circular economy update

A few interesting pieces relating to developing a Circular Economy:

Philips hosted a expert panel debate in Brussels:

In the past century, the developed world has followed a linear model of production and consumption. Goods were manufactured, sold, used and disposed. It has created immense wealth, but this model is starting to reach its limits. The circular economy aims to decouple economy growth from the use of natural resources by using resources more effectively and repeatedly, thus eliminating waste. It provides multiple benefits, including: innovation, new business models, creation of more value, reduce waste landfill and emissions, and better quality of life for citizens.

Earlier this month, Philips hosted an expert panel debate in Brussels. The keynote speaker was Dame Ellen MacArthur, founder of the leading Foundation dedicated to promoting circular economy globally. Philips shares Ellen’s passion to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy. We are convinced that through innovation we can create value for the economy and reduce our environmental footprint.

The well attended panel debate was moderated by Jo Confino from the Guardian and further consisted of Conny Bakker from Delft University, William Neale from the European Commission, Luc Gellens from Umicore, and Henk de Bruin who presented Philips’ efforts to re-think and organise its activities in a circular way in the lighting and healthcare business. Participants from EU institutions, business and NGOs exchanged views about policy solutions to incentivise companies closing the material loop and developing new business models.

The Guardian has a piece about a UK research team called “CLEVER” that is exploring closed loop designs and recycling technologies for smartphones, including a process called “biomining”:

…a plastic material from plant cellulose for the phone’s skeleton, and circuit boards that dissolve into sugars in the presence of engineered bacteria. For the recovery of metals, Scott and her co-workers plan to evaluate the use of ionic liquids, types of salts that may be liquid at ambient temperature, to dissolve specific metals…

And one of my colleagues from Philips, Dr. Markus Laubscher, Project Manager Circular Economy, discusses the importance of collaboration between higher education and companies for the acceleration towards a circular economy in this video.