The Nature Imperative: How the circular economy tackles biodiversity loss
To halt and reverse biodiversity loss, we need to fundamentally transform the way we produce, use,...
Global chemical company Solvay supplies high-performance plastics, polymers, fluids, and elastomers to a range of other industries. In 2020, Solvay launched its One Planet sustainability strategy, with a commitment to protecting the climate, preserving resources, and fostering better life. As part of this programme, the firm committed to reducing their pressure on biodiversity by 30% by 2030. Through ReCiPe, a biodiversity impact assessment tool, they identified the areas where their operations and supply chain generated the largest pressures on biodiversity. They concluded greenhouse gas emissions, freshwater eutrophication, marine ecotoxicity and soil acidification represent around 90% of their potential impacts on biodiversity. In addition to phasing out polluting energy sources, Solvay is aiming at reducing the impact on these critical areas through a scale up of their circular economy efforts.
One example of such efforts in action involves their partnership with Groupe Renault and Veolia to create a circular economy for electric vehicle (EV) batteries. The consortium will help them collaborate across the battery value chain — collecting end-of-life batteries, then recovering and purifying the metals to be reused in new batteries.
By implementing circular economy models and innovations, Solvay will be able to get closer to their One Planet goals. For instance, circulating EV materials through a closed loop will reduce the habitat disturbance and other environmental impacts related to extracting and processing new materials, thereby reducing the environmental footprint of future EV batteries — leaving room for biodiversity.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation works to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. We develop and promote the idea of a circular economy, and work with business, academia, policymakers, and institutions to mobilise systems solutions at scale, globally.
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