Round the world yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur has made an impassioned plea to business leaders to embrace a “Circular Economy” that would revolutionise re-manufacturing and recycling .
Dame Ellen spoke to business leaders and academics at The University of Bradford as Steelcase Solutions pledged its support for the Circular Economy model where everything possible is designed and made with a view to recycling.
Dame Ellen, whose foundation is dedicated to helping create the Circular Economy, spoke to an audience of 120 attending a three-day conference at the university on the Circular Economy.
Dame Ellen said:
“There is a fantastic economic and entrepreneurial opportunity for businesses which embrace the Circular Economy.
“It is all about looking through a different lens where the whole picture is considered with the potential of revolutionising product design for re-manufacture.
“The Circular Economy creates a framework for re-thinking how we work. Everything is created with a view to reuse and re-manufacture.”
Steelcase Solutions, who hosted the conference reception , is the UK’s leading workplace interiors specialist and are responsible for the design of the interior fit-out for the university’s new re:centre.
The £ 6 million centre is home to business students and small businesses and takes great pride in its net positive carbon footprint.
Steelcase Solutions is committed to the Cradle-to-Cradle concept and expressed its support for the Circular Economy.
Jacqui Withnell, business development director of Steelcase Solutions in England, said:
“Ellen is, as she was when sailing round the world, an inspiration and now she is an inspiration to businesses.
“We are all living and working in an inter-connected world.
“The speed of innovation is electrifying but brilliant ideas come from people working well together.
“As a company we have long advocated the use of Cradle-to-Cradle recyclable products and are wholly committed to that approach.
“However, what is of paramount importance is the provision of inspiring environments which encourage and drive innovation. People respond to such environments and that helps them deliver for their employers.
“We were proud to work closely with The University of Bradford bringing its new re: centre to life, through the provision of our products and already we can see all the benefits that is delivering for the business community, young entrepreneurs and students working there.”
Professor Peter Hopkinson, Director of the re:centre at the University of Bradford, said:
“Our growing relationship with Steelcase is a great illustration of the partnership approach we take, supporting leading businesses that implement Circular Economy thinking and develop new and effective business models.
“Our growing activity and long term partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation is something we are extremely proud of.
“The establishment of the Centre for the Circular Economy here at The University of Bradford’s re:centre is an example of our intent and commitment.”