What is the ‘Circular’ Economy?
Conventional / current economics is linear. Materials are grown or extracted, made into goods, used and disposed of. A ‘circular’ economy looks for resources and materials that can be recovered, re-used and kept in circulation for as long as possible. It’s not a new concept, but is becoming increasingly popular as businesses seek alternatives.
Circular economics seek to decouple economic growth from resource consumption. This could help overcome pressures on resources arising from the estimated growth of the global middle class. Moving to this model could create new economic and employment opportunities and provide environmental benefits through improved resource use.
New Framework to Address Complexity
The circular economy is complex. Considerable technical and theoretical information about it already exists. But it lacks a practical framework to help guide organizations to simplify and identify what is relevant to them.
BS 8001 - a world first
A number of standards already exist to, for example, support waste prevention, resource efficiency, eco-design and remanufacturing. However, there has been no single standard focussed entirely on the concept of the circular economy and resource management. BSI are first in the world to address this by developing a framework standard for ‘implementing the principles of the circular economy in organizations’.
Business Consultation – BEIS funding
With some funding from BEIS for testing/piloting core elements, UK & overseas businesses and organizations from differing sectors and sizes were consulted during the piloting phase. This helped ensure that the standard met their needs for practical guidance and recommendations.
Worldwide Usage for ‘Enhancing’ society
Written to be used worldwide, BS 8001 was published in May 2017. It is the first practical framework and guidance of its kind for organizations of all sizes to implement the principles of the circular economy. Regardless of levels of knowledge and understanding of the circular economy, it provides practical ways to secure smaller ‘quick-wins’, right through to helping organizations re-think holistically how their resources are managed to enhance financial, environmental and social benefits.
Why you should use this standard
It provides guidance and recommendations to help you turn the circular economy concept and theory into practical action. It will help provide environmental benefits through improved resource use AND deliver financial and social benefits, through economic, employment and innovation opportunities.
A free- executive briefing download for senior-level decision makers is available here
The new standard is available at a special price from the BSI Shop.
Building a Sustainable Future
Timber is the only truly sustainable renewable building material on earth, it is also the one that can be most easily reclaimed, reused and recycled. Accordingly, wood and its derivatives will play an increasingly important role in the future of building. It is also superior to many other materials in several ways, for example by providing:-
- Long Term Durability, resisting heat, frost, corrosion and pollution.
- Inbuilt Thermal Insulation, able to be used without additional insulation
- Very Flexible Use, facilitating all forms of Design & Build
- Incredible Strength, with engineered timbers rivalling steel and concrete
- Improved Building Credentials,
To meet the demands and expectations of those billions more people who will inhabit our planet within the next 20 to 30 years will require a “Circular Economy”, the avoidance of waste and the recycling of materials. This places increased demands on architects, designers and builders to collaborate in the production of each and every project. It requires vision. From design through construction to occupation and beyond new expectations and ways of using materials are emerging. They all share a concern for sustainability – what it is, what it means in practice, and what steps must be taken to achieve it.
As long standing Chartered Building Consultants (CIOBC) and Chartered Surveyors (RICS), our approach to sustainable building and the ‘Circular Economy’ is to use pre-fabrication to deliver the high quality buildings that architects and their clients want at prices they can afford using timber, as a renewable and recyclable material wherever it can practically deliver these benefits to our clients.