The circular economy is a systemic approach that aims to eliminate waste and keep products and materials in use for longer, and goes far beyond recycling. It involves prioritising design choices for reuse, repair, refurbish, remanufacture and repurposing. Keeping materials and products in their higher value form helps reduce our demand on resources, decrease greenhouse gas emissions and keep human activity within the safe limits of our planetary boundaries.
However, embedding the circular economy can often seem technical and complicated with common misunderstandings. Communicating the circular economy clearly is essential to shift mindsets and enable professionals to set out problems and solutions effectively.
The Circular Economy Network Steering Group held a workshop at the end of May with the aim of finding the most effective way to communicate the subject. This interactive session tested and gained feedback on content that should be used in a new CE101 guide.
Building on common principles, key levers and interventions needed to transition to a circular economy, the Steering Group has developed ‘six goals for decision makers’, a key feature of this guide. These goals incorporate additional principles that are aimed at reducing the flow of materials in the system, the need for clean and sustainable materials, and shared value.
Furthermore, the Steering Group identified the need to provide a useful tool to put principles and circular strategies into practice. The CE101 includes a section with example questions you can ask yourself to embed circular economy, with a focus on product design.
The CE101 guide is designed to demystify the circular economy by using clear, accessible and easy to understand language, diagrams and tools to provide the foundations needed to improve understanding and explain the circular economy to non-experts. The guide includes:
- What is the circular economy
- Implementing a circular economy
- Six goals for decision-makers
- Priorities for design
- Questions to help you embed the circular economy principles
- Key terms
- Additional resources.
The toolkit is available to members as an interactive document or as a page-by-page PDF here.
Non-IEMA members can purchase this toolkit here, under 'Sustainability in Practice Guides'.
For more information please contact: [email protected]
Posted on 26th July 2023
Written by Adam Batchelor
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