Circular economy

BSI has launched a new standard for the circular economy – BS 8001: 2017: Framework for implementing the principles of the circular economy in organizations – guide. 

The circular economy is a concept that challenges organisations to re-think how their resources are managed to create financial, environmental and social benefits. BS 8001 was developed to meet these mutually beneficial goals, by providing guiding principles for organisations and individuals to consider and implement more sustainable practices.

It is claimed to be the first standard of its kind anywhere in the world. 

One of the key aims of the circular economy is to keep products, components and materials at their highest utility and value at all times, in keeping with the mantra of the circular economy as being restorative and regenerative by design. BS 8001 outlines what the circular economy is and how an organisation can transition from a linear to a circular – and more sustainable – day-to-day operation.

The standard is not intended to be prescriptive or certifiable; it is intended to be used flexibly by those which adopt it, irrespective of the size, sector, type or location of the organisation.

By contributing to a resource efficient and low-carbon economy, costs and supply chain risks are reduced. Further benefits for businesses that choose to implement BS 8001 include improved resilience, new revenue streams, and enhanced corporate sustainability credentials. 

BSI explained that extensive input from UK businesses into the development of the standard has ensured the standard is useable in real-world scenarios, and that the language used in the document is not overly technical and accessible to those without prior knowledge of the circular economy.