The low carbon circular economy

You can be at the heart of the biggest business transformation since the Industrial Revolution – the low carbon circular economy. So what’s the plan, and what might life be like if we succeed?

Visit our dedicated website.

Download our report on New Zealand’s plastic packaging system.

The world’s dominant economic model can be characterised as ‘take, make and waste’. The circular economy offers a truly sustainable alternative. In a circular economy resources are never abandoned to become waste. Products are designed to be safe and easy to manage in cycles of production and reproduction. They flow safely and easily in and out of our homes and businesses.

Materials that can be safely composted or otherwise returned to the environment circulate in one set of systems. Materials like plastics, metals and petrochemical based products circulate in another set of systems.

Product design is done so these can be easily separated at the end of the product’s life. This allows the materials to be used for more products or to enhance the natural world. And in New Zealand this can be entirely powered by renewable energy.

A better world

This approach will drastically reduce our ecological impact, including greenhouse gas emissions. There’ll be little or no stray materials polluting the countryside, seas or atmosphere.

To take just one example, more of the products we buy would become services. You might not own a car, power tools, even your clothes. You might just pay for them to be provided to you, and repaired or replaced when the need arises.

Changing the way we make and use things will mean we can maintain and improve our standard of living. We can protect and restore the natural world. We can live abundant, healthy, happy and more equitable lives.

Get involved

SBN has established the Circular Economy Accelerator (CEA), with the support of Auckland Council, Fuji Xerox, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Bayfair and thinkstep. The CEA will speed up this necessary and inevitable transition for New Zealand. You will find major reports, guides and events. You will also find opportunities to collaborate with other businesses to grow the circular economy and your own success.

Get in touch with the Circular Economy Accelerator team. Email or

Sustainable Business Network research shows Auckland could be $8.8 billion better off in 2030 if the city makes the transition to a circular economy.

Find out how in the first economic report of its kind in New Zealand. Download the report here.

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Find out more about the circular economy and SBN’s work in this area.

Our partners

Auckland council    

Our Support partners

  bayfair thinkstep

Brought together by

James GriffinJames Griffin

General Manager Projects & Advisory