The straightest path to sustainable development is circular
The circular economy can stymie environmental degradation and climate change and reduce our reliance on finite resources while providing economic opportunities and benefits and promoting sustainable development. But what do consumers think and are organizations doing enough? We wanted to find out.
For the latest Capgemini Research Institute report, Circular economy for a sustainable future: How organizations can empower consumers and transition to a circular economy, we surveyed nearly 8,000 consumers across the US, UK, the EU, and APAC for major consumer-facing industries and spoke with academics, industry experts, startups, and think tanks active in the field of circular economy.
We found that while consumers are aware of the problem of waste and resource depletion and interested in participating in circular economy initiatives and mindful consumption practices, they face significant roadblocks, especially in terms of convenience, access, cost, and information. Moreover, even though they are clearly on board when it comes to closing the loop on food and plastic waste for example, they remain reticent in other areas, especially sharing/renting/leasing or buying second-hand. This leads to the consensus, from both consumers and organizations themselves, that organizations simply aren’t doing enough.
To scale their circular economy practices, organizations have to embrace circular design principles and identify business models that aren’t just driven by product sales. By rethinking their value and supply chains and collaborating more within their ecosystems and with governments, lawmakers, academics, think tanks, suppliers, vendors, clients, and innovative startups, organizations can push their circular initiatives forward. By leveraging emerging technologies and promoting skill building, culture change, and accountability, they can lay solid foundations for a circular mindset internally and by providing information, building trust and awareness, and shifting mindsets, they can do the same for their consumers.
For more information on the circular economy, download the report. Most importantly, be well and focus on the future you want.