The trend that appears one of the most significant for organizational and societal future on the global scale is circular economy. Simply put, it is a mode of production that makes the most use of recycling, eliminating waste and reusing it in a fashion that can be described as production “loop” (Medina, 2015, para. 5). The significance of the trend is determined by an astounding rate of unawareness that the global community displays when put to face the notions of sustainability, responsibility, etc. (The Kjaer Group, 2014).
Considering the amount of resources people consume and the harmful emissions that come in great volumes, circular economy seems an optimal solution. The articles we have found indicate the problem within Canada, argue for the unsuitability of the current economy mode, and discuss the necessity of circular economy adoption by Canadian industries.
The first article was published in 2014 and is concerned with circular economy as seen through the lens of recycling. The author, who is President and CEO of Tetra Pak Inc., Canada, starts his article with an introduction where he notes how much more the humanity has to do to compensate for the damage it has done to our planet (Kennell, 2014). Particularly in Canada, he states, his organization has invested much into recycling carton, but there is a pressing necessity for additional action.
The author sees the solution in circular economy, which subsumes manufacture that goes outside the framework of recycling as seen in the traditional sense. Circular economy encompasses not only recycling, but also the design of the products, their usage and reutilization so that the most of value could be got from the items recycled. The aim of circular economy, a that, is to eliminate waste whatsoever rather than to merely reduce its amount. Although the author admits such goals might sound rather ambitious, his overall predictions as to the implementation of circular economy in Canada is rather optimistic. He derives concrete examples of other companies, mainly global-scale giants, that have adopted circular economy at different times.
Among others, he enlists Unilever, which is a renowned multi-brand corporation of unbelievable scope. The author describes Unilever’s Sustainable Living program that is aimed at establishing safe and sustainable supplies, while at the same time helping the Earth to strive and recover (Kennell, 2014). He also mentions the contribution of his own company: Tetra Pak reduces the amount of raw materials it utilizes and is on its way to a package that can be totally renewed.
Brian Kennel has certainly provided relevant argumentation to ground his point upon. It would be true to say that the author seems to overview the point from the position of a corporate leader rather than an environmental activist. On the other hand, there seems to be no problem with such view; for that matter, the benefit of circular economy for the global one is well worth taking into consideration. It is stated that the adoption of such model would increase the global economy by $1 billion per annum by the year 2025.
Such model might also prove beneficial in job creation, increasing business competitiveness, and reduce the volatility of costs for common goods (Kennell, 2014). Thus, circular economy deserves even stronger advocacy: not only does it help the planet, but also proves advantageous for businesses and global economics.
The other article of choice is a more recent one, and it discusses the notorious experience of China and its pollution issues, at the same time projecting the lessons learned from China on to the current situation in Canada (Medina, 2015). The purpose of it, supposedly, is to define whether – and why – Canada should adopt circular economy. The author starts her argument by mentioning the Canadian population as compared to that of the U.S. and China.
In relation to the latter, Canada might seem small and even underpopulated; in addition, Canadians have better resource access option range than the Chinese. On the other hand, the unhealthy emissions that Canadians produce per capita are enormous. The author maintains that the root cause of this problem is that Canada is a society of consumerism which has taken the scope incompatible with relatively small territory and population (Medina, 2015). She develops her argument by stating that the linear model that Canadian economy is based on, at the moment, is no longer suitable to sustain the present and the future of the Earth.
In contrast to that, circular economy is concerned with avoiding waste whenever and wherever possible, on every stage of manufacture. Waste, at that, is regarded as another category of raw materials to deploy at manufacturing. The author then again refers to China’s experience with the lack of raw materials, stating it as the primary prerequisite of the Chinese seeking new economy model – which turned out to be circular. Amid the seemingly unavoidable economy crackdown, China has once again entered a period of stable growth. The author concludes by restating that Canada should definitely follow Chinese example.
In contrast to the previous one, this author bases her viewpoint on how circular economy can benefit the planet’s condition, leaving the business perspective as a secondary argument. The problem of hypertrophied consumption is indeed pressing considering that just a century and a half ago, the humanity consumed 25 times less than it does today (The Kjaer Group, 2014). In the context of Canada, the issue seems still more troubling.
It is possible to say the benefit from circular economy is threefold: considering that China has had a positive experience with shifting to circular economy, it is possible to assume the shift is not only safe but also profitable. Consequently, instead of persevering to rely on half-measures in what concerns the future of the whole humanity, Canada can take a step ahead and shift to the circular mode safely enough.
To conclude, shifting to circular economy seems to consist solely of advantages. Firstly, it is possible to say that the current linear economy is not quite compatible with the scope of non-sustainability problem while circular economy seems to be capable of resolving these issues. It is possible to rely on the examples of global corporations and even countries to witness the success of circular economy in terms of profit.
Based on the forecasting from Tetra Pak CEO, it can be assumed that circular economy will continue to benefit businesses in geometrical progression. In the context of Canada, the shift to circular economy would justified primarily by the amount of waste it produces. Also, a model that is not dependent on raw materials would be a boost to the Canadian economy both short-term and in the long run.
Kennell, B. (2014). Recycling Opens the Door to a Circular Economy. Web.
Medina, F. (2015). Circular Economy, Why Canada Should Try This Model? Web.
The Kjaer Group. (2014). 8 Leading Macro Trends for 2015 and Beyond. Web.