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Tomorrow’s economy is circular,inclusive and regenerative

A contribution from Amanda Byrde Co-President of Impact Hub Switzerland Association

Circular economy shows us the way forward. It preserves and creates new resources, strengthens regional value creation, offers opportunities for new business models, and makes our economy more sustainable, inclusive and resilient. It represents not only a $4.5 trillion global economic opportunity, but also a key element in restoring the health of our ecosystems.

We are currently in the midst of a period of economic, social and environmental transition, brought about and marked by challenges such as energy shortages, raw material shortages, conflicts and global warming.

Global natural resource depletion and climate disruption point to the increasing obsolescence of our current extractive linear economic model, the take-make-waste economy. It is more urgent than ever to shift to an economy that respects the limits of our

planetary boundaries and protects and restores the health of our natural ecosystems.

And this is where the circular economy comes into play. An economic model that combines economy and ecology and one that doesn’t grow at the expense of nature. This transition undeniably requires a transformative shift in the way we value our natural environment, how we live, produce and consume.

However, this transition is also synonymous with change and progress, with the potential to make our economic system more resilient and represents a $4.5 trillion global economic opportunity, y reducing waste, stimulating innovation and creating employment.

So how do we define the circular economy and how do we apply it?

Circular economy can be seen as a powerful tool capable of reducing the consumption of natural resources, where existing products and materials are kept in use as long as possible throughout the value chain and waste and pollution are minimized. It involves profound changes in the way goods and services are designed, produced, marketed and used.

In practice, a set of key principles should be followed when designing a new product, such as: the use of toxic free material to allow biological nutrients to safely reenter the biosphere; modular design of products for easy disassembly to facilitate repairability and to facilitate end-of-life sorting; and energy efficiency and renewable energies in order to reduce resource dependency and increase the resilience of the system as a whole.

We have a once in a lifetime chance to rebuild our economy with people and the planet at the center, and we all have a role to play. The time for a Swiss circular economy is now.

Furthermore, it also implies a set of activities that help us guide our behaviors as consumers and producers to narrow the loops such as: Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Refurbish, and only at the very end Recycle. Recycling straddles the line between a waste management approach from the linear economy to a resource management approach central to the circular economy.


Amanda Byrde Co-President of Impact Hub Switzerland Association


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