A new relationship with the products, stuff and food we use from day to day would save resources and energy and create local jobs. Everything about the circular economy is compelling!
To start with the impactful business case for a circular economy. Analysis by McKinsey estimates shifting towards circularity could add $1 trillion to the global economy by 2025 and create 100,000 new jobs within the next five years.
A new approach to leverage and keep leveraging the materials we have around us means a new whole way of thinking. It’s no surprise The Netherlands made the circular economy a centrepiece of its presidency of the Council of the European Union
The circular economy comprises of an production process without producing waste and pollution, by design and/or intention.
It comes and many forms, as a generic notion it draws from a number of more specific approaches including cradle to cradle, biomimicry, industrial ecology, and or the more abstract ‘blue economy’.
It’s mostly a framework for thinking, here’s the circular economy visualised, among many other ways in, you would guess, in circles.
Meanwhile, the climate is spinning out of control
Because fossil fuels are burned into the atmosphere, because more and more products and resources are shipped everywhere, to end up being disposed elsewhere. We need to take action before it’s too late.
Fossil Fuel is not the only serious problem we have, it’s about consumption, and consumption of the Second highest poluting industry. Let’s talk about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider:
who really pays the price for our clothing?
We invite you to watch this documentary, it’s on Netflix (at least one of your friends has a subscription) so you don’t have an excuse.
The Faces of the circular economy
Border Sessions speaker Klaske Kruk is on the team of Circle Economy’s (circular developers). She has many years of experience working with different corporates as an interim manager and as a program leader for sustainable business programs in the (international) sustainability and development aid.
— Border Sessions (@Border_Sessions) June 16, 2016
Klaske is an energetic and people-oriented change manager specialised in circular economy.
Klaske strongly believes that circular economy provides the answer for our challenges ahead. It will present us with sustainable business models and smart innovations that will create jobs.
Klaske develops useful concepts to improve the world in a creative and tangible way. She is a true face of the impact economy in that sense. For a more elaborate performance of the exact how and what of the circular conomy in the Netherlands, continue to read here.
It is a positive (not entirely new) way to look at the industrial era, although not executed enough. Because consumption is still rising in the world and waste is soaring on land and water, but there are positive signs that there is a shift in approach and thinking! Like for example in the Hague:
Specific Circular products from the Hague
The Binckhorst in the Hague is a heap of inspiration and collaboration. Different organisations works together to share knowledge and resources, host events and produce on an industrial level. Where all this comes together at the I’M BINCK FESTIVAL, october 6/7/8. Be there or be linear!
Made in the Binck are products like Bierbrood & Bierstroop, Binckworst. Where the Bierbrood is made from beer residues, else thrown away or put into food for livestock.
Also interesting is the Haagse Zwam, edible funghi made from coffee waste.
Duurzaam Den Haag and the circular economy
Residents and businesses have the responsibility to transition The Hague to more and more sustainable place. They do this by making residents and businesses aware of the new initiatives and by offering the tools to start. Duurzaam Den Haag is a great place to find micro level stories and ideas specific to this sustainability.
A great project by Duurzaam Den Haag is Operation SteenBreek, to literarily make a circular eco system. By stimulating citizens to have a green garden with less pavement… you stimulate nature, water drainage and consumption of CO2 gasses into the plants. You could swap your bricks for plants at the local garden supply shop.
Multinationals and consumers in the circular economy
Dutch multi nationals Philips and Unilever are public active global supporters of the circular economy, that still is to say they have to sell products to stay up and running. The goal with Philips is mainly to make better products that last longer and can be fixed if needed. And Unilever, being big in food, is all about making a cleaner and better production process.
That is not to say that multinationals are the ones in control, on the contrary. Consumers are in control, and they have always been. They are the buyers, they consume, they choose which products from which brands. One of the UN sustainability goals is to ensure sustainable consumption, and this strongly relates to the circular economy. Within the impact economy, the costs of all consumption is taken into account. Our relationship with the products we use needs to change. Our relationship with brands is even more important, the Dutch website, Rankabrand, is ranking brands publicly based on research and all kinds of different scores, find out more about your favorite products and services.
The consumer has all the power in the world with the decisions they make with their hard earned cash
How can you contribute and get involved in the circular economy?
- Share your products (for example using Peerby or SnappCar), Repair them if they are broken and give them back to manufacturer if they are beyond repair.
- Visit I am Binck Festival to get inspired and have conversations with the faces of the circular economy.
- Share your examples and ideas with the Circle economy platform
- Support initiatives like De Grote Transitie, where on a macro level politics are influenced
Please read on about this upwards spiralling and exciting development:
- How circular are the business in the Netherlands? And how far are we ahead of the rest of the World?
- A richness of thought provoking and statistical publications by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation