Ellen Macarthur Foundation


National Grid

The circular economy provides a positive, coherent, innovation challenge through which young people see the relevance and opportunity of these subjects in terms of rethinking and redesigning the future.

- Steve Holliday, Chief Executive

Supplier Design Competition

National Grid launched the Supplier Design Competition in February 2013 to encourage it’s suppliers to identify innovative ways of implementing the circular economy into the design of materials, plant, processes and equipment used by National Grid. Entrants will be judged on the demonstration of circular economy potential, the cost-benefit analysis, the advantages and disadvantages of the design and the practicality of implementing the proposal. The overall winner of the Supplier Design Competition will be awarded the prize of membership, for three years, on the Circular Economy 100 (CE100) programme, which has recently been launched by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

This competition is providing the opportunity for National Grid to work with its suppliers to make that transition to a circular economy. National Grid is passionate about making a positive contribution our environment and becoming an even more sustainable company


Not only is this the right thing to do for the environment, but it can lead to a more cost-efficient way of working, as the price of commodities rises in response to the decline of the world’s natural resources.
We can’t achieve this transition to a circular economy alone, and to encourage novel, innovative thinking in this area, we have designed this Supplier Design competition, which we hope many of our suppliers will be inspired to enter.

Jon Carlton, Director of Metering and LNG and Programme Sponsor

National Grid is proud to support the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a charity that works within business and education to inspire a generation to re-think, re-design and build a positive future.

The Foundation works to provide a coherent framework for transition to a restorative economy. It shares widespread concern that the end of the era of cheap fossil fuels and key materials & resources, coupled with rising population, demonstrates the need for rethinking our model of production and consumption.

The Foundation’s core focus is in equipping young people aged 11-19 years and within Higher Education institutions with the necessary skills and perspective to realise the opportunities of re-thinking their future. The Foundation’s educational work takes place both within formal curriculum development and new media.

The Foundation is supported by a number of leading businesses including BT, Cisco, B&Q, Renault and National Grid.

National Grid are committed in supporting the transition to a circular economy, helping showcase examples of innovation in this area, as well as developing and extending the skills of National Grid employees through a volunteering & engagement programme.

The video above shows one of the projects that National Grid have supported in partnership with the Foundation. Project ReDesign is a series of workshops and internships run across the UK looking at the opportunities of systems level re-designing around the circular economy framework for 17-18 year olds. The programme was actively supported by National Grid volunteers in the form of ‘Experts from Industry’ – providing real-world, sector specific skills to the challenge.

The number of jobs in STEM sectors will expand by over three quarters of a million by 2014. Factoring in those who will retire or leave these sectors, there will be a total of nearly 2.4m jobs to be filled (Source CBI).

The partnership between National Grid and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation aims to ensure that young people see opportunities that progressing STEM education provides them with and how these skills will play a crucial role in a rapidly changing world.

The opportunities are huge. We have seen first hand through the Re-Design Internships how important it is for young people to see the relevance of science, maths and engineering in the real world. National Grid is playing a key role in our future economy with its commitment to provide the UK’s 2050 energy infrastructure. Through the partnership we want young people to realise why this is important to progress STEM skills and be inspired to use their creativity and innovation to re-think their future.

Ellen MacArthur

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The Economics

The first macroeconomic report series into the size of the prize for business in the transition to a circular economy



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