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Circular economy summit attended by business leaders

Business leaders have met to discuss the circular economy as part of series of events organised by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

This week saw the first one-day summit of the Circular Economy 100 (CE 100), which is a network set up by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to accelerate a transition to a circular economy. The network now contains more than 50 businesses and organisations.

Electronics giant Philips announced it was going to partner the Ellen MacArthur Foundation at the summit, and is now also part of CE 100.

Philips will join Renault, BT/Cisco (working together) Kingfisher and the National Grid as partners of the foundation.

Further additions to CE 100 announced at the summit include: BAM, H&M, Unilever, Innoverne, and the Agency of Design.

WRAP joined the network in February this year. At the time 18 businesses had signed up including Coca-Cola, IKEA and M&S.

Liz Goodwin, WRAP’s chief executive wrote in a blogpost today of the summit:

“The most compelling element of the day for me was the scale of possibilities with a circular economy and just how engaged the world has become. This strikes right at the heart of one of the core questions often levelled at circular economy thinkers – how do you turn these theoretical possibilities into real actions?

“Yesterday’s [19 June] CE100 summit highlighted many cutting-edge examples of how this is taking place, often organically, around the globe.”

Schmidt MacArthur

L-R: Wendy Schmidt, Eric Schmidt, Ellen MacArthur

Meanwhile, this week has seen a summer school of students and mentors from around the world as part of Schmidt-MacArthur fellowships in the circular economy.

To accompany this, a public lecture on the circular economy took place on Wednesday (19 June). The inaugral Schmidt-MacArthur lecture [podcast] featured a keynote speech from Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt on the value of the internet to facilitate innovation and the skills needed to create a circular economy.

Thought leader panellists in the debate that followed included: McKinsey’s Jeremy Oppenheim; the authors of seminal circular economy book ‘Cradle to Cradle’ William McDonough and Michael Braungsart; Walter Sahel, who first wrote on the concept in 1982; and biomimicry expert Janine Benyus.

  • You can read tweets from the CE 100 summit at: #CE100 and from the lecture at: #SchmidtMacArthur

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