Last week saw a summit of the Circular Economy 100, a global platform bringing together leading companies, emerging innovators and regions to accelerate the transition to a circular economy over a 1000-day (3 year) period, established by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
WRAP, which has been a member since February, along with companies such as Coca-Cola, M&S, RICOH and Unilever, was represented by its chief executive Liz Goodwin, who posted a blog on the WRAP website following the event, which took part alongside The Schmidt-MacArthur Fellowship Programme Summer School. She wrote:
“This week’s inaugural CE100 summit… provided a fascinating insight into the global development of the circular economy from first faltering steps right up to the present day, and beyond.
Liz Goodwin, WRAP – “This was the first CE100 summit and a great opportunity to spend time with some inspiring people with great vision for how things could be – lots to think about in relation to WRAP’s work”
“The most compelling element of the day for me was the scale of possibilities with a circular economy and just how engaged the world has become. This strikes right at the heart of one of the core questions often levelled at circular economy thinkers – how do you turn these theoretical possibilities into real actions? Yesterday’s CE100 summit highlighted many cutting-edge examples of how this is taking place, often organically, around the globe. From the big-business perspective of Phillips and Renault, right through to innovative start-ups like Ecovative, a US company which is using agricultural waste as a raw material to manufacture a new polymer used to make packaging material, to the possibilities for 3D printing in the manufacturing sector. No sector will be unaffected by the circular economy…
“One aspect from the day that struck a chord with me and the work we do at WRAP is new business models. I particularly liked the example from the Netherlands of the company Turn Too which illustrates this perfectly. This company has, among other ventures, furnished an entire school through renting furniture and fixtures rather than selling them outright. Items are rented for a ten year period meaning they can be repaired and allowing the school the opportunity to have better quality items, without the initial high outlay. They can extend the rental ad infinitum, or upgrade, thus extending the product’s life. A simple idea with great environmental benefits.
“This was the first CE100 summit and a great opportunity to spend time with some inspiring people with great vision for how things could be – lots to think about in relation to WRAP’s work. I for one am looking forward to working with the foundation in the future, now that the circular economy’s time has come.”