Life cycle environmental implication of the circular economy: free webinar, March 21

A useful learning and networking opportunity for anyone interested in LCA: The Life cycle environmental implication of the circular economy free webinar on March 21.

The concept of circular economy has emerged in response to the need for decoupling the economic growth from resource consumption and environmental impacts. Aiming to maximise resource efficiency, it represents an alternative to the current linear ‘take-make-use-dispose’ economic model. The circular economy concept rests on three fundamental principles: i) preserving and enhancing natural capital; ii) circulating products and materials at the highest utility as long as possible; and iii) designing out negative externalities. Therefore, transitioning to a circular economy will require a systemic change across supply chains, involving both technological and business model innovations. This in turn will necessitate a whole systems approach and life cycle thinking to capture and address the complex interrelationships between different aspects of a circular economy. One of the complexities is that ‘circular’ does not necessarily mean ‘sustainable’. Hence, we need to be able to understand the full implications of a switch from the ‘linear’ to ‘circular’ economic models. Focusing on environmental impacts of that switch, this presentation will discuss how we can measure the ‘circularity’ on a life cycle basis and what that may mean in practice, considering examples in the food, energy and plastics sectors.

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