Eco­nom­i­cal de­ci­sion

Norway-Asia Business Review - - S NAPSHOTS -

Cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity is one as­pect com­pa­nies need to con­sider when it comes to the adap­ta­tion of the cir­cu­lar econ­omy. But, there is a busi­ness el­e­ment to it as well.

“It is im­por­tant for these ef­forts to have value. There is money in garbage be­lieve it or not,” Dr Rørvik states. “But who is go­ing to cap­ture this value? Busi­nesses must ap­proach this with longterm think­ing and an un­der­stand­ing of the mar­ket.”

She adds busi­ness lead­ers can’t af­ford to ig­nore sus­tain­able so­lu­tions since more customers want prod­ucts that are made from re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als. This is some­thing SCG is wit­ness­ing first hand where de­mand is shift­ing from sin­gle-use items driven by the lin­ear econ­omy to more sus­tain­able prod­ucts.

“Large in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies are head­ing to­wards a sus­tain­able prod­uct mix and there isn’t re­ally a choice,” Dr Rørvik ex­plains. “We have to of­fer what the clients ask for. Busi­ness and sus­tain­abil­ity go hand-in-hand and think­ing cir­cu­lar has be­come a key strat­egy.”

This means it is also necessary for SCG to work with clients when de­sign­ing re­cy­clable so­lu­tions in new prod­ucts and high­lights an­other chal­lenge of the cir­cu­lar econ­omy; putting raw ma­te­ri­als back into use instead of sim­ply dis­card­ing them af­ter a sin­gle use.

Dr Rørvik be­lieves there will al­ways be de­mand for our raw ma­te­ri­als, but find­ing ways to max­imis­ing these into re­us­able re­sources with value beyond a sin­gle use is necessary to re­duce waste. of a cir­cu­lar econ­omy. It wants to put its re­sources be­hind the move­ment while also en­cour­ag­ing oth­ers to do the same.

“We can re­ally make a dif­fer­ence. We are a global com­pany with more than 50,000 em­ploy­ees so we have the size and scale to take the lead on the cir­cu­lar econ­omy. But we can’t do it alone. Ev­ery­one from gov­ern­ments to busi­nesses and even in­di­vid­u­als must be work­ing to­wards the change,” Dr Rørvik de­tails.

In or­der to close the loop, ev­ery­one must con­trib­ute by sort­ing their waste and stop lit­ter­ing. Dr Rørvik adds that all over the world it is im­por­tant to set up a good waste man­age­ment sys­tem and ed­u­cate the pub­lic on why it is needed and how they can help.

“As we have seen with the re­cent ocean plas­tics news, peo­ple want to be a part of this pos­i­tive change, but they may not al­ways know how to go about it. Espe­cially in coun­tries where there hasn’t been a lot of em­pha­sis placed on re­cy­cling and en­vi­ron­men­tal care un­til now. Ev­ery­one from the larger in­dus­trial cor­po­ra­tions to in­di­vid­u­als needed to join this ef­fort in or­der to save our oceans,” she notes.

Af­ter the Sym­po­sium, a num­ber of large cor­po­ra­tions ap­proached SCG want­ing to know how they could get in­volved. This co­op­er­a­tion is vi­tal as it allows all par­ties to share cur­rent prac­tices, avoid over­lap­ping de­vel­op­ment and get the whole value chain from raw ma­te­ri­als to prod­ucts in cir­cle. Dr Rørvik points out there is no need to in­vent what al­ready ex­ists and shar­ing knowl­edge guar­an­tees ev­ery­one makes progress and works to­wards com­plet­ing the cir­cu­lar econ­omy.

“In or­der to be suc­cess­ful, the cir­cu­lar econ­omy needs ev­ery­one to par­tic­i­pate and col­lab­o­rate. This in­cludes peo­ple re­cy­cling, busi­nesses like SCG find­ing new ways to max­imise the us­age of re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als, com­pa­nies of­fer­ing prod­ucts made from these ma­te­ri­als and so on. It truly is all con­nected,” Dr Rørvik con­cludes.

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