Circular economy would reduce CO2 emissions by 70 percent


Davos/Frankfurt – A circular economy in Europe would reduce pollution by 72 percent by 2040 and CO2 emissions by 70 percent by 2050, according to global consultancy Roland Berger. Sustainability is therefore a strategic imperative for companies.

For Stefan Schaible, Global Managing Partner and Member of the Executive Board at Roland Berger, headquartered in Frankfurt, innovative product design and the circular economy are among the “five levers for decarbonizing the global economy and combating climate change”. As he points out in his so-titled blog post for the World Economic Forum in advance of this year’s meeting, the traditional linear economy is based on a model that takes, makes and destroys.

This model is not only resource- and emission-intensive, but also generates enormous amounts of waste, he said. Schaible counts smart risk reduction, decarbonization of the value chain, a corporate culture that balances sustainability and performance, and collaboration between the public and private sectors as other levers.

According to an analysis by Roland Berger, a circular economy would reduce pollution in Europe by 72 percent by 2040. Circularity would preserve material that would otherwise be lost. This could achieve a 70 percent elimination of CO2 emissions and save $1 trillion by 2050.

This would require companies to rethink the material mix of their products and replace environmentally harmful materials with similar ones that are less carbon intensive. In addition, there would be the possibility of adjusting the dimensions of products or extending their life cycle through reuse and recycling. In addition, their sharing across communities could be enabled as a product-as-a-service offering. “Bold steps are needed, not only for the good of the environment, but also because of the billions of dollars in opportunities that the circular economy offers,” Schaible said.

The World Economic Forum 2023 session program also includes an event titled “Bringing Circularity to Life.” There, experts will discuss how to accelerate the adoption of circular economy in operational and business models. Davos 2023 will take place from January 16 to 20. em