Vision 2050 Products & Materials Pathway: We can make things, smarter

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16 September, 2021


WBCSD insights



Federico Merlo

  1. Develop new business models to ensure product life cycles are extended for as long as possible, prioritizing maintenance and refurbishment where appropriate. 
  2. Integrate circularity and next-life use into all aspects of business strategy from product design to go-to-market, after-sales service and end-of-life collection. Map and identify value chain gaps in capabilities related to closing circular loops, and work to address them internally and together with partners.              
  3. Account for the true value of products and materials by factoring in natural, social and human capital costs. Update accounting principles to encourage longer life. 
  4. Invest in the innovation and adoption of sustainable and circular biological products that store carbon and substitute non- renewable and fossil-based materials, while also setting ambitious, science-informed goals that contribute to nature recovery. 
  5. Establish consensus on and uptake of a common set of definitions and metrics to enhance decision-making, collaboration and disclosure of circular performance and linear risk. 
  6. Employ a people-centric approach to innovation, investing in the continual upskilling, reskilling and empowerment of workers in the face of emerging business models and new technologies. 
  7. Engage in positive advocacy with policymakers to create a playing field that ultimately favors secondary materials. 
  8. Develop and improve internal policies and systems for human rights due diligence as set out by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and ensure human rights are respected across all global value chains. 
  9. Drive collaborative efforts that cut across value chains to invest in improved local capacity and infrastructure for the collection and processing of materials necessary to support circular business models, particularly in developing countries. 
  10. Collaborate on campaigns to drive global consumer behavior change, targeting enhanced acceptance and preference for durability and serviceability as well as refurbished and recycled products while also making recycling as easy and convenient as possible.