Businesses Discuss Peterborough’s Circular Future

by | Mar 24, 2017 | Cir­cu­lar eco­nomy, Events

Over 40 busi­ness del­eg­ates from organ­isa­tions across Peter­bor­ough have helped to define how the city can meas­ure its pro­gress towards cre­at­ing a Cir­cu­lar Eco­nomy.

By adopt­ing cir­cu­lar eco­nom­ic prin­ciples, the Depart­ment for Envir­on­ment, Food and Rur­al Affairs (DEFRA) cal­cu­lates that UK busi­nesses could bene­fit by up to £23 bil­lion per year through low cost or no cost improve­ments in the effi­cient use of resources.[1]

Facil­it­ated by the Future Peter­bor­ough pro­gram­me, dis­cus­sions at a recent work­shop centred around how the city and organ­isa­tions could improve under­stand­ing, facil­it­ate change and chart suc­cess with­in the 7 Rs — rethink, redesign, repair, reuse, reman­u­fac­ture, recycle and recov­er products and ser­vices. These are the sev­en pil­lars that form the found­a­tion of the Cir­cu­lar Peter­bor­ough Com­mit­ment.

This Com­mit­ment has set out the city’s approach to cre­at­ing a Cir­cu­lar Peter­bor­ough and is a Future Peter­bor­ough ini­ti­at­ive delivered by Oppor­tun­ity Peter­bor­ough and Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil. Devel­op­ing a Cir­cu­lar Eco­nomy means encour­aging col­lab­or­a­tion across the city to max­im­ise the life­cycle of products and ser­vices, help­ing organ­isa­tions save money by redu­cing waste, envir­on­ment­al impact and reli­ance on raw mater­i­als and nat­ur­al resources, whil­st mak­ing bet­ter use of our resources, mater­i­als, products, prop­er­ty and people.

Organ­isa­tions that took part in the work­shop included Queens­gate, Skanska, Allia, Per­kins, Cross Keys Homes, Wal­ters and AECOM.

Examples of pro­jects that con­trib­ute towards a cir­cu­lar eco­nomy that are already under­way in Peter­bor­ough include:

  • Cross Keys Homes’ Food Cycle pro­ject which uses excess food from loc­al super­mar­kets and stores to com­bat food pover­ty.
  • Share Peter­bor­ough, a free busi­ness to busi­ness online shar­ing plat­form that is help­ing organ­isa­tions in the city to share resources.
  • Regen­er­a­tion work at the Rail­world Wild­life Haven reused and repur­posed items – like using scrap metal pipes to build hand­rails and old aque­ducts to cre­ate walk­ways.

Del­eg­ates were joined by The Ellen MacAr­thur Found­a­tion, a glob­al thought-lead­ing char­ity work­ing with decision makers in busi­ness, gov­ern­ment and aca­demia to drive the cir­cu­lar eco­nomy agenda. Peter­bor­ough is part of the Foundation’s exclus­ive Cir­cu­lar Cit­ies Net­work which includes New York, Rio de Janeiro and Copen­ha­gen.

Julia Vol, Port­fo­lio Man­ager from the Ellen MacAr­thur Found­a­tion said, “It was inspir­ing to see how a small city such as Peter­bor­ough is tak­ing big steps to intro­duce a cir­cu­lar eco­nomy approach, look­ing to strengthen the loc­al busi­ness com­munity and improve qual­ity of life for the city’s res­id­ents.”

Steve Bow­yer, Chief Exec­ut­ive of Oppor­tun­ity Peter­bor­ough said, “The work­shop has provided some prac­tic­al steps for the Future Peter­bor­ough team in how we meas­ure the city’s pro­gress towards cre­at­ing a Cir­cu­lar Peter­bor­ough and we’re grate­ful to all the busi­nesses, and organ­isa­tions such as the Ellen MacAr­thur Found­a­tion, who con­trib­uted their time and expert­ise.

Hav­ing a cir­cu­lar eco­nomy could save busi­nesses thou­sands of pounds by max­im­ising their use of resources whil­st sig­ni­fic­antly improv­ing busi­ness effi­ciency and redu­cing envir­on­ment­al impact. Organ­isa­tions may already be doing a lot with­in the 7Rs and we want to build on the expert­ise and good prac­tice already in place with­in Peter­bor­ough to max­im­ise oppor­tun­it­ies.”

[1] http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/wraps-vision-uk-circular-economy-2020