The Circular Economy Opportunity for Urban and Industrial Innovation in China


Applying circular economy principles at scale in China’s cities could make goods and services more affordable for citizens by 2040 and at the same time make cities more liveable, reducing emissions of fine particulate matter by 50%, emissions of greenhouse gases by 23%, and traffic congestion by 47%.

The analysis, which identifies opportunities across five focus areas, the built environment, mobility, nutrition, textiles and electronics, shows that applying circular economy principles at scale could save businesses and households approximately CNY 70 trillion by 2040 (16% of China’s projected GDP). Supported by the country’s leadership on circular economy policies, China’s cities are well placed to become internationally-recognised beacons of successful circular economy transitions, the report finds.

Launched in September 2018, at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin, China, the report was produced by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in partnership with Arup and McKinsey & Company, supported by UNCTAD and funded by the MAVA Foundation, with feedback from public institutions, academics and business circles in China

This report is available in English and Chinese.


EN report

Date of publication: 20th September 2018

CN report

Date of publication: 20th September 2018

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