Defining a circular economy
Until recently, few people had heard the term circular economy and fewer still understood the business opportunities offered by embracing one. A circular economy takes a step forward from the traditional take-make-dispose linear production cycle toward one that promotes product design emphasizing resource reduction, extended use, reuse and recycling or composting and biodegradability while meeting performance, safety and health requirements.
The Business case for a circular economy
Regulations are starting to drive businesses forward as governmental agencies set requirements for raw materials, end-of-life alternatives, operational efficiencies and carbon emissions. While regulations are just emerging, buyers are showing a preference for circular products, encouraging their supply chain to take a more sustainable approach and looking for products with green labels or disclosures.
Transitioning to the circular economy can be a difficult process if not approached correctly and with a clear mission and goal in mind. However, committing to such a change is the first step towards circularity and is where the benefits can first be seen. Once businesses have committed towards adapting current processes, operations, design strategies and company goals, previously unknown efficiencies rapidly appear, disrupting and forever changing the old status quo.
From escaping the over-designing of products and materials that reduces the amount of time, resources and waste of products, to changing how manufacturing facilities handle discarded items to reduce waste sent to the landfill and harm inflicted on the environment. The benefits of transitioning to the circular economy can be realized in all aspects of business, with improvements to social responsibility, environmental stewardship and business profitability.
Your UL Solutions resources for circular economy sustainability
When you call on our circular economy experts, you choose from an array of services to build, measure and communicate your circular business model and optimize operations management processes, so you can grow while having all the benefits a circular economy offers within reach.
Learn how to make more sustainable circular resource recoveries with our Circular Economy Services.
Demonstrate your complete circular economy story
UL Solutions understands how to bring the benefits of circularity to your business with UL 3600 certification for Measuring and Reporting Circular Economy Aspects of Products, Sites and Organizations. Companies that pursue certification to UL 3600 will have their material flows evaluated across three dimensions:product, facility and enterprise— and the results will be reported in a Circularity Facts Report. The report serves as a transparency tool that shows a visual representation of a company’s circularity efforts, and it can grow with a company as it expands the scope of its own circularity efforts and program.