Route map charts course to £2.8bn economic prize for London

Today the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) launched its route map to accelerate London’s transition to become a circular city. Board member Councillor Bassam Mahfouz introduced the document this afternoon at the Building Centre, outlining more than 100 practical actions that stakeholders across the capital can take to make themselves and the city more resilient.

London is growing fast: with the capital’s population predicted to reach over 11 million by 2050, a more flexible and sustainable approach to products, housing, office space and critical infrastructure is crucial to London’s ability to adapt and grow.

By 2036 the circular economy could provide London with net benefits of at least £7bn every year in the sectors of built environment, food, textiles, electricals and plastics, as well as 12,000 net new jobs in the areas of re-use, remanufacturing and materials innovation.

The route map recommends actions for a wide range of stakeholders, including London’s higher education, digital and community sectors as well as London’s businesses, social enterprises and its thriving finance sector. Some stakeholders are already signed up to deliver actions, but LWARB is looking for others to get involved and help make London a city where circular economy businesses can flourish.

Collaboration is vital for the circular economy to succeed and LWARB will today also be announcing a new circular economy collaboration hub. The hub will bring together circular economy innovators from the public, private and third sector to help them develop new opportunities in London.

The route map is being launched alongside the announcement by the Green Construction Board, the Construction Leadership Council’s sustainability workstream, of their new Top Tips guide for the construction industry to embed circular economy principles into their strategic approach and everyday operations.

“The size of the circular economy prize for London is huge,” said Dr Liz Goodwin OBE, Chair of LWARB. “Cities are the engine room of the circular economy. London could receive a net benefit of up to £7bn a year by 2036 if we accelerate our transition, £2.8bn of which can be achieved by delivering the actions in this document. This route map is a major milestone and I would encourage all organisations in London to think about how they can benefit from a transition to a circular economy.”

 Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, Board member and circular economy lead at LWARB, encouraged others to get involved: “Whatever sector you work in, this circular economy route map represents a huge opportunity. So many organisations – public or private – can use the principles in this route map to work out how to make circular economy work for them; and LWARB’s new collaboration hub will bring all sorts of organisations together, providing a space for dialogue and partnership and helping us achieve shared success right across the capital.”

 

Notes to editors:

London Waste and Recycling Board

  • The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) has a remit to improve waste management in the capital. LWARB has developed a circular economy route map with the aim of turning London into a circular city, and will continue to deliver a series of initiatives to accelerate this transition.
  • Dr Liz Goodwin OBE, as the Chair of LWARB, asked the Board to contribute towards getting London back on track on recycling, aiming for a 65% recycling rate by 2030, support London’s transition to the circular economy and ensure waste management plays its part in helping London become a zero carbon city by 2050.

Circular London

  • Circular London is an LWARB programme which brings wider stakeholder engagement, collaboration and activity to the circular economy business support and investment opportunities provided by Advance London (LWARB’s investment and SME support programme).
  • The current economy is linear, which means that things are made with virgin raw materials, used and then thrown away. In contrast, a circular economy keeps products and materials circulating within the economy at their highest value for as long as possible. This is achieved through re-use, recycling, remanufacturing, delivering products as services and sharing. The circular economy provides a sustainable and profitable alternative to our current linear economy.
  • LWARB’s ambition is that, through multiple collaborations with stakeholders and policy makers, alongside the growth of circular economy businesses, London will become the world’s leading exponent of circular economy thinking and practice.

Green Construction Board

  • The Green Construction Board (GCB) is the sustainability workstream of the Construction Leadership Council. The role of the GCB is to provide leadership and action to enable the whole value chain (designers, clients, contractors, product manufacturers and suppliers) to become more environmentally sustainable, more productive and better placed to exploit the growing global market.
  • The GCB aims to support businesses to achieve a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. A delivery plan has been developed to achieve this focusing on two key themes:
    1. Championing, leading and supporting action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from infrastructure, domestic (housing) and non-domestic built environment sectors; and
    2. Supporting the construction sector to move towards a circular economy business model to improve resource efficiency and productivity.
  • For more information on the Construction Leadership Council visit www.constructionleadershipcouncil.co.uk
  • For more information on Circular Economy Top Tips: www.cetoptips.com

 

For media enquiries please call Ali Moore on 020 7960 3677 or email info@lwarb.gov.uk . Numbers not for publication.