In the last Blog we talked about the New Economy as a driving force to redesign the capitalist system around environmental and social goals. The essence of this system of Stakeholder Capitalism can be seen in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as found on our website. The aim of the UN General Assembly’s resolution in 2015 is to achieve these 17 goals by 2030 with a view towards ending all forms of poverty, fighting inequalities and tackling climate change while ensuring that no one is left behind.
One of the more fascinating ideas in the New Economy vocabulary is the Circular Economy. In our current economy, we take materials from the earth, make products from them, and eventually throw them away as waste. In a Circular Economy we change the paradigm so that the idea of waste is engineered out from the beginning of the process.
This means, on a grand scale, that the whole system will ultimately need to be re-designed to be circular. However, a lot of the work is already being done and the results are showing that it is not only possible, it is generating very positive and provable results. It is based on three basic principles: Eliminate waste and pollution, Circulate products and materials over and over again, and Regenerate nature. It is also forcing a drive toward renewable energy and materials which replace waste entirely. The whole idea is that the goods we make today will become the resources for the goods we make for tomorrow! The goods are made, used, and remade again!
A few examples may demonstrate this idea. Clothing can be made so that it can be re-manufactured into all kinds of different materials. Products can be made so that they can be disassembled and their components can be turned into new items. Compostable material can regenerate soil and produce fertilizer. Valuable metals, polymers and alloys can be renewed and reused. The mantra for these items would be “No resources have been lost in the making of this item!”
It is my hope that this series of Blogs will be of interest to my readers and that as a result they will dig deeper in all of these new ideas that ultimately will offer the solutions to our climate change crisis! Enjoy!