Circular Economy Strategy – Principles and Action Plan

26. okt 2023

The circular economy is a production and consumption model in which existing materials and products are shared, borrowed, reused, repaired, upgraded, and recycled for as long as possible. This extends the lifecycle of products and reduces waste generation. In a nutshell, the circular economy focuses on reducing wastage and pollution with repair, reuse and reduction. In addition, it also emphasises restoring natural systems while creating conditions for supporting regeneration.

Key principles and action plan for a circular economy strategy

  1. Assessment and Awareness

Start by assessing your current operations to identify areas where circular economy principles can be applied. Raise awareness among your employees about the importance of circular economy practices.

  1. Reduce Waste

Aim to reduce waste generation by limiting & decreasing packaging, implementing efficient production processes to minimize material waste, avoiding single-use items and encouraging reusables within the company.

  1. Reuse and Repair

Encourage the reuse and repair of items within your organization by establishing a system for identifying and repairing equipment or products instead of discarding them. This could include your IT equipment, for example. 

  1. Recycling and Composting

Set up recycling bins for paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, and metal in your workplace. Promote composting for organic waste. If possible, consider using recycled materials in production and strive towards having your packaging reusable, recyclable, or compostable.

  1. Supplier Engagement

Work with suppliers who share your commitment to the circular economy. Choose suppliers that provide products with extended lifecycles and recyclable materials.

  1. Product Design

Explore opportunities to design products for durability, repairability, and recyclability. Consider using materials that are easily recyclable.

  1. Resource Efficiency

Focus on resource efficiency by optimizing energy use, reducing water consumption, adopting new digital technologies in production to minimize resource waste etc.

  1. Educate and Involve Employees

Train and educate employees about circular economy practices.

  1. Monitor and Measure

Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to track your progress. Regularly review your circular economy action plan to assess its effectiveness and make necessary adjustments.

Remember that a successful circular economy strategy involves not only minimising waste but also designing systems that promote the continuous use and reuse of resources, products, and materials. This action plan serves as a starting point for SMEs looking to embrace circular economy principles and contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly business model.