- Asia Guerreshi
Circular Economy Awareness
Aktualisiert: 9. Juni 2022
The first topic to address when starting to talk about circular economy and what it means for an industry or a company is the awareness. In the following blog post, we briefly shed light on the questions why companies should care about it, how well consumers are aware of it and how Circulix helps companies to communicate the importance of awareness within the organisation and to external stakeholders.
Why should we care about circular economy?
The attention to sustainability is well established. Additionally, attention to circular economy is also increasing. There are various reasons why this is occurring, at least in Europe. Some reasons include the increase of European policy frameworks that are integrated within the Green New Deal, such as the Circular Action Plan. These directives are then implemented at national level pressuring industries, as well as governments to comply with these. Industries are receiving appreciation when choosing to comply to circular economy standards when the concept of circular economy is accompanied to sustainability. It is fundamental to recognize that these two terms are not the same nor exclusive. Hence, a circular process is not necessarily sustainable. However, circular economy can support and be efficient instrument towards an environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Therefore, a strong awareness of the latter by all stakeholders is crucial towards a concrete application of circular economy. Yet what is circular economy to begin with? Research demonstrates that there is a lack of consensus towards the agreed definition. The most common is the one shared by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation who writes that circular economy is meant to close the loop by eliminating waste, circulate products and materials, and regenerate nature. This means that products are returned without need to purchase the same amount of raw material, allowing for nature to regenerate and reducing waste. The following from a biological (as in agricultural or for compost) and technological (as for electronic waste) point of view. It also includes managerial decisions such as choosing to lend a product, instead of selling it, so the consumer is required to return it and the company has power over it in order to repair it or recycle it.
What does the consumer know?
A study demonstrated that companies of all sizes found that lack of awareness (and knowledge) among consumers was a challenge when shifting their business model from linear to circular. There is not yet a specific label for circularity and the lack of consensus means that companies are unable to easily explain or communicate their decisions to consumers. Frequently when misinterpreted with sustainability it is unclear what a company has to do to become circular. Such element is also present when companies have to decide to shift their business model. Efficient application of circular design require awareness among all stakeholders, even among industries who have to choose how to produce and which management decisions to apply to their products requiring also a clear relationship with the consumer.
What can Circulix do?
Circulix looks to tackle these challenges by supporting companies to identify their gaps even in their communication and relationship with other stakeholders and not only in their product design and supply chain. A higher awareness within a company allows to build stronger relationships with external and internal stakeholders since there is a clearer understanding of what and where it is needed to make efficient circular products. In addition, the Circulix score helps to provide clear information to consumers on what is happening.
It is not only about recycling a product. Circular economy is more than that. As a complex system it requires knowledge, education, and awareness. Clear awareness. And if we can identify those gaps we can efficiently know where support, attention, and collaboration is required. Circulix supports achieving higher awareness and put you in contact with stakeholders who can help you achieve circularity. This is why awareness is not only important, but crucial.