Skip to main content

21/08/13 11:49

Leading the way in circular economy

Collaboration announced with Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Scotland’s zero waste plans received a big boost after becoming the first nation to join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy 100 programme (CE100).

This global network of 100 companies, innovators and administrations has set itself a three-year timeframe to accelerate the transition to a circular economy, helping businesses rethink the way they manage resources, whilst stimulating economic growth.

Scotland’s involvement in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s CE100 follows the recent launch of the Resource Efficient Scotland initiative, managed by Zero Waste Scotland, which helps Scottish businesses and organisations save money by helping them use resources more efficiently and cutting the costs of their energy, water and raw material overheads.

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead, who made the announcement on a visit to Sweden to exchange insights and experiences of building a circular economy and the economic opportunities, said:

“Scotland’s economy will benefit from moving to a more circular model of production and consumption. Our Zero Waste Plan is already delivering important actions to make better use of resources, and we can accelerate progress if we join together with others on a global level.

“Joining the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s CE100 gives Scotland an excellent opportunity to share its own successes with others, and to take a leadership role in a growing global movement.”

Jamie Butterworth, CEO of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, welcomed the move by the Scottish Government, commenting:

“We're excited to welcome the Scottish Government as one of the first governmental members of the Circular Economy 100 programme. Regions and governments will play an important enabling role within this initiative and in a transition towards a circular economy by supporting businesses in developing new markets and generating informed policy. We look forward to working with Scotland over the next three years.”

Notes to editors

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was formed in 2010 to inspire a generation to rethink, redesign and build a positive future. The Foundation believes that the circular economy provides a coherent framework for systems level redesign and as such offers us an opportunity to harness innovation and creativity to enable a positive, regenerative economy. For more information, please visit:

The concept of a ‘Circular Economy’ refers to the creation of a more robust economy that doesn’t rely on making things simply to be thrown away once we have finished with them. By assessing how we design, make, sell, re-use and recycle products we can get the maximum value from our products while they are in use, and when they reach the end of their life through re-use, recycling, remanufacture, and new business models.

Mr Lochhead is in Sweden for a series of engagements, including a visit to Returpack Aggregation Centre where all the materials from Sweden’s deposit return scheme (on drinks containers) are handled and sent on for processing. He heard about the economic opportunities from Sweden’s high volumes of good quality materials for recycling and also shared the experience of the new Resource Efficient Scotland service – an area where Scotland is taking a lead in joining up support for businesses and public bodies across energy, materials and water – helping cut overheads and improve competitiveness.