The future is circular

The global challenges we face are almost overwhelming. Today, more than seven billion people live on planet Earth and we all must share the resources. The good part is that more and more people are getting out of poverty, and the global middle class is growing at an unprecedented rate. The downside is that the richer we get the more we consume. In wealthy Europe we already live as if we had 2.8 planets at our disposal. Imagine what will happen to the planet if everyone keeps consuming like we do today.

We have a global plan

In 2015 the world agreed on the new global Sustainable Development Goals called Agenda 2030. The 17 goals are about eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions and shifting the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will help implement the plan. Goal number 12 is about “ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns”. This is according to many organizations one of the most important targets since it influences many of the other targets and is essential for achieving a sustainable future.

Good quality of life with circular products

Consumption patterns and production chains are crucial if our children and grandchildren are to enjoy a brighter future. Today an increasing number of companies understand the challenges ahead when it comes to producing more and more products to serve a growing number of people. But the resources they need are getting more and more scarce and expensive. It is hard to have infinite economic growth on a planet with finite resources. This is why companies are now looking into circular economy and producing things that are designed to be circulated, by recycled resources, of higher quality and will have a longer life, and when you grow tired of them they can be sold again and in the last steps upgraded or recycled.

The importance of secondhand trade

Secondhand marketplaces deliver substantial resource benefit – they make it possible for consumer goods, to be reused many times before being recycled. But the products produced and sold today are not made to last and be sold again and that need to change. The business sector needs to change their business models if they want to last in a more resource efficient and truly sustainable future. WWF regards this report as an important contribution as it reveals the sustainability benefits that comes from secondhand trade. Services, such as Schibsted’s marketplaces, can help consumers select the more sustainable goods and services, reduce the exploitation of natural resources and encourage more sustainable consumer choices. There is no waste in a sustainable future only precious resources!

Elin Bergman, Circular Economy expert WWF