A circular economy is about business models and practices that ensure sustainable materials management. Because of that a circular economy reduces primary material requirements, optimises processes and products for lower material and waste intensity. It therefore allows value adding to materials to occur multiple times across their life cycle.
A circular economy transcends the traditional natural resource and waste intensive take-make-dispose economic model. In a circular economy natural resources are kept in circulation. This creates new economic opportunities and employment and has significant environmental co-benefits. Besides, it helps conserve natural resources and reduces emissions and waste.
There are many economically attractive opportunities for investing in a circular economy in Australia in the short term. In the long term, a circular economy is superior to business as usual. In addition, it may help revive manufacturing in Australia and drive a next innovation cycle in the Australian economy.
A circular economy does not happen spontaneously by relies on policies that support experimentation and innovation. Hence, CSIRO’s role as Australia’s innovation catalyst is to create the scientific foundation for circular economy innovations. Most importantly, this enables the creation of new business. CSIRO’s research includes technology and engineering innovations and insights on economic, policy and behavioural aspects of a circular economy transition.