Circular economy at a crossroads

NEW YORK, N.Y – The circular economy in North America is in the midst of a sea change. A new report, The Circular Shift: Four Key Drivers of Circularity in North America highlights trends driving circularity: putting circular economy solutions at the center of business strategy, innovation development, policy changes, and new institutional partnerships.

The tumultuous events of 2020 have shed light on the importance of strong, stable, transparent systems, exposing the risks of over-complicated, opaque supply chains and the limitations of continually extracting finite resources.

In North America and around the world, supply chain disruptions, growing amounts of waste, and health and safety risks have called attention to the flaws of business-as-usual. As these challenges come to the fore, the urgency of rethinking systems that throw US$10 billion worth of resources into U.S. landfills has increased.

Since 2014, Closed Loop Partners has been operating and investing in the circular economy, finding opportunities in the space and supporting its rapid growth across the U.S. Drawing from the firm’s investment intelligence and its Center’s research, the report delves into the Four Key Drivers of the Circular Economy in North America, exploring how innovation, investment, policy and partnership enable the emerging economic model.

$4.5 trillion opportunity

These factors shape and strengthen the landscape for circularity. Capitalizing on the circular economy ultimately promises to recapture business value, offering a $4.5 trillion global opportunity by 2030, according to Accenture. Unexpected partnerships and visionary policy will be essential to accelerate the shift toward an economic model that is enduring, and able to withstand future shocks.

“The clock is ticking on our current linear economic system and the circular economy offers a path forward: a robust framework that aligns the interests of shareholders, corporations, local communities and the environment,” says Kate Daly, managing director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners.

This report builds on the achievements to date and the necessary actions to move forward, underscoring the urgency of focused investment, innovation opportunities, policy change and unexpected collaborations to achieve system-wide change.