Implementing Circular Economy Processes

Implementing Circular Economy Processes

Connor Hill

15 years: Circular economy strategist

In this video, Connor discusses implementation of the circular economy. He will touch upon how we can bring circular processes into our lives and organisations and then discuss the external factors affecting the circular economy.

In this video, Connor discusses implementation of the circular economy. He will touch upon how we can bring circular processes into our lives and organisations and then discuss the external factors affecting the circular economy.

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Implementing Circular Economy Processes

18 mins 34 secs

Overview

Due to our economic model of overproduction and overconsumption, we are exceeding Earth’s planetary boundaries. The circular economy is key to living within our planetary boundaries and will be vital in helping us achieve our net zero commitments. However, to create a circular economy, we need to all work together, modifying how we find, use, and reuse the resources we have.

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand the 5 circular steps to help us think more circularly

  • Understand the considerations a non-product organisation would have to make

  • Outline the external factors impacting the circular economy

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Summary
How can we start thinking more circularly? 

To start thinking more circularly, we can refer to the following 5 circular steps:
 
1. Minimise overall material use
2. Use circular materials 
3. Design and create embedded value
4. Design for longevity 
5. Design for cyclability

Producers should not wait to create the perfect circular product, instead start with steps that are:
– Closely aligned with business
– Existing products and services 
– Customer usage

What are the considerations to make when implementing a circular economy in non-product businesses?

It is important to first consider own direct services, internal business operations, resource procurement and investments in other businesses. 

Some of the main areas to be considered include:

  • IT use and hardware
  • Construction of your office 
  • Building insulation
  • Office furniture
  • Office flooring
  • Advertising collateral
  • Building waste
  • Building utilities
  • Water usage

What are the external factors impacting the circular economy?

  1. Waste and geopolitics - Many countries exported waste to China from 2005 to 2016. However, when China imposed a ban on importing waste in 2017, these countries had to find quick solutions to work out where they should send their waste to, or even better, start to invest in recycling in their own countries.

  2. Legislation - Circular legislation is becoming more prominent and brands are encouraged to design long-lasting products and provide services to give users the right to be able to repair the product. The Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation is a fee brands and companies have to pay to put particular products into the marketplace. EPR revenues are reinvested to support awareness programmes and recycling facilities.

  3. Circular economy and Net Zero - Circular economy can be a huge enabler for us to achieve our net zero commitments. If we are economically able to produce high quality recycled steel and concrete, it will have huge GHG-saving potential from these high emitting sectors. 

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Connor Hill

Connor Hill

Connor Hill is a circular economy strategist, entrepreneur and changemaker. Connor has been working in the circular economy and sustainability space since 2007. He has helped create the early circular foundations for companies like Adidas, Marks and Spencer, and John Lewis. He has also launched his own companies, Reborn Circular to create circular lifestyle products and Inspire Circular to help inspire individuals and companies on how to start and accelerate their circular journeys. He has also created courses with the University of Cambridge, the University of the Arts London and others to help inspire and empower thousands of students on how they can start their circular journeys.

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