Looking beyond the current take-make-dispose extractive industrial model, a circular economy aims to redefine growth, focusing on positive society-wide benefits. It entails gradually decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources, and designing waste out of the system. Underpinned by a transition to renewable energy sources, the circular model builds economic, natural, and social capital. It is based on three principles:
- Design out waste and pollution
- Keep products and materials in use
- Regenerate natural systems
In practice, a circular economy minimizes waste through reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products. The circular economy aims to eradicate waste—not just from manufacturing processes, as lean management aspires to do, but systematically, throughout the life cycles and uses of products and their components.
How can Kenya start working towards this?
Design for the future
Modularity, versatility and adaptiveness are to be prioritised in an uncertain and fast evolving world, meaning that diverse products, materials, and systems, with many connections and scales are more resilient.
Collaborate to create joint value
Within a circular economy, one should work together throughout the supply chain, internally within organisations and with the public sector to increase transparency and create joint value.
Incorporate digital technology
Track and optimise resource use and strengthen connections between supply chain actors through digital, online platforms and technologies that provide insights. Encompass virtualized value creation and delivering, for example via 3D printers, and communicating with customers virtually.
Moving Kenya towards a more circular economy could deliver benefits, including reduced pressure on the environment; enhanced raw materials supply security; and increased competitiveness, innovation, growth and jobs.
Towards the Circular Economy report – Ellen MacArthur Foundation
McKinsey & Company