How to reuse wasted resources in your business

What is the circular economy?


In our current economy we take materials from the earth, make products from them, and eventually throw them away as waste.

The process is mostly one-way and it operates as though:

  • there is an infinite supply of resources
  • the earth has infinite capacity to deal with our waste 

However this is not the case.

How a circular economy works

A circular economy is about reducing the amount of waste being produced in the first place. It is a model in which we:

  • rethink and reduce our use of finite resources
  • switch to renewing resources
  • minimise waste
  • maintain the value of products and materials for as long as possible

By designing out waste from concept to production and use, by-products and end-of-use waste can be a resource, and a valuable secondary raw material.

Becoming a circular economy requires all levels of society - government, businesses, innovators, investors, entrepreneurs and consumers - to play their part in the process and work together to minimise disruption.

How to become a circular business

A circular business maximises benefits from all its resources, while reducing negative environmental impacts from their use.

Innovation is central to achieving greater outputs through more efficient use of resources. By doing things differently businesses can create value which is essential for driving productivity and competitiveness.

Circular use of materials in your business may need new process improvements, data and analytics, emerging technology, skills and more agile thinking to increase productivity.