Circular Awards celebrate circular recycling efforts

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Business waste reduction celebrated at the Circular Awards ceremony in Davos

On January 19, the Swiss town of Davos played host to the Circular Awards; this ceremony is a celebration of successful circular economy and the recognition of global companies and individuals who utilise circular business models.

This celebration is perhaps not so glamorous as the Oscars, but the Circular Awards are important to those who understand the need to reduce global waste. A circular business model is one which outlines the benefits, both financial and environmental, of the re-use and recycling of their manufactured materials.

These circular models are being increasingly implemented by businesses across the globe, including tech giant Canon, who won this year’s most prestigious award at Davos; the People’s Choice Circular Economy Award. Canon was the first company to introduce a closed loop recycling system for its printer toners.

The company’s toner recycling scheme has resulted in the company collecting 344,000 tonnes of toners from 1990 to 2014, saving an estimated 502,000 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere in the process. Canon re-uses the recycled toners in the manufacturing of more products.

Van Hulley, based in the Netherlands, was the runner-up for the People’s Choice Circular Economy Award. This quirky company will re-use the material from your old shirts to create a pair of personalised boxer shorts.

But Andy Wales, from SABMiller, a brewing company based in London, is keen to point out that circular economy can also be implemented at companies involved in food or beverage production. And SABMiller is doing exactly this; 99 per cent of its spent grain goes to farmers for animal feed or is used for renewable energy.

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