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Circularity: Circular Economy & Circular Design


If you are ready to take action today to reduce your carbon emissions and broader environmental impacts, you can gain a broader understanding of the important role that Circular Economy and Circular Design have in our abilities to achieve Net Zero Carbon.

A Circular Economy is a model of production that keeps products/materials in sustained use for as long possible, and this can include sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials rather than disposing of them.

  • To support this model, products must be designed for disassembly (DfD), meaning they can be deconstructed and used again elsewhere.
  • Products and buildings can be designed for adaptability (DfA), meaning they are designed to be flexible and resilient to human and environmentally induced change.
  • Designing out waste is another method in which clients, designers and engineers can proactively consider the environmental impacts by avoiding the creation of waste altogether, or reducing the amount of waste produced if it has to.

A circular economy requires systems thinking. The below model created by the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, and expanding on the Cradle-to-Cradle concept, illustrates the closed loop options of a circular economy, the biological and the technical cycles. In both cycles materials travel continuously in-use until they may not be used any further. At this point, it is important that the time scale of this disposal and the disposal itself of a product, has been designated with a sustainable option for end-of-life.

To read more about how the Circular Economy tackles climate change see HERE.



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