailer ASOS has this week launched a new sustainable fashion training programme for designers, in a bid to minimise the environmental impact of its operations and stock more closed-loop clothing and accessories.

This new weekly round-up explores how businesses across the world are ramping up efforts across all areas of sustainable development

Achieving Mission Possible: 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 innovation could help plant waste be re-purposed into resources for countless industries

Scientists create 'promiscuous' enzyme that turns plant waste into sustainable products

Scientists have created a new family of enzymes which break down plant waste into high-grade, high-value materials that can be converted into nylon, plastics and biofuels.

Through a partnership with Thread International and the First Mile Coalition, HP purchased 170 tonnes of PCR plastic from Haiti last year

HP used eight million 'ocean-bound' plastic bottles in products last year

HP has revealed that it has diverted 170 tonnes of plastic from the oceans over the past 12 months, after pledging to recycle "ocean-bound" plastic bottles for use in its range of ink cartridges.

This weekly round-up explores how businesses across the world are ramping up efforts across all areas of sustainable development

Achieving Mission Possible: 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.

edie invites sustainability professionals and industry experts onto the Mission Possible sofa to discuss how business can achieve a sustainable future

On the Mission Possible sofa with UK GBC's Alastair Mant and the EIC's Matthew Farrow

The fourth episode of our new sustainable business chat show sees the UK Green Building Council's (UK GBC) head of industry engagement Alastair Mant joined by the Environmental Industries Commission's (EIC) executive director Matthew Farrow to discuss the role of collaboration.

The initiative aims to tackle issues like coral reef degradation, marine litter and overfishing

Businesses team with UN to plot course for 'healthy' oceans

Oil and gas firm Total, insurance giant Gard AS and Norwegian maritime conference Nor-Shipping are among the six corporations which will lead a new United Nations (UN) initiative to help the private sector tackle ocean issues including overfishing, marine litter and acidification.

Green Alliance produced the report for a group of businesses that have formed a circular economy taskforce

Recycled plastic could supply three-quarters of UK demand, report finds

Plastic recycled in the UK could supply nearly three-quarters of domestic demand for products and packaging if the government took action to build the industry, a new report said on Thursday.

Landsec avoided £2.5m in landfill tax by sending no waste to landfill last year

Landsec achieves zero-waste-to-landfill goal

Property developer Landsec has achieved its zero-waste-to-landfill ambition and is within touching distance of its 2020 target of recycling three-quarters of its waste, having sent 74.9% to be recycled in 2017.