Recently the Ellen MacArthur Foundation released a new report, Achieving Growth Within, which suggests that scaling the circular economy in Europe offers investment opportunities totaling €320 billion. The shift from a linear to circular economy in Europe is accelerating by the transitional power of new technology and business models. These changes will come in the areas of mobility, building, and food. These areas represent 60 percent of the average EU household budget and 80 percent of resource consumption. This could contribute significantly to Europe’s overall economic performance and welfare by creating a restorative and regenerative economic system.
Circular mobility, building environment, and circular food systems offer ground breaking, attractive innovation, and investment opportunities. The EU is uniquely placed to take advantage of this. This comes at a time when the EU is in great need of industrial renewal and attractive investment opportunities. Circular economic investments offer resilience and transformation of those assets that otherwise might face becoming redundant. However, circular economy investment opportunities have remained unrealized until now.
To really escalate the shift to the circular economy, it is vital that circular principles are incorporated into urban planning in a holistic way. In order to fully reap the benefits of circular cities, it will not be sufficient to shift to circular transport, food, or buildings sectors individually. Additional investments will be needed to make all resource flows circular such as water or local energy generation. Also, investments will be needed to handle freed up public spaces while preventing continued urban sprawl.
Shifting to circular buildings would involve designing and producing buildings made for looping, using renewable healthy materials, and planning for modularity. In the end ensuring that the finished construction is energy positive. The investment opportunity within this sector is significant, amounting to €105 billion between now and 2025, which could lead to a total economic benefit of up to €135 billion by 2030 in reduced repair and maintenance cost, as well as utility costs.
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