Our mission is to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was established in 2010 with the aim of accelerating the transition to the circular economy. Since its creation the charity has emerged as a global thought leader, establishing circular economy on the agenda of decision makers across business, government and academia. The charity’s work focuses on four interlinking areas:


Inspiring learners to re-think the future through the circular economy framework

We're creating a global teaching and learning platform built around the circular economy framework, working in both formal and informal education. With an emphasis on online learning, the Foundation provides cutting edge insights and content to support circular economy education and the systems thinking required to accelerate a transition.

Our formal education work includes comprehensive Higher Education programmes with partners in Europe, the US, India, China and South America, international curriculum development with schools and colleges, and corporate capacity building programmes. In the informal education arena our work includes Re-thinking Progress, an open house educational event, and the Disruptive Innovation Festival, a global online and face-to-face opportunity to explore the changing economy and how best to respond to it.

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Business and Government

Catalysing circular innovation and creating the conditions for it to flourish

Since launch, we've emphasised the real-world relevance of our activities and understand that business innovation sits at the heart of any transition to the circular economy. The Foundation works with Global Partners (Cisco, Google, H&M, Intesa Sanpaolo, NIKE Inc., Philips, Renault, and Unilever) to develop circular business initiatives and to address challenges to implementing them.

In 2013, with the support of our Global Partners, we created the first dedicated circular economy innovation programme, the Circular Economy 100. Programme members comprise industry leading corporations, emerging innovators (SMEs), affiliate networks, government authorities, regions and cities. The CE100 provides a unique forum for building circular capabilities, addressing common barriers to progress, understanding the necessary enabling conditions, and piloting circular practices in a collaborative environment.

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Insight and Analysis

Providing robust evidence about the benefits of the transition

We work to quantify the economic potential of the circular model and develop approaches for capturing this value. Our insight and analysis feeds into a growing body of economic reports highlighting the rationale for an accelerated transition towards the circular economy, and exploring the potential benefits across different stakeholders and sectors.

The Foundation believes the circular economy is an evolving framework, and continues to widen its understanding by working with international experts including key thinkers and leading academics.

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Engaging a global audience around the circular economy

The Foundation communicates cutting edge ideas and insight through its circular economy research, reports, case studies and books disseminated through our publications arm. We utilise new and relevant digital media to reach audiences who can accelerate the transition, globally. In addition, we aggregate, curate, and make knowledge accessible through Circulate, an online location dedicated to providing up to date news and unique insight on the circular economy and related subjects.