A circular approach to business

Willemstad - Today's linear ‘take, make, dispose’ economic model relies on large quantities of cheap, easily accessible materials and energy, and is a model that is reaching its physical limits. Through a change in perspective we can re-design the way our economy works - designing products that can be 'made to be made again' and powering the system with renewable energy. Next Tuesday the University of Curacao is the venue for a training workshop on Circular Economy and inherent business opportunities

The Curaçao Green Foundation (CGF), the Curacao Business Council for Sustainable Development and IFB Consulting are hosting the training workshop, in cooperation with the Circular Economy Platform of the Americas (CEP) and the Americas Sustainable Development Foundation (ASDF). The event is scheduled for November 17th at the University of Curaçao. It will be a full day of training, starting at half past eight in the morning.

As envisioned by the originators, a circular economy is a continuous positive development cycle that preserves and enhances natural capital, optimizes resource yields, and minimizes system risks by managing finite stocks and renewable flows. International climate and energy consultants are calling for a rapid transition to a global circular economy to meet the ambitious Paris climate agreement. Circular economy strategies may deliver emissions reductions that could cut the 1.5 °C emissions gap in half, according to estimates by experts.

The emissions reduction commitments made at the COP 21 Paris Agreement, are not sufficient to limit global warming to 1.5 °C. To reach the 1.5 °C ambition it is estimated that additional emissions reductions of 15 billion tonnes CO2e per year need to be achieved by 2030. The momentum from a circular economy can provide a basis for the transition to a low carbon economy with secure sustainable economic growth. Companies need to find a new way of doing business. There's a world of opportunity to re-think and re-design the way we make stuff.

Cable recovery company CRS Holland has been shortlisted for a Dell Circular Economy People’s Choice Award for addressing a deep-sea challenge. From the telegraph wires laid across the Atlantic in the 1860s to the fiber optic wires carrying digital data today, our oceans are crisscrossed with lines used for 98% of our communication. Arne de Jong, a Dutch ship captain who co-founded CRS Holland, estimates 94% of unused cables and 72,000 repeaters are abandoned on the seabed, containing materials worth billions of dollars. Since 2009 his vessel has reeled in almost 20,000km of defunct cable, worth some 27 million dollars. According to De Jong there are still millions of kilometers of cables on the ocean floor.

Each year at least eight million tons of plastic end up in the ocean and it is predicted that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea. Now a new generation of plastic makers is working to tackle the global plastic waste crisis head on by developing home-compo-stable plastics. The London-based company Snact , in partnership with Israeli packaging company Tipa, has launched packaging that takes six months to break down in garden compost. In Curacao, the Natural & Organic Health Food Store, opposite Promenade Shopping Center, uses green shopping bags with the message ‘this bag is compostable!’

For more information on the training workshop, go to: http://www.cep-americas.com/ce-workshop-curacao