CIWM Presidential Report 2024-25


CIWM Presidential Report

Read new CIWM President Tim Walker’s Presidential Report “Turning off the Tap: Why better design can increase resource resilience and reduce consumption” now.

The planet is under unprecedented pressure and we are overwhelmed by waste. We can’t continue to use and degrade valuable natural resources in the way we do today.

We need to transform how we use raw materials from today’s extractive, linear way to a more responsible one.

Many brands intentionally design products to have a short life or be difficult to fix. Products often comprise of multiple materials, bound together in a way that cannot be reversed at end of life – designed for single use.

Design can be a powerful tool to reduce impact if harnessed correctly and applied first at business model level, then across systems, processes and products.

You can also check out the executive summary of Tim’s report here

But why isn’t design delivering what’s needed?

The research has unravelled what it really means to ‘design’ and how it can be difficult to challenge the design brief.

By double-clicking on the design process, creative industry, stakeholders and regulation impacting design it’s clear that designers often don’t have the agency required to make change.

An organisations commissioning agenda, financial expectations and existing business design can be significant limiting factors.

We need to work with designers alongside a wider set of stakeholders involved in design and development to enable circular design.

To stem the flow we must all reflect on our individual and sector actions that influence growing levels of consumption and own our part of the shared responsibility.

Doing better we need to do more than influence better design we need to elevate circular skills, focus regulation to more effectively address consumption most importantly, we need to design businesses right from the start.

CIWM Recommendations

Strong leadership

  • CIWM and CEI become the trusted professional bodies for circularity.
  • Support collaboration of cross-industry best practice.
  • Challenge increasing consumption and problematic items.

Impactful regulation

  • Work with other trade organisations/professional bodies to promote the benefits of circularity – including a green taskforce to take a macro view.
  • Pose options for regulation to reduce consumption.

Circular skills

  • Be the course/accreditation provider of choice for circular skills.
  • Explore academic course accreditation/support.

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