This week, the Pope will visit America with global warming on his mind, and New York City will host a gathering of notables for Climate Week 2015. So perhaps it’s a good time to take note of what kind of progress we’re making on sustainability. With that in mind, The Circulars, the awards that recognize corporations, organizations and individuals who have made significant strides in lessening their impact on the environment, is starting up for their second year.
The Circulars is an initiative of the Young Global Leaders taskforce of the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with Accenture, with Fortune as its media partner. Its aim: to promote circular economy practices, ones marked by less dependence on raw materials and energy use, ones where waste is dramatically reduced or eliminated at every stage of the lifecycle. Entries will be accepted online until September 30, 2015 at www.thecirculars.org. The winners will be honored next January at the World Economic Forum at Davos.
Last year’s inaugural event garnered close to 200 entrants, representing some of the most dynamic circular economy efforts from around the globe. One of last year’s winners, Innoverne, developed software that allows auto shops to share expensive repair equipment. Now independent garages no longer need to turn away business because they don’t ‘own’ the specialist tools to do the job. After winning a Circular last year, Innoverne raised $1 million in angel funding. Another winner was Dell, whose new closed-loop system, launched in 2014, has helped the computer giant recycle 4.2 million pounds of plastic e-waste into 34 new products globally.
“Already the Circulars 2016 are seeing a huge diversity of entries coming through,” says Peter Lacy, Managing Director, Accenture Strategy and co-chair of the Circular Economy Task Force. “From Chile to China and Tanzania to Taiwan we are seeing businesses of all sizes and sectors putting forward incredible projects signaling that the circular economy is moving from a niche interest to a mainstream factor for competitive advantage.”
If you or your company fits into one the award categories published below, please enter the contest and, who knows, maybe we’ll see you in Davos next year.
The 2016 awards introduce three new categories – for Investors- recognizing the importance of finance in the transition to the circular economy, and for small and medium sized enterprises – the engine of growth in many economies. Additionally, the People’s Choice award, will be decided by the public vote on entries across the other categories.
- Award for Circular Economy Leadership – Award to honor an individual in business or the public sector who has demonstrated inspirational leadership in the journey towards a circular economy.
- Award for Circular Economy Multinational -Award for an established organization, with global reach and over $100 million in turnover, demonstrating innovation in its existing business.
- Award for Circular Economy Enterprise – Award for a small-to-medium sized organization, with between $10 – 100 million in turnover, transforming its business towards the circular economy.
- Award for Circular Economy Entrepreneur – Award for an early-stage organization, with under $10 million in turnover, at the vanguard of the circular economy demonstrating innovation and market disruption. Entrants must demonstrate concrete proof of business model and scale / ability to expand.
- Award for Circular Economy Government, Cities & Regions – Award for the city/region, local or national government body/program, public procurement program, or public policy initiative establishing an environment for the circular economy to develop and flourish.
- Award for Circular Economy Investor – Award for the investment body providing financial backing for the circular economy to become mainstream. Open to venture capital and private equity firms, sovereign wealth funds, pension plans, investment banks, and other entity or individuals who has invested at least $15 million into circular businesses or businesses which are investing in the circular economy.
- Award for Circular Economy Digital Disruptor – Award recognizing an organization or public sector program that is disrupting business as usual by using digital technologies to enable the circular economy.
- People’s Choice Award – The entry which receives the most public votes, via polling on the website in Autumn 2015, will be recognized as the People’s Choice winner. Entrants who want to be considered for the People’s Choice Award will be required to check the relevant box on their entry form, and submit their entry by 1st September 2015.