Ellen MacArthur Foundation Resource Conference

Multinationals fight for green transition in Copenhagen

Environment Minister Kirsten Brosbøl today opened the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s conference, which brings together 100 international companies working to reduce the world’s overuse of resources.
By Jens Fuglsang Edelholt – edited by Jeppe Jönsson

7,000 billion a year. That’s how big the potential is globally if we can create a greener and more circular economy, where waste is prevented and products are more recycled. This is according to an analysis by British think tank Ellen MacArthur Foundation and consultancy McKinsey.

Large global companies like Unilever, IKEA and H&M are involved in circular economy work, and in Denmark companies like Mærsk and Carlsberg are deeply involved. Companies are speaking today at the conference about how they have succeeded in making their businesses more sustainable and resource efficient. The conference will be opened by Minister for the Environment Kirsten Brosbøl.

Denmark is at the forefront of resource efficiency and circular economy initiatives. Our green policy and our work towards a waste-free Denmark are resonating around the world, and that is one of the reasons why this international conference on the circular economy is being held in Copenhagen today – explains Minister for the Environment Kirsten Brosbøl.

The circular economy is about exploiting the economic and environmental potential of preventing waste, reusing products and recycling materials. In a circular economy, resources that would otherwise end up as waste are reintroduced into production without leaving the cycle.

Global network
Participants at the conference are part of CE100, an international network of companies, innovators and regions working to promote a greener economy.

Denmark is the only country in the world selected by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation for a project on circular economy, which will result in a toolkit for political leaders worldwide, which 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 want to highlight the good examples, and that is why I have established the ‘Companies without waste’ award, which I present to a company that has managed to get more out of less and prevent waste – says Kirsten Brosbøl.

The Minister of the Environment’s ‘Waste-Free Enterprises’ award has received nominations from 31 enterprises. The jury is currently deciding on three finalists and one winner. The prize will then be awarded by the Minister for the Environment.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation conference ‘Circular Economy (CE) 100 Acceleration Workshop’ takes place in Copenhagen on 29-30 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 who want to advance 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 Business Authority and the Danish EPA participate.

The basic idea of the circular economy is to recycle materials – or better still, prevent waste – by smarter design of products so that they can be produced with less waste, reused, disassembled and repaired, and thus have a longer life. The Minister of the Environment’s “Waste-Free Enterprises” award has received nominations from 31 enterprises.

See the press release here.