Companies Making Progress on the Circular Economy Agenda

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – There is a growing trend among businesses to move towards the circular economy, which is increasingly considered as a viable approach to achieving global sustainability. The British Standards Institution will soon publish BS8001, the world’s first set of standards for the circular economy which aim to help companies measure and realize value from circular principles.

To address the question of how much actual progress companies are making on the circular economy agenda, Ethical Corporation has published a Circular Economy management briefing. The briefing takes a detailed look at some of the companies that are establishing best practice in closing the loop, reducing waste, and making their production processes more efficient.

Some of the most progressive companies are looking to embed circular thinking into their core business. In 2015, H&M announced its intention to be 100 percent circular. One of the first targets the Swedish clothing retailer set was to increase the number of items made with at least 20 percent recycled fabric from collected garments by more than 300 percent in 2015, compared with 2014. It achieved this and the company now makes 1.3 million garments from 20 percent recycled cotton.

IKEA Group has a vision for all of its products to have circular capabilities. In its latest sustainability report, the retailer states that in 2017 it will define new targets that measure the impact of quality on customer happiness and sustainability. The retailer has also been running pilots across its European stores, helping customers to prolong the life of IKEA products through service options such as repair, share, bring back, and resell.

Nike is looking to integrate the circular economy into its business strategy by setting a vision for a low-carbon, closed-loop future. One of the more circular goals is that by the end of 2020, all excess materials produced in the manufacturing of Nike shoes will become inputs for other processes. The company also intends to build on its Nike Grind initiative, where materials and products perform beyond a single use and are repurposed for multiple lifecycles.

Collaboration is a prime consideration for Danish brewer Carlsberg Group, which has established its Carlsberg Circular Community (CCC). The company set targets over 2015-17 to achieve three cradle-to-cradle product certifications for different types of packaging, and to have 17 partners and suppliers in the CCC working actively to create more circular packaging solutions.

Source: Ethical Corporation

Image Credit: Ethical Corp / Olam