5. Joining forces to make the change
Accelerating the scale-up of the circular economy promises to deliver substantial macro-economic benefits. New opportunities for corporate growth will also be myriad. The reduction in materials price volatility alone is estimated at over a trillion dollars a year. The job creation potential of remanufacturing globally and recycling in Europe is predicted to exceed 1 million.121 Worldwide, the figure will far exceed this over time.
Concerted action is key. The challenges are not insurmountable, but addressing the leakage points described will require cooperation from players across different industries. In the words of Rudi Daelmans, Desso’s Director of Sustainability, “We cannot do it alone”.122 Collaboration across different stakeholders, industries and geographies will be needed to devise standards and mechanisms for materials use, conversion methods, and reverse setups.
With their mutually reinforcing comparative advantages in both catalysing global public private collaboration and driving insight and action on the circular economy, the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation will provide a unique project platform to help usher in this change at scale quickly. The Forum as a catalyst of global, regional and industry transformation will draw upon its members to convene a multi-stakeholder community of global leaders to shape this agenda. The Foundation’s charitable purpose is to accelerate transition towards the circular economy, making it ideally suited to this task. It will act as a knowledge partner, ensuring quality control of the conceptual framework. Together, the Forum and Foundation will provide companies, governments, civil society and academic experts with a platform for collaboration at a pre-competitive stage across industry, regions and sectors, co-designing a process to enable systemic change. They will take charge of ensuring programme management, execution and delivery within this cross-institutional setup.