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UPDATE: The Ellen MacArthur Foundation at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos

January 24, 2019

This week the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Annual General meeting returned to Davos, Switzerland. Each year, the meeting brings together top business executives from the 1,000 foremost global companies, more than 100 government leaders, and ambassadors to define priorities and shape global industry and regional agenda.

This year’s overarching theme is Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and as in previous years, the circular economy is on the agenda.

Amongst the week's activities, the Foundation has released a new report Cities and Circular Economy for Food, which concludes that unhealthy food production makes healthy eating impossible.

Stay up to date with the Foundation's activities in Davos on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Davos Homepage

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and WEF have collaborated closely to advance the circular economy since the Foundation, with McKinsey & Company, published its analysis of the economic opportunity of a circular economy, in Davos, 2012. Together with WEF, the Foundation leads Project Mainstream - a CEO-led initiative that helps to scale business driven circular economy innovations. The Foundation is also an affiliate member of WEF’s Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE), a global public-private collaboration platform and project which aims to create systems change at speed and scale.

Ellen MacArthur, Andrew Morlet, and members of the Foundation’s senior team, have attended numerous bilateral meetings and events during the week.

Foundation Highlights and Activities

The Circulars Awards​ (21st January)

The Circular Awards took place on the first day of Davos and five of seven prestigious awards categories were won by the Foundation’s CE100 members and close collaborators.

Awards & Winners included:

  • The Accenture Strategy Award for Circular Economy Multinational: Schneider Electric, for the proven transformative change the company is driving in the energy industry.
  • The Dell Circular Economy People’s Choice Award: TriCiclos, for creating a scalable waste management, recycling and recovery model for businesses and citizens. The system was created in Chile 10 years ago and now also operates in Brazil, Columbia, and Peru.
  • The World Economic Forum Award for Circular Economy Public Sector: European Commission, for delivering impactful change in Europe and beyond. The European Commission’s influential Circular Economy Action Plan has resulted in the majority of EU Member States establishing national circular economy strategies.
  • The Ecolab Award for Circular Economy Tech Disruptor: Winnow, for driving measurable change in the food service industry due to the commercial and environmental benefit of its innovative technology.

Launch of new paper: Artificial intelligence and the circular economy (23rd January)

Ai Publication Listing Image

Available to download here.

The paper explores the role of AI as a tool to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. Built on insights from over 40 interviews with experts, this work is a collaboration between the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Google, with research and analytical support provided by McKinsey & Company.

The research examines the application of AI in two value chains: food, and consumer electronics. Combining the power of AI with a vision for a circular economy represents a significant, and as yet, largely untapped opportunity to harness one of the great technological developments of our time.

Issue of: Circular Economy in Cities preview paper (23rd January)

Cities Publication Listing Image

Available to download here.

This paper previews the digital suite of resources the Foundation will launch in March.

Providing a global reference point for urban policymakers, it will include a vision for the circular economy in housing, mobility, and products, as well as benefit factsheets, urban policy instruments, city-led case studies, and additional networks and resources. The project has been developed together with Knowledge Partner, Arup, and supported by the MAVA Foundation.

Launch of new report: Cities and Circular Economy for Food (24th January)

Cceff Publication Listing Image

Available to download here.

The report, written as part of Project Mainstream and WEF, with analytical support from SYSTEMIQ, results from the Foundation’s work over the past year on Cities and Circular Economy for Food with a diverse group of food system actors, to design a regenerative urban food system based on the principles of a circular economy.

Given that 80% of all food will be consumed in cities by 2050, the report highlights their critical importance in triggering the shift towards a regenerative system fit for the long term. Three main ambitions emerge: source food grown regeneratively, and locally where appropriate; make the most of food (use by-products more effectively, prevent waste); design and market healthier food.

The report was made possible by philanthropic partners Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Players of People’s Postcode Lottery (GB) and Porticus, in collaboration with lead partners Intesa Sanpaolo and core partners Danone, Sitra, Suez, Tetra Pak and Veolia.

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