What is circularity?

Circularity goes beyond the recycling of products. Circularity is the principle that used or discarded products serve as raw materials for new products or materials. By participating in the circular economy as a company, you focus on preserving the value of raw materials, components and products. To what end? A world without waste.

the meaning of circularity

Circularity means that products (or its parts) can be used as a raw material for new products or materials - after their use. The goal of the circular economy is a world without waste.

In designing and producing circular products, the development process is the starting point where we define in what way the product and its parts can be used for in a second life. The product will be produced in such way that each element can become a raw material at the end of its life cycle. What used to be a waste stream, ow is a raw materials

Why circularity is important

The Earth’s resources are becoming exhausted. If we (re-)use her raw materials in a smarter way, we can prevent this.

Circularity strives for a sustainable environment and future. By closing loops, less waste will exist which is important for the preservation of the earth.

By 2030, the Dutch government wants to halve the use of primary raw materials. It is therefore important that both the business community and private individuals think about sustainable solutions and circularity. Circular products are a solution for achieving sustainable objectives.

Circular economy

The basic principle of the circular economy is that there is no such thing as waste. After use, every product is a raw material for new products. By taking part in the circular economy as a company, you focus on retaining the value of raw materials, parts and products. The opposite of a circular economy is the linear economy.

Definition of the circular economy:

“A circular economy is an economic and industrial system based on the reusability of products and raw materials and the recoverability of natural resources. It minimises value destruction in the entire system and strives to create value in every link of the system.”

Difference circular vs. linear economy

In the current linear economy the focus is on the production, use and disposal of products. The result? Huge mountains of waste. This is a shame, because these waste streams contain materials that can serve as raw materials for new products. The solution lies in circularity or, in other words, in closing cycles.

Lineair circulaire economie 01 final

Example circular facility management

One of the spearheads of the circular economy is the reduction of waste. Companies can make a difference here. After all, offices produce massive amounts of waste. This includes daily waste such as cardboard coffee cups, packaging, food waste, cleaning products and (recovered) paper.

In addition, companies are confronted with waste streams that may not occur on a daily basis, but which do have an impact. This includes maintenance, the changing of an office layout or possible construction work.

CIRCULAR ENTREPRENEURING: WHERE TO START?

Do you wonder how you, as a facility manager, can participate in the circular economy and reduce waste?

Everything begins with setting objectives around sustainability and circularity. Then, when purchasing a product or service, opting for the solution that makes it possible to achieve the objectives set. After purchase, you will have to make agreements about the use and the process after the end of the use in order to avoid waste and depreciation.

One potential way to get started with circularity and the reduction of waste is to make your processes and consumption transparent. What is your current consumption? What can you save on? Based on these insights, you can set goals regarding circularity.

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