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.
In response to these challenges and opportunities, LWARB launched its Circular Economy Route Map in June 2017 to accelerate London’s transition to become a circular city. The route map recommends actions for 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 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, developed in partnership with stakeholders across our priority focus areas: food, textiles, plastics, electricals and 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.
In June 2017, the GLA published an updated Responsible Procurement Policy which 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.
In August 2017, the GLA published its draft London Environment Strategy that 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.
In December 2015, LWARB published a Towards a circular economy report which sets out the context and opportunities for our Circular Economy Route Map.
Also in December 2015, WRAP produced a research paper, funded by LWARB, the London Sustainable Development Commission and GLA, looking at Employment and the circular economy – job creation through resource efficiency in London The paper describes how circular economy has the potential to create up to 12,000 new jobs in London.