Circular Economy and Waste

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is the go-to resource for information on the circular economy and climate change, where we transition away from the traditional take-make-waste consumption patterns. The potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through circular economy initiatives is huge:

Today’s efforts to combat climate change have focused mainly on the critical role of renewable energy and energy-efficiency measures. However, meeting climate targets will also require tackling the remaining 45% of emissions associated with making products. A circular economy offers a systemic and cost effective approach to tackling this challenge. This paper shows that when applied to four key industrial materials (cement, steel, plastic and aluminum) circular economy strategies could help reduce emissions by 40% in 2050. When applied to the food system the reduction could amount to 49% in the same year. Overall such reductions could bring emissions from these areas 45% closer to their net-zero emission targets.

In such an economy natural systems are regenerated, energy is from renewable sources, materials are safe and increasingly from renewable sources, and waste is avoided through the superior design of materials, products, and business models.

Built in to the circular economy is the reduction of waste, and therefore more efficient operations and lower costs.

Metro East Kickoff – Event 1 of 3 – Regenerative Organic Agriculture – May 13 2020 – And Funding Resources

Much appreciation and thanks goes out to our esteemed presenters and panelists! Presenter L. Hunter Lovins Natural Capitalist Solutions, President, Founder, Author Watch the video on YouTube. Hunter talks about regenerative agriculture, gives examples of...

read more
Key Takeaways, Presentations, Videos from June 12 2019 Event in Carbondale

Key Takeaways, Presentations, Videos from June 12 2019 Event in Carbondale

Fifteen presenters helped to set the stage for community resilience in southern Illinois.   One senior executive from St. Louis said: This is the best networking I've ever had.   Panel discussions provided ideas and perspectives on energy, economic...

read more
Innovation Panel – June 12 2019 – Carbondale, Illinois

Innovation Panel – June 12 2019 – Carbondale, Illinois

The Innovation Section, with keynote and panelists, will wrap up the day's events at The Climate Economy in Southern Illinois - Creating Resilient Business, Jobs and Communities. The cultivation of southern Illinois' rich natural resources and waste streams  are...

read more
Natural Climate Solutions: Trees, Water, Land and More for 37% of GHG Reductions in Near Term

Natural Climate Solutions: Trees, Water, Land and More for 37% of GHG Reductions in Near Term

Building on the soil theme, there's a fabulously detailed new study on "natural climate solutions" (NCS); it tells us how to use conservation, restoration, and land management actions across forests, wetlands, grasslands, and farmland. The actions will increase carbon...

read more
A Fashion Transformation

A Fashion Transformation

"One truckload of clothing is wasted per second." Are you kidding me? This is from the findings of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's (EMF) new report on the textile industry. Also this: "If the industry continues on its current path, by 2050, it could use more than 26...

read more
Why the Climate Economy #5: Um, Climate.

Why the Climate Economy #5: Um, Climate.

We humans kind of need planet Earth to be healthy so that we can all, well, survive. If the planet gets really sick, the only ones who will survive will likely be those hydrothermal vent creatures and super rich who can escape to the moon or Mars. Do you fall into...

read more
What is the Circular Economy?

What is the Circular Economy?

The Circular Economy takes the old fashioned linear take-make-dispose model and turns it circular, designing out waste and optimizing resource use. It's not just recycling, it's more like designing the product from the start to be zero-waste. Businesses save money by...

read more