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WEF helps governments scale up the circular economy

Scale 360 aims to harness the potential of technology innovation and smart policy to fast-track the circular economy through nationally led challenges.

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Scale 360 wants to create a network of change-makers to help drive the circular economy
Scale 360 wants to create a network of change-makers to help drive the circular economy

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is creating a new partnership to collaborate with government, business, civil society and entrepreneurs around the world to find bright new ideas that will help cut the waste in their economies.


Scale 360 aims to harness the potential of technology innovation and smart policy to fast-track the circular economy through nationally led innovation challenges.


Inaugural challenges


The first of these national partnerships will take place in the United Arab Emirates, followed by another in Chile. The long-term goal is to grow a global network of change-makers.


“Scale 360 will fast-track our global efforts to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” said Dr Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, minister of climate change & environment of the UAE.


“In addition to ensuring the conservation of our natural resources, a circular economy will step up our reliance on clean energy, enhance the consistent implementation of sustainable development standards, and generate greater opportunities for the youth in the region.”


Scale 360’s aim is to reduce the environmental impacts of food, plastics, electronics, fashion and other material value chains. According to the Circularity Gap Report 2019, only nine per cent of materials are re-used.

 

Extraction and processing of natural resources continue to add to half of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Global Resources Outlook, and this could double by 2050.

 

“This partnership aims to trigger a worldwide movement for radical change by identifying new technologies and business solutions that break our dependency on natural resource extraction.”

 

SCALE 360 is affiliated with the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy, a public-private collaboration platform and accelerator for the circular economy. It aims to create new markets for circular goods, services and revenue by surfacing, supporting and connecting entrepreneurs and innovations through challenges and partnerships.


The idea is to help them scale up solutions in partnership with government ministries, impact investors, experts and companies.


“This partnership aims to trigger a worldwide movement for radical change by identifying new technologies and business solutions that break our dependency on natural resource extraction while marrying targets for protecting the environment with ones for boosting economies,” said Dominic Waughray, head of the Centre for Global Public Goods, member of the managing board, World Economic Forum.

 

Applying advanced technologies


WEF highlights that the announcement comes as innovations like blockchain-enabled asset tracking, digital business models, new materials and recovery systems enabled by artificial intelligence emerge across the world.


“Artificial intelligence and advanced technologies have incredible potential to change our relationship with natural resources by applying it in new ways. This partnership provides an important opportunity to trigger new solutions and applications of these technologies” said Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, minister of state for artificial intelligence of UAE.


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