In the Circular Economy, everyone wins.
Our greatest impact on the planet comes from how we use and produce food, water and energy. By making a few small changes at home, we can make a big difference.
Canadians send more than 12 million tonnes of clothing and textiles into the waste stream every year – and that’s not a good look. As we shop, scroll, swipe, one-click-ship, like-to-buy and pre-order our way through life, it’s easy to forget that every single “new” purchase is part of the problem. Because, “What’s one more t-shirt?” Well, it takes 2,650 litres of water to make that shirt. “A new pair of jeans?” Add 6,800 litres more. Consumers are addicted to consumption without giving thought to the impact their apparel purchasing behaviours have on the planet.
Circular economy is more than just recycling - it’s about keeping products and materials at their highest utility and value throughout their life-cycle and recirculating them at the end of their life.
To provide thought leadership, technical expertise and a collaborative platform for the development of pioneering solutions that eliminate waste at all stages of the life cycle of products and accelerate the transition to a Circular Economy.
This Policy Brief is the first in a Smart Prosperity Institute series on the circular economy and Canada. It is an introduction to the circular economy concepts and landscape, written for both government and business audiences. It provides a foundation in the key concepts of the circular economy (section 2), including a look at how these fit with the Clean Growth model that is the focus of present Canadian efforts to shift to
a more environmentally sustainable economy (Box 1, the topic for a future Brief in this series).
At its Annual Meeting in Davos this year, the World Economic Forum hosted over seventy leaders from industry, government, academia and civil society to discuss exactly this problem: how can the circular economy be scaled up?
In March 2018 RCO co-hosted a workshop with Toronto to demonstrate how procurement links with the circular economy and waste reduction through engaging presentations and sector case studies, as well as other opportunities:
- variety of workshop exercises on procurement
- examination of roadmaps that integrate circular economy principles into procurement
- evidence of benefits and learn how to quantify them in economic, social, and environmental terms
- how resource efficiency and circularity can be delivered in practic
Now is the most exhilarating time to be an innovator.
You might be questioning the health of our organisations, social systems, and business models. With good reason: companies are currently deeply rooted in a linear approach to growth - make, use, dispose.
There are many organizations making circular economy principles a core business strategy.