The concept of a circular economy has gained significant attention over recent years due to views that the current linear economic model is proving unsustainable. A circular economy aims to maximize resource efficiency, minimize waste generation, and create a sustainable and regenerative system. As we transition towards a circular economy, new skills become essential for both individuals and organizations to be able to create circular strategies.
There are many benefits of the circular economy, some listed below:
Climate change mitigation
by reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with resource extraction, production, and waste disposal, we can lower our carbon footprint. The adoption of circular practices, such as energy-efficient manufacturing and circular supply chains, contributes to global efforts to combat climate change.
this can help reduce reliance on finite resources, such as minerals, fossil fuels and water. The circular economy promotes recycling, reuse, and remanufacturing, to extend the lifespan of products and materials.
a key advantage of the circular economy is the significant reduction in waste generation by closing the loop through better product design, repairing and recycling, meaning we can minimise the amount of waste sent to landfill.
Economic growth and job creation
the circular economy offers substantial economic opportunities by shifting towards circular business models that stimulate innovation, drives green investments and creates new job markets.
by diversifying resource streams and reducing dependence on volatile markets. By adopting circular principles, we create a more robust and adaptable system that can withstand disruptions and resource scarcity.
However, a transition to a circular economy will require the development of new skills, both for creating new tools and methods as well as a circular mindset to move away from linear thinking. Some of these new skills include:
- Systems thinking – to understand the interconnectedness of various components in a circular economy, identifying opportunities as well as potential barriers to circularity.
- New design approaches – using a a human-centered approach to design products, services, and business models with longevity, durability, and recyclability in mind.
- Collaboration and networking – across industries, governments and communities, to share knowledge, resources, and best practices.
- Entrepreneurial mindset – to identify market gaps, develope sustainable business models and creating value from waste or underutilized resources.
A business or individual can be daunted by the new skills and approaches needed. Symeco has been working with Climate-KIC since 2018 to help them develop a training and accreditation programme for people to understand circular economy approaches and to create circular strategies. Based on the work of Professor Dr. Fenna Blomsma, the training incorporates practical tools alongside the development of a circular mindset to move away from linear models. The training has been delivered across Europe including Germany, Italy, Romania, Spain and has been adopted by the Slovenian government as part of their sustainability targets.
Information about the programme can be seen at Climate-KIC’s website. For further information contact Richard Bubb at email@example.com.