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Five reasons the circular economy is good for your business

Tue, 20 June 2017

Contributed by Louise McGregor, Head of Circular Economy, Zero Waste Scotland
We need to change the way we consume materials and products. It’s an environmental imperative, but it’s also a business opportunity – and one with real prospects.
The circular economy offers a new, longer-term sustainable model for business: designing products more smartly, remanufacturing and reprocessing to create new products from old, and repairing what we can – all to keep products and materials within the economy for as long as possible.
That’s much more environmentally-friendly. It reduces the need for raw materials to make new goods, and prevents products going to waste while they still have a value or can fulfil a productive purpose. But the business case for the circular economy is also strong, and opportunities within it are huge for people with new ideas.
Five reasons to embed circular economy principles within your business:
Economic benefits. It’s a trillion-dollar opportunity globally, and across Europe alone shifting towards a more circular economy could generate £1.4 trillion of annual benefits by 2030. What’s more, circular models can help ‘future proof’ your business, protecting against volatile supply chains and helping you stay competitive.
Innovation welcome. New technology is key, with service platforms such as Netflix thinking smarter about the way we consume and generating new markets within the circular economy. The market is nowhere near capacity – there is a huge range of opportunities available for new businesses to thrive.
Customer demand. Consumers are demanding convenience while also looking for minimal environmental impact in the things they buy. Meanwhile, circular economy approaches are opening new market opportunities and transforming their customer base.
Collaboration opportunities. You don’t have to do everything alone! Collaboration is key to the circular economy, from businesses working together on new designs, to sharing equipment, to delivering on ways of keeping value within the supply chain.
Support. It’s available in spades! From the one-to-one support and networking opportunities that Zero Waste Scotland and the Scottish Enterprise Agencies offer, to initiatives like Shell’s Smarter Future Programme, and Dragon’s Den-style competitions like the Green Alley Award and Climate Launchpad, funding and support opportunities are numerous.
There are ample opportunities available for innovators keen to join a growing band of circular economy pioneers in Scotland. And with the benefits worth trillions of dollars globally, it’s time to make your big idea the next big thing in sustainability.

About Zero Waste Scotland

Zero Waste Scotland exists to create a society where resources are valued and nothing is wasted. Our goal is to help Scotland realise the economic, environmental and social benefits of making best use of the world’s limited natural resources.
Zero Waste Scotland support includes the £18million Circular Economy Investment Fund, while our Circular Economy Business Support Service offers one-to-one support to help businesses explore more circular ways of working. We are funded to support delivery of the Scottish Government’s circular economy strategy and the EU’s 2020 growth strategy.
Zero Waste Scotland is lead partner in the Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme, a £70m strategic intervention in the current round of European Structural and Investment Funds. The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit the Scottish Government website or follow @scotgovESIF.
More information on all Zero Waste Scotland’s work can be found at Keep up to date with our latest news on Twitter | Facebook | Google Plus | LinkedIn

Feeling inspired to push your circular business forward? If you think that you or your business has what it takes to win a Shell LiveWIRE Award you can apply online now via our Awards page.


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