Where we will solve this challenge
Check out the map to see all the cities that face similar challenges in this area!
How do we make the economy more circular?
Traditional linear economy supports short-sighted design, conspicuous consumption, and inefficient waste handling. Cities are prime candidates for pioneering a new, long-term vision: The circular economy—which integrates sustainable production (across supply chains), as well as consumption.
In the European Union’s framing of the circular economy, a circular economy model is emphasised whereby the “value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible, and the generation of waste minimised” through adopting strategies such as re-use, repair, refurbishing and recycling to extend the useful life of existing materials, components and products.
With the industrial sector being responsible for about 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions it is evident that our production systems need to decarbonize.
At present, two thirds of industrial emissions come directly from materials processes, irrespective of the energy mix used. Implementing circular approaches has the potential to reduce EU CO2 emissions associated with the production of steel, plastics, aluminium and cement by 60% in the next 30 years.
To achieve the climate targets, our economies need to reconfigure material flows. We need to move from a linear model based on a 'take-make-dispose' pattern to industrial systems and economies aligned with circular economy principles. According to the British Standard Institute (BSI), the idea of a circular economy cannot be reduced to a simplistic definition, as it proposes a different way of thinking about the structure of our economies. This definitional challenge is also a legacy of its antecedents which can be traced back to different schools of thought ranging from industrial ecology, performance economy, biomimicry, cradle to cradle, blue economy, regenerative design and natural capitalism.