Written By: Felipe Soraires, Circular Asset Consultant at LUP Global 



On 29 and 30 September 2020, Sitra – the Finnish Innovation Fund- hosted the World Circular Economy Forum, this time virtually, due to the pandemic. The year 2020 will definitely mark our lives, individually and as a society, a year of constant change and adaptation. The COVID-19 pandemic has spread its power and consequences across the world, damaging all economies and hitting hard the deepest roots of the current economic system.

The importance of a rapid transition to a circular economy is more important than ever, and that was precisely the topic of the first session: “The Circular Economy as an accelerator for a sustainable recovery”. With a panel composed by European (currently the most ambitious region regarding Circular Economy) leaders, from governmental institutions and private sector, the speakers explained the current state of the global economy and debated how the circular economy could help the economy reboot and come back better –more sustainable- than before.

Circular Economy concepts to face current challenges

Frans Timmermans -Executive VP of the European Commission- gave detailed explanations on why he believes the Circular Economy is the best response we can provide as a society to deal the complex combined challenges we are facing: climate change, biodiversity crisis, pandemic and consequences of the industrial revolution. The importance of extending the lifecycles of products/equipments -the business model implemented by LUP – was highlighted by him: “we need products that are durable, reusable, reparable and safe… Products made for last longer, with high quality recycling capabilities, made from recycled materials”.


Businesses in the transition to a Circular Economy

Another interesting session was organized by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, whose President Peter Bakker talked about the role of businesses in the transition to a Circular Economy and how the pandemic impacted on that. “The pandemic has clearly exposed our system, our society, and now we need global solutions. We need all relevant stakeholders to be engaged and better incentives for the private sector”. In an interesting debate with companies from all over the world (from Thailand to the US and Sweden), the speakers argued how circular business models helped their companies to be more resilient and competitive during these difficult times. Reduction of costs, more efficiency, value creation for customers, safer supply chain, were some of the reasons they gave.

Inspiring words from Ellen MacArthur

 (Sourced from www.euractiv.com)


Giving a closure to the Forum, Ellen MacArthur , President of the Foundation named after her –one of the most influential organizations promoting Circular Economy worldwide- gave a very inspiring speech, saying that her biggest motivation to work towards a Circular Economy is that “Circular Economy is a goal to move towards (…), is something that sets a target, and when you have a goal like this, you are enabled to get closer to it. I love the fact that Circular Economy goes right to the root causes of many of our many global challenges. It implies an opportunity for us, and that always resonate me”.

The whole world needs to find ways to get back on its feet, and there is a unique opportunity to support the sustainable recovery of the economy with circular solutions. WCEFonline dived into why and how a circular economy can help reboot and build resilience in the economy.

How to get involved?

The main sessions of the World Circular Economy Forum have finished, but there will be more side events during this year.

To find out more about this visit their website.

To watch the previous sessions, click HERE. 

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