Sustainable Markets Initiative launches new industry taskforces on circular economy, fusion energy

Pictured: The UK's national fusion lab in Oxfordshire. Image: UK Atomic Energy Authority

The SMI’s new Circularity Task Force will convene businesses across a range of sectors in a bid to accelerate and streamline corporate efforts to reduce waste.

Like the SMI’s other 20+ Task Forces, which cover topics ranging from sustainable agriculture to financial services, the Circularity Task Force will develop best-practice guidance to be used by its members and open-sourced for wider use. It will also enable more general sharing of best practice and amplification of successful innovative case studies.

Given that this Task Force has been launched at COP28 in Dubai, several of the initial Task Force participants are based in the United Arab Emirates, including First Abu Dhabi Bank and Dubai Airports.

Belgian multinational recycling firm Gemini Corporation has been selected to coordinate the Task Force in the first instance, with its chief executive Kunaal Patawari acting as chair.

First Abu Dhabi Bank’s chief executive Hana Al Rostamani said: “Finance has to be at the heart of the transition towards a more sustainable world, where circularity becomes second nature to all of us. The banking industry is stepping up to play its part in the creation of a stronger circular economy. Investment, especially in those areas that are energy-intensive and regarded as hard to abate, is essential to accelerate the shift towards more sustainable business practices.”

Also participating in the Task Force are Bahrain-based asset manager Investcorp and Lichtenstein-based LGT, one of the world’s largest banks for wealthy clients.

Chatham House estimates that just $1.3trn is invested in the circular economy each year, compared with more than $510bn for the linear economy of take-make-dispose models. The majority of investments at the moment (some $800bn per year) are made by large businesses, typically to comply with regulation and legislation on health, safety and recyclability.

Focus on fusion

The SMI has also launched a second Task Force today (4 December) on nuclear fusion, with a core mission to identify and promote the introduction of market and policy signals needed to accelerate the pace of fusion’s commercialisation.

Workstreams will also be set up to scale the fusion supply chain and skills base.

The consensus is that energy generated using nuclear fusion processes will not be going into the grid, globally, at scale, before the 2050s. But the technology is likely to be exponentially more efficient than fossil fuels and nuclar fission.

Public sector bodies and businesses alike are being involved in the SMI’s new Fusion Energy Task Force. The SMI has already stated that there are “barriers to broad market participation” in this nascent and fast-growing sector.

The SMI’s chief executive Jennifer Jordan-Saifi said: “We must continue to fund the research and development into fusion and also begin serious work to the regulatory and economic frameworks that will evolve from limitless clean power being readily available. We are truly on the cusp of a pivotal moment.”

Type One Energy Group’s chief executive Christofer Mowry has been appointed Task Force chair. His business is based out of the US and develops machinery for fusion processes.

Comments (1)

  1. Shelley Lawson says:

    The Chatham house figures quoted here are not what was in the original Chatham House article; the investment in linear is larger than in circular models. Can you check these and correct this article??

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