09 Feb 2018
Many of us will still be smarting at some of the hard to watch content delivered by the unquestionably brilliant Sir David Attenborough through the BBC’s production ‘The Blue Planet II’ last year. Alongside this, managing plastic consumption out is at the forefront of all our minds with the recent surge in media coverage and growing business response. In so many ways the evidence of our ‘take, make, dispose’ linear culture is apparent worldwide now with overflowing landfill sites, increasing temperatures and planetary shifts which are only set to become catastrophic for this generation and next if we don’t act now.
Cities are the obvious focal point for making the shift given the density of business population, workforce and skills and consumers of high tech.
So how can this translate today, here and now for our businesses in Glasgow?
In short there is a real opportunity to stop and think differently.
If we start to look at a more circular approach focusing on the three R’s ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ there is - according to the World Economic Forum – a $trillion opportunity for our businesses to get a share in. If that wasn’t a big enough incentive to take a look at your current operations and adopt more circular strategies, there is also potential to: save money on your current use of resources; become more competitive; develop new products through working with other businesses creating new revenue streams; and on top of that drive loyalty with your customers: ultimately building deeper longer-term relationships.
A good business case whilst also being good for our planet.
So what do we mean by circular strategies and business practices? Well the first thing to note is it’s not all about recycling and waste management. Yes of course there is a huge opportunity for many here around how waste can be used as a resource but it could also be about rethinking an entire business model moving from- say -selling to leasing products, or modularity where products are designed in such way that any one part can be replaced to elongate the product’s life span.
The bold are already asking questions about how we can design and manufacture differently for the future and also incorporate digital technology across our business and city’s ecosystem. Are you?
Glasgow’s business community has a real opportunity to think differently, disrupt and innovate.
Alison McRae is Senior Director at Glasgow Chamber of Commerce