M is for Ellen MacArthur: The Circular Economy

Ellen became famous for her round-the-world yacht voyages. Whilst on the yacht she became increasingly aware of environmental challenges. This led to her focusing on the need to live with just the resources available and to cut out waste.

Ellen began exploring the concept of the Circular Economy. The video above how this approach could work in practice. Here is a more detailed introduction from the Foundation’s web site.

Ellen MacArthur

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation works with education and business to accelerate the transition to a Circular Economy.

The circular economy is a generic term for an industrial economy that is, by design or intention, restorative and in which materials flows are of two types, biological nutrients, designed to re-enter the biosphere safely, and technical nutrients, which are designed to circulate at high quality without entering the biosphere.

A circular economy seeks to rebuild capital, whether this is financial, manufactured, human, social or natural.

This ensures enhanced flows of goods and services. The system diagram illustrates the continuous flow of technical and biological materials through the ‘value circle’.

Here is a video in which Ellen gives a fuller explanation.

The Foundation has also introduced the concept of the Circular Economy 100. Here is an explanation from the web site.

The Circular Economy 100 is a global platform bringing together leading companies, emerging innovators and regions to accelerate the transition to a circular economy over a 1000-day (3 year) period.

The programme is based on the principle that more value can be gained from collective problem solving than can be achieved by working alone.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation will further fuel this process, with the help of their global partners and with McKinsey as a knowledge partner by providing three levels of support:

Creating a mechanism for collective problem solving.

Building a library of best practice guidance to help businesses fast track success.

Provide a scalable mechanism for building circular economy capabilities within businesses.

Here is a video explaining the Circular Economy 100.

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