John Bullock Lighting Design
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Circular Thinking ...


Reports from the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos suggest that we need to get used to a new (to some) buzz term: The Circular Economy. I have to say that it's nothing new around these parts, but it's always interesting when the High Heid Yins start paying attention. But there is a difference of course there is.

For anyone following the Sustainability agenda, the idea of breaking the old Take Make- Waste way of going about business and replacing it with a closed circle of materials re-use sits at the very heart of that philosophy. But a Sustainability approach wraps re-use into a futures-approach that is all-encompassing, relevant to the entire world around us. 
And we called it Corporate Social Responsibility
And that philosophy developed the idea of the Triple Bottom Line: Finance Environment Society, acknowledging that a Sustainable future needs to  husband, develop and manage these three pillars of our lives and not just chase short-term financial rewards.

So what are we to make of reports stating that several chief executives in Davos were keen to show that the circular economy is not about corporate social responsibility and This is not CSR or a sideshow, but is fundamental. from McKinsey MD, Dominic Barton (from Guardian Sustainable Business).

Let me take a cynical look at what's being said here. The reason why The Circular Economy is fundamental is because the world is running out of stuff. Rare earths and minerals are being lost to landfill and the geopolitical future is not looking so comfortable for manufacturers relying on scarce resources that are owned and controlled by (possibly unsympathetic) nation states.

It makes Good Sense for global business leaders to do something about the situation, and I applaud the initiative, but this isn't about promoting any Sustainability agenda; this is business as usual.


Nothing should be made by man's labour which is not worth making, or which must be made by labour degrading to the makers.
― William Morris

RIBA CPD in 2015

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