The circular economy aims to reduce the use of the Earth’s limited resources, such as metals, minerals, energy sources, water, wood resources, nutrient-rich soil, clean air and biodiversity. Reducing the use of natural resources cuts the environmental impact of their use. The greatest environmental benefits are achieved when material cycles are replaced by more sustainable and energy-efficient cycles. A circular economy approach offers the potential for a more sustainable and efficient business and society. At its best, the circular economy delivers economic, environmental and social benefits.
Various tools can be used to manage and verify environmental performance, such as environmental management systems or product-specific certificates. If a company wants to improve its own performance, a range of free tools can be useful for identifying critical issues and generating ideas for improvement. Environmental management systems also support a systematic way of working, and some offer professional help with environmental and sustainability work. It is worth considering audited environmental management systems or certificates if they allow a wider customer base or a better price for the product.