An Introduction to Circular Economy

The Business Opportunity of a Circular Economy

Abstract

Business leaders and governments around the world are increasingly looking beyond the linear ‘take, make, waste’ model of growth, with a view to making a strategic move towards an approach fit for the long-term. Research by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and others has demonstrated the potential of the circular economy—a model that decreases resource dependence and increases prosperity. In addition to creating direct economic benefits for businesses and households, a circular economy represents a significant opportunity to help tackle global challenges such as the climate crisis, biodiversity loss and land degradation. This chapter examines the business opportunities of the circular economy in three key sectors: the food system in India; the built environment in China’s cities; and mobility in Europe. It further quantifies the economic, environmental and social benefits of these opportunities and explores what are the levers to bring them to scale.

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