This article first appeared on edie.net on March 20, 2013.
Environmental Data Interactive Exchange (Edie), an online sustainability resource based in the UK, has published an exclusive white paper highlighting the opportunities and challenges of circular economy realization, for both businesses and the waste management industry.
The report, published in association with sponsor FCC Environment and sister title Local Authority Waste & Recycling magazine, investigates the implications of closed-loop thinking as businesses start to take back waste-derived materials and energy into their supply chains.
As this resource efficiency agenda heightens, the white paper Closing the loop: risk or reward? offers guidance and direction to those attempting to navigate the dynamics at play in a bid to capitalise upon these trends. Based on exclusive research, the document confirms that the waste industry is very much in a transitional phase, marked by growing concerns around feedstock security as waste begins to rise in value. It reveals that the majority of waste producers are looking to align themselves with circular economy values — a shift that will have significant repercussions for waste management service providers.
While some waste management companies are looking to reposition themselves to take account of these changing dynamics, a high degree of inertia remains among the majority, which could see them left behind if the transition to a circular economy starts to accelerate.
Importantly, the paper points out that there are clear commercial gains for those early movers, with the majority of businesses looking to engage with their waste supply chains when it comes to closing the loop on their operations.
"The attitudes of organisations that generate waste are changing rapidly, and this survey provides a valuable overview of those changes," commented FCC Environment sales, marketing & communications director Kristian Dales.
"This report maps progress along the journey so far. It confirms the demands upon the recycling and waste sector, thereby reducing perceived risks and showing that for those companies willing to adapt, the long-term opportunities are huge."