Circular economy is a commonly used term these days. You can read about it in op-eds and articles, research is being done and best practices collected. It is often described as a new economic model, a new concept and a solution for many of the challenges faced in the area of sustainability. The basis for a circular economy is the closing of cycles through smart design (items use fewer raw materials or have designs that make it easier to separate components), sustainable use (products are used for longer), a focus on renewable resources and energy, and more and better recycling (waste as a resource, new logistics, and leasing rather than owning).
Systems thinking is the foundation of a circular economy. It is characterised by the consideration of relationships, dependencies and cycles. Cycles affect businesses, citizens and governments, both positively and negatively, and are part of a larger whole and connected to each other in a variety of ways.
CREM supports governments and businesses on the path to a circular economy, for example by:
- Including circular goals in existing sustainability policies or sustainable procurement criteria, taking into account opportunities and possible trade-offs.
- Showing the role of natural capital in a circular economy. This can be through the sustainable use of ecosystem services, green infrastructure, bio-based solutions and using a landscape approach.
- Providing building blocks for circular business, such as within international supply chains, in the choice of raw materials, and using local circular area development.