DEFINITION: A business model that completely reuses, recycles, or composts all materials. The term can also be used to refer to corporate take-back schemes, where companies that produce a good are also responsible for its disposal.
How the circular economy is fuelling sustainable growth at Ikea
EXCLUSIVE: Ikea's aim of doubling sales by 2020 are not at odds with an embedded ambition to become more circular, according to the company's UK sustainability manager Hege Sæbjørnsen, who believes closed-loop solutions will be fundamental to future growth.
Final places remaining for free Mission Possible Workshops at edie Live
Sustainability and energy professionals have just a few days left to pre-book their place for a series of free 'co-creation' workshops taking place at edie Live on 22-23 May.
Big-name clothing brands team up to 'Make Fashion Circular'
Gap, H&M, Nike and Burberry are among the major brands which will lead a new Ellen MacArthur Foundation initiative that aims to help drive a circular fashion industry.
AB Sugar targets water, carbon and plastics under new sustainability commitment
Global sugar company AB Sugar has launched its first ever group-wide sustainability report, outlining bold new commitments to cut carbon emissions and water use by 30% and ensure all plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or bio-degradable by 2030.
edie Live 2018: Show programme complete as plastics and SDGs take centre stage
The show content for edie's annual exhibition has been confirmed, with plastics waste, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), energy storage and employee engagement among the hot topics that will be debated across four theatres at the two-day show in May.
Top 10 sustainability stories of March 2018
It was a month of plastic take back schemes, big Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) commitments and high-profile business innovations. Take a look back at March's biggest sustainability stories in this round-up.
In Practice: The 'world-first' closed-loop glass recycling facility
Knauf Insulation's aim to ensure that recycled contents are embedded into the products it manufactures has seen the company strike a long-term partnership with waste specialists Veolia to create a closed-loop system for glass waste.
Starbucks pledges £7m to develop coffee cup solutions
Starbucks has declared a "moon shot for sustainability" by unveiling a £7m funding challenge to develop recyclable and compostable coffee cups, as well as agreeing to new "bean to cup" traceability technology to improve sourcing practices.
Are businesses thinking about the SDGs when targeting plastics?
The recent wave of pledges against single-use plastic could lead to unintended consequences due to a lack of cross-sector alignment that is failing to examine the role of packaging in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Veolia opens 'world-first' closed-loop glass recycling facility
A new £10m high-tech recycling facility which turns glass into insulation has been hailed as a "real boost" for the UK's circular economy.
Lidl UK exploring deposit return scheme as part of plastic waste commitment
Lidl UK has today (9 March) unveiled a package of new commitments to reduce plastic waste, including plans to remove all single-use plastic bags, reduce the quantity of plastic packaging by one-fifth and consider a deposit return scheme for plastic containers.
Plastic pledges provide gateway to circular economy, says John Lewis
The recent focus on plastic pollution has given sustainability professionals an opportunity to "reframe the narrative" on resource efficiency to move business models towards the circular economy, John Lewis's sustainability manager Ben Thomas has claimed.
edie Explains: The circular economy
This brand new edie Explains guide breaks down everything there is to know about achieving a circular economy for your business.
Achieving a circular economy: New business guide launched by edie
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.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Sustainable packaging and the plastics problem
edie travels to the Museum of Brands to discuss solutions to plastic waste and wider resource efficiency issues with business representatives from Iceland, Tetra Pak and James Cropper.
Virgin Trains hands over old uniforms to prison in recycling scheme
Prisoners at HMP Northumberland will take part in a recycling initiative which will see old Virgin Trains uniforms transformed into new textiles in a bid to reduce reoffending rates.
Mothercare and Hubbub expand baby clothing redistribution scheme nationwide
A pilot between environmental charity Hubbub and Mothercare to redistribute baby clothing is being expanded nationwide, after more than 20,000 items of clothing were allocated to around 2,000 families last year.
Plastics now a 'competitive issue' for business, CIWM chief warns
EXCLUSIVE: Eliminating unnecessary uses of plastic from production and supply chains is quickly becoming a "competitive issue" for businesses, with the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management's (CIWM) chief executive Dr Colin Church urging companies not to wait for legislation.
Ex-BT chief Niall Dunne on a mission to create the 'Tesla of plastics'
BT's former chief sustainability officer Niall Dunne is determined to use his role as the new chief executive of plastic producers Polymateria to "redesign the rules of an entire industry" and create practical solutions that can eliminate plastic pollution.
Mission Possible: 8 charts that show how business leaders are building a sustainable future
Hundreds of sustainability professionals gathered in London for edie's Sustainability Leaders Forum this week. Throughout the two-day event, delegates were asked to reflect on their thoughts on key drivers, and the results show that a sustainable future is possible.
Circular economy takes centre stage at Davos
Plastic waste is high on the agenda in Davos this week, with a host of corporate giants including L'Oréal, Mars and Unilever making commitments on their approach to packaging.
EU maps out plastics vision in new strategy
The European Commission presented on Tuesday (16 January) its eagerly anticipated strategy on how the EU intends to approach plastic production and pollution over the next decade and beyond.
VF Corporation exploring servitisation to champion circular economy
EXCLUSIVE: Global clothing giant VF Corporation is exploring rental and service-based business models to promote the circular economy to its consumers, as the company pushes ahead with a new corporate strategy that commits to science-based targets and 100% renewable electricity.
25-year Environment Plan: UK unveils long-term strategy for 'greener future'
Theresa May has today outlined a vision for a "cleaner, greener Britain", unveiling the long-awaited 25-year Environment Plan which pledges to eliminate all "avoidable" plastic waste by the end of 2042.
H&M launches sportswear range made from recycled polyester
Clothing giant H&M has unveiled a new sportswear collection for women that is predominately made from recycled polyester, bringing the company closer to its goal of becoming truly circular by 2030.
Circular and digital transformations 'key' to enabling business growth
A growth in circular innovation and digital transformation are the "keys to a more sustainable future" that is currently being hindered by businesses that still view sustainability as an "add on" that requires additional resources and finances.
London urged to address 'laughable' recycling rates
The London Assembly has called on Sadiq Khan to take a lead in increasing the capital's recycling rates, as damning figures highlight the sheer scale of the problem.
Long-term policies can help business capture €324bn circular economy opportunity
A new report has called on European Union (EU) institutions to promote resource efficiency beyond the completion of the Circular Economy Package, by learning from best practice scenarios that could add €324bn to the EU's economy by 2030.
Starbucks targets a plastics circular economy to drive waste management
EXCLUSIVE: There is no "competitive leverage" to be gained by failing to work with rival brands to tackle ongoing waste issues regarding paper coffee cups and the wider use of plastics, Starbuck's vice president of corporate affairs Simon Redfern has claimed.
Dell spearheads global initiative to combat ocean plastics
Technology giant Dell is forming a collaborative initiative alongside General Motors and Interface to create the world's first commercial-scale supply chain for ocean-bound plastics, before they seep into waterways.
Chinese ban on plastic waste imports could see UK pollution rise
A ban on imports of millions of tonnes of plastic waste by the Chinese government from January could see an end to collection of some plastic in the UK and increase the risk of environmental pollution, according to key figures in the industry.
How to solve the plastics problem: Live edie webinar takes place AT 2PM TODAY
Interface, P&G, Surfdome and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation complete an all-star line-up of circular economy experts for edie's live, interactive webinar focused on plastic packaging sustainability - taking place today (Thursday 7 December) at 2pm.
Are developing nations the ideal testing ground for circular economy practices?
As UN ministers look set to create a taskforce to eradicate the 'ocean Armageddon' of plastic waste and foster growth of closed-loop systems, a new Chatham House briefing paper suggests that the circular economy would enable developing nations to "leapfrog" to more sustainable frameworks.
Plastic pollution: Circular economy experts to discuss packaging solutions in live webinar TOMORROW
Representatives from Interface, P&G, Surfdome and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation complete an all-star line-up for edie's live, interactive webinar focused on plastic packaging sustainability - taking place this Thursday (7 December) at 2pm.
Ikea begins work on 'most sustainable' UK store
Global furniture retailer Ikea has started construction on a £100m new store in London which will be designed with an array of sustainable features.
Stella McCartney and Ellen MacArthur present roadmap for circular fashion industry
The sheer scale of textile waste caused by the clothing industry has been laid bare in a damning new report co-launched by Dame Ellen MacArthur and fashion designer Stella McCartney.
Blockchain start-up unveils plastic offset scheme
A technology start-up has launched a new initiative for companies and families to calculate and offset annual "plastic footprints" by purchasing credits that support global projects that tackle plastic pollution.
Test-bed: Driving economic growth through a remanufacturing business model
Norwegian firm Norsk Ombruk has developed an innovative business model that remanufactures kitchen and bathroom equipment to offer high-performing electronic equipment at half the cost, all while driving the economy for resource-efficient practices.
Study identifies sheer scale of opportunity for Scottish bioeconomy
A new report has highlighted the "huge opportunities" for 27 million tonnes of biomaterial such as food waste, by-products and agricultural residues to add value to Scotland's economy.
EU packaging single market erosion risks opening 'Pandora's Box' of national regulations
Ahead of negotiations to finalise the revision of EU packaging waste legislation, the European packaging industry is calling for the free movement of packaged goods to be safeguarded.
EU rules out tax on plastic products to reduce waste
The EU has ruled out penalties on single-use plastic products, in favour of raising public awareness of the damage consumer plastics are doing to the world's oceans.
Cradle to Cradle: How C&A is leading the fashion industry's circular transition
EXCLUSIVE: Fashion retailer C&A is driving circularity by selling apparel products made from sustainable cotton, and the Dutch-based firm is eager to bring the rest of the industry on its journey.
In practice: Network Rail's closed-loop partnership to recycle waste coffee grounds
Striking a partnership with coffee waste collectors Bio-Bean enabled Network Rail to make steps in reducing waste at its station, and also got retailers and staff to boost coffee collection to be used for renewable power.
Report: London could reduce waste by 60% through circular model
A new report has claimed that London could reduce its waste by 60% by 2041 through a circular economy approach, in the same week that Google teamed up with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to highlight the business value of circular cities.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Meeting the drivers of the circular economy
Waste specialists Veolia discuss how investing in people can help drive emerging new business models, while UK start up Rype Office explains how 007 and the NHS are linked together through remanufacturing.
MPs to relaunch inquiry on plastic bottles and coffee cups
MPs are reopening an inquiry into the environmental impact of waste from disposable coffee cups and plastic bottles as pressure builds on the UK Government to introduce new legislation.
Policy must catch up with business 'ingenuity' on resource efficiency, says Corporate Leaders Group
Business "ingenuity" on resource productivity has "moved ahead of the policy agenda" and politicians need to introduce new legislation that fosters the circular economy and service-based business models, according to the director of The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group (CLG).
Investing in business means investing in people, says Veolia
Businesses must diversify their workforce to nurture the next generation of CSR leaders, according to waste management firm Veolia's senior executive vice-president UK & Ireland.
Selfridges' yellow shopping bags to be made from coffee cups
Selfridges has teamed up with waste management firm Veolia and British papermaker James Cropper to reprocess disposable coffee cup waste into yellow shopping bags in a closed-loop system.
Jaguar Land Rover expands its aluminium circular economy drive
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has launched the REALITY programme, an expansion on its closed-loop aluminium recycling programme that will place end-of-life materials into new high-performance JLR products.
HP unveils world's first in-class printer made with closed-loop recycled plastic
Hewlett-Packard (HP) has continued its drive towards a circular business model with the unveiling of the world's first in-class printer made with closed-loop recycled plastic.
A greener footprint: How Timberland's boots ignited a decade of circular economy progress
As Timberland celebrates the 10th anniversary of its EarthKeeper product range which utilises recycled plastic, edie catches up with the outdoor clothing retailer's sustainability director Colleen Vien, who explains how a decade of continual improvements has put the firm on track to achieving the circular business model.
Tata Steel moves to champion UK kerbside metal packaging recycling
Europe's second largest steel producer Tata Steel will increase its support for a UK-based behaviour change initiative aimed at boosting the recycling rates for metal packaging collected at kerbside.
Post-Brexit Britain to offer circular economy for batteries with new recycling plant
The UK will no longer need to export used batteries across Europe thanks to the development of a new plant which will allow the country to be self-sufficient in battery recycling as it prepares to leave the EU.
Millennials twice as likely to invest in green business, survey reveals
Millennials are driving global growth in sustainable investing, according to financial services firm Morgan Stanley, which has discovered that the younger generation are twice as likely to invest in companies targeting social or environmental goals.
'Lack of political desire' biggest barrier to establishing UK bottle deposit scheme
EXCLUSIVE: The implementation of a deposit scheme for plastic bottles in the UK now hinges on "political desire" rather than technological barriers, the chief executive of solutions provider and reverse vending expert TOMRA has suggested.
UPS logistics service drives resource efficiency for TerraCycle
Recycling experts TerraCycle has diverted more than 40m pounds of waste from landfills since 2012, through a partnership with global customs and logistics firm UPS that has expanded recycling programmes across the globe.
Scotland's circular drive reaches re-use milestone
Scotland's drive for a circular economy has reached a major milestone with today's (8 August) announcement that 100 quality-certified re-use stores are now in operation.
Flexibility essential for post-Brexit sustainability, says JLL UK
Sustainability professionals must be flexible in their pursuit of long-term CSR goals during the current period of political and business uncertainty created by Brexit, the head of sustainability at property and investment management firm JLL UK has said.
UK waste policy: Burning away recycling ambitions or 'sleepwalking' to capacity crisis?
A report warning that UK waste treatment capacity will exceed the generation of residual waste by 2020 has been labelled as "flawed" by the Environmental Services Association (ESA), which instead claimed that the Government is "sleepwalking" towards an energy-from-waste capacity crisis.
Business 'crusade' built on leadership can deliver zero-carbon buildings, says NG Bailey
EXCLUSIVE: The biggest barrier on the pathway to zero-carbon buildings is a lack of "appropriate leadership" from Governments, although this has presented the private sector with an opportunity to train and retain the next generation of sustainability leaders.
Carbon footprint of UK clothing on the rise, despite uptake in resales
The carbon footprint of clothing has climbed by 9% since 2012 in the UK, despite the amount of clothing in household residual waste falling by 50,000 tonnes in the same period, although changes to shopping habits could alleviate environmental pressures.
From villains to heroes: Are Pringles and Lucozade about to unveil more sustainable packaging?
EXCLUSIVE: Moves by Kellogg's and Lucozade to develop more sustainable packaging solutions for Pringles tubes and Lucozade Sport bottles would send out a "fantastic message" to other manufacturers, the chief executive of a recycling trade body has said.
Retailers urged to seize growing consumer demand for electrical trade-ins
An overwhelming majority of British consumers have a desire to embrace circular business models when it comes to unwanted electrical and electronic products, according to new research from WRAP.
Coca-Cola bottler vows to 'reform' Britain's recycling system with new packaging strategy
Bottling company Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has today (12 July) unveiled a new packaging strategy for its Great Britain operations, which establishes collaborative partnerships to reform the nation's recycling systems and boost recycled content in its products to 50%.
Leading businesses rally to place circular economy into the office workplace
A host of private sector organisations including Interserve, Lloyds Banking Group and JLL have all backed a new initiative aimed at reducing the estimated £15bn waste costs incurred by the private sector, by championing the circular economy in the workplace.
Circular trailblazers: Mapping the journey to a closed-loop business model
As waste and resource scarcity issues have an increasing impact on supply chains across the world, edie explores how two circular economy leaders - HP and Philips - are continuing to navigate a complex minefield of challenges in their mission to drive a global resource revolution.
Has Defra's environment plan been 'kicked into the long grass'?
Opposition party politicians have expressed concern that the green business community has been "fobbed off" over the multiple delays of the Government's proposed 25-Year Environment Plan.
Co-op urges waste sector to put pressure on retail recycling laggards
Britain's recycling system is suffering from a lack of coherence between the major players in the packaging and waste value chain, The Co-operative Food's environment manager has said.
We Are the Oceans: a new way to educate consumers on plastic waste
As sustainability practitioners search for new ways to drive consumer engagement, edie's Matt Mace hears from the 23-year-old founder of a new campaign group which is utilising music, video games and social media campaigns to capture the hearts and minds of millennials in tackling the issue of ocean plastic waste.
Dell will be using 100 million pounds of recycled materials in its products by 2020
Technology giant Dell has set itself a new target after surpassing its 2020 goal to use 50 million pounds of sustainable materials in its products.
It's time for ACTION: 14 green policy priorities for the new UK Government - Part one
From environmental plans and air quality proposals through to energy efficiency schemes and low-carbon industrial strategies, edie has identified the most critical areas of green policy that Theresa May's new Government must prioritise to ensure the UK bears the fruits of a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy.
New route map guides London towards £2.8bn circular economy
A new route map was launched on Monday (19 June) outlining how the collective buying power of the private sector could catalyse the circular economy in London, unlocking £2.8bn annually in the process.
Customers at the heart of sustainable business model transition, says HP
EXCLUSIVE: Hewlett-Packard's (HP) push towards a circular economy and servitisation-based business model has seen the relationship between the IT company and its customers evolve from one based purely on transactions to a point where customer demand is now helping to advance closed-loop initiatives.
How positive psychology can bring consumers along on the sustainability journey
EXCLUSIVE: Businesses that force their sustainability agenda upon consumers through prescriptive orders and instructions are in a "dangerous place", the founder of social enterprise Hubbub has warned.
HP launches new supplier emissions target and cartridges made from plastic bottles
Hewlett-Packard (HP) has unveiled new ink cartridge prototypes made from recycled plastic bottles from Haiti, while the company's newly-released sustainability report has outlined goals to target emissions in supply chains.
Crowdfunding success for sustainability start-up fund
An investment fund for start-ups that support sustainability principles such as the circular economy has secured more than £1m after exceeding its original crowdfunding target by 22%.
Carlsberg targets zero-emission breweries under industry-leading sustainability strategy
EXCLUSIVE: Carlsberg has launched a new "industry-leading" sustainability strategy that aims to push beyond the company's own group strategy and exceed science-based recommendations by eliminating carbon emissions and halving water usage at breweries by 2030.
Test bed: Scaling up a world-first recycling solution for MDF
edie investigates the green business potential of breakthrough technologies and innovations in this new series of 'test bed' case studies. First up: a look at a world-first solution that creates a secondary material from recycled MDF boards, generating zero waste in the process.
Oceans apart: Why businesses need to embed water efficiency across departments
With water availability declining as energy demand rises, some of the private sector's leading lights on water management believe now is the time for businesses to embed holistic water stewardship programmes that capture the interests of other departments. edie's Matt Mace investigates.
Ikea pilots UK textile take-back scheme
The world's biggest furniture retailer Ikea has launched its first UK-based textile take-back pilot, offering consumers in Cardiff the option to hand in unwanted purchases to be reused, repaired or recycled.