Coming full circle

With the draft circular economy guidance standard out for comment, Paul Suff speaks to some of the practitioners involved in its development

Outside the sustainability profession, most people will not have heard of BS 8001 but, when finalised, the new guidance standard is likely to have a major impact as businesses confront the growing challenge of accessing resources and moving from linear to circular economy business models.

A draft – the framework for implementing the principles of the circular economy in organisations – is available for public comment and is the fruit of two years’ work by a committee established in December 2014 by standards body BSI. The committee consisted of nearly 60 members, representing the environment (Defra) and business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) departments as well as the Scottish and Welsh governments, IEMA, the CIWM, Wrap and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF). A smaller panel of ten experts, including Josh Fothergill, IEMA policy lead for sustainable resource management, produced the draft. Work started in November 2015, and 16 organisations, including Highways England, home improvements retailer Kingfisher, construction firms Skanska UK and Tarmac, and office products supplier Wiles Greenworld, have been engaged in discussing and piloting development of the document.

Phil Cumming, director of Koru Sustainability, chair of the committee and a member of IEMA’s strategic advisory council, believes 8001 is essential: ‘There is no shortage of standards, ...

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