How can going circular help us reduce, reuse and recycle?

PwC has applied circular thinking to its operations, procurement and beyond. By “going circular”, PwC is challenging the traditional “make-take-dispose” model that has, until recently, dominated global consumption.

Restorative and regenerative

As global population increases and pressure on finite natural resources rises, we need to reconsider how we produce and consume resources. Circular thinking is restorative and regenerative by design, innovating how we produce and consume through recycling, remanufacturing, reuse, maintenance and redesign. This involves using “systems-thinking” to understand how parts of the value chain interact and use natural resources. Circular solutions aim to keep resources in circulation for as long as possible, allowing them to be used over again.

Reducing waste to landfill

One of the first steps PwC took to apply circular thinking to its organisation was to reduce waste and eliminate all landfill, something it has done since 2012. It has focussed initially on paper, glass, metal and plastic and then extended its focus to composting food waste, and refurbishing used laptops and mobile phones. It has introduced a take back programme for uniforms to divert textiles away from landfill.

Powering the office

Another kind of waste is being used by PwC to power the heating, lighting and electricity in their offices. Used cooking oil, produced by on-site chefs, is stored in big drums and used as fuel. Its locally sourced oil is recycled into biodiesel, displacing fossil-fuel-based energy and providing a cleaner alternative.

Shared learning

PwC has shared it’s going circular journey, inspiring other organisations to implement circular thinking, too. Packed full of facts and figures that companies can use as benchmarks and to help them estimate their own material footprint, PwC’s work inspired a Circular Office campaign by BITC, where forty companies have now signed up to take similar actions, addressing Goal 12, amongst others.

This story shows how PwC supports Goal 12: Responsible Production and Consumption, specifically Target 12.5: “By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.”

About PwC

PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) is a multinational professional services network, headquartered in London. Its network consists of firms in over 150 countries, employing more than 236,000 people. Its purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems.

Commitments, Actions and Progress from PwC

Going Circular