Sustainability and circular economy should be the keywords of 2021

As the world’s economy ground to a halt in 2020, businesses and professionals everywhere were left pondering their options and trying to make plans for a better – and hopefully not too far away – future. The issue of sustainability started to be raised increasingly often. We were already aware of it, of course, but as more and more businesses realise they were going to have to rethink all of their practices and virtually restart from scratch, the question of how to do so sustainably became unavoidable. What has emerged from a whole year of intersectional debate is that not only is sustainability compatible with development, but it could be the key to success in the post-pandemic world. The concept of circular economy, hitherto relegated to the margins of the general debate, has taken a prominent position. Can a green mindset really help businesses grow and prosper? We believe so.

Why we can’t “go back to business as usual” after the pandemic

Our planet and the ecosystems that sustain us are in danger. The current economic model, based on the exploitation and consumption of natural resources, is not sustainable and it hasn’t been for decades. We are already paying the price of it in terms of depletion and pollution of such resources, which brings about severe social consequences too. Going back to this formula is clearly unthinkable. Luckily, most markets have shown openings and demand for sustainable alternatives to traditional practices and a growing interest has been recorded for the model we now refer to as “circular economy”

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What is “circular economy” and why is it sustainable

The concept of circular economy is based on the idea of using our planet’s resources efficiently, reducing waste, and reusing the byproducts of industrial processes and all other human activities as much as possible. Reuse, waste management, and reduced production of harmful substances with the potential for contaminating water, soil, or air might be instrumental in rebuilding economic, social, and environmental health after the end of this pandemic. These and other relevant topics will be discussed in January at GECO, the first major sustainability fair, which will take place on a virtual platform, allowing participants to access it from all over the world without travelling.

Why reducing waste and optimising energy consumption is vital to our future economy

What most businesses struggled for years to realise is that there are plenty of economic benefits to a circular economy model, as well as environmental benefits. Using resources more efficiently and reducing waste affects each industry’s bottom line, in that it ends up reducing raw material costs and transforming part of a process’ waste (which is normally considered a loss and generates handling costs) into potential profit. Moreover, plenty of jobs can be created by investing in research and innovation in this field, as well as in the implementation of the new technologies connected to renewable energy distribution, sustainable mobility, and sustainable tourism.

Discussing sustainability and circular economy

In order for this new economic model to prosper, it is essential to discuss it within major events such as GECO and to get as many businesses, researchers, and public institutions on board. The momentum that this movement has gathered over the past year leaves room for reasonable optimism, and it encourages us all to redesign the future of our economy, planning for success in a sustainable way.

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She is a part-time digital nomad. She would go full-time, if only she could stay away from Berlin for long enough without pining for a Pretzel. She was born in Italy and she enjoys life as an expat, but visits home often enough and can still remember how to bake a perfect lasagna. She is passionate about writing, marketing, languages and the systematic demolition of cultural stereotypes.

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