A circular economy route map to ensure London thrives now and in the future

London is growing fast, the capital’s population predicted to reach over 11 million by 2050.  So, 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. These benefits would be in the sectors of built environment, food, textiles, electricals and plastics. The circular economy could also generate 12,000 net new jobs in the areas of re-use, remanufacturing and materials innovation. 

Creating the right conditions to accelerate the circular economy

In response to these challenges and opportunities, LWARB launched its Circular Economy Route Map in June 2017. The map provides guidance for the acceleration of London’s transition to become a circular city and it recommends actions for stakeholders. Stakeholders such as 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 we’re always looking for others to get involved and help make London a city where circular economy businesses can flourish. 

The route map is an action-orientated document. It was developed in partnership with stakeholders across our priority focus areas:

  • Food
  • Textiles
  • Plastics
  • Electricals
  • Built environment.

An economic analysis of the route map estimated that the actions within it can contribute £2.8bn towards a wider £7bn opportunity for the capital. 

Related documents:

Circular economy in London environment strategy

In August 2017, the GLA published its draft London Environment Strategy. It covers air quality, green infrastructure, climate change mitigation and energy, waste, adapting to climate change, ambient noise and transition to a low carbon circular economy. 


Circular economy in GLA responsible procurement policyIn June 2017, the GLA published an updated Responsible Procurement Policy.  It sets out the GLA Group’s plans, ambitions and commitments for ensuring continuous improvement in the Group’s procurement activities. For the first time, the policy includes reference to the circular economy.


LWARB circular London towards a circular economy

In December 2015, LWARB published Towards a circular economy. A report which sets out the context and opportunities for our Circular Economy Route Map. 



LWARB employment and circular economyAlso in December 2015, WRAP produced a research paper, funded by LWARB, the London Sustainable Development Commission and the GLA. The paper looks at Employment and the circular economy – job creation through resource efficiency in London. And it describes how circular economy has the potential to create up to 12,000 new jobs in London.