So what’s the ‘Circular Economy’ anyway?

We all agree that ‘Reduce, Reuse. Recycle’ will help our global condition. The ‘Circular Economy’ doesn’t emphasize ‘reduce’ so much, but adds ‘remake’, according to a post by Catherine Weetman in 2018. There’s a terrific diagram there, too.

Here’s the link: Circular Economy

Wikipedia defines ‘Circular economy’ as: an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. The ‘linear economy’ that we have now takes resources and ultimately much of what gets produced ends up as pollution. Not good for sustainability!

In a nutshell, proponents of this idea are urging us to try more rebuilding, refurbishing, repairing, refinishing, and more. It makes complete sense. In fact, I’ve seen a billboard with a proud car mechanic declaring “New car smell is overrated”. You’ll also find that Taiichi Ohnno in The Toyota Production System encourages repairing machines until their last breath. Equipment salespeople will show you how replacing a machine with a newer, more cost efficient equipment will actually pay for itself. Perhaps in the circular economy those companies will remove the machine and refurbish it, recycle parts or even repurpose it.

If manufactures were to take responsibility for everything they produced, we would see different designs, different materials and a whole different culture emerge. This is a complicated topic, but I’m glad it’s on our radar – it could start a change toward a more sustainable globe, right before our eyes!

ISO Management Systems can help move you in a circular economy direction. ISO 14001 (environment) springs to mind first, but 9001 (quality), 50001 (energy) and even 55001 (asset management) will all play a role. Getting assets and activities organized as a system is the first step on the road to a sustainable planet!

Know Quality, Know Profit…No Quality, No Profit

If you’d like to see if our cloud-based platform can help you move in this direction by making your ISO life simpler, just click below to schedule a demo. We’d be happy to spend 10 or 15 minutes with you to see if it’s a fit…

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