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, LWARB says.
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.
“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.”
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.
It says collaboration is vital for the circular economy to succeed and LWARB also announced a new circular economy collaboration hub. The hub aims to 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.”