UNCTAD promotes circular economy entrepreneurship

09 April 2024 13:47

Circ. Economy SwitzerlandPolitics

Geneva - Business founders working in the circular economy are change agents that need support, according to a new UNCTAD report entitled “Entrepreneurs riding the wave of circularity.” More than 2.3 billion tonnes of solid waste can be recycled and reused to create 7 million jobs and $4.5 trillion in growth.

Cities around the world generate as much as 2.3 billion tonnes of solid waste annually. At the same time, if more businesses embraced circular economies in these materials within the next six years, they could employ more than 7 million people and create $4.5 trillion in economic growth.

Now the Geneva, Switzerland-based United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, or UNCTAD, has released a report entitled “Entrepreneurs riding the wave of circularity” that showcases firms that might deliver on this promise of sustainability.

“Entrepreneurs are not just trailblazers. They’re agents of change,” said Arlette Verploegh, who oversees UNCTAD’s leads entrepreneurship programming, in a press release published on March 28. “Their innovative products, services, and business models advance circularity, triggering a domino effect throughout communities and along the entire value chain.”

The report spotlights companies like Chennai, India-based Kabadiwalla Connect, a cloud technology firm that promotes waste collection and processing; Chilean start-up Algramo which makes reusable containers for shampoo, soap, and detergent; and Hello Tractor, a company active in Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda that helps farmers share equipment.

UNCTAD’s report suggests a menu of policy options to help companies like these prosper.

More private and public cooperation, greater coordination of government policies and business practices, as well as dialogues between numerous stakeholders to improve community engagement and reduce unintended consequences from new green business operations. Lastly, the report calls for more education and public information campaigns to advocate for the circular economy so that consumers and citizens understand its importance. ce/jd

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