New circular economy standard a “perfect opportunity” for organisations to improve sustainability performance, says IEMA


Wheel loader working in a composting facility for dried sewage sludge and green waste: The adoption of circular economy principles not only minimises an organisation’s impact on the environment but also opens up new lines of revenue, if handled correctly, said IEMA’s Josh Fothergill.

The launch on 31 May of the new BS 8001 British Standard – described as the world’s first standard for implementing circular economy principles – has been warmly welcomed by the environment and sustainability professional organisation IEMA.

Global estimated savings of €1.8 trillion are available to organisations that move to circular economy working, says the group. The new standard and its accompanying executive briefing will help businesses of all kinds to understand the opportunity and integrate the principles into their daily work and long term strategies.

IEMA has been involved in the development of BS 8001 since its inception, after being invited by BSi to join the drafting group following publication of its practical sustainable resource management publication – From Waste to Resources – in 2014.

Josh Fothergill, Policy Lead at IEMA, has been an active member of the BS8001 drafting group since 2015 and led on the development of the standard’s core 8 stage framework. Today, he said the standard’s launch could transform the uptake of circular business practices across the UK: “It’s long been acknowledged that adopting circular economy principles is a key way to not only significantly reduce an organisation’s immediate impact on the environment, but also opens up new long-term lines of revenue for businesses that make the right moves.”

“The launch of the BS8001 has the potential to guide the thousands of businesses that have struggled to make the Circular Economy practical, so this has every capability of really transforming the way the UK does business, and marks the perfect opportunuity for every organisation to benefit,” he commented.

IEMA has partnered with BSi and CIWM to host a launch webinar with a panel of Circular Economy experts from the new standard’s drafting group on 12 July. Click here for details and to book.

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