Leading sustainability authority, Bureau Veritas, is urging firms to use this year’s Recycle Week as a stark reminder that adopting a circular economy business model is key if the UK is to realise a zero carbon future.

Recycle Week 2021, which is led by sustainability charity, WRAP, is focussing on ‘stepping it up’ against climate change, encouraging individuals and businesses to unite towards the common goal of reducing their carbon footprint. WRAP estimates that from 2018 to 2025, recycling has meant up to 5.1 million tonnes of CO2e will be avoided, benefiting the environment directly and supporting the UK’s overall carbon budget targets.1

According to WRAP, 73% of people last year said they are prepared to make lifestyle compromises to benefit the environment, with 93% agreeing that everyone has a responsibility to help clean up the environment.2 According to Bureau Veritas, it’s time to now turn thoughts and ideas into plans and commitment.

David Murray, Business Unit Manager for Sustainability at Bureau Veritas, said: “The climate crisis has really come to the fore in 2021 as the UK government aims to not only ‘build back better’ but build back greener following the coronavirus pandemic. And, with COP26 being hosted in the UK this year too, the focus on sustainability has never been greater. That’s why this Recycle Week, it’s vital for businesses to focus on changes they can make in their day-to-day operations, that help towards the target to become net zero. 

“Adopting a circular economy business model requires a holistic approach, which considers emissions across the entire supply chain – from product development and procurement to disposal. We have seen businesses in various sectors placing a greater emphasis on recycling their waste, as well as innovating their product design to utilise recycled materials – most recently, Siemens Gamesa launched the first recyclable wind turbine blade.3

The shift to a more sustainable business is also driven by an increasingly eco-savvy public, with a large proportion of consumers now choosing firms who demonstrate an ethical corporate conscience, when it comes to buying decisions.

David continues: “Overhauling a business strategy to factor in, and more importantly prioritise, sustainability may seem a complex task. However, the business benefits in terms of efficiencies, reducing cost, and meeting inevitable future legislations are significant. For businesses that aren’t sure where to start, Bureau Veritas offers Circular+ – a suite of sustainability auditing and certification services to help companies develop a powerful approach to the circular economy.”

Bureau Veritas’ Circular+ service provides organisations with a practical framework to rethink their processes step-by-step. Circular+ includes a range of advisory, training, independent verification and certification products to enable businesses to tackle both individual processes and entire business models.

The ISO 14001:2015 standard for environmental management systems is central to Circular+; it encourages a lifecycle view of products and services and provides a framework for addressing impacts.