Table of Contents
Natural resources are extracted, converted into goods, and discarded in a lean approach. On the other hand, a circular economy in a built environment tries to reduce the gap between production and the natural ecosystems’ cycles, which ultimately depend on people. Imagine a world with a circular economy in a built environment where you have less waste and more economic value for the products you buy.
To do this, waste must first be eliminated by composting biodegradable trash or, in the case of converted, non-biodegradable garbage by reusing, reprocessing, and then recycling it. On the other hand, it also entails abandoning the use of chemicals and placing a bet on renewable energy.
Benefits of Circular Economy in a Built Environment
Humanity has used a linear production and consumption model ever since the industrial revolution. The transformation of raw materials into products that are later sold, utilized, and then recycled into the garbage has frequently occurred unintentionally. This produces a lot of waste and harm to the environment.
On the other hand, the circular economy in a built environment strives to increase resource efficiency and combat the unpredictability that climate change can bring to enterprises. It is regenerative by design and goal. It combines a significant potential for creating value in the economic, corporate, environmental, and societal realms and offers operational and strategic benefits. Here in this part of the article, we will learn about some of the benefits of a circular economy in a built environment.
1. Safer Environment
Because it employs renewable energy, which is ultimately less damaging than fossil fuels, due to recycling and dematerialization, fewer resources and manufacturing techniques are required to produce sound, valuable items. In a circular economy in a built environment, leftovers are valued; they are absorbed as much as possible to be utilized later. Since non-toxic materials and methods for production and recycling will be chosen, they will be the preferable options.
2. Growth of Economy
It’s critical to separate resource use from economic growth. The ability to raise GDP and hence economic growth comes from the rise in income from new circular activities combined with cheaper manufacturing by making goods and materials more practical and readily deconstructed and reused.
A circular economy in a built environment motivates us to use raw materials that can be recycled and used again. When raw materials are used that can be recycled and made into new products, the cost of manufacturing is reduced. Hence, increasing the overall potential of economic growth.
Barriers to Circular Economy in a Built Environment
There are various obstacles to adopting a circular economy in a built environment in our existing economic structure, including the high prices, fluctuation in raw materials, etc.
In this part of the article, we will learn about the barriers between a circular economy and a built environment.
1. Institutional Barriers
The reality is that our existing economic structure is designed to meet the demands of the planned economy and is unprepared to deal with entrepreneurs in the circular economy.
Laws and regulations that aren’t prepared for these changes might make it challenging to launch and develop new business models. Many firms rely on established and influential partnerships, making it more difficult to forge new relationships and shut loops. The circular economy in a built environment is a long-term value creation approach, yet many firms still have goals and evaluation systems that are focused on creating short-term value. The absence of social and environmental externalities from the GDP index discourages value production in both sectors.
2. Other Barriers
Enterprises are having difficulty switching to a circular economy in a built environment because of technical and knowledge hurdles. Financial obstacles include internal company financial arrangements, a lack of bank external financial support and expensive upfront charges, a lack of regulatory support (in the form of rules and incentives), and institutional and societal obstacles.
One of the key factors supporting businesses’ shift to circular practices has been the accessibility of knowledge via the internet, peer advice, and training. Support from investors, consumers, suppliers, and regulators are additional motivators.
An industrial system that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design is known as a circular economy. It attempts to eliminate waste via the improved design of materials, products, systems, and business models and moves towards renewable energy in the long run.
This article studied the benefits and barriers of a circular economy in a built environment. We learned that a circular economy in a built environment produces a safer environment and helps the economy’s growth. Moreover, we highlighted institutional, technical, and knowledge hurdles.