Circular economy: The Pathway for a Sustainable Future?

Written by Vicky Regan

26th October 2020

Waste – a problem or solution? Waste is a primary source of concern for society today, with the lack of infrastructure and overfilling of landfills while presenting an economic loss and environmental problem . However, could waste present the problem AND solution? Innovative technologies are being initiated all over the UK, using plastic waste and municipal household waste as materials for biofuel generation. This concept of using waste as a feedstock, helps to promote resource efficiency and is one of the key principles of a Circular Economy.

The Circular economy, is an approach pioneered by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and comprises of three main principles: design out waste and pollution, keep product and materials in use and regenerate natural systems. This transition from the current linear economy to a circular economy could benefit businesses, society and the environment.

During these unprecedented times, there is increased attention and necessity to shift towards a more efficient and resilient economy to maximise resource efficiency. Panacea’s approach aims to improve costs and profitability through fully funded strategic energy management schemes. This will promote sustainable profits through smart practices and support the growth of businesses.

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The UK has a net zero target for 2050, but is this achievable in this linear economy that we are in today? Decarbonising the energy sector through increased implementation of renewable energy technologies and support can be seen by the ‘Build Back Greener’ approach by the UK government to promote a clean and resilient recovery . However, there is a long road ahead in terms of integrating energy systems, creating energy infrastructure and storage as well as investing in innovative technologies. This shows that a collaborate and holistic approach is necessary to achieve the net zero target.

Key takeaways

• Waste can be a valuable asset, the mindset and shift in knowledge is needed to make this change
• Circular economy has the potential to change the current climate but to implement this change, a collaborate approach is needed

What next?

• From Linear to Circular
The Ellen Macarthur Foundation are paving the way in terms of the transition to the Circular Economy, check out their free 7-week online course to learn more!

• Life is Like a Donut
Kate Raworth dives deep into 21st century economics and her concept of ‘Donut economics to meet the needs of the plants without exceeding our planetary boundaries. Watch her TED talk here!

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