Circular economy is an economic approach that maximizes the use of raw materials or energy by changing the way we think about the use of resources and products.
Circular economy is a perceptual change that occurs through a new level of thinking about sustainability – looking at the entire product life cycle and the supply chain, trying to improve it at every stage, by using all resources in an effective way. This is an approach to optimize closed-loop resource for industrial and commercial systems.
Circular economy is based on 3 main principles:
- Designing out waste and pollution at the idea conceptualization stage from the very beginning.
- Innovative and technology mechanisms which enable to keep materials and resources in use.
- Restoration of natural ecosystems, by implementing more renewable agriculture and symbiotic approach were the result of one is a resource for another.
From the Industrial Revolution to the present, the global economy is based on a linear model. The traditional linear economic model is based on a take-make-dispose model – i.e we buy a product use it for a very limited period of time and then throw it away.
The way we purchase and manufacture today by using large quantities of materials, ignoring their continued availability and the effects of their consumption and disposal on our planet.
This linear way of manufacture and consumption is usually unsustainable and consists of several disadvantages, mainly the excessive pressure on essential ecosystem services, such as water, air and soil. The linear economic model also has a negative impact on the economy itself, as it ignores the fact that the supply of materials and is limited. This causes economic uncertainty, which reflected in the raw material prices and increased demand.
These problems are solved in a circular economy.
Recognizing the importance of adopting a sustainable way of human behavior, the circular economy aims to achieve a sustainable economically growth, by breaking the link between economic development and inefficient consumption of resources.
Through structural changes such as redesign, reuse and re-production using innovation and new business models, the circular economy model is based on the principle that materials and their value will remain in the circle of production and consumption, rather than ending in the garbage as is the linear model.
Shifting from linear to circular economy has great economic and environmental benefits:
- encouraging innovation
- encouraging long-term sustainability
- improving competitiveness
- preserving resources, including those which are becoming increasingly scarce, or subject to price fluctuations
- cost saving for industries
- creating new business opportunities and jobs
- creating innovative businesses and new kind of resources.
Heineken Mexico is taking actions in order to move towards the circular economy and built new Brewery designed for circular practices such as wastewater recycling that will be used for non-product applications; reusing brewer’s grain as cattle feed and recovering waste heat from the neighboring glass factory to be used in the brewing process.
Heineken Vietnam introduces its circular economy practices, showing that the company not only reduces waste but also seeks to create value from the waste. This includes:
- Moving towards ‘Zero Waste to Landfill’ with close to 99% of waste and by-products being reused or recycled:
- Almost 100% of HEINEKEN Vietnam’s bottles are returned for reuse before eventually being recycled, while materials like cardboard, aluminum, plastic and paper are likewise reused or recycled
- 100% of its wastewater is treated to Grade A so it can be reused or returned safely to the environment
- Powering four of its six breweries with renewable thermal energy from carbon neutral, biomass-generated steam.
- Reducing 2,500-tonne of CO2 emissions from its logistic operations