A survey released by Arup and Business in the Community (BITC) finds 51% of surveyed businesses now have specific teams responsible for the management of circular economy issues.
The survey was released as part of new guidance for businesses progressing circular economy agendas. 21% of respondents also said they have invested in the development of new circular business models and 66% have taken at least one action to make progress on circular economy issues.
Marking Earth Overshoot Day, global sustainable development consultancy Arup and responsible business network BITC have released the findings of the Circular Economy Taskforce leadership roundtable series that ran between July 2022 and July 2023, which informs a new set of circular economy guidance for businesses.
The report “In Your Hands: Going Circular for Net Zero” gives insight into the senior leadership discussions that took place on barriers to change, consumption-related emissions and unlocking green finance to adopt circularity in mainstream business practices.
The publication offers a framework of “foundational steps” for businesses that want to action progress regardless of circularity maturity.
By driving circular principles further into the mainstream we can collectively deliver the systems change required to realise our net zero targets.
Four levers for change have been identified in the report to accelerate businesses’ transition to circularity to achieve net zero targets. The levers are organisational change in skills and culture, procurement and supply chain management, green finance and public policy both national and regional.
The report also contends that uncertainty around financial viability remains a key barrier to circular business model adoption.
Diane Emerson, Director of Climate and Sustainability Services, Arup, and BITC Circular Economy Taskforce Chair, commented: “Coinciding with Earth Overshoot Day, today’s publication of our findings and framework for business action is both timely and essential.
“It has been a huge privilege to lead BITC’s Circular Economy Taskforce over the last year as we continue to collaboratively accelerate the circularity agenda by pooling ideas, skillsets, and experiences.
“Businesses are central to all areas of climate crisis solutions, and by driving circular principles further into the mainstream we can collectively deliver the systems change required to realise our net zero targets, restore nature and embed social equity.”