ABN AMRO has published the Circular Economy Guide to help companies draw up a business case that will accelerate the move towards a circular economy. The manual describes the steps needed to adjust business models and production chains to a new economic model in which waste is eliminated, raw materials are recycled perpetually, and businesses offer services rather than products. In order to make this transition, all parties in the production chain need to work together. The first edition of the Circular Economy Guide was presented on 21 January on the occasion of the New Year’s event of MVO Nederland, the Dutch association for corporate social responsibility.
Moving towards a circular economy in 14 steps
In a circular economy raw materials are continuously recycled and waste is eliminated. Many businesses face the challenge of finding the best way to make the transition to this new economic model. The ‘Circular Economy Guide’ explains the basic principles of the circular economy, it provides concrete tools, and walks companies through the process of drawing up a sound business case in 14 steps. The guide covers the entire life of a product: from the design phase and selecting materials, to production, consumption and recycling. The steps are illustrated with inspiring examples of companies that are blazing the trail in the circular economy, such as Heyde Hoeve, a cooperative of pig breeders that makes compost from minerals in animal manure waste, with the aid of biogas.
The circular economy revolves around making optimum use of raw materials through perpetual recycling. This approach creates opportunities. McKinsey consultancy has calculated that a circular economy could save the European Union 1,800 billion euros in 2030. ‘We are on the eve of a new phase. Anticipating future developments is key here. We want to put our thorough understanding of the various economic sectors to use by helping clients get on the fast track to becoming circular. The challenges businesses face often lead to innovations that make them healthier and more resilient,’ says Niels Dijkman, Sustainability Manager at ABN AMRO Corporate Banking. ‘The Circular Economy Guide serves as a good starting point when engaging with clients about sustainability issues.’
Supporting a circular economy
ABN AMRO is one of three major Dutch banks that support the circular economy. For more information, see the press release (in Dutch) issued by MVO Nederland on 21 January 2016.