Forward-thinking business leaders are always looking for ways to reduce their environmental footprint, decrease their workplace waste and make more strategic and efficient use of their resources. This helps to create a circular economy; a way to resolve the issues of the linear economy built on mass production and hyper-consumption, which is highly unsustainable. This requires new, cutting-edge technologies to avoid surplus and the use of unsustainable materials across whole supply chains. This can help reimagine the delivery of products and services to inspire a more environmentally-friendly way to do business.
The three principles underpinning circular economy solutions are to design out waste and pollution, keep products, materials, equipment and infrastructure in use for longer, and regenerate natural systems. The aim is for circular measures to increase the lifespan and productivity of resources while minimising the overall impact on the environment.
With the purpose of being regenerative, a circular economy is a framework that reimagines the way businesses supply, transact and serve their consumers. According to KPMG, there are significant benefits of a circular economy, including a potential contribution of AU$23 billion to GDP by 2025. In spite of this, a recent Circularity Gap Report found that the global economy is only 8.6 per cent circular.
Clearly, there is still a long way to go, but while organisations bear an enormous responsibility, there is also an exciting opportunity to lead the way in this venture.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the three big benefits of adopting circular economy solutions for your business:
The most obvious benefit of employing circular economy solutions in your organisation is the direct, positive impact they will have on the environment. Choosing business solutions and office equipment that are recyclable or reusable can significantly reduce your company's environmental footprint. This can include printers that are environmentally friendly from the start to the end of their life. That is, they’re made from reusable products, manufactured in warehouses that operate off clean energy, packaged with recycled materials, come from providers that offer collection services to divert print consumables like toner from becoming landfill, and finally, printers that can be recycled or remanufactured when they’re no longer operable. All of these components lead to significantly less workplace waste and in turn, provide a better outlook for the environment.
It’s well-reported that employing sustainable practices can improve a company's reputation. Organisations that demonstrate an active, genuine commitment to circular economy solutions are also more likely to attract and retain top talent. In fact, the implementation of greener solutions and practices is a key consideration for as many as 70% of Australian employees. And studies have repeatedly shown that top talent want to work for organisations they feel aligned with and who share their values. So accommodating the sentiments of employees towards the environment, upholding their trust and loyalty, and winning that of prospective talent is contingent on implementing circular economy solutions and principles in your business.
Adopting the circular economy business model also contributes to significant cost savings. Energy-efficient electronic devices such as computers, monitors, and printers are typically more cost-effective, allowing you to minimise your environmental impact and your operational costs. What’s more, having devices that require fewer part replacements, for example, Kyocera’s ECOSYS printers with a drum that can deliver up to 600,00 print jobs, also reduces downtime. This means better use of resources, higher productivity levels, and getting more value from your investment.
Studies have also shown a direct correlation between environmentally friendly businesses and greater collaboration, boosted productivity and cognitive behaviour, and greater ability to innovate. These are key drivers that stimulate growth and power up a company's competitive advantage.
Building a network that supports circular economy solutions can therefore optimise your business framework and curb your company’s environmental impact at the same time. So it’s not only good for the environment but it also makes good business sense.
Sustainability will be an important measure of success for workplaces of the future. Download our Green Office Guide to learn how to improve your environmental impact, while also reducing business costs and boosting efficiency.