The circular economy is gaining increasing attention in Europe and around the world as a potential way for our society to increase prosperity, while reducing dependence on primary materials and energy.
The last 150 years of industrial revolution have been dominated by a one-way or linear model of production and consumption in which goods are manufactured from raw materials, sold, used and discarded as waste. This model has been exceptionally successful in providing affordable products to consumers and material prosperity to billions.
Where there is still room for the linear model to expand geographically and realize even higher efficiencies, a global middle class of nearly 5 billion by 2030 will present unprecedented challenges: increasing strain on the environment, increasing stress to access new resources, increasing costs and commodity price volatility.
In a circular economy, value creation relies on existing or renewable products and materials. Forming viable circular businesses can be achieved by building on existing trends in new business models, technology and partnerships. A circular economy allows tackling sustainability challenges AND stimulating economic growth, driving performance, competitiveness and innovation. No wonder governments and businesses alike are drawn to the concept. But how do we mainstream circular business and turn our linear economic engine into a circular one?
This panel will present inspiring business best practices and elaborate on opportunities and barriers encountered when making the transition to a circular economy.
Elizabeth Balkan, Director of Policy and Senior Advisor, Office of the Commissioner at NYC Department of Sanitation
• Marian Chertow, Associate Professor of Industrial Environmental Management, Director of the Industrial Environmental Management Program, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
• Kate Daly, Senior Vice President, Center for Economic Transformation, NYC Economic Development Corporation
• PJ Deschenes, Partner, Greentech Capital Advisors
• Jean-Charles Guinot, CE100 Business Programme Manager, Ellen MacArthur Foundation
• José Manuel dos Santos, Head of Design l Americas, Philips Lighting