Madhumitha Rajendran has summarized the interview and put together a set of interesting quotes.


MAXINE PERELLA,  Environmental Journalist

The circular economy started off as an academic business centric conversation as an issue discussed between sustainability professionals and business leaders and it is getting into the consumer facing space

  • There is a shift in how the circular economy is being translated, and is becoming less academic and more relevant to consumers.
  • The global decarbonisation agenda is huge and will always be, especially given the Paris agreement and the adoption of science based targets by big companies.
  • The whole plastics debate has come to the fore, and its overtaking the carbon debate now, which is an impact of the Blue Planet, the BBC documentary series that captured visually what’s happening in the ocean and how it’s affecting marine life.
  • Everyone can relate to plastics in our daily life, we touch it every day at least a hundred times. It’s quite easy to address through simple actions, we will need to stop littering.

When talking about climate change, sustainability, circular economy or waste management, we have to break it down and talk about how it is going to affect people’s everyday lives, like how might it affect jobs or shape jobs in the future, or how might it affect how we live day to day.

  • The consumption and behavior change debate is huge, and never gets addressed by the solutions we come up with, like do we want to give up our cars, cheap flights or convenience food.
  • People are questioning more about where our food comes from, where our clothes come from, not just to make sure there is no exploitation involved in their purchasing decisions, but also concerns over health, and what chemical traces we are consuming.

Talking about sustainability in a company is going to mean different things to different departments and people in the company.

  • For human resources, it’s all about engagements, for the finance department, it’s all about the bottom line, and if you are talking to a chief executive, it’s all about leadership and strategy.
  • There is a lot of noise out there, so its hard to decipher valuable and useful content, but if you can build a list of trustworthy resources, you can head there first for information, and if you have time, work through all that noise.
  • Maxine Perella

    award-winning environmental journalist

    Maxine Perella is an award-winning environmental journalist and commentator working in the field of ...
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