Circular Economy

 
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Algramo Develops Refill Business with Unilever

In the outskirts of Santiago, inexpensive food is very hard to come by. There are only few supermarkets, and the food at local stores is typically priced 30-40% more expensive than normal. Chilean based startup Algramo has developed a solution to address this challenge. Founded in 2012, the company is solving economic and environmental issues through its vending machines. Algramo dispenses staple products, like grains, rice, beans, lentils, and sugar “by the gram” (al gramo) to low-income customers. Now partnering with Unilever and others, the company has developed a reusable packaging solution for household cleaners and detergents.
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Learn how to embed sustainability into the core of your business

Start of the IMD Winning Sustainability Strategies Online Program

Following the publication of the book Winning Sustainability Strategies, IMD Lausanne is launching an online program aimed at business executives, strategy practitioners and sustainability professionals who are interested in the business case for sustainability and its strategic implications. Facilitated by the authors Jan van der Kaaij, Managing Partner of Finch & Beak, and IMD professor Benoit Leleux, the program starts on 21 September 2020 and is designed to help integrate sustainability in your strategy so you can maintain your competitive edge.
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Circular Economy in Motion: the Mattress Market

Worldwide, the mattress market is estimated at a sizable €23 billion. In line with global growth of our population, this market has been predicted to further grow with annual 6.5% between 2017 and 2024. With almost 90% of all mattresses produced in the EU containing between 2 and 15 kg of hard-to-recycle polyurethane foam each and increasing pressures from legislation, mattress manufacturers are starting to lose sleep over finding less impactful solutions.
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Reverse Logistics: Sustainability's Next Frontier?

With the rise of sustainability, reverse logistics is one of the next frontiers for retailers and manufacturers around the globe. In a 100% circular economy, the return flow is equal to the volume of the original transaction. According to Optoro, a UPS-backed service provider focused on eliminating waste from returns, the retail industry is far from achieving such circularity. In its Retailer Sustainability Research on 128 prominent U.S. and global retailers, the company found that less than 1/4 of the retailers analyzed were implementing programs and adopting initiatives to advance the circular economy and only 30% of retailers implemented product take-back or recycling programs for consumers.
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Recycling on the Runway

In the past years, the fast fashion industry has received plentiful attention for its questionable environmental sustainability. This attention has been mainly focused on the chemical production processes, planned obsolescence of its products and the destruction of unsold stock. If the product circle could be closed, the fashion industry would significantly decrease its consumption of raw materials and its environmental impact. Undoubtedly fueled by consumer interest for transparency, big and small companies have taken it upon themselves to begin closing the loop on apparel.
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Cork: The Circular Material Par Excellence

As part of their round-the-world sailing trip in search of sustainable solutions, the Sailors for Sustainability have moored their boat in Portugal's Algarve region. It's not only popular among tourists, but also where the cork oak tree thrives. Their omnipresence has turned the country into the number one cork producer: it accounts for more than 52 percent of the global annual production of 350,000 tons of cork per year.
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Getting Around in the Circular Economy

Sustainable mobility is one of today’s biggest challenges and the increase in introductions of electric vehicles has proven this. According to Bloomberg’s 2019 outlook on the Electric Vehicle market, it is expected that 57% of all passenger vehicle sales will be electric by 2040, and 80% of shared mobility will be electric with companies as Uber and Lyft gaining market share.
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Renewable Energy Innovation on El Hierro

As part of their round-the-world sailing trip in search of sustainable solutions, the Sailors for Sustainability visited the Spanish island of El Hierro. Propelled by the northeast trade winds, the Sailors sail to the smallest of the seven main Canary Islands, which makes good use of the constant wind, too. Wind turbines generate a large part of the island’s electricity needs. Yet the Sailors come to see another element of the island’s energy system: the innovative way energy is stored to match supply and demand. How did the islanders manage to set a world-class example in renewable energy storage and what are the success factors?
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The Key to Executing Change is Collaboration

As the launch of the new Loop partnership at the 2019 World Economic Forum suggests, today’s biggest sustainability challenges require collaborative solutions. That is why the Sustainable Development Goals include SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals. However, the number of sustainability partnerships has remained low due to fierce competition between companies for recognition of their sustainability performance. By forging and maintaining partnerships companies can make a bigger sustainability impact while also gaining the competitive advantage they seek.
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