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| be Waste Wise | September 18, 2018

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Inclusive Circular Economy

Inclusive Circular Economy

This panel was organized on 5th September, 2017.


INTERVIEWEE

Alexandre Lemille Wizeimpact Cropped

ALEXANDRE LEMILLE

Founder and Managing Director, Wizeimpact (Pty) Ltd

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2017 GLOBAL DIALOGUE ON WASTE

This interview was organized as part of the Beyond Circular Economy theme of the 2017 Global Dialogue on Waste. This theme and its speakers explored a new robust vision for a circular economy, which is inclusive and equips it with the tools to address some of the most pressing problems of our times.

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Mara Vasileiou summarized the interview and Nadine Cavusoglu edited it, to put together a set of interesting quotes.

QUICK SUMMARY & QUOTES

ALEXANDRE LEMILLE, Founder & Managing Director, WizeImpact

We cannot separate the environment from the social and the economy.

  • The Western countries’ way of living has a very negative impact on emerging economies.
  • The new economic model should have a social dimension by finding strategies to eradicate poverty. The circular economy must provide hope for everyone.
  • Humans could play a critical role by developing technologies that do not replace human power but emphasizes this power.

We rely on big businesses to kick off the new economic model but circular economy is a distributed economy.

  • The two missing dimensions of a systemic economic model are: 1) including everyone as part of it; and 2) moving away from a currency based system to a value based system where social needs supersede the economy, and people are satisfied and are no more in need to consume excessively.

The concept of effectiveness is what will be done in a circular economy, satisfying repeatedly the needs of the society and increasing wellbeing.

  • Right now the big guys are not advising to reduce consumption.
  • Mimicking the natural cycles developing bio-based or technological based solutions by not increasing the consumption but the effectiveness of the system associated with efficiency. Therefore, satisfying the needs of the people without putting more pressure on planet earth
  • Rules that should be followed in the circular economy are that technologies should absorb CO2 emissions and reduce the footprint in a way that these technologies can be used in a closed-loop.

What is the status of implementation of the circular economy around the world?

  • The concept of circular economy is gaining momentum around the world with circular economy conferences and co-working groups’ events.
  • We are still in the phase of competing for resources instead of collaboration. Emerging economies have good examples of collaboration.
  • Two reports that can shed light on circular economy and eradicating poverty are “Closing the Loop” and “Virtuous Circle”.

What are the drivers for a company to implement steps towards a circular economy? Are there enough savings to motivate them.

  • In the linear economy, the savings mindset is to reduce costs as much as we can and sell as many products as we can.
  • A circular economy is about innovating together with other companies in a collaborative way to find a solution to environmental and social externalities.
  • The large businesses are supported by global organizations and foundations, but there is no organization supporting SMEs. There is a need for an organization that will drive the small to medium-sized enterprises to collaborate with each other and come up with comprehensive service based solutions.

The future is not about jobless growth. It is about human advancement. We are running out of resources and technology is based on these resources. On the other hand we have plenty of people and we need to see how we are going to use them as resources and energy to fix the challenges we will be facing by the end of this century.

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