Circular Economy Task Force
Our economy is largely linear: we dig things out of the ground, turn them into products that last from minutes to a few years at most, and then stick them back into the ground as landfill. This wastes resources, money, and harms the environment through both extraction and disposal. We can minimise our use of resources, but we will still need raw materials to make the products we consume. So how do we avoid environmental impact, reduce our exposure to volatile and rising commodity prices, and capture the valuable materials which we currently pay to dispose of?
Our solution is a circular economy – one which captures materials so that today’s goods are remanufactured or reused to become tomorrow’s goods, rather than landfill. To make this work, we need to understand how circular business models can be developed in a way that keeps companies profitable, and how the policy landscape can better help to foster a circular, resource secure economy.
To answer these questions, we have convened a task force of leading businesses in the Circular Economy Task Force. This group is working closely with Defra and BIS to help inform Government thinking on resource security, as outlined in the Resource Security Action Plan.
Resource resilient UK
In its first year, the task force showed how the root causes of resource insecurity lie substantially in environmental problems. Water scarcity, rising extraction costs for fossil fuels and limitations on land availability increasingly constrain supply at a time when demand is growing.
Our report, Resource resilient UK, shows how to address these constraints and secure resource supplies for the UK.
For further information on the Circular Economy check out our recent blog posts on the topic:
Do we need new products or new systems for a circular economy? by Dustin Benton
The circular economy: big in Japan by Jonny Hazell
Which raw materials pose the biggest business risk? by Dustin Benton
Chatham House on resource futures: right diagnosis but uncertain prognosis by Dustin Benton
What's the difference between a circular and a linear economy? 1 mm by Dustin Benton
Members of the task force include:
More information and related links
Summer reception 2012: Compete or collaborate? The best business approach to resource security