Businesses which carefully plan and execute the transition towards circularity are winners. Long-term sustainable growth, continuous innovation capacity, customer satisfaction, savings, and material efficiency are the foundation of their success.
Greenhouse gas emissions arise from the use of energy and the manufacturing of goods. From the perspective of climate change objectives, the circular economy is a vital operating model: more than 60% of emissions arise from the linear management of resources.
The circular economy is a foundation for a clean world. It is an economic and operating model based on renewable energy, in which waste and emissions have been designed out. In other words, growth is created within the planetary boundaries. The creation of sustainable growth is decoupled from the wasteful use of resources by keeping all material in circulation.
- So that our current business and living environment can continue to work and flourish in the future as well, the global objective is to radically slow down the heating up of the planet. Finland’s target is to be a carbon-neutral country by 2035.
- Everything we use comes from nature. The use of global resources (e.g. metals, minerals, biomass, fossil fuels…) is expected to double (at the moment, over 100 billion tons per year) by 2060 and the use of resources by Finns at the moment corresponds that of four Earths. It is essential to remember that over 80% of the environmental impact of a product is already determined on the design table.
- Our current economic model based on the take-use-waste model is a wasteful economy: the majority of the products that we use ends up as waste: on a global level, only 9% of valuable materials stays in circulation. In financial terms, we lose billions every year, at the same time as the circular economy is an opportunity worth billions for companies and society. The potential in Finland alone, when measured with a cautious slope, is around 3 billion.
- Regulation increasingly supports and creates incentives for circularity on a national and at the EU level. In 2020 publicised European Green Deal introduces a comprehensive action plan across different sectors from construction to textiles, plastics, electronics etc. and covering circular product design, increasing the level of reuse and remanufacturing. The big goal is to be first carbon-neutral continent by 2050.