Canadian businesses and the circular economy
The Canadian business community—across all sectors and industries—is at the forefront of reimagining the way we use our resources. Many of our innovators and industries are already leading the way, using circular business models as a way to save money, improve efficiency, and open up new market opportunities. Whether that means designing products for a longer life, using recycled material, recovering and refurbishing used products, or repurposing and selling waste materials, Canadian businesses are seizing circular economy opportunities.
Clean technology is crucial to make this shift toward a circular economy possible. New and innovative ideas can help to increase resource productivity, create jobs, reduce environmental impacts, and contribute to a clean and competitive Canadian economy.
In a circular economy, products are designed to be taken apart or recycled easily by their original manufacturers. Companies that adopt this approach often focus on aspects such as building components for a longer overall product life, using highly recyclable materials, eliminating the use of harmful chemicals and substances, having processes to refurbish and remanufacture used products, and offering collection points for products at the end of life.
There are circular opportunities at every stage of the production cycle—from the way raw materials are extracted, processed into goods, used by consumers, recycled, remanufactured, and eventually disposed. By identifying ways to retain the value of the components that make up the things we use, companies are able to find greener, more sustainable options that extend their use and create value.
By recycling valuable materials like metals and alloys—the basic components that make up many of the products we use regularly—businesses are able to retain their value, often at a lower cost than extracting, transporting, and processing new materials.
Businesses are also finding ways to capitalize on waste materials; some businesses’ sole mission is repurposing waste. For example, many companies recover and process valuable materials from industrial wastewater, scrap building materials, organic-waste products, and electronic waste.
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