edie at 20: How global resource efficiency has transformed since 1998

As part of a running content series to mark edie's 20th anniversary as a sustainable business media brand, we have produced an infographic which explores the changing ways in which businesses and nations have transformed the way they consume the world's resources over the past two decades.

While shocking statistics on plastic waste, compounded by the ever-earlier arrival of Earth Overshoot Day, has prompted fresh cause for concern over waste and resource management among sustainability professionals and consumers alike, it is worth reminding ourselves of the ways in which the resource efficiency agenda has transformed for the better over a 20-year period.

When edie was founded in 1998, the concept of a circular economy had not yet been fully developed. The principles of servitisation, cradle-to-cradle business models and sharing economies would have likely been dismissed by boardrooms, if they were discussed at all.

Fast forward to 2018, and the outlook has shifted dramatically. National governments are now taking bold action to eliminate avoidable plastics from the economy, while big-name brands including Ikea, VF Corporation and C&A are making moves towards introducing closed-loop, service-based business models. All the while, the business case for resource efficiency is growing: circularity is predicted to be worth $1trn to the global economy by 2025.

Below, edie has produced an infographic which illustrates just how far the world has progressed in its transition towards the circular economy over the past 20 years. 

edie staff 

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