A version of this post first appeared on BusinessGreen.
Resource prices have been in the news again of late, although this time for the refreshing reason that they’ve been tumbling instead of skyrocketing. Falls in food and transport prices have led to the lowest inflation rate since records began and underpinned the first steady rise in real wages in five years. Read more
A version of this post was first published on BusinessGreen.
It’s only years after its 1970s inception that the circular economy concept is really beginning to gain traction. The publication this summer of a clutch of policy proposals and recommendations from governments, business organisations and NGOs alike show that the idea is really gaining momentum.
But the catch-all title ‘circular economy’ belies a diverse set of complementary but distinct processes and activities. Some of these, such as improved recycling, could be achieved through tweaks to current regulatory and financial systems. Others, such as the more ambitious and valuable ‘inner loops’ of a circular economy – reuse, remanufacturing and servitisation – require more fundamental changes in the frameworks that shape business strategies and investments. Read more
Our new report, Wasted opportunities, marks the end of the second year for the Circular Economy Task Force of leading businesses. It reveals that outdated recycling systems are losing the UK economy £1.7 billion in wasted plastics, electronics and food.
The report comes at a time of transition for the circular economy. Our work over the past year has uncovered positive signals. Alongside task force members, we’ve talked to businesses ever keener to take up the idea and make the circular economy part of their values and their business model. With them are policy makers in Brussels, Edinburgh and Cardiff, talking of ambitious targets and policy support. In Westminster, enlightened politicians from all parties are beginning to explore the concept and seeking to incorporate the ambition to be more circular into their manifestos. Read more
With the 2015 general election on the horizon, we’ve asked leading thinkers and experts for their one big manifesto idea. The one they think will make a real difference to a greener Britain. Today we’re posting ideas 13,14 and 15. (Read the other twelve.)
These three proposals, including one of our own, would harness the power of pension funds, boost support for the fuel poor and steer industrial strategy to help businesses and reduce the cost of living. Read more
This post first appeared on BusinessGreen.
What comes to mind when you think of the British economy? A land of supermarkets and call centres? If so, you wouldn’t be far wrong, as retail business accounts for one fifth of our economy, part of a service sector contributing 78 per cent of GDP. Yet discussions about increasing the circularity of the UK economy often leapfrog retail. They tend to skip straight from the changes manufacturers can make to product design to how to get householders to recycle more. Read more
This post is by Jonny Hazell, policy assistant on the Resource Stewardship theme at Green Alliance.
Wouldn’t it be nice if every time you ordered a new product, the person who delivered it offered to take away one of your old appliances or gadgets, which was then refurbished and resold, or disassembled and properly recycled. That would ‘close the loop’ on many products that currently disappear into landfill, incineration, or shredders. Read more
This post is by Will Andrews Tipper, Green Alliance’s head of sustainable business. It first appeared on BusinessGreen.com
A month ago, I returned from a consultancy career in Brussels to take up a new role as Head of Sustainable Business at the environmental think tank, Green Alliance. As I got off the Eurostar I read with interest the posters informing me about their efforts to drive down carbon emissions and incentivise more sustainable travel. Green makes good business sense, was the very clear message. Read more
This post is by Julie Hill, Green Alliance associate and chair of the Circular Economy Task Force launched by Green Alliance.
Today Green Alliance launches the Circular Economy Task Force. For me, this represents unimaginable progress from when I first entered this debate more than 15 years ago, a debate largely concerned with how to construct a better landfill. For many years it was the European Union that pushed the UK to let go of our attachment to landfill and aim for higher recycling, with considerable success. But today, I am pleased to say, the language of the Circular Economy is coming as strongly from the UK as from other leading countries.