Following the release of Towards the Circular Economy vol.3, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation announces Project Mainstream, a collaborative project which could help businesses to shift towards a circular economy and as a result save US$ 500 million in materials and prevent 100 million tonnes of waste globally.
“The circular economy is an opportunity industry can’t afford to miss,” said Sir Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive of Kingfisher. “It can drive our next generation of innovation and business growth, cushion our business from price volatility, provide us with competitive advantage, and help us build better relationships with customers and suppliers.”
With commodity prices almost tripling in the last 10 years, businesses and governments are now recognising this as an opportunity to manage input cost volatility, as this approach decouples economic growth from finite supplies of primary resources. Manufacturing industries, in particular, could see their costs reduce significantly by adopting a circular business model. For example, material costs of smartphones could be reduced by more than 60% by entirely rethinking the way they are made and disposed. The report also shows the benefits of innovative business models such as Airbnb and Zip Car, and suggests improvements for profitability throughout the supply chain.
The World Economic Forum is working in partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and with the support of McKinsey & Co. on Project MainStream, which aims to work with companies to tackle ways to enable the circular economy through materials management, information technologies and business model innovation. There are already many industry leaders that have committed to be part of this effort, including Philips, Kingfisher, Veolia, DSM and Indorama.
“Building on growing momentum around the circular economy, Project Mainstream will leverage the convening power of the World Economic Forum and bring together a group of business leaders capable of triggering widespread innovation and employment. It is about going beyond concept stage, it’s about turning proven potential into an economic reality,” said Ellen MacArthur, Founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Ellen MacArthur was interviewed for the BBC 5 o’clock news and BBC World during Davos, you can watch them both here.
The first macroeconomic report series into the size of the prize for business in the transition to a circular economy
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