Jo-Anne St. Godard
Executive Director, Circular Innovation Council
The circular economy is key to combating climate change and driving sustainable economic growth. Discover how to unlock its power.
As the urgency to combat climate change grows, it’s becoming clear that current efforts to cut carbon emissions will fall short. For Canada to achieve its climate targets, we need to think beyond tailpipes and solar panels.
Embodied carbon: unveiling the hidden emissions
What we make and use every day embodies almost half of the emissions we need to cut. Products we buy and use every day encompass a staggering 45 per cent of our carbon emission target and are created through their production, consumption, and disposal. This is the hidden challenge that’s evading governments, businesses, and everyday Canadians, but that in fact presents a significant opportunity.
The circular economy: a sustainable pathway for emissions reduction
Enter the circular economy — a transformative approach that addresses embodied carbon and promotes production and consumption practices that do more with less while continuing to prosper. By adopting circular principles, businesses, governments, and the average Canadian can play a significant role in optimizing resources and reducing carbon emissions associated with the entire lifecycle of products. The key is choosing companies and products that are adopting circular business models.
Exploring circular business models
To catalyze the transition to a circular economy, five key circular business models have emerged, offering unique approaches to deliver value for the planet, people, and profit. Each delivers less production, fewer carbon emissions, less waste, and fewer costs.
- Sharing platforms:
- Sharing and collaborative use of products and resources
- Optimizing utilization rates, reducing the overall demand for production
- Product as a service:
- Getting the value or function of a product but not the product itself
- Shifting from ownership to service-based models
- Product life extension:
- Extending the lifespan of products through the new 3RS: repair, refurbishment, and remanufacturing
- Circular supplies:
- Products made of discarded materials using renewable energy to produce them
- Reducing dependence on virgin materials, promoting resource efficiency, and minimizing environmental impact
- Resource efficiency:
- Optimizing resource consumption through better design, manufacturing processes, and resource management
- Minimizing material waste, energy use, and overall environmental footprint throughout the value chain
Join the movement: how to take action on the circular economy
Are you ready to delve further into the transformative potential of the circular economy and its powerful solutions? At the 2023 Canadian Circular Economy Summit, we’ll discuss Canada’s roadmap to a circular economy. Delegates across all sectors will gather to discuss strategies to transition markets and create the necessary demand to meet climate goals and protect natural resources. Fostering change at the market level is the only way to achieve widespread implementation.
The summit, while a one-time event, is an important milestone and will catalyze conversations toward the common goals of all who attend and create a path to accelerate the transition from a take-make-waste economy.
Stay informed: next steps in your circular journey
In the coming months, we’ll be sharing that roadmap as well as a series of detailed articles on our website, providing more on the five circular economy business models. These articles will provide you with inspiring examples, practical guidance, and deep insights to propel all organizations and individuals to get involved. With businesses and governments around the world embracing the circular economy and the opportunities it provides, it will be individual
Visit circularinnovation.ca to learn more and get involved.