Our world is just 9% circular


A new report published by Circle Economy UA (Netherlands) concludes that currently there is just a 9% circular flow of goods in the worldwide economy. Reversed, this means there is a potential to save more than 90 % the world’s resources by improving and promoting Circular Economy (CE). This is especially relevant considering the strong focus of Circular Economy at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2018 and its launch of the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE) in 2017. 

Gap report 1

The Circularity Gap Report, published in January 2018, is an analysis of the current state of CE in the global economy. Together with the upcoming World Economic Forum in Davos, the report picks up the current discussion by governments and economic leaders about the importance of sustainability and the possible ways of saving resources. With the United Nation’s “Emissions Gap Report” as an inspiration, the report shows a large gap in the circularity of our world - a gap that needs to be closed to save the world’s goods and reduce wasting. 

Our life standards rose since the Industrial Revolution tremendously. As the Circularity Gap Report makes clear, since then the society has been embedded in a take-make-waste tradition of linear economy. This has resulted in many negative consequences for the world’s environment. Right now, the world is standing at an economical and cultural crossroad and humanity needs to make significant changes to prevent a crisis. In fact, the report emphasizes that we need a fundamental redefinition of our economic language. 

To address these issues, the Circularity Gap Report was written for a practical and scalable implementation of a Circular Economy in the world. 

Through the last four decades the global material use has almost tripled to 84,4 billion tons in 2015. To handle these climbing numbers of materials, the report describes the following goals for a more sustainable economy in the future:
·    Launch of a global circularity metric
·    Provision of high-level insights
·    Identification of key levers
·    Formation of a global, cross-sector group 

In seven elements, the authors of the report determine what we need to do for a circular economy:
 ·    Prioritize regenerative resources to ensure renewable, reusable, non-toxic resources
·    Preserve and extend what’s already made: more repair, remanufacturing and upgrade (extended lifetime)
·    Use waste as a resource (reuse and recycling)
·    Rethink the business model for greater value
·    Design for the future: extend lifetime of products already in development process
·    Incorporate digital technology: track and optimize resource use and strengthen connections
·    Collaborate to create joint value: work together throughout supply chains  

With the cycled materials of 8.4 billion tons by the global economy in 2015 and material inputs of 92.8 billion tons a circularity of 9.1% is the result. That makes a Circularity Gap of almost 90%.

 Essential to overcome this circularity gap is to limit extraction and boost the cycling of resources against a forecast trend of step increased extraction.

Circular Economy Solutions GmbH (C-ECO) focusses 100% of its energy into Circular Economy. In addition, similarly to the contributors to the Circularity Gap Report, C-ECO is also engaged in discussions of political and ecological topics. C-ECO’s experience in CE assists the report’s demand for more circularity and cooperation of businesses worldwide. C-ECO strongly supports a transition from a linear system into a closed economy and a future with more than just 9% circularity. 


For further information:

Gap Report 

Report about Davos