“The Circular Economy is a golden opportunity, don’t let it
go to waste.”

World Economic Forum 2019

It is becoming abundantly clear that the existing take - make - waste economic model is unsustainable.

Faced with its chronic pollution and waste, diminishing returns, and unhealthy outcomes, people are looking for a new vision for an economy that works, now and in the future”.

The Circular Economy is a compelling, prosperous business model that guides the decisions to manage our resources and achieve growth without environmental degradation. It is a new lens by which we can view production and consumption to create new growth economies where everything that is made can be unmade, just as it does in the natural world

The core principles of a circular economy — to design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate natural systems — are seen as an opportunity, and a new narrative for innovation and progress.

In a circular economy, everything that is created and used returns in loops to be regenerative and restorative.

This circularity applied to our 'systems' can bring forth the change required to activate mass behaviour change and find balance in the use of the earth's finite resources.

An opportunity to redesign our economy for better outcomes

The Circular Economy concept is driving change throughout the world to meet consumer expectations, government regulations and policy. 

There is a huge opportunity and growing momentum around the world to reimagine business and brands using circular economy principles.

It is an opportunity worth nearly $2 trillion in Europe alone and up to $8.8 billion in additional economic activity for Auckland, all with a reduction in carbon emissions and use of finite primary resources.

It is an opportunity for all of us, no matter how big or small, to understand more about how we can make a difference AND operate a prosperous business.

The World Economic Forum at Davos this year put circular economy on the agenda as one of the key enablers of keeping global temperature rises below 2 degrees and to help manage resources for the expected 9 billion population by 2030

Here are five ways a circular economy can achieve this:

  • By using waste as a resource to reduce the cost and dependency on virgin materials and provide renewable energy sources.
  • Designing products so that they can be disassembled, repaired and reused over again - each product can be sold and resold several times in its life cycle.
  • Leverage platform technology to enable products to become services where customers pay per use.
  • Regenerating our natural resources through the design of systems to convert biological waste into food for our land.
  • Unlocking new business models for sharing resources, distributed ownership models and networking participation of community action.

At the recent Ōhanga Āmiomio Circular Economy Pacific Summit  hosted by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and New Zealand Ministry for the Environment, it became clear that  there is much we can learn from Māori businesses and communities, such as how to support living systems, transmit knowledge through generations, and think in systems for the long-term. 

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