Now, the circular economy glossary

By 09 Oct 2021

In order to accelerate the transition to a circular economy, it is vital that we speak with a common voice, using a common language and definitions that can be used by all. Towards this end, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which work in education and training, business and government, insight and analysis, systemic initiatives and communications to accelerate the transition to a circular economy, has designed a glossary to increase understanding of the circular economy.

The glossary includes definitions for commonly-used terms such as recycle, reverse logistics, and finite resources. It also explains the difference between virgin, non-virgin, and renewable materials, biological and technical cycles, and reuse, refurbishment, and remanufacturing. 

The terms in the glossary can be applied to any sector of the economy.

According the foundation, by establishing a common language, and defining terms that are often misunderstood, the aim is to make it easier for businesses, policymakers, and cities to align on what the circular economy is and how they can adopt truly circular models. It can be used to aid understanding within organisations, facilitate collaboration and conversations with others, and in reports, strategies, and communications materials.

The circular economy glossary was created in collaboration with IKEA, one of the foundation’s Strategic Partners.

Dominique Fularski, head of communications, circular business development, Inter IKEA Group, said, “Engaging in complex topics such as the circular economy can be made easier and more accessible by finding a shared language that provides a common starting point for discussion, learning, and collaboration. Our ambition with the foundation has been to level the playing field for the conversations and developments we are all undertaking in our efforts to transition into a circular economy mindset. We hope this will provide a solid reference point in the many aspects of anyone transitioning towards circularity.”

Check out the glossary at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation site.

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