Scotland has been commended for its work in making things last and named one of the world’s top circular economy nations.
The Scottish Government – representing itself and its key agencies – was the recipient of an Award for Circular Economy Governments, Cities and Regions at last night’s Circulars Awards, presented at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos (Monday 16 January, 2017).
Billed as the world’s premier circular economy awards, the programme saw Scotland one of six finalists alongside organisations from China, Canada, South Africa and Europe. The award recognises partnership working between the Scottish Government, Zero Waste Scotland, SEPA and Scottish Enterprise to further the circular economy.
It’s a clear endorsement for Scotland as a leader on the circular economy
Commenting on the announcement, Zero Waste Scotland Chief Executive Iain Gulland said: “This award is testament to the hard work that’s going on in Scotland to make the most of the valuable resources we have and make them work for our future. It’s a clear endorsement for Scotland as a leader on the circular economy and signifies that our commitment to making things last is valued by the global community.
“Working together is key, and this is also a fantastic opportunity to share models and ideas to progress the circular economy across the globe. Zero Waste Scotland will continue to work with the Scottish Government and our partners to influence and enable change – advancing Scotland towards a truly circular future and maximising the economic, social and environmental benefits that will bring.”
Linda Hanna, Managing Director at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Winning this award is recognition of Scotland’s status as a global leader in the transition to a circular economy. Scottish businesses are at the forefront of a new global opportunity to change how they do business and become more sustainable, innovative and international as a result. This is why we are committed to embedding circular economy practices across all of our support as it provides new routes to business and economic growth.”
Terry A’hearn, SEPA’s Chief Executive, said: “This award is not only great recognition for the ground breaking steps taken by our government to implement a truly circular economy, it also highlights the importance of partnership working to achieve this vision. Most importantly, it empowers SEPA and other organisations such as Scottish Enterprise and Zero Waste Scotland, to help business and industry make practical changes.
“There is no shortage of circular economy speeches and documents. Our Government’s policy stands out because it enables real action, in real markets, to drive real resource efficiency gains. Our own approach to regulation is driven by the importance of One Planet Prosperity and of living within our planets ability to sustain us, which is impossible without the solid foundation of a resource efficient economy.”
The Scottish Government has placed the circular economy at the core of Scotland’s Economic Strategy and Manufacturing Action Plan, and its Making Things Last strategy highlights priority areas with the greatest opportunity to deliver economic, environmental and social benefits.
Scotland’s circular economy achievements to date include flourishing collaboration between business and academia through the Scottish Institute for Remanufacture; two large-scale re-use and repair hubs in Edinburgh and the Highlands; and widespread support for Scottish businesses to develop circular economy models and services, including through the £18million Circular Economy Investment Fund.
4 Common Items That Can be Reused Again and Again
As a society we are getting much better at taking our obligations to the world and environment around us more seriously. This is undoubtedly a good thing! The effects of climate change are beginning to manifest across the world, and this is turning the issue from an abstract threat into a very real danger. Trying to introduce some greener, more eco-friendly practices into your life isn’t just a great way of doing something beneficial for society and the world around you. It is a wonderful way of engaging positively with the world and carries with it numerous psychological benefits.
Being a greener, more ecologically friendly person doesn’t require any dramatic life changes. Breaking or making a few small habits is all it takes to make your life a greener one. In this article we look at one of the easiest, yet most effective green practices to get into: reusing everyday items.
Jars and Containers
Glass and metal are widely recycled, and recycling is a good thing! However, consider whether any containers you buy, whether it’s a tub of ice cream or a jar of coffee, can be washed out and reused for something else. Mason jars, for example, can be used to store homemade pasta sauce and can be washed for future use. Once you start thinking about it, you will find endless opportunities to reuse your old containers.
An ice-cold soda is a wonderful treat on a hot day, but buying soda can get expensive, and the manufacturing and distribution of the drinks themselves isn’t great for the environment. However, by holding on to your old soda bottles and repurposing them as water bottles, you can save money on drinks, or use them to measure out water for your garden.
Most of the time groceries come in paper bags, which are better for the environment than the plastic alternatives, but they are less durable and thus harder to reuse. Whenever the store places your items in a plastic bag, hang onto it so you can reuse the bags again. If you want to take it one step further, consider looking into buying some personalized recycled bags. These bags are designed to last for a long time and are made of recycled materials. They look striking and unique, they’ll turn heads, and maybe even attitudes!
If you’re a keen gardener, then you will already probably know how to reseed your plants in order to ensure a fresh crop after each plant’s lifecycle. If you have space in your garden, or haven’t yet tried your hand at gardening, then consider planting a small vegetable plot. Growing your own veggies means that you’ll be helping to cut back on the emissions generated by their transport and production. The best part about growing your own food in this way is that, by harvesting properly and saving the seeds, you can be set up with fresh vegetables for life!
Reusing and recycling common household items is an easy way to make your world a little bit greener. Once you start looking for these opportunities you’ll realize that they’re everywhere!
These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money
The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.
Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.
Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.
Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale
The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.
Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.
Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI
It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.
Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.
Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.
Implementing green changes without a plan
Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.
Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:
- How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
- How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
- How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
- How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?
The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.
Not considering the benefits of green printing
Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.
Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.
According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:
- They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
- They consume less energy than traditional printers.
- They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.
You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.
Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers
Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.
The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.
You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.
Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.
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