Circular Economy

 
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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: The Next Frontier of Sustainability?

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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World Resources Forum 2019: Closing Loops

The next edition of the World Resources Forum is taking place in the heart of Antwerp, Belgium from 24-27 February 2019 in collaboration with the Public Waste Agency of Flanders (OVAM). This time, business leaders, policy-makers, NGOs, researchers, entrepreneurs, the media, and students will share solutions and practices undertaken to move from a linear and fossil to a circular and low carbon economy.
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Selecting Circular Economy Strategies

The circular economy is a concept in direct opposition to the more traditional linear way of thinking, i.e. take-make-dispose. To help teams get more comfortable with the notion of developing Many Alternative Sustainable Solutions (MASS) by identifying sustainability challenges and selecting circular economy strategies, experimentation is recommendable. This Business Model Canvas team training exercise is aimed at experimenting with the development of circular economy solutions based on the value proposition of the BMW i3.
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