Innovation Review: Circular Economy

What is Circular economy?

The rising idea of circular economy is increasingly challenging the classical paradigms of linear economy. 

It advocates a shift from a make-use-waste(-pollute) pattern to a more sustainable and planet-friendly make-use-reuse-remake-recycle model. 

It is clear that circular economy can provide positive society-wide benefits through increased collaboration, reduced waste, regeneration of natural ecosystems, and so on. However, it is also a new field for entrepreneurship, which can foster creating new business models as well as increase efficient use of resources in existing firms.

How does Circular economy affect the corporate world?

According to a report by the European Business Review, an estimated 90% of raw materials used in manufacturing becomes waste before the product leaves the factory. All this waste cost money, and waste reduction itself can bring huge savings for businesses. But that’s not all – according to a McKinsey study, there are higher returns to be made from different business models such as refurbishment and recycling as compared to the status quo.

Here’s few ways how corporates around the world are using circular economy.

  • Braiform – global leader in garment hanger reuse supplies in excess of 2.5 billion hangers, re-uses 1 billion and recycles 250 million each year.
  • Re-Tek  provides reverse logistics and data destruction services for redundant IT equipment processes 7000 ICT items per month, in a custom built 22,000 ft facility, which, as a result of an extensive investment programme, is now powered by 70% renewable energy.
  • France Textiles Recycling Valley project has firm targets of sorting/capturing 50% of waste fabric on the market, and reusing/recycling 95% of that by 2020.

Companies to watch in Circular economy space

    • CorNatural – Producer of bio-based sustainable products intended to offer a wide range of natural products. The company’s products are developed using waste streams of industrial processes, enabling consumers to enjoy quality products and control pollution.

    • Onyx Power – operator of a power generation company in the Netherlands. The company operates five thermal power plants comprising approximately 2,350 megawatts of gross installed capacity that contribute to Europe’s energy transition through the provision of reliable, accessible and affordable power.

    • Revanssi (Finnish) – Provider of waste management services based in Hyvinkää, Finland. The company designs and provides comprehensive waste management and recycling services to corporate customers in order to minimize the company’s environmental risks and improving operational efficiency and saving costs.

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