The global economy has been built on a linear model of take, make and dispose, which relies on an abundance of cheap materials and natural resources. This model is inherently unsustainable and is reaching its physical limits as demand for goods increases. The circular economy provides an alternative in which goods are kept in use as long as possible, used to their optimal value and then reused as components or materials in new products.
It has been estimated that the circular economy offers one of the biggest opportunities for economic growth as it can reduce costs, provide new sales opportunities and build resilience. However, without the lack of a practical framework, organisations have struggled to understand how they can implement circular economy principles in their processes, products and business models and benefit from this opportunity.
BS 8001 explains how the circular economy is relevant to organisations and how adopting its principles could increase profits and reduce risk. It also provides guidance on identifying resource management priorities, planning implementation and benchmarking progress. It is designed for use by organisations new to the circular economy and those who are already engaged.