We have caused the climate crisis by generating dangerously high levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Fragile ecosystems have been ruined, leading to the loss of biodiversity, soil degradation, polluted oceans and a lack of fresh water. Valuable natural resources are running low. Ultimately, the damage we do to our planet will undermine its ability to provide us with natural capital, and affect our health and well-being as well as our future economic prospects.
The circular economy is a way of making ends meet. The logic is simple — it means that we use natural resources responsibly so that we don’t risk exhausting them, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to manageable levels, and protect land and water for the benefit of all in the long term.
When the circular economy is introduced, the linear take, make, use, dispose model, where natural resources are turned into waste, is replaced with a model where products, components and materials are looped back into the system to be used again and again. To enable extended product lifespans and product reuse, IT products are durable and can be upgraded and repaired. Vital components that easily break or lose capacity can be replaced. Products are of high quality and are possible to take apart to allow for refurbishing and remanufacturing solutions. When a product has reached the end of its usable life, materials are seen as valuable resources that are recycled to replace virgin materials in the manufacture of new products. The ultimate aim is to eliminate waste altogether.