From Linear to Circular – How a Circular Economy Can Help Reach Our Climate Goals
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The circular economy is a key vehicle for companies to reduce their carbon emissions and achieve their climate protection goals. We discuss what steps companies can take, what has been learnt in the last decade about circular solutions in various sectors, what should be prioritised and what the challenges are to do so.
A recent joint report by WWF and PwC finds that “Switzerland is – at least in theory – well placed to address its unsustainable consumption patterns and perhaps even become a circular economy leader by making the most of its innovation, investment and sustainability potential.” Further the report says that “the circular economy opportunity represents a multi-billion-franc opportunity for Swiss businesses as well as promising social and environmental benefits.”
According to another report from 2021, the Circularity Gap Report, states that “circular economy strategies can cut global greenhouse gas emissions by 39% and help avoid climate breakdown.” The report finds that the biggest savings can be made in the following sectors:
Mobility: E.g. less travel, more car sharing models, circular design for longevity etc.
Construction & Housing: E.g. co-housing, better use of disused space, building for modularity, maximizing the use of secondary inputs (recycled), building with bio-based materials etc.
Food & Agriculture: E.g. reducing over-consumption and food waste, boosting regenerative agriculture etc.
But what is holding businesses and societies back from implementing changes to move away from a linear and towards a circular economy? And what are some of the successes in the circular economy that we can celebrate?
At our thematic event, a joint event with our partners WWF and the One Planet Lab, we explore these questions and highlight the challenges and successes in general and in the three particular sectors that see the most potential and need for improvement: Mobility, Construction & Housing and Food & Agriculture.