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BSI Introduces New Standard to Drive a More Circular Economy

Shifting to a circular economy can’t be an individualized task for global businesses.

To address the growing issue of resource scarcity, the British Standards Institution (BSI) created new circular economy standard, BS 8001, which collectively helps businesses transition from a linear to a more sustainable operation model.

Under BS 8001, companies will be able to understand what a circular economy is and how it can create business value. According to BSI, this standard will enable businesses to reduce costs, minimize supply chain risks and contribute to a low-carbon economy in coming years.

The standard features six guiding principles, including systems thinking, innovation, stewardship, collaboration, value optimization and transparency.

Systems thinking will allow businesses to holistically understand how individual activities play a role on a global scale. By pursuing a more circular economy, businesses can see how their processes impact the entire value system, from sourcing to finished product.

Innovation in sustainable resources management will help businesses establish value and improve their supply chains. Since resources are becoming increasingly more scarce, companies can develop advanced environmental solutions to improve their sourcing and manufacturing processes.

Collectively supervising the direct and indirect impacts across systems will also help companies take responsibility for their actions. If companies hold each other accountable in a circular economy model, this could boost greener practices in the long run.

As part of the standard, companies will collaborate internally and externally to create mutual business value and foster circular practices. Joining forces on circular economy actions, including sharing resources, could minimize overall environmental impact. While working together, businesses also will adhere to value optimization with their own products. Keeping products at their highest value and utility will not only provide credibility to businesses, but also reassure consumers that businesses are pursuing a more sustainable path.

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During the transition to a more circular economy, companies will need to remain transparent about their sustainability process and communicate openly about environmental changes.

Along with the six guidelines, an eight-stage process (Framing, Scoping, Idea Generation, Feasibility, Business Case, Piloting, Implementation and Reviewing) is provided to businesses to implement the circular economy principles in their own operations. Companies can choose which stages they would like to work on according to their individual resource management needs.