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Circular Economy

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Unlike a linear economy, a circular economy is a model in which we design, produce and use products, that feeds into the reduction of waste and facilitates the regeneration of natural systems.

It is much more than just recycling. It relies on a combination of strategies and innovative business models that close material loops, and focus on optimizing resource flows, decreasing the need for virgin resource use, and reducing a range of environmental impacts including greenhouse gas emissions.

IISD has been working on related issues for years. Some of our research and analysis can be found below, and on the SDG Knowledge Hub.

  • Briefing Note
    Estimating Employment Effects of the Circular Economy

    Estimating Employment Effects of the Circular Economy

    This note summarizes some of the definitions of the term "circular economy" and the baselines that have been used for projections on job impacts and growth. 

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  • Speech
    IISD Speech: President and CEO Scott Vaughan at the World Circular Economy Forum 2017, Helsinki

    IISD Speech: President and CEO Scott Vaughan at the World Circular Economy Forum 2017, Helsinki

    IISD President and CEO Scott Vaughan speech from the World Circular Economy Forum 2017 on June 6, 2017 in Helsinki.

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  • Report
    Costs of Pollution in Canada: Measuring the impacts on families, businesses and governments

    Costs of Pollution in Canada: Measuring the impacts on families, businesses and governments

    Pollution costs Canadian families, businesses and governments a startling amount every year. These costs add up to tens of billions of dollars at least. These are our findings from a new report on the cost of pollution in Canada.

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  • Report
    Comprehensive Wealth in Canada—Measuring what matters in the long run

    Comprehensive Wealth in Canada—Measuring what matters in the long run

    This report seeks to introduce the concept of comprehensive wealth to Canadians and outline why it should be considered an essential complement to the other measures such as gross domestic product.

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  • Paper
    International Experience in Establishing Indicators for the Circular Economy and Considerations for China

    International Experience in Establishing Indicators for the Circular Economy and Considerations for China

    The rapid growth of China's material consumption poses profound challenges to sustainable development in the country and the rest of the world....

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