Circular Economy

Trust in a circular future

Circular Economy is a promising solution to the environmental challenges we face today. In short, Circular Economy is an economic model that aims to reduce waste and increase resource efficiency by keeping materials and products in use for as long as possible.

This approach to the economy emphasizes the importance of designing products that can be reused, repaired, and recycled, rather than discarded after a single use.

The concept of Circular Economy has gained significant attention in recent years due to the growing concern about climate change, resource depletion, and waste generation. Key topics in Circular Economy include waste reduction, product design, recycling, and the development of new business models that promote sustainable practices.

Switzerland is at the forefront of Circular Economy initiatives, with a strong focus on sustainable production and consumption. The country has implemented various policies and programs to support the transition towards a Circular Economy, such as the Circular Economy Action Plan, which aims to reduce waste, improve resource efficiency, and promote sustainable consumption and production.

In conclusion, Circular Economy is a promising solution to the environmental challenges we face today, and Switzerland is leading the way in implementing this new economic model. By promoting sustainable practices and embracing a Circular Economy approach, we can create a more resilient and sustainable future for ourselves and future generations.

What exactly is the circular economy?

Before we go any further, let’s first define what we mean by a circular economy. The definition provided in the new report from PwC and WWF builds in the various circular economy strategies:

“Circular economy supports sustainable development by aiming to secure the resources to sustain our current and future generations. This is achieved by minimising resource inputs and waste, emission, and energy leakage of products over time, using four distinct strategies: narrowing, closing, slowing and regenerating resource loops.”

Whatever definition you choose, a circular economy is the alternative to the linear economic system that still predominates: raw materials are extracted, and products are manufactured and sold, consumed and disposed of − leading to shortages of raw materials, emissions, large volumes of waste and the associated environmental problems.

What are challenges and opportunities of circular economy?

Naturally there are challenges for both businesses and the economy as a whole, but they’re likely to be offset by the potential benefits.


Adjusting business models, processes and product offerings requires initial investments.


But these investments will pay off in the form of value created by new circular products and services, as well as creating new jobs in growth areas.


Firms still need to recognise a circular economy as an opportunity.


But they’re starting to realise that this is a multi-billion-franc opportunity to recover resource value and access new markets and green funds – and offset market, operational, business and legislative risks associated with the current ‘take-make-dispose’ model.


There needs to be a mind shift and changes in the behaviour of all stakeholders, including the general public.


But when this happens it will achieve alignment with the national sustainability agenda, enabling Switzerland to keep up with general sustainability trends and requirements and become a frontrunner in a globally growing market.


Primary resources extracted in low-wage countries are often cheaper than secondary raw materials.


But a circular economy will reduce primary resource usage, build a more resilient economy and society, and tackle systemic risks linked to waste of resources – by profitably harnessing Switzerland’s technical prowess and access to financing.


There needs to be a deeper understanding of circularity and related strategies.


But circular economy thinking is a chance to catch up with countries in the EU and beyond that are leading the way in circular strategies and implementation, and make measurable progress in terms of sustainability commitments.


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Contact us

Dr. Antonios  Koumbarakis

Dr. Antonios Koumbarakis

Partner, Sustainability & Strategic Regulatory, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 45 23

Christophe Bourgoin

Christophe Bourgoin

Partner, Investor Reporting and Sustainability Platform Leader, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 25 37

Dr. Astrid Offenhammer

Dr. Astrid Offenhammer

Director, Sustainability & Strategic Regulatory, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 78 696 32 11

Moritz  Obst

Moritz Obst

Strategic Regulatory & Sustainability Services, Legal, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 47 19