Take Sustainability to the Next Level with the Circular Economy Toolbox

May 23, 2017

Takeaways

The Circular Economy Toolbox helps companies incorporate more sustainable business practices that eliminate waste

Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center, The Sustainability Consortium (TSC), and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), along with support from Tarkett, launched the Circular Economy Toolbox, an online platform to help companies incorporate more sustainable business practices that eliminate waste and increase efficiency.

The circular economy moves beyond sustainability to emphasize longevity, reuse, and recycling within business operations. This concept is a transformation of the traditional linear economy which focuses on a 'take, make, waste' model of production.

The appeal of the circular economy to the business community lies in the fact that it separates what the linear economy ties together: economic growth and resources. In the linear economy, business growth is tied to the volume of resources it can acquire. In the circular economy, resources are kept at their highest value and are constantly cycling back up into supply chains. 

The Circular Economy Toolbox assists companies in the development of programs that capitalize on the business value of the circular economy, providing actionable tools and steps for them to adjust their practices and take advantage of the long-term benefits of becoming more circular.

It features a repository of projects that profile companies’ circular activities and also provides useful information for businesses, including:

  • Overview of the circular economy;
  • Background on the differences between circularity and sustainability;
  • Glossary of terms and keywords; and
  • List of circular economy resources.

Below are some of the innovative projects found in the Circular Economy Toolbox:

  • Tarkett's ReStart Program allows flooring installation professionals to return and recycle old flooring instead of sending it to landfill. It is a complete program that educates the installer and gives them the tools, and incentives, to return the used products back to Tarkett for reuse.
  • GREEN EILEEN is a clothing take back program that collects, sorts, and resells gently worn Eileen Fisher clothing. All profits from the resale of the clothing support programs that create positive change for women, girls, and the environment.
  • Southwest Airlines and textile and accessories upcycler Looptworks are turning Southwest airplane seats into LUV Seat weekender duffle bags, shoes, and soccer balls.

These are just a handful of the more than 100 projects featured in the Toolbox. I encourage you to explore and learn how your business or organization can implement more circularity into your work.

Additionally, to get hands-on experience about how to maximize your company’s circular endeavors using the Circular Economy Toolbox, join the U.S. Chamber Foundation on June 26-28 for our 2017 Sustainability and Circular Economy Summit. At this event, hundreds of sustainability leaders will convene to discuss practical solutions to turn circular economy aspiration into profitable action for businesses. Click here to see a list of featured speakers, discussion topics, and more.