These 4 companies are embracing, and finding value in, the circular economy

The circular economy – an economic model focused on designing and manufacturing products, components and materials for reuse, remanufacturing, and recycling – promises big opportunities for the private sector to drive new and better growth and accelerate innovation. Shifting to the circular economy could release $4.5 trillion in new economic potential by 2030, according to Accenture. But how do we take that vision of a circular economy – which imagines a world without waste – and translate that into profitable and scalable action?

Let’s take a look at some of the companies featured in the report.

Aramark: Reducing food waste

Food services provider Aramark has set a goal of reducing food waste by 50% by 2030 from its 2015 baseline, such as by setting standards for ordering, receiving, preparing, serving and tracking food production.

EILEEN FISHER: The path to 100% circularity

EILEEN FISHER’s take-back programme, in which employees and customers can bring back unwanted clothing for $5 store credit per piece, started in 2009 under the name Green Eileen. Funds raised from the programme are donated to organizations that support women, girls, and the environment

Intel: Finding value in waste material

Computer chip manufacturer Intel has set a goal to recycle 90% of its non-hazardous waste and divert 100% of its hazardous waste from landfills by 2020. Since 2008, Intel has recycled 75% of the total waste generated from its operations, such as through upcycling, recycling, recovery, and reuse.

Johnson Controls: Closing the automotive batteries loop

Johnson Controls has designed its conventional automotive batteries so that 99% of the materials can be reused. Customers can return old batteries that are collected by Johnson Controls and turned into new batteries. The company’s circular supply chain has pushed recycling rates for conventional batteries to 99% in North America, Brazil, and Europe in 2015, enabling Johnson Controls to produce batteries containing more than 80% recycled material