The Minister of Environment Kirsten Brosbøl has opened the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s conference, bringing together 100 international companies which collaborate to reduce the world’s overuse of resources.

By Jens Fuglsang Edelholt

Roughly 1,071,202,325.21 USD per year. The global potential is great, if we can create and sustain a much more green and circular economy where waste is prevented and products are increasingly recycled. An analysis from the British think-tank Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the consulting company McKinsey depicts it.

Large global companies such as Unilever, IKEA and H & M participates in the work with circular economics, and in Denmark, companies like Mærsk and Carlsberg are deeply involved. Businesses today speak at the conference on how they managed to make companies more sustainable and resource efficient. The conference will be opened by the Minister of Environment, Kirsten Brosbøl.

“Denmark is in the forefront when it comes to resource efficiency and circular economy efforts. Our green policy and our work towards “Denmark without waste” are reverberating around the world, and this is one of the reasons why this international conference on circular economics is being held in Copenhagen today“ – explains Environment Minister Kirsten Brosbøl.

Circular economy is about utilizing the economic and environmental potentials by preventing waste, recycling products and using recycled materials. In a circular economy, resources that otherwise end up as waste will be recycled in the production without leaving the circuit.

Global network
Participants at the conference are part of CE100, which is an international network for companies, innovators and regions working to promote a more sustainable economy.

Denmark is the only country in the world chosen by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation for a project on circular economy, which will result in a toolbox for political leaders around the world that can be used in the transition to a more circular economy.

“There is still plenty of potential for companies to be more resource efficient. I would like to emphasize the good examples, and therefore I have established the “Waste less Companies” award, which I presents to a company that has managed to get more out of less – and prevent waste” says Kirsten Brosbøl.

The “Waste less award” has received recommendations from 31 companies. The jury will find three finalists and a winner. The prize will then be awarded by the Minister of Environment.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s conference ‘Circular Economy (CE) 100 Acceleration Workshop’ takes place in Copenhagen on the 29th-30th. of April 2015, and is a closed workshop for the CE 100 network.

The CE 100 network is a global network of leading companies, innovators and regions wishing to promote the circular economy agenda. Examples of companies in the network are H & M, IKEA, Coca Cola, Desso, DHL, Philips, Renault, Michelin, Steelcase, Unilever, Kingfisher, Vodafone. Danish participants in the CE100 network are Vestas, as well as a number of smaller companies, including REALLY and Envotherm. In addition, the Danish Enterprise Agency and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency participate in the workshop.

The basic idea of the circular economy is to recycle materials – or even better waste-prevention – by designing products cleverly so they can be produced with less waste, are recyclable and easy separated and repaired, thus providing a longer product lifespan.