N2A Express analyzes the commitment to the Circular Economy: A model of sustainable production and consumption


The circular economy can be defined as a production and consumption model that involves sharing, reusing, repairing and recycling materials and products as many times as possible to create added value. With the aim that the life cycle of the products is extended.

The purpose of this production and consumption model is to reduce waste to the maximum. By the time a product reaches the end of its life, its properties are kept within the economic circle whenever possible. In this way, they can be used productively over and over again, creating additional added value.

Compared to the throwaway linear economy model, it is an outdated paradigm and has no place today. The philosophy of producing, using and throwing away no longer works, the circular economy has come to stay with the aim of extending the life of products and making them more sustainable, as defined by the German chemist-ecologist and former member of the world organization Greenpeace, Michael Braungart and the American landscape architect William McDonough in 2002 in his book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way we make Things; From cradle to cradle . Redesigning the way we do things.

What is a waste for one system is a nutrient for another. But unlike what they said in the book Cradle to Cradle , it is important to reduce consumption, and recycling is not only useful, we must assess what this recycling implies environmentally. The ACV gives us the value of this point.

Pilar Abelló, CEO of N2A Express, explains that " the circular economy advocates intuitive concepts rooted in the imitation of nature and the connection with it" . In addition, he adds that " we must not forget that the best recycling of a product is the one that is not generated ".

In the planet's ecosystems, the concept of garbage does not exist

We have to design products so that the materials can be recycled in the same use, or that they are recycled "upwards", that is, that the next use has more value than the current one.

So should we produce, use and throw away? the answer is no. Should we reduce, reuse and recycle? Yes, this is the goal . With this paradigm, practically, the current linear economic model that could be coming to an end, replaced by the circular economy, is sentenced and disabled.

Why is ecodesign so important for this change in the economic system?

Ecodesign or sustainable design is the creation of designs that consider actions aimed at improving the environment of the product or service at all stages of its life cycle. From its creation in the conceptual stage, to its treatment as waste. Without this value, we can never apply the circular economy, it would be impossible.

It is necessary to think and propose the sustainability strategy from how a product originates and evolves so that it complies with the new paradigm.

We have to know how to “manage guilt”

There is a widespread feeling that it would be better if we weren't here, polluting and extinguishing species on a daily basis. However, from this point of view it is very difficult to be creative and truly positive.

Trying to be less bad is not being good. However, being a person committed to the environment is possible, and also more exciting. There are current technologies that allow the design of processes and products in such a way that consumption is beneficial.