what is clear. There is that change of a productive model of use and throw to another of reduce, reuse, and recycle. The how, not so much. If there was nothing to lose by the way, the maneuvering of this transatlantic towards a sustainable system would be slow but clean. The European Union, universities, companies and citizens, all main actors of the paradigm shift that must save the world, are reacting. The education sector has taken a step forward.
The University of Burgos has created this year, the first official title on circular economy in Spain. The 60 credits of the master's degree seeking to become a leader in raising a comprehensive strategy in the business world. “What you can not do is to close a factory and lay off employees to put in place a model based on the circular economy,” says David White, the coordinator of the degree. “We cannot leave anyone behind in this transition,” says Veronica Lopez, consultant, applied economics, International Financial Analysts (AFI), in reference to the most vulnerable sectors: citizens with low income away geographically or sectors susceptible to disappear or undergo radical changes.
The turning of the ship because you can't stop. “It is not that the circular economy can become in an economic model, there is no other option,” adds White, who coordinates the 17 students of the first promotion of the course. “The change has to be produced or yes. But we must set goals in the short or medium term achievable,” he says. These goals go through to accept that there is an existing model that we should not eradicate, but to transform. “The companies are provided with facilities and infrastructures to be certain. You can't take the close to the ground”, illustrates the teaching, that establishes another analogy of large-scale. “The same thing happens with the cities. We cannot pull out and build them again. We have to adapt to what we have.”
what is the circular economy? 43 years giving the back to the future
The swiss architect Walter R. Stahel outlined in a paper written in 1976, the germ of the circular economy. Coins the term “from cradle to cradle”, which means cradle-to-cradle. That is, of the beginnings back to the beginnings, which begins in a site ends in that same site. A new system in which waste becomes raw material, represented in a circle, and not in the linear model of cause and pull prevailing since the industrial revolution. The products are designed to be reused.
The prime minister of Japan Koizumi Junichiro pushed the initiative of the three r's (reduce, reuse, recycle) at the G8 summit in 2004, which took place in Japan. The rule that employ the experts now is the seven r's: Reflect, refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, redistribute and claim. Four decades after the first mention of the concept of the circular economy takes a boost this economic model is responsible for saving the planet.
Veronica Lopez coincides with the teacher before the question of whether the circular economy can be converted into an economic model such as that studied in the faculty. “The answer is yes.” The specialist points out that, in this great expedition of the first half of the TWENTY-first century is going to be winners and losers.
The first are those companies that view business opportunities. “The transformed and offer new goods and services”. Then points to a case more concrete. Businesses that specialize in repair rather than replace. The losers of this new course that has taken the economy will be the sectors obsolete, and workers that can not be recycled. Graduate in Economic Sciences by the University of Valencia and extraordinary prize of bachelor's degree, Lopez puts an extreme example to understand: the carrier of coal. And it mentions a strategic sector: automotive. “The engineers and mechanics will have to change their way of manufacture. People who, because of age or abilities do not give them time to understand what we have before.”Daniel Diosdado
Luis Morales, an agricultural engineer of 27 years, he founded with two other colleagues at the Centre for Innovation and Development for the Circular Economy (CIDEC), with the objective of connecting companies with the university. “The circular economy is used to create new business models but not so much to improve the benefits of the working classes”, he says. Morales gives an example of his work. A company that manages waste will combustionaban a few balls in the process of recovery without apparent explanation. Went to CIDEC, which organized a team of work at the university, and found a solution. These wastes are marketed now as a fertilizer. A report of the foundation, Ellen MacArthur foundation, which promotes the circular economy since 2010, admits that it will lose jobs in the process, but it shows a final balance positive about the employment that can be created by induced innovation.
Europe lead the way
At supranational level the European Union has been erected in the institution that is leading the transition towards a circular economy. Leads the change by conviction and by necessity. The weight of the EU in the agenda 2030, an international commitment signed four years ago that puts the focus on people and the planet, has been great. “There is a great shortage of raw materials in Europe. We're going to need lithium for all”, says the coordinator of the master, that is doctor in Business Economics. According to White, it only retrieves the 5% of this alkali metal which is used in the electronic devices. “Every time that we get rid of a mobile phone or a tablet we're throwing money down the drain,” he says.
This Catalan of 37 years old is defined jokingly as a worker “kilometer zero” to play his career in the city in which he was born, without being one of the great capitals of the country. Their students come from three different areas: environmental sciences, economics and engineering. A hodgepodge key to holistically addressed the new needs of the company.
The reduction of raw materials was explained by the decrease of the use of fuels and electricity, non-renewable, by the decrease of the materials that are used in the construction and in the automotive sector. The car would use less but better. The traffic jams could be reduced. The circular economy would manage the negative externalities such as air and noise pollution, limit the use of land devoted to car parks and roads. The saving of time would result in economic benefits for households. These unproductive time throughout the year to become productive.
Lopez, who began his career two decades ago in the inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington, D. C., extols the role of institutions in change. “Europe has become an example of how to do things in an orderly fashion and together in the area of sustainability”. Morales explains: “The circular economy has managed to speak the same language of the companies, that will change business models, open new markets and sell more. Always is to sell more”. Morales, who comes from the association Shelter Blue, in which professionals of several sectors to advise companies about circular economy, welcomes the european initiative but believes that there are other reasons to look for a change of model. The current is very much based in tourism after the “decentralized industry in search of workers cheaper and quality”.
citizens get involved
Europe acts as the icebreaker and the companies and citizens to follow the trail. “The consumer is sovereign,” explains White in an expression that recalls when the spectators of a football team breaking their team. “Claiming the changes and the business adapts,” he adds. There are times that the anxiety of the consumer will not help, and the law takes sides, as it happened with the plastic bags. Excluded from free delivery the last year. “If the citizens push there will be no need to legislate,” notes White. There are some ardent supporters of the circular economy that have incorporated a number of tools and habits in their day-to-day. is Click on each of the elements of the illustration to learn more.
The new model, which calls for limiting waste, it need not reduce well-being. “Do not threat the creation of value. Not have what to do to drop the consumption. It is changing the way we do things,” says Lopez, who refuses to establish a relationship between income level and environmental commitment. “It is true that citizens with less purchasing power have more complicated. Any new product that is clean, game is going to cost more than one” dirty". And he adds: “they are Also more efficient. Take care of your energy costs by having less income”. Lopez, more theoretical in their approach, calls for identifying the most vulnerable groups and to accompany them in this transition to the new model. “For that there are the economic policies classic of subsidies and tax breaks”, he argues.
After the concepts of reduce, reuse, recycle resonates the term austerity. Morales points to the loss of meaning that has experienced this concept after the crisis. “We have to return power to the citizen. We are technically useless”. And points to the impossibility of removing the battery from a phone or a computer, and hardly use garments that are broken. Advocates for a model of use ephemeral. Tomorrow you will use it in another way. “We who are without capacity for government, are a taliban of the circular economy”, defines it this activist. “To see if finally becomes fashionable this model in the same way that it has become fashionable that people will pull from a balcony to a swimming pool,” says with a tone of exasperation. “The more reduce more molas”, he adds.
The contribution of Coca-Cola
companies play a key role in tackling the global challenges of the environment. The commitment of Coca-Cola is to consolidate a circular economy that will allow to collect, recycle and reuse 100% of its containers by 2025. A challenge to the already important strides have been achieved: 99% of their containers are recyclable and contain 25% recycled plastic.
Coca-Cola has launched a process of sustainable management consists of four phases: eco-innovation, transformation, use and recovery of packaging. The more lightweight design, the elimination of plastic unnecessary or the use of bio-based plastics are some of the actions carried out to fulfil the objectives.
All this has resulted in the creation of the first bottle made from plastic marine recovered and suitable for use in food and beverages. This world premiere is an example of how the most innovative technology can transform PET plastic is very degraded in quality raw material.
This milestone is part of the project Seas Circular of Coca-Cola in Spain which promotes the circular economy and is designed to address the problem of marine debris. In addition to the cleaning of coasts, seas, coasts, marine and the promotion of recycling, and the Seas Circular, allows the collection of scientific data that facilitate the research in collaboration with different Spanish universities.
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Alba has 13 years old, lives in a coastal town and his passion is the sea. To the pollution that plagues, decide to take sides. Coca-Cola developed in collaboration with volunteers on the project Seas Circular, created for the cleaning of marine ecosystems and the analysis of waste, which results were shared with experts.
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Updated Date: 26 December 2019, 03:00