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.
Dead Batteries Deserve a Second Life
Batteries should be recycled, so the valuable minerals therein—including cobalt and lithium—can stay in the economy.Read More
Sustainability and Second Life: The case for cobalt and lithium recycling
Adopting recycling in the mining sector and in supply chains is essential to ensure the transition to a low-carbon economy is responsible and sustainable for the longer term.Read More
What Do Bears and Smartphones Have in Common?
The challenge that electronics hibernation poses to the circular economy.Read More
Biodiversity Conservation: Are we content to fight a rear-guard action?
We have to devote ourselves to working out how nature might be placed at the heart of development to enhance social justice and biodiversity conservation.Read More
Comprehensive Wealth in Canada 2018 – Measuring What Matters in the Long Term
Comprehensive wealth measures the country’s produced, natural, human, financial and social capital.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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....Read More