Business, governments and citizens around the world increasingly recognize the challenges caused by our “take-make-dispose” approach to production and consumption. In 2019, over 92 billion tonnes of materials were extracted and processed, contributing to about half of global CO2 emissions. The resulting waste – including plastics, textiles, food, electronics and more – is taking its toll on the environment and human health.
The circular economy, which promotes the elimination of waste and the continual safe use of natural resources, offers an alternative that can yield up to $4.5 trillion in economic benefits to 2030.
Achieving this transition requires unprecedented collaboration given that today, only 8.6% of the world is circular. We have a long way to go. To this end, the World Economic Forum’s Circular Economy Initiative brings together private, public, civil society and expert stakeholders to accelerate the circular economy transition by advancing three key pillars or work:
The PACE community consists of 80 public, private, international and civil society executive leaders and over 200 members championing 18 projects across the globe. Since early 2019, the PACE Secretariat has been hosted by the World Resources Institute in The Hague with continued leadership and collaboration of the Forum.
Transforming Material Value Chains
The Forum hosts a series of major value chain action partnerships that work with partners along global material value chains to advance circular models – from plastics, electronics, batteries, cars, to fashion/ textiles:
A public-private collaboration platform with ~60 members seeking to establish a sustainable battery value chain
· Trade & Circular Economy
A collaboration between the trade and Circular Economy initiative to assess the role and function of trade in facilitating a positive circular economy transition.
Scaling Innovation and the 4IR
Scale360° is an emerging initiative which aims to mobilize action among innovators, governments, civil society, and private sector stakeholders to grow the ecosystem for circular 4IR technology innovation— with a focus on plastics, electronics, food and fashion/textiles. This work builds on the related report launched in 2019 to explore the potential of the 4IR to fast-track the circular economy.