Ellen MacArthur calls for greater urgency on circular economy

The business case for a circular economy heightened today as Dame Ellen MacArthur joined scores of business leaders at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos in a united call to action.

Macarthur was speaking ahead of the release tomorrow of her foundation’s new report into this field, which is being touted as the successor to the highly influential McKinsey study published last year.

Speaking to the BBC earlier today, MacArthur said that businesses needed to make the transition from implementing resource efficiency measures towards more systems thinking around product lifecycles.

Cradle-to-cradle pioneer Desso chairman Stef Kranendijk also took to the Davos platform in Switzerland to advise business leaders on how they could develop new business models along these lines.

He argued that a circular economy would offer the most effective way to reignite the world economy and generate wealth in a sustainable way.

“It boosts innovation and profits … it is right from all angles – people, planet and profit. The more businesses that sign up to this concept, the faster we can rebuild economic prosperity in a truly sustainable way.”

He added that since Desso developed its own cradle-to-cradle strategy, its market share in carpet tiles across Europe had increased significantly. However, he acknowledged that businesses needed to be in it for the long haul.

“It is tough to do and you need a long-term vision. But we are convinced it is imperative to develop these new business models taking us away from the unsustainable ‘take, make and waste’ linear economy into a circular one.”

A recent interview with Stef Kranendijk on his vision for a circular economy can be read here

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Maxine Perella

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