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The Covid-19 recovery requires a resilient circular economy

May 07, 2020
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“Identifying opportunities, keeping a clear sense of direction, and fostering a strong public - private collaboration will help usher in redefined growth towards the next wave of prosperity."

The Covid-19 recovery requires a resilient circular economy

The coronavirus crisis has disastrous human and economic consequences, revealing our system's exposure to a variety of risks. As the pandemic forces us to adapt our daily lives in ways we would not have imagined, it is also challenging us to rethink the systems that underpin the economy. While addressing public health consequences is clearly the priority, before the crisis, momentum had already been increasing around the need for a system reset, and the potential of a circular model. The last decade has seen a number of leading businesses invest in this transformative path, while pioneering institutions and government bodies put forward significant legislative proposals to enable the transition.

Far from the pandemic pushing the circular economy agenda to the bottom of the list, this article highlights and reiterates that it is now more relevant than ever, and sets out to explore the wider possibilities for recovery.

The fragility of our global supply chains was revealed throughout the early stages of the pandemic, particularly for those who struggled with the availability of medical equipment. Also taking into account that for countries severely hit by the virus, being able to quickly adapt industrial facilities to produce medical equipment was crucial, the article clearly illustrates the challenges faced, and how the introduction of circular principles will provide opportunities for both future resilience and competitiveness. Delving further to tackle the highly sensitive area of food production and distribution, it cites the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s research to date, and details the call to further explore the potential of large-scale investment in regenerative and peri-urban production, together with digitally-enabled precision agriculture.

The two examples above only constitute a small opening onto the wider possibilities presented by the circular economy. The article also touches on the construction sector, and mobility and transport - importantly highlighting specific measures already being undertaken.

As governments look for ways to move forward, they can do so without straying from their low-carbon commitments by implementing circular economy strategies. However, as stated, “it is fundamental to recognise that the effort will need to be sustained, and that its success will rely on the involvement of all stakeholders, working in a logic of co-creation.”

Read the full article on why The Covid-19 recovery requires a resilient circular economy

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