The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was established in 2010 with the aim of accelerating the transition to the circular economy. Since its creation, the Foundation has emerged as a global thought leader, establishing circular economy on the agenda of decision makers across business, government and academia.
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The circular economy is an economic system that decouples growth from the consumption of finite resources. In contrast with our traditional, linear “take-make-dispose” economy, a circular economy is restorative and regenerative by design, and aims to keep products, components, and materials at their highest utility and value at all times. The concept distinguishes between technical and biological cycles.
A circular economy preserves and enhances natural capital, optimises resource yields, and minimises system risks by managing finite stocks and renewable flows. It works effectively at every scale.
Circular economy initiatives are already being implemented by very different organisations around the world. Our circular economy case studies library contains a selection of best practice examples intended to inform, inspire and stimulate research.
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Dame Ellen MacArthur, United Kingdom - Founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, founder of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, member of the Club of Rome.
Ellen MacArthur made yachting history in 2005, when she became the fastest solo sailor to circumnavigate the globe, and remains the UK’s most successful offshore racer ever, having won the Ostar, the Route du Rhum and finished second in the Vendée Globe at just 24 years of age. Having become acutely aware of the finite nature of the resources our linear economy relies upon, she stepped away from professional sailing in 2009 to launch the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which works with education, business and analysis to accelerate the transition to a restorative and regenerative circular economy. Ellen MacArthur sat on the European Commission’s Resource Efficiency Platform, and her Foundation has published three seminal macro-economic reports featuring analysis by McKinsey, which have received accolades at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Dame Ellen regularly interacts with various European governments and institutions such as the OECD, and received the French Legion of Honour from President Nicolas Sarkozy, three years after having been knighted by Queen Elizabeth.
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