A new report launched by Circle Economy at Davos claims that the world is only 9% circular. Over 90% of raw materials are not cycled back into the economy. This is putting a massive strain on natural resources as well as the climate. Reducing waste in processes is integral to circularity.
A great example of a UK business leveraging circular principles is Winnow Solutions, which provides digital solutions to commercial kitchens to reduce food waste and counts the likes of Carnival Cruises, AccorHotels, Compass Group and IKEA as clients. This is a considerable market opportunity: an estimated $1 trillion worth of food is wasted every year, with $100 billion attributable to the hospitality industry.
Investors are also taking notice and identifying opportunities in the circular economy to create value. Winnow recently raised $7.4 million of additional growth capital, led by Circularity Capital, to accelerate its international roll out plan and further globalise their solutions across a wide range of food users.
An array of circular-related pledges and announcements were made at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, where the world’s business and political elites are being urged to bridge the “circularity gap” through leadership and action. Eleven companies have reaffirmed or announced pledges for 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025 includes Amcor, Coca-Cola, Ecover, Evian, Marks & Spencer (M&S), Walmart and Werner & Mertz – together representing more than six million tonnes of plastic packaging each year. This adds to the growing list of corporates to directly address the ongoing plastics issues, following on from similar commitments by consumer-facing companies and retailers such as Iceland, Waitrose and McDonald’s. Unilever chief executive Paul Polman said: “It is welcome news that many other major companies are making their own commitments to address ocean plastic waste.