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How to apply circular economy principles in your company


Facing the growing concerns about sustainability, new production models that are more environmentally friendly are emerging. Among these is the circular economy, a new perspective which transforms how companies manage their resources and waste. This approach also offers significant benefits to businesses that adopt it. 

At La Lonja de la Innovación, we promote and assist companies in implementing these types of approaches that have sustainability as a pillar. Additionally, we showcase some sustainability solutions in our showroom, such as those from Hopu, Solum, and Green Globe. Now, so that you can also do it in your company, in this post we delve into the circular economy and explain how you can implement it.

What is the circular economy

First of all, what is the circular economy? As we mentioned at the beginning, it is a production and consumption model that offers a new perspective in which the cycle of a product doesn’t end with its disposal. Instead the product is transformed into raw material, that is, it is reused as a new resource. In this way, it moves away from the traditional model to promote recycling and reuse, therefore reducing the continuous need to extract natural resources and preventing their overexploitation.

This new approach not only brings benefits for the environment but also for the companies, since living in a society where environmental awareness prevails, businesses that take care of the environment will have more opportunities of being chosen by the consumers. But that’s not all:

  • Cost Savings. It allows for the optimization of resource use and minimizes waste generation. Additionally, it reduces expenses related to the acquisition of new raw materials.
  • Compliance with regulations. Adopting this model can help your company avoid penalties for non-compliance.
  • Partnerships. This model encourages the creation of alliances, as more companies are committed to environmental sustainability, making it easier to synergize with them if your company shares these values.
  • Less waste. Waste is significantly reduced, promoting more responsible management.
  • Productivity. It can also enhance your company's productivity by improving the efficiency of production processes.
  • Better reputation. As mentioned earlier, if your company is committed to the circular economy, its reputation and image will improve, attracting new customers.

How to implement the circular economy

Circular economy can not be implemented overnight. It requires the application of new strategies and practices which involve a process that must be well planned. Some of the key steps are:

  • Analysis and evaluation. Just like with any other process, the first step is to conduct an analysis of your company and the processes involving raw materials, as these will be the areas more affected by this new model and also where the largest amounts of waste are generated. In this evaluation, it’s crucial to calculate and measure your company’s environmental footprint, meaning the environmental impact of your operations, to identify areas for improvement and set sustainability goals. After this, you can establish specific indicators that will allow you to measure your progress and determine if your efforts are effective.
  • Designing products for circularity. You need to redesign your products or services so that they are circular and sustainable, meaning they incorporate elements that allow them to be repaired, recycled and reused.
  • Seek key allies. Forming alliances can be crucial to simplify this process, seek partners and/or suppliers who are sustainable.
  • Ensure efficient waste management. Implement systems in your company to reduce, reuse and recycle generated waste. This will not only reduce environmental impact but also generate significant cost savings.

Finally, keep in mind that if you want to implement this model in your company, you must commit to integrating it across the entire value chain. This means involving all your employees and developing specific policies that reflect that commitment.

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