Exclusive Video: Sustainability LIVE Circular Economy Forum

Ragini Roy (Centre for Big Synergy), Oleseaden Lale (Wilson James), Julie Owst (Bidfood), and Sarah Watt (Gartner) on circularity at Sustainability LIVE

 Circularity is effectively the best-case scenario for all commercial and industrial activities. The circular economy has now become embedded in the conversation and associated with a number of sustainability activities—from building and recycling cars to the delivering of food products and takeaways. 

The diversity of the subjects brings together a diverse group of industries, which is exactly how you would explain The Circular Economy Forum at Sustainability LIVE London. 

Featuring four professionals with a knack for intentional business, the panel covered the topic extensively.

Featured in the panel:

Sustainability LIVE London | Dr Ragini Roy, Director of Global Programmes at the Centre for Big Synergy

How can circular economic principles integrate into business models? 

With their respective views of the circular economy challenge, each of the panellists was optimistic for the future, suggesting that things are moving in the right direction. The question that opened the conversation to the panel was “How can circular economic principles integrate into business models?”

“It is an important question that needs to be answered and it is a tough one as well, because at the end of the day, although we think that [businesses] are transitioning well, we understand from our consumer feedback, as well as lots of businesses, that it's an uphill struggle. There are various factors why it is an uphill struggle because of course till now the definition of business has been very different from what we are facing at the moment,” says Roy. 

Sustainability LIVE London | Dr Oleseaden Lale, Sustainability Manager at Wilson James

Also commenting on this is Lale, who says: 

“From my perspective, how the circular economy can be integrated into business as we know it—[there is] a broad spectrum of approaches that could be taken to achieve the level of integration we are looking for—but I think a key area would be in product design. 

“Now for products to be circular, they have to be designed in a certain way to a certain level of quality that allows them to be reused. Especially when you look at it from the point of view of [disassembly and reassembly] certain products.”

Sustainability LIVE London | Julie Owst, Head of Sustainability at Bidfood UK

From Bidfood’s angle, Owst says: 

“I'd really like to recommend […] circularitydeck.com. 

“It's a tool I've used both in an academic capacity and I’m planning to use it at work with our procurement teams. It's a set of cards and you can also have PDFs—so it's free—but it's taking all the principles of the circular economy in terms of reducing your raw material inputs, narrowing the input, prolonging the life of the product or it looks at the waste as well.”

Sustainability LIVE London | Sarah Watt, Sustainability Strategist & Change Leader at Gartner

From the perspective of a leading management consulting firm Gartner, Watts says: 

“There are four things that come to mind. The first thing I'd say is ‘start small’. Don't try to be circular with all your products, all at once. You will fail. Select one SKU that has a high degree of potential for circularity and demonstrate success so that you can get your senior executive to buy in. 

“Point number two would be to tie this back to your P&L. If it's not profitable, your business isn't going to do it, right? We need to be circular and profitable and, if we're not working out in terms of profitability, we need to go back to design.”

Follow the full session and catch more on-demand content on the Videos section.

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Other magazines that may be of interest - EV Magazine | Energy Digital

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Sign up to the The Global Sustainability & ESG Awards 2024, coming to London on the 11th September 2024. 

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