People make the circular economy world go round

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Waste picker in the Glicerio neighborhood of Sao Paulo

Separation work of recyclable materials in a work cooperative in the Glicerio neighborhood of Sao Paulo. Photo by Alf Ribeiro at Shutterstock.

People make the world go round. With that in mind, it’s important to put them first — as both consumers and contributors — when designing new circular models and processes.

As noted in the description for a GreenBiz 21 session titled “The Human Side of Circular Supply Chains,” “Without intention, a circular economy will continue to reinforce the inequity and injustice inherent in the current linear system and communities will be no better off than they were before.”

For Ashish Gadnis, CEO and co-founder of BanQu, a logistics and supply chain company, addressing inequity in the circular economy looks like enabling people to use the resources they already have differently.

“You need to meet people where they are and empower them,” he said.

Ethically sourcing ocean plastics

What are the debit and/or credit cards in your wallet made of? Plastic. Have you ever considered where the materials for that item come from? For many, the answer is probably no.

For CPI Card Group, a credit and debit card producer whose customers are mostly financial institutions, considering the materials for its products and the people along its supply chain became more important in recent years.

“It’s not the first place people think of when they think of moving toward a circular economy, but it became front and center to us,” said Terra Grantham, vice president of sustainability strategy and partnerships at CPI Card Group, during the GreenBiz 21 discussion. Read more