Content of this unit
Circular Economy importance
The circular economy aims to establish a new paradigm in how we produce and consume to find a new economy model sustainable and responsible. To do this it is necessary to leave behind the most classic economic applications consisting of extracting raw materials, transform them into goods through a productive process, use these goods and throw them away, at best, at the end of their useful lives, or when they become obsolete, by a new improved product model. This generates large amounts of garbage: by producing a new good and hoarding the old ones into landfills. The least alarmist projections admit that we already have, at present, a serious problem of sustainability of the current model (the linear one).
A change must be made at all levels, capable of conceiving medium- or long-term - solutions, considering the scarcity of resources which threatens the functioning of the economic system. This solution should not serve us only to gain time, but to lay the ground rules for a sustainable economy.

As we can see in the SkillCircle best practices videos, there are already examples of businesses taking steps in this direction.

Those businesses that change the paradigm will be in a privileged situation compared to those who decide to continue to explore the linear model to its ultimate consequences. The basis of this (circular economy) model seeks to find a radically distinct understanding from how the management processes work, at least since the Industrial Revolution, inspired in assembly lines. This historical heritage still makes us to take, nowadays, as reference for our economic system, the mechanized operation of a productive chain. The obsession of the industrial guild of the Industrial Revolution was to achieve the maximum possible productivity in their factories, without taking into account other factors such as scarcity of resources or environmental impact.

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In contrast, this new approach to the economic circular model tries to be inspired by the processes of nature, much more comprehensive. The basis of circular economy is ruled by certain established norms for the understanding and application of a solid theoretical framework which should serve as a reference for stakeholders of this paradigm shift. To understand the flows of materials or resources within a circular economy, a classification of the Cradle concept is adopted. “Cradle to cradle” consists of the integral design of the products so that they can be perceived as usable nutrients at the end of its useful life.

The town councils have been playing a key role in the population's conscience when it comes to recycling household waste. They have encouraged an important cultural leap in the way citizens manage waste, and of course also businesses. Administrations started to do drastic measures on traffic, opening bike paths, parking outside the cities, biodiesel-powered public transport; which is encouraging the culture on mobility. In the future, this kind of cultural leaps will be even more important. Technology and innovation will be allied to this process, especially if the emphasis is placed on generating an exponential reduction of environmental impact and enhance the circular efficiencies of production ecosystems.

Circular economy is a response to the need to build sustainable ecosystems. The dialogue between the urbanized environment and the natural environment must be transformed and redirected towards parameters that assure the Earth sustainability. Circular economy goes beyond pronouncements and defines proposals that, imitating nature, allow us to jump towards the integral sustainability of the territories. In this context, the role of administrations in promoting circular economy will be fundamental, and local administrations will have special relevance. On the other hand, the success of policies in favour of sustainable balance will not be possible without citizens and businesses. It’s a joint work: the generation of minimum residues and the maximum use of existing resources.