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Circular economy – Reduce, reuse, recycle

In this episode of our Think Tank Podcast, moderator and former BBC World News presenter Nisha Pillai talks to Julius Baer’s Head of Next Generation Research, Carsten Menke, and Esteban Polidura, Head of Advisory and Products for the Americas, about how circular economy thinking is helping us reshape our systems and prepare for a better tomorrow.

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Eliminating waste and continuously using resources so that they last longer is the principle of the circular economy. Reusing, sharing, repairing, refurbishing, remanufacturing and recycling can all help to create a closed system, minimising the use of resources and waste, as well as carbon emissions. Many industries are adopting a circular economy principle for their processes. What does it all mean for investors? Our Think Tank Podcast explains.

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Developed countries have a bigger footprint than developing economies. However, while the former generate much more waste, they can afford better waste management systems. “For people in developed countries the mantra should be ‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’”, says Carsten Menke, Julius Baer’s Head of Next Generation Research during this conversation, while noting that “for developing countries, the priority needs to be to introduce and expand proper waste management systems that would be beneficial both for the environment as well as for the population, and leaving ample room for investments.”

Successful companies in the circular economy must analyse and identify solutions to reduce trash, carbon emissions, and waste in general. Though not everything is about managing waste. Esteban Polidura, Julius Baer’s Head of Advisory & Products for the Americas, observes that these companies seek to reduce their footprint from the start of their production process, but also prolonging products’ lifespan, allowing many companies to tap into new markets. According to the World Economic Forum, repurposing existing technology and reusing components, for instance in the manufacturing process of smartphones and tablets, has stopped about 6,500 tons of e-waste, bringing an estimated $4 billion in revenues to their owners.

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