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World countries are waiting for the results of the COP22 conference currently taking place in Marrakesh from the 7th to the 18th of November. Energy and environmental policies, however, can only do so much to influence the global climatic balance: in addition to those, it would be interesting to assess what role a transition to circular economy could play in reducing CO2 emissions.
A recent study published by Circle Economy and Ecofys presents five ways circular economy practices based on the principles “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” can contribute to keep the increase of the average global temperature below 1.5°C
- OPTIMISE CONSUMPTIONS
Every day, about 22 kg of raw materials per person are extracted globally: that’s an impressive amount, especially considering that only 7% of all products end up being reused. The circular economy promotes the concepts of repairing and refurbishing: if a product is not really at the end of its life cycle, why throw it away?
- PREFER NON CARBON-INTENSIVE MATERIALS
The stakeholders of the construction sector should make an effort to give their activity a more sustainable orientation. The cement industry alone is responsible for 5% of annual CO2 emissions. Rethinking construction works and supply chains in a sustainable way is possible: bioconstructions and bioarchitecture are already solid realities.
- TRIGGER A CHAIN REACTION
Promoting circular economy habits naturally reduces the dependence on raw materials. Raw material extraction and refining processes in developing countries are responsible for about 60% of climate-changing gas emissions, according to data by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development). Circular economy would be a step forward towards the reduction of global dependence on fossil fuels.
- USE RESOURCES EFFICIENTLY
The study estimates that implementing a strategy of reduction, reusing, and recycling of resources would lead to a 30% increase in resource management efficiency compared to current standards.
- GO DIGITAL
Innovation is making great strides in this direction: traditional business models are increasingly experiencing a digital transition. A further dematerialization of processes and services will allow to optimise the use of resources: less impact, more efficiency.