What is a circular economy?

A circular economy aims to make the absolute most from products, components and materials at all times. The concept recommends we significantly improve how the various facets of our economies interact with each other to ensure they are as efficient as possible. A circular economy operates on global and local scales with intersections between businesses (large and small), cities, governments, regions, and households.

Keeping resources circulating

The circular economy model focuses on restoration and regeneration, rather than consumption and waste, keeping resources circulating in a loop of usefulness for as long as possible.

Key attributes of the model optimise resources through the different loops of the use cycle outlined below:

  • Maintain and prolong
  • Reuse and redistribute
  • Refurbish and remanufacture
  • Recycle

The take, make, dispose model is old school

Google Data Center’s have recently partnered with the Ellen Macarthur Foundation to build on its existing sustainability practices to embed circular economic principles into the fabric of its operations, culture and infrastructure.

One example of this in action is the way Google is implementing circular economy strategy at scale to manage the hardware inside of its own data centres. Processes have now been implemented across the lifecycle of the hardware spanning maintenance, refurbishment/remanufacturing, redistribution/secondary market sales and recycling. These measures combined with Google’s approach to optimising the end of life of servers have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars per year in cost avoidance and prevented tonnes of materials from going into landfill.

Sharing and circular economies

There was a time when we actively participated in circular economies and our communities were more connected with less waste generated. Your workplace can get involved and make a difference.

Is your workplace ready to embrace change?

Workplaces which explore new ways of offering goods as rented items for example (a service), or which can find ways to support the re-use of previously disposed ‘dead’ electrical components or which share resources like food among local communities rather than throwing them into landfill stand to gain both profit and improved reputation, plus sustainability.

What approach does your workplace take in how it creates, uses, recycles and re-purposes materials, products and waste? Have you considered engaging your employees to participate in the circular economy?

Making the joy of sharing your first step

Spare Harvest is bringing back the joy of sharing in workplaces by activating the circular economy, helping them move away from a linear approach. Employees participate by sharing spare resources from their kitchens and gardens with their colleagues. This is creating friendlier, more efficient and thriving workplaces while reducing waste and consumption. Learn more.