Circular Economies. What’s the big (green) deal?

15th March 2021 | Ro Osborne, Bid and Quality Lead

We are showing our clients how to bid brave and incorporate support for the Circular Economy into their bid responses. This way, they’ll stand out from the crowd whilst building a positive legacy for all. Imagine a world where we can build infrastructure that does more good, than harm. A place where local communities are always the main beneficiaries.

What’s not to love?

Our truth

Wait up, a what economy?

Right now as a species, we take resources from our planet, make something with them, then waste all we’ve made. The aim of a circular economy is to redefine what we see as growth, through a focus on positive benefits for the whole of society, the whole of our world.

At Blue Edge we’ve spent the last five years excitedly looking at smart cities, biodiversity, renewables and sustainability as tools for ecological change and social equality. A circular economy encompasses these areas and more. We’re really fired up to be part of this change.

Our thought

With a very uncertain post-covid recovery period ahead, alongside national zero net carbon targets to achieve, it’s daunting to think about adding yet more change to our business strategies.

The circular economy not only helps with achieving environmental targets and economic growth, we see how it gives us workforce retention and attracts the best, bravest new talent. like Rowena here.

At the start of Blue Edge decided to focus on how we can catapult our clients forward to build the story of a fairer society for all. We know that with a focus on biodiversity and resource innovation, our clients can be leaders in this emerging field.

Let’s think about how this works:

The basis of the circular economy is to gradually decouple economic activity from the consumption of our precious, finite resources.

Recover, Reduce, Reuse, Rethink and Regenerate.

At its core lies a move to renewable energy sources, increasing investment in people, and the notion of social capital. We’re worth more than the things that we make.

However, recycling alone is not enough anymore to signal a commitment to repairing the environment. Finite resources need to be used efficiently, kept for longer or repurposed, designed to last longer and to be shared, and crucially, must be harmonised with the natural world.

We’re at a place right now, where fundamental change is already being placed upon us by Covid-19. We can use the momentum of this change to lay the foundations of a completely new economy, an economy that lives within the planet's natural limits. One that actually emphasises human wellbeing and the wellbeing of our life support systems.

Our expert voice

A recent report by Zero Waste Scotland and the Circle Economy, showcased the first baseline assessment for jobs related to the circular economy in Scotland. Using construction as one of three industrial back drops, they found to take full advantage of circular economy potential, Scotland needs to do more off-site construction.

This approach is already known for creating higher quality products with leaner workflows. Crucially, it also saves resources, requires more local jobs in factory settings, with benefits to people’s health and safety.

We agree wholeheartedly and know one change that might not be initially evident, is improving the demographic profile in construction and supporting local supply chains to use different resources. How about deconstruction as a new field of construction? With emerging new roles such as Material Scouts, we will be investigating what local resources can be saved and/or repurposed and broker access to these.

Blue Edge believes a range of factors including work shadowing, mentoring, upskilling and community engagement will ensure our brave clients stay ahead of industry change, and attract a talent who will propel their business. Like us, they’re the talent group who want to know their work contributes to a greater good.

Our goal

So, for us change starts with knowledge sharing and putting our money where our mouth and beliefs are. Not only are we supporting our clients to generate innovative ideas for true social impact, we’re also giving part of our office (post-lockdown) to an eco-innovative start-up business. Helping them to help us all.

Working with local universities and business support services we will identify the people and the idea we believe can make impact where there’s socio-ecological need. This allows us to provide them with mentorship in the growing of a business and to continue to be at the forefront of the green revolution. We’re also embarking on the journey to B-Corp status. But that exciting story is for another day.

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