A few weeks ago, a couple of members from the Anywise team attended a webinar called ‘Asset Management for a Resilient Future’ to gain insights.
They were keen to hear one of the talks that was to be given by Matthew Lugg OBE, whose area of expertise is circular economies and how they can build a truly sustainable future.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
What is a circular economy?
A circular economy is about building a more sustainable future. Currently we use a linear approach: take, make and dispose.
We take natural resources and then turn it into products for end users, who then dispose of it. The Rocky Mountain Institute estimated that in 2000, the flow of natural resources was 500 billion tons per year. Only 1% of that was made into durable products while the other 99% became waste.
In a circular economy, industries have to look at reducing waste from consumers by working together. This can be achieved through:
Making long-lasting products
This is a regenerative approach where things are constantly being repurposed, so that they can serve new functions.
Circular economies look at how everything fits into the bigger picture, which allows for feedback loops and synergies.
For example, a building that is used for the sole purpose of housing people can be used for other purposes, such as installing solar systems, plants that grow food and used for entertainment, such as a rock band performance. This one system then becomes less reliant on others and is more self-sufficient.