Today’s economy is hugely wasteful. Most of the materials we use, we lose, the things we make are consistently under-utilised, and our efforts to fix it treat the symptoms, not the cause. By fundamentally rethinking industrial systems, there is an enormous opportunity to generate economic, environmental, and societal benefits.

The Systemic Initiatives aim to accelerate the global transition towards a circular economy by applying circular principles to key material streams. Working with businesses, governments, philanthropists, innovators, and NGOs, Systemic Initiatives spark unprecedented levels of cross-sectoral collaboration and innovation.

The Systemic Initiatives bring together leading businesses, governments, philanthropists, innovators, NGOs, and citizens to transform key material flows and scale the circular economy globally.

Rob Opsomer, Lead, Systemic Initiatives

Systemic Initiatives activities

New Plastics Economy

Brings together key industry stakeholders to create a circular economy for plast...

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Make Fashion Circular

For fashion to thrive in the future, we must join forces and design a circular e...

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Cities and the Circular Economy for Food

Mobilising new approaches to accelerate the transition to a circular economy for...

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Selection of NPEC Innovation Prize Winners

Evoware

Evoware

Seaweed-based packaging that replaces billions of small bits of plastics with a nutrient boost.

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TrioCup

TrioCup

A one-piece cup that eliminates the need for plastic lids.

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Delta

Delta

An edible or water soluble sachet solution for restaurants and other hospitality businesses.

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Systems-level change

In order to tackle complex global challenges, a truly systemic approach is needed. It is only by understanding a system deeply, stimulating unprecedented collaboration, and designing catalytic interventions can we start to shift it in a positive direction. Plastics, fibres, and food are among the most iconic materials in the global economy. Applying the principles of a circular economy to managing them represents significant potential for business, environmental, and societal benefits. Taking such a systemic approach to how we make, use, and reuse these materials offers the chance to move towards an economy that works in the long term.

Systems-level change

Related Events

The Summit

The world’s leading forum for exploring the idea of the circular economy. 2018 Summit X DIF is a live stream of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's flagship event and includes additional content and exclusive interviews hosted by Joe Iles during the breaks.

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The Summit

Must-reads for Systemic Initiatives

To find out more about our Systemic Initiatives, the following publications are accessible and available to download freely.

The New Plastics Economy:

Rethinking the future of plastics

Report

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The New Plastics Economy:

Rethinking the future of plastics & Catalysing action

Report

Download

A New Textiles Economy:

Redesigning fashion’s future

Report

Download

Urban Food Initiative

Biocycles scoping paper

Report

Download

Key Systemic Content

Circulate

Five ways to end plastic waste

From packaging made out of organic waste to nano-engineering, the winners of the $2 million New Plastics Economy...

Case Study

Saving our seas, one factory at a time

A huge volume of organic waste is generated each year which is expensive to dispose of and leads to harmful methane...

News

New Circular Design Guide stories

News

Circular Materials Challenge winners announced!

Today, at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, with the support...

Case Study

Full spectrum circularity in the apparel industry

After a typically short use span, 86% of clothing is either landfilled or burned; 13% is downcycled and less than 1%...

News

Ellen MacArthur Foundation to form coalition of leaders to create circular economy for plastics