The circular economy will be essential to improve resource efficiency in Europe, one of the key aspects of Europe 2020. A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth3. Public administration and industry are aware of the business opportunities in improving resource productivity. A study for the European Commission4 estimates that increasing resource productivity by 2% per year could create over two million jobs more than under a business-asusual scenario. Another study for the European Commission5 states that with waste prevention, eco-design, reuse and similar measures, European companies could achieve a net annual saving of €600 billion.
Several European regions have recently launched action plans towards the implementation of design for circular economy models, for instance Scotland with ‘Zero Waste Scotland – Design for a Circular Economy’ or Catalunya with its ‘Ecodesign Strategy for a Circular Economy’6, among others.
But current ‘green’ approaches and initiatives are not enough to create a sustainable future. A more radical shift is needed in how we design, produce and distribute our products and the services around them.
Moving from a linear economy model towards a circular economy model implies a number of important transformation changes, not only in products or services but also in new business models and the way all actors interact.
Designers can offer strategic business innovation which could have a much bigger impact on eco-design and new business models.
BEDA believes that a circular design approach can play a leading role in achieving these changes. It is thus crucial to strengthen the role of design in public policies that boost the circular economy.
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