Friends Of Carbon Copy: Centre For Responsible Business

by Ric Casale

Friends Of Carbon Copy: Centre For Responsible Business

Carbon Copy is privileged to receive support and advice from some of the brightest minds at Birmingham University’s Lloyds Banking Group Centre for Responsible Business. Building the foundations for a more responsible and sustainable future, academia is partnering with companies at the Centre to co-create innovative and responsible business successes. At Carbon Copy, we recognise the importance of purpose-led businesses in local climate action too, and the critical role they play in achieving a carbon zero future.

A fundamental reorganisation of the way we produce, consume and cycle resources could support the UK population sustainably, but it calls for "circular economies" locally and nationally that focus relentlessly on eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. The circular flow of materials is inherently profitable but the potentially huge gains in creating value and new jobs are largely untapped today. It is also a radically better system from a material consumption and emissions point of view, and its impact is fundamental to a future restorative economy.

The concept is not a new one and its origins date back to the 1970s. The incredible power behind the idea of circular economies is that it would effectively separate economic growth from resource usage by reducing our dependency on primary materials and energy. In a circular economy, we would not necessarily need to consume more stuff for the economy to grow and conversely, we could stop consuming stuff without fear of the economy collapsing. Increasing the frantic consumption of disposable products would no longer be the goal.

Responsible businesses and entire industries can redesign the way they work on circular principles in many different ways: by reducing materials and waste and pollution during the upfront stage of product development or infrastructure design; by finding new ways of extending the useful life of products and components; by offering services instead of selling products; and finally by recycling materials that can no longer be reused.

Shifting to a circular economy requires change at all levels, from companies to cities and from citizens to countries. As places where consumption is most concentrated, cities compound the demands and pressures but are also well placed to lead the new economy. An exemplary “circular city” would include a built environment that minimises the use of new raw materials, is highly utilised by residents based on shared spaces, and by design preserves energy, water and food. It would rely on renewable energy for its power, an efficient integrated transport system for its mobility, and a bio-economy for some of its food. It would also have thriving circular economies for local production, repairing and distributive manufacturing, and diverse exchanges of goods, materials and services.

All this is possible when innovative companies and entrepreneurs embrace the new business opportunities of building circular economies, working collaboratively with partners in academia and government, public bodies and community groups. Carbon Copy is passionately non-exclusive and wants to showcase such low-carbon innovation and partnerships. It’s all about what you want to learn and share with others and where that knowledge will take you.

Photo by Coline Beulin on Unsplash

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