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The Ellen MacArthur Foundation: the transition to a circular economy

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation works to inspire a generation to re-think, re-design and build a positive future circular economy.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation works to inspire a generation to re-think, re-design and build a positive future circular economy.

  • $100bn a year could be saved by adopting circular economy principles
  • 3bn tonnes of raw materials consumed by engineering and construction industry
  • 12m tonnes of plastic estimated to seep in to oceans each year

Today, businesses in every sector are waking up to the fact that we need to become much better stewards of our planet’s diminishing resources.

Arup and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) have been working as knowledge partners since 2016, promoting the application of circular economy principles across the built environment.

As partners, EMF and Arup bring together complementary expertise to create a powerful and insightful partnership focused on delivering systemic, transformational change in the built environment. Adopting circular economy principles within this sector is necessary to create a future that is restorative and regenerative by design. New business models are required to support this change.

Arup and EMF have contributed to heightening industry recognition of circular economy principles in addressing climate change, material reuse, resource scarcity and environmental degradation. Projects such as 1 Triton Square, London and Quay Quarter Tower, Sydney demonstrate how adaptive reuse and a focus on reducing embodied carbon can have a dramatic effect on a building’s environmental impact.

Since 2007, more than half of the world’s population live in urban areas and this figure is forecast to rise to 60% by 2030. At the same time, a huge growth in middle class population is expected. Combined, these trends mean that the need to put a circular framework around urban development is more critical than ever before. ” Ellen MacArthur Founder, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Sustainable development is a priority we both share. Working across key areas including policy, investment, coalition, learning and design, we will accelerate systemic change throughout the value chain – for the built environment and beyond.

Our current focus is exploring how the property sector can embrace circular principles, building on the work produced for our recent publication:

Get involved

The circular economy requires that we all think and work differently, so we are keen to collaborate with other organisations. We are looking for pilot projects where there’s an opportunity to implement circular economy principles, in cities, real estate and infrastructure sectors. Get in touch if you want to participate.

Arup has consistently raised the bar for the adoption of circular economy innovation in the built environment sector and for promoting the opportunity it presents as a framework for urban development. We are excited about renewing our partnership with Arup and to working together to drive greater awareness and wide scale adoption of circular economic practices. ” Andrew Morlet Chief Executive Officer, Ellen MacArthur Foundation