Why is the evolution from the linear economy to the circular economy necessary?

Tue 06/09/2022 - 08:54


The Spanish Global Compact Network has launched a free course aimed at all parties interested in finding out how the circular economy is affecting companies, what the challenges are for the future and what benefits the evolution from the linear to the circular economy has brought us today.  

The SOCOTEC Chair of Circular Engineering, with the aim of transferring knowledge, has highlighted economic and environmental data to warn society of the need for this evolution towards circularity in the first module of this course. 

The linear model has favored industrial development and growth, but it is currently an inefficient system that is pushing the planet to the limit of its resources. 

Globally, in 2021, in 7 months we have consumed all the natural resources that the planet is capable of regenerating in a full year. If we take Spain into account, this figure is even more alarming, since resources have been exhausted in just a period of 5 months. 

In fact, 45% of greenhouse gas emissions are due to the manufacture of products, and more than 90% of biodiversity loss is due to the extraction of raw materials. 

By 2044 we could reach an increase of 6°C if we continue to use this linear model. 

Based on these consequences, in addition to the negative economic consequences of the linear model, such as the inefficiency and cost of waste management, and the awareness of society, accompanied by the regulatory push from institutions, it is leading companies to apply a circular model in their strategy. 

The circular model shown by the Global Compact, represented in the figure below, is similar to the one that the SOCOTEC Chair of Circular Engineering at the University of Zaragoza has been applying since its inception, aligned with the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. 

What economic opportunities exist by applying this circular economy model? 

According to the data shown by the Global Compact, a net benefit of 1.8 trillion euros is estimated by 2030 if the circular economy model were applied, adopting all advances in innovation and technology. 

Companies would achieve cost savings of 600,000 million euros, which would be equivalent to 8% of their business. (Data estimated in the European Commission's I Circular Economy Action Plan). 

In Spain, it is estimated that, due to the use of this new business model, up to 160,000 new jobs could be generated by 2030. 

Therefore, from the SOCOTEC Chair in Circular Engineering of the University of Zaragoza we consider the application of this circular model critical, especially in the business sector linked to energy, and we join the arguments that the Global Compact throws out; These include: minimising costs and economic growth, increasing security in the supply chain, increasing competitiveness and partnerships, and satisfying all environmental, social and economic stakeholders. 

¿Quieres saber qué acciones debe llevar a cabo tu empresa para avanzar en su estrategia hacia la economía circular? Contactez-nous

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