Climate Action

Dame Ellen MacArthur launches circular economy programme in the US

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has launched its Circular Economy 100 programme in the US in a bid to address waste management

  • 02 March 2016
  • William Brittlebank

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has launched its Circular Economy 100 (CE100) programme in the United States in a bid to address waste management.

The initiative was established in 2013 and includes city and government authorities, universities, and companies such as Apple, Google, Cisco, Coca-Cola, eBay, and IBM.

The CE100 programme puts emphasis on maintaining the utility and value of products and materials at all times, in contrast to the standard “take, make, dispose” model.

The concept of the circular economy is gaining traction in the US because of the opportunities it brings to businesses aiming to gain new value from existing resources.

Members of the US CE100 programme also include Arizona State University and the Phoenix Public Works Department, which are providing an incubator for emerging businesses and technologies that will act as catalysts in the transition to a circular economy.

The launch of the US CE100 programme follows a new study by the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation which found that the 5,589 largest publicly traded companies in the US sent 342 million metric tonnes of waste to landfills and incinerators in 2014.

The study also found that if these companies reduced their paper waste by 1 per cent, it would lead to total savings $1 billion.

By joining the US CE100, organisations will gain access to collaboration, capacity building, networking as well as research and insight opportunities, to help them achieve their circular economy ambitions.

In a statement Dame Ellen MacArthur (pictured) said: “The circular economy offers many quantified benefits, and provides a positive way forward for businesses wishing to hedge themselves from market volatility.”

MacArthur added: “Our 2013 report Towards the Circular Economy Vol. 2, featuring analysis by McKinsey & Co, highlighted the $700 billion opportunity in global consumer goods material savings from adopting circular economy practices. For organisations that embrace the opportunities offered by the circular economy, there are first-mover advantages available. The CE100 USA program provides key insight to support organisations in their transition, and to help accelerate their rate of circular economy innovation.”