- Britain sends 235m items of clothing to landfills each spring after our annual spring clean, the majority of which could have been re-worn, reused or recycled.
- Producing a new smartphone takes as much energy as recharging and operating a smartphone for an entire decade.
- Buying a second hand petrol fuelled car is actually better for the environment than purchasing a new smart car from Toyota or Tesla.
How can our economy run in the long term when it is dependent on taking a material out of the ground, making something out of it and ultimately throwing it away? There has to be a better way.
Building our economy by design from the outset so that it can be regenerative, restorative and self-sustaining has to be the priority.
So what is a circular economy?
At its core, a circular economy aims to create more value and less waste out of the resources we use, looking beyond the current "take, make and dispose” extractive industrial model.
As well as saving the planet, the circular economy can create value, profits and jobs. The European Commission estimated that a circular economy could bring estimated savings of €600bn to European companies.
Big businesses have started doing their bit
According to the head of sustainability at Kingfisher Plc, Caroline Laurie, ‘We know our customers want to get more from less, re-using and using longer, so the circular economy remains a key priority.’
Adidas sold 1 million shoes made out of ocean plastic last year - each pair of shoes reuses 11 plastic bottles.
Starbucks is sponsoring a challenge aimed at revolutionising the paper coffee cup, designing one that is completely compostable. Consumers go through an estimated 600bn paper and plastic cups per year worldwide – quite the recycling headache.
28 EU company pilot projects (which were all part of the REBus programme) delivered €5.62m in financial savings and cut material consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 62,619 tonnes and 1,953 tonnes, respectively.
What are the clear benefits of a circular economy?
- The creation of new green industries and jobs
- A reduced dependence on importation of raw materials
- Avoidance of environmental damage caused by resource extraction
- Less pollution entering the earth's life support systems
Why supply chains hold the key
Generally, the value of companies depends on their projected growth which is vulnerable to environmental issues such as drought, political issues like government limits on greenhouse-gas emissions and reputational damage from insufficient attention to pollution and safety.
When managing sustainability performance, companies often start with their own operations. However, the largest areas for improvement can probably be found in supply chains, which typically account for 80% of a business’s greenhouse-gas emissions and more than 90% of its impact on the environment.
Identifying sustainability challenges along the entire supply chain is crucial. Best-practice companies assist suppliers with managing sustainability impact, offering incentives for improved performance, sharing technologies that can help optimise the use of resources and closely monitoring performance to be able to intervene quickly when problems arise.
At BTA, we do our part to reduce carbon emissions through responsible internal practices and with energy saving and recycling. We also believe it’s our duty as a business to make sure any services we provide enable efficient performance for our customers. One example is our Managed Endpoint Automation, which can reduce the need for energy intensive corrective efforts by preventing issues in real time - and we're always looking for new ways to build and support business sustainability.
To find how BTA can support your business, contact us today.
We take care of your IT, so you can focus on running your business. Whether you are looking for a comprehensive outsourced IT support service or something more flexible, BTA can help. As industry-leading specialists in network security, business continuity, hardware and software provision, cloud computing and Internet services, BTA has been helping businesses gain a competitive edge through technology for more than 20 years. Call today on 020 8875 7676 to learn more and sign up for a free consultation.