Low-income ’Build’ countries, such as India and Nigeria are home to 48% of the global population but struggle to meet their basic needs. Their economies are dominated by agriculture and they are still building basic infrastructure.
They use 19% of global resources and generate 17% of emissions.
Middle-income ’Grow’ countries such as China and Brazil, home to 37% of the world’s population, are industrialising rapidly and building infrastructure to lift their populations out of poverty and accommodate a growing middle class. They use 51% of resources and generate 47% of emissions.
They are global manufacturing hubs and the world’s biggest agricultural producers.
Higher-income ’Shift’ countries, such as the US, Japan and EU countries, are home to a minority of the world’s population but consume 31% of resources and generate 43% of emissions.
They have developed mature housing, transport and infrastructure to meet the needs of their citizens.
Businesses hold the power to reimagine products, services, packaging, experiences and engage in business-led collaboration & disruptive innovation. This is key for building a circular economy with benefits throughout society.
Circularity is not just common sense. It also makes good business sense. The circular economy can tackle inevitable linear risks, such as price volatility, resource scarcity, and the fact that GDP can rise while social inequalities deepen.
Using the Circle Scan approach, which is underpinned by data, we guide businesses—from startups to multinationals—in identifying circular strategies to improve product design, service design and business model innovation. The result is a clear circular roadmap to convince stakeholders that the circular economy should be at the core of the business. We also can lead businesses in tracking circular performance with our expertise in metrics and measurements, among other offerings.
Cities are centres of innovation, manufacturing and business, and have high potential to change the way resources are managed to achieve multiple benefits for people and the planet.
For cities, a circular economy yields great benefits. These range from reduced greenhouse gas emissions, savings on landfilling costs and improved security of materials, to new livelihood opportunities and local value creation.
Our Circle San for Cities takes cities on a journey of five steps. We begin with a baseline analysis to identify where circular action should be focussed then use a Material Flow Analysis (MFA) to map the local economy’s resource flows and identify patterns. This facilitates the development of a circular strategy and a step-by-step roadmap that city stakeholders can take real action from. Lastly, we work with and train local stakeholders to enable the circular transition.
Countries are leading change agents for the circular transition. They have the mandate to develop national legislation, can create an enabling environment and incentives to drive the transition, and are the leading actors in supranational and multilateral coordination. As lead investors in infrastructure, government buildings and assets, their procurement strategy can kick-start circularity at scale.
On the national level, a circular economy allows for more competitive economies with improved living conditions for growing populations. It will also help countries meet emissions targets and avoid deforestation.
We have adapted our method of measuring global circularity in the Circularity Gap Report to fit national and regional economies. By measuring circularity in this way, national and local governments can track their circular performance over time and put trends into context, as well as guide future action. Following an MFA analysis, key industry- or sector-focused paths the country can take to become more circular are presented.