Trends & Issues
The circular economy
The circular economy is an economic system that maximizes the re-usability of products and raw materials, and minimizes their devaluation. This system differs from the current linear system, where raw materials are used to manufacture products that are destroyed at the end of their shelf lives.
The circular system has two cycles of materials. One of these, the biological cycle, focuses on returning wastes safely back to nature. The second is the technical cycle, which seeks to ensure that products (and their components) are designed and marketed in a way that enables them to be re-used with the highest quality retention. These cycles maximize retention of economic value. Consequently, the system is ecologically and economically restorative.
CSR Netherlands' ambition for 2020 is to turn the Dutch business community into a circular economy that can serve as a global model. We are working to achieve this by raising general awareness about this topic. We also collaborate closely with businesses by helping groups of companies determine what roles they can fulfil in this new economy.
Our initiatives include the Community of Practice (CoP), and Green Deal Circular Purchasing programmes. In these programmes, we help companies shape this new economy for themselves, either by focusing on primary processes or by using purchasing as a means of encouraging suppliers to switch to a better, healthier model.