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'Mindset change vital to give free play to innovation': Amitabh Kant Circular economy benefits should be part of school curriculum, says NITI Aayog CEO

May 14, 2018

Circular business growth models could spell gains of up to $697bn in India by 2030: FICCI- Accenture Report


NEW DELHI, 14 May 2018: NITI Aayog CEO, Mr. Amitabh Kant, has underlined the need to embed the principles of circular economy in India's school education system. This process will equip young learners with the right mindset and enable them to become active shapers of a movement that will secure the future with finite resources.

Speaking at FICCI's Circular Economy Symposium-2018, Mr. Kant said that India needs to grow at about 10% annually for the next three decades to be able to meet the ever-rising demand of its burgeoning population. This order of growth is not achievable if the business-as-usual approach to the use of scarce resources is not abandoned. The need of the hour is to bring about a change in mindset and give free play to innovation to cash in on the vast business opportunities that lie ahead, he said.

He said that in order to reduce the dependence of fossil fuels in transportation, NITI Aayog analysis suggests that the way forward is the use of bio-fuels. "We are giving a big push to electric vehicles in a bid to conserve exhaustible natural resources and bring about resource efficiency," he said.

On the occasion, Mr. Kant released the FICCI-Accenture Theme Paper on 'Accelerating India's Circular Economy Shift: Future proofing growth in a resource scarce world'.

Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), underlined the need to monetise the collection of waste materials, certify it before it goes into recycling and ensure that different parties in the value chain interact with one another to put the recycled material to the best possible use.

Mr. Vijay Kalra, CEO, Mahindra Vehicle Manufacturers Ltd., spelt out Mahindra's sustainability framework which aims at keeping products, components and materials at their highest utility and value at all times.

Mr. Vipul Shah, Chief Operating Officer, Petrochemicals, Reliance Industries Ltd., pointed out that in a consumption-led society, the end user and the intermediary businesses will drive the circular economy. The need of the hour was to re-imagine our economies as circular as opposed to linear and develop a construct that keeps resources for as long as possible and re-use products after their use.

Mr. Anirban Ghosh, Chair of the symposium and Chief Sustainability Officer, Mahindra & Mahindra and Dr. Ashok Menon, Global Technology Leader, Sustainability Analytics & Operations, Corporate Sustainability Division, SABIC Technology Centre, also shared their perspectives on the subject.


Circular business growth models could spell gains of up to $697bn in India by 2030: FICCI- Accenture Report

The FICCI-Accenture Study  estimates that by adopting circular business models India can  reap a reward of between $382-$697 billion by 2030. Globally the benefit could be of the order of $4.5 trillion.  
The report states that the Circular Economy through its innovative business models, offers a unique window of opportunity to decouple growth from resource requirements. However, identification and adoption of circular business circular models requires a shift in mindset, a shift from linear 'take-make-waste' mindset to a multi-life-cycle 'circular' mindset. At the core of circular economy lays a shift towards complete elimination of waste, which is not the usual connotation of 'junk' but it refers to any kind of underutilization of resources or assets. 
A close look at the global economies suggests a strong linkage between the level of economic development and resource intensity. Research indicates that if the global economies continue to operate in the business-as-usual mode, then by 2030 the world would be over utilizing natural resources by a factor of three. Given the current economic growth and resource constraints, business-as-usual is not sustainable and there is a critical need to identify innovative models to ensure sustainable growth without straining the finite pool of natural resources. 
In India, the  enormous circular opportunity will manifest itself in the form of different resources. From prioritization perspective, resources with significant economic impact and environmental footprint are the natural choices for organizations to focus their circular economy initiatives. Eight such priority resources identified for India are: petrochemicals, plastics, food, gold, iron & steel, copper, fibres and cement. 
According to the report, there are five distinct types of business models to mainstream the circular economy. These are: circular supply-chain, recovery and recycling, product life extension, sharing platform and product as a service. 
Globally, adoption of these five business models has grown substantially in last one decade. This is validated from an important finding from Global CEO study jointly conducted by Accenture and United Nations Global Compact in 2016. According to this study, one-third of the global CEOs are actively seeking to employ circular economy models as part of their core strategy.
The report mentions that In India there are five factors that would be critical for the acceleration of circular economy models. These are: greater awareness, disruptive technologies, enabling policy landscape, innovative funding models and collaboration & partnerships.

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