Circular Economy For Dummies

Circular Economy For Dummies

Circular Economy For Dummies

Circular Economy For Dummies


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Imagine a waste-free future for your business, your family, and yourself

A circular economy is an economic system designed to save money, eliminate waste, and achieve deep sustainability. No-brainer, right? Circular Economy For Dummies explains why the old way of doing things (linear economy) is fast going the way of the dinosaurs, and it gets you ready to think circular. From business processes and material lifecycles to circular design in just about every industry, this book is a fascinating glimpse into our sustainable future.

Whether you’re looking to close the resource loop in your business or develop a greener lifestyle for yourself and your family, this book shows you how. Learn how to innovate for circular economy, how to turn trash into treasure, and how to calculate the (potentially large) amount of money this will save you. And—bonus—you’ll feel good doing the right thing and being a part of our sustainable future!

  • Challenge the assumptions behind the old-school “linear economy” model
  • Learn how we can work together to achieve a waste-free future
  • Save money by rethinking your resource use or business supply chain
  • Reimagine households, neighborhoods, schools, companies, and societies

The future is circular. Buck business-as-usual and learn how to create a circular economy for all!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119716389
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 04/27/2021
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 1,151,136
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Kyle J. Ritchie is the Education Sustainable Design Lead at Cannon Design in Chicago and an Adjunct Professor at the Boston Architectural College.

Eric Corey Freed is an award-winning architect, 12-time author, and global speaker. He is a sought-after lecturer who has educated over 250,000 people on sustainability and high-performance building.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 2

Foolish Assumptions 3

Icons Used in This Book 4

How This Book Is Organized 4

Part 1: Linear Is Out, Circular Is In: An Economic Revolution 4

Part 2: Rethinking Business for a Circular Economy 5

Part 3: Rethinking Material Lifecycles — The Circular Perspective 5

Part 4: Redesigning the Future to Be Circular 5

Part 5: Creating a Circular Economy for All 6

Part 6: The Part of Tens 6

Beyond the Book 6

Where to Go from Here 7

Part 1: Linear Is Out, Circular Is In: An Economic Revolution 9

Chapter 1: Rejecting Waste, Rethinking Materials, and Redesigning the World 11

Rejecting the Idea of Waste 12

Waste as a driver of the economy 13

Waste as a resource 13

Rethinking Material Lifecycles 16

Take, make, and waste 17

Making technical materials circular 17

Making biological materials circular 18

Upcycling versus downcycling 19

Redesigning the Future to Be Circular 19

Food production 20

Circular businesses, products, and clothing 20

A circular economy for all 22

Chapter 2: What’s Wrong with Being Linear, Anyway? 23

We’re Taking the Wrong Stuff 25

We’re not importing this stuff from space 27

Everyone keeps having kids 28

We don’t have as much as we thought 30

It all revolves around oil 31

We’re Making the Wrong Stuff 31

You’re buying trash 32

Even kids can build with blocks 33

Trying to recycle the unrecyclable 33

We’re using materials that are bad for us 34

We’re Wasting the Wrong Stuff 34

It all comes at a big cost 34

We’re running out of room 35

It’s expensive to throw things away 35

The debt collector is knocking at the door 35

Change Is Really Hard, We Know 36

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it 36

Taking risks 37

Chapter 3: A Growing Demand for a Circular Economy 41

The Drive to Make Money 44

Redefining risk and liability 44

Innovating to attract new customers 46

The Drive to Be Healthier 46

Lifestyles that foster health and sustainability 46

Wellness as a priority 47

The Drive to Be in Compliance 47

Environmental, social, and corporate governance 48

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) 49

Climate and shareholders 50

A Larger Drive Toward Deep Sustainability 50

This has been brewing for a while 51

Precedents 51

Looking to the future 54

Chapter 4: From Linear To Circular: What You Need To Know 57

So Much Chaos: Understanding Entropy 58

Externalized costs 59

Linear versus circular: A hilarious-yet-depressing comparison 60

Borrow from nature, not from the future 64

Waste = Food: Redefining Disposal 66

All materials have another use 68

Product stewardship 69

Building Resilience Through Diversity: Redefining Strength 71

Responding to disruption 72

Takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’ 73

Durability and reparability policies 74

Part 2: Rethinking Business For a Circular Economy 77

Chapter 5: Identifying Your Business Opportunities 79

Exploring the Benefits of Going Circular 79

Exploiting the profit opportunities 80

Reducing volatility and ensuring greater supply chain security 81

Managing the new demand for business services 81

Improving customer interaction and loyalty 83

Rethinking the Business Model 85

Building new types of capital 86

Rethinking money as the only medium of exchange 87

Reflecting the true cost of products 87

Embracing diversity 89

Rethinking your supply chain 89

Designing for the future 90

Examining Business from a Global Perspective 91

Chapter 6: Rethinking the Conventional Business Model 95

Rethinking How We Look at Cost 98

The hidden cost of procurement 100

The hidden impact of transportation 104

The hidden burden of inventory 104

The hidden secrets of quality 105

Maximizing Your Value Proposition to Customers 105

Becoming a mission-driven company 106

Safeguarding your workers 107

Greenwashing 107

Turning Obstacles into Opportunities 108

Listening to customers 109

Creating unspoken demand 110

Rethinking old assumptions 110

Bending linear into loops 111

Thinking of businesses as a system 112

Chapter 7: Exploring the Essentials of a Circular Business Model 113

The Six Rs: Your New Circularity Mantra 114

Refuse: Say no to what you don’t need 114

Reduce: Use less for longer 115

Reuse and remanufacture: Extend product life 116

Repurpose: Find other uses 116

Recycle: Return materials for rebirth 116

Rot: Return it to the soil 117

Developing a Circular Business Structure: The Bones of the Operation 117

Identifying potential material loops 118

Considering innovative business models 118

Who’s at the table? Engaging your stakeholders 120

Developing a message 121

Benchmarking and improvement 122

Chapter 8: ’Round and ’Round: Making Your Products Circular 127

Managing Material Lifecycle Performance 128

Designing products for reuse 129

Designing products to be remanufactured 130

Designing products for recycling 130

Making Your Product Lifecycle Smarter 131

Creating effective and serviceable products 132

Being flexible 132

Seeking collaborators and partners 133

How It All Comes Together 134

Everything is circular first 134

Everything is transparent 135

Chapter 9: From Trash to Treasure: Converting Waste into Products 139

Seeing Why the Circular Economy Is All About Retaining Value 140

Stop Being Linear: It’s a Waste of Time 144

Why Buy Waste When You Can Sell It? 145

Selling your old stuff 147

Starting your own business 149

Troubleshooting a Wasteful Product Lifecycle 152

Where the wild things are 153

Signed, sealed, delivered 153

Waste not, want not 154

Being a sustainable shopper 154

Finding value in the ugly 155

Part 3: Rethinking Material Lifecycles: The Circular Perspective 163

Chapter 10: Understanding the Circular Material Lifecycle 165

Viewing the Entire Spectrum of Environmental Impact 166

Defining degenerative lifecycles 167

Defining sustainable lifecycles 167

Defining regenerative lifecycles 168

Understanding the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Butterfly Diagram 169

Examining the circular economy’s structure: The bones of the operation 169

Renewables flow management: Harnessing biological cycles 171

Stock management: Optimizing technical cycles 172

Promoting environmental restoration: Investing now to obtain even more later 175

Chapter 11: Analyzing Material Lifecycle Processes 179

Looking at Material Processes 181

Fostering transparency 183

Instituting chemical management 183

Rewarding innovation 184

The Lifecycle Principles: Identifying Where Change Can Happen 184

Preserving natural capital 185

Enhancing the usefulness of products, components, and raw materials 186

Developing effective systems that minimize negative externalities 187

Looking at Opportunities for Optimization 187

Refusing the new: Reusing the old 188

Employing the remaining factor: Remanufacturing 189

Biochemical extraction for the win 190

Chapter 12: Improving the Material Lifecycle 195

Improving How Material Lifecycles Function 196

Looking at Materials in a New Way 198

Getting to know your lifecycle 199

Refuse before you reduce, reuse, and recycle 200

Examining Operations in a New Way 201

Looking at human capital 201

You can be everywhere 201

Connecting Sourcing, Suppliers, and Customers 202

Chapter 13: It All Comes Down to Selecting the Right Materials 207

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Exploring Materials 208

Oil or Plastics — They’re Really Much the Same Thing 208

What’s Harder than Rock? Metals 212

Paper Products and Cardboard 214

Through the Looking Glass 217

And Everything In-Between 218

Identifying Hazardous Materials 219

Red list materials 220

Red list material alternatives 221

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) 221

Sourcing, Ethics, and Standards 222

Understanding strategic sourcing 222

Establishing ethics 223

Exploring certifications and standards 223

Chapter 14: Circular Materials, Products, and Packaging 227

Redesigning Materials and Products: The Transition from Linear to Circular 228

“Less bad” does not equal “good” 228

Planning for material reincarnation 230

How To Keep Materials In Use Forever 231

Why things break 232

From planned obsolescence to planned permanence 232

Shipping Global versus Producing Local 234

Building a regional economy: A shipping substitute 235

You’ve got to be shipping me 238

Permanent packaging 239

Part 4: Redesigning the Future to Be Circular 245

Chapter 15: The Circular Economy of Food Production 247

Examining the Two Ways of Producing Food 248

Investigating the Hidden Costs of Agriculture 249

Food waste: Expending money, time, and resources unnecessarily 250

Environmental degeneration: Damaging the planet with increasing speed 252

Permaculture to the Rescue 252

Following nature’s lead: Permaculture design principles 253

Taking a look at permaculture management zones 256

Chapter 16: Circularity for Design 259

Redesigning Design 260

Understanding circular design 260

Designing out waste 263

Keeping products and materials in use 264

Regenerating natural systems 264

Recognizing the Problems Designers Face 265

We’re being overtaken by trash 265

We’re running out of materials 265

We’re choking on carbon 266

Creating a Framework for Circular Design 267

Applying the ReSOLVE framework to buildings 268

Layers of useful life 269

Putting the pieces together 271

Chapter 17: Circular Economy for Builders, Makers, and Manufacturers 275

Assessing a Building’s Lifecycle 276

Defining construction and demolition debris 276

Gauging the economic opportunities of C&D waste 277

Measuring C&D waste impact 277

Defining lifecycle impacts 279

Identifying human health hazards and promoting transparency 280

People, planet and profit 280

Selecting Appropriate Building Products 283

Sourcing responsibly 284

Something stinks 285

We All Embody Carbon 287

The human’s relationship to carbon 288

The building’s relationship to carbon 290

Operational carbon 290

Embodied carbon 291

Carbon influences on building design 293

Straight from the Open Source 294

Recognizing the benefit 294

Looking at open source in action 295

Chapter 18: The Circular Economy for Fashion and Clothing 297

Sewing Together the Issue: Where Fashion Is and Where It’s Headed 298

Fashion = Waste + Pollution 299

The current trajectory to catastrophe 302

Making It Circular: A Future Forecast for Fashion 303

The Phase Out phase 304

Redesigning how clothes are used 305

Optimizing collection and recycling 306

Relying on renewable resources 307

Comparing Common Fashion Fabrics 310

Plastic 311

Plants 313

Animals 314

Part 5: Creating A Circular Economy For All 317

Chapter 19: Understanding an Individual’s Circular Opportunities 319

Looking at the Food You Eat 320

Sourcing 320

Managing food waste 321

Sizing Up the Products You Buy 327

Recycling: The last resort 327

Selecting products with reuse potential 328

Evaluating the House You Live In 328

Considering lifecycle costs 329

Building better 329

Thinking About the Way You Commute 331

Be car-less for once 331

Choose more efficient options 332

Revisiting the Way You Work 332

Promoting telecommuting and teleconferencing 332

Managing office supplies 333

Chapter 20: Creating a Career in the Circular Economy 335

Looking at the Future of Jobs 336

Jobs that are central to the circular economy 338

Jobs that are enabling the circular economy 338

Jobs that are indirectly related to the circular economy 339

Skills required for a circular economy 341

Where to Go for More Education 341

Earning certifications 341

Earning degrees and diplomas 342

Chapter 21: A Global Vision of a Circular Economy 345

Seeing What a Circular Community Looks Like 346

Sourcing community resources and aid 347

Looking at food management 348

Eyeing transportation 349

Seeing What a Circular University Looks Like 350

Learning from living laboratories 351

Insisting on data visibility 352

Seeing What a Circular Restaurant and Brewery Look Like 353

Fostering effective and efficient sourcing and prep 354

Revising service standards 355

Viewing waste as a resource 356

Part 6: The Part of Tens 359

Chapter 22: Ten Questions to Ask About Your Material Lifecycle 361

Where Did This Material Come From? 362

What Are the By-Products of Harvesting This Material? 362

What Are the By-Products of Manufacturing This Material? 362

How Is the Material Delivered? 363

How Is the Material Installed? 364

How Is the Material Maintained, Powered, or Operated? 364

How Healthy Are the Materials? 364

What Can We Do with These Materials After We’re Done with Them? 365

What Can Be Done to Extend, Prolong, or Maintain the Material? 366

What Can We Do to Encourage the Reuse, Refurbishment, Redistribution, or Remanufacture of the Material? 366

Chapter 23: Ten Questions to Foster Innovative Thinking 367

How Can We Make This Product Redundant? 368

How Can We Rethink How This Product Is Used? 369

How Can We Reduce the Resources or Materials Used? 369

In What Ways Can This Product Be Reused by Another Consumer? 369

In What Ways Can This Product Be More Easily Maintained and Repaired? 370

In What Ways Can This Product Be Restored or Kept Up-to-Date? 370

How Can Discarded Parts Be Remade into a New Version of the Same Product? 370

How Can Discarded Parts Be Remade Into a New Product? 371

In What Ways Can We Recycle These Materials into Quality Products? 371

How Can We Dispose of This Material in a Manner That Recovers Energy? 371

Chapter 24: Ten Questions to Ask about Your Supply Chain 373

What Drives Your Product Design? 374

What Are Your Users’ Needs? 374

Will Your Customers Access or Will They Own Your Product? 375

Who Are Your Partners? 376

What Materials Are Required? 377

How Will You Produce Your Product? 377

How Will Users Receive Your Product? 378

How Will You Support the Repair and Maintenance of Your Product? 379

What Refurbishment Options Will You Offer for Your Product? 379

How Will You Reclaim Your Product at Its End of Life? 380

Chapter 25: Ten Questions That Reveal How Much Your Waste Is Costing You 381

What Labor Costs Are Tied to Waste Disposal? 382

What Is the Real Cost of Waste Disposal? 382

What Is the Impact on Human Health? 383

How Does Waste Impact Ecosystem Services? 383

What Is the Innate Value of Waste? 384

How Much Raw Material Is Required to Offset Waste? 385

What Are the Indirect Costs of Waste? 385

How Much Does Poor Efficiency Cost? 386

What Natural Resources Are Required for Waste? 386

What Waste Remediation Will Be Required? 387

Index 389

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