Circular Economy

Circular Economy: Our centre, projects and future plans

Speaker : Khaled Soufani, Professor, University of Cambridge Judge Business School

The concept of the circular economy has been gaining a great deal of attention in both business and political discussions lately. This is unsurprising because since the industrial revolution, we have been able to depend on natural resources to achieve economic growth and development and raise the standard of living. But as these resources become scarcer and more expensive, and the over utilisation of these resources is having negative impact on the environment we need to find new ways to create a more sustainable economic growth model that generates more employment and improve competitiveness.

The circular model requires firms to come up with disruptive technology and business models that are based on longevity, renewability, reuse, repair, upgrade, refurbishment, servitisation, capacity sharing and dematerialisation. This means that businesses have not to simply focus on cost-cutting but instead start focusing on rethinking products and services as well as customer propositions. Consumers and producers need to extract as much value from those resources in the most effective way possible, and then recover and regenerate those materials and products at the end of that particular useful life if possible, to promote the creation of a circular economic structure in terms of production and consumption.

The Circular Economy Centre, University of Cambridge aims at becoming a leading hub in CE research. In this talk I will highlight CEC projects past, present and future and how I believe the Circular Economy can be adopted globally to affect a positive change in business modelling via the use of disruptive innovation with the by-product of aiding and supporting sustainability goals within organisations, companies and governments.