Design for Circular Economy

Zero Waste Scotland

With an ambition to accelerate progress towards a more circular economy, Zero Waste Scotland we were tasked along with the Design Council in developing a Design Action Plan for a Circular Economy in Scotland.

Three out of four decisions directly influencing the final choice of materials and manufacturing processes are made in the design phase and over 80% of the ecological costs are determined before the product is even created. Design is a critical element of a circular economy – a production and consumption system that generates as little loss as possible and re-uses waste as a new resource.

With an ambition to accelerate progress towards a more circular economy, Zero Waste Scotland we were tasked along with the Design Council with developing a Design Action Plan for a Circular Economy in Scotland.

Between February and April 2015, we engaged with a range of stakeholders representing academia, industry, policy, design sector and NGOs in an inclusive, collaborative and creative process to map: design and circular economy stakeholders, identify the systemic strengths and weaknesses, examine the opportunities and jointly develop recommendations to tackle weaknesses and build on strengths.

A set of proposals has been peer-reviewed not only to ensure that actions are tangible, realistic, and corresponds to market and policy needs but also to create a cohort of engaged stakeholders. The action plan recommends 12 actions in the themes of

1) Business support and finance,
2) Skills and education,
3) Promotion and awareness
4) Policy and regulation.

PDR, the Design Council, and the peer-review panel will continue to support ZWS in implementing the actions. This creates an opportunity for ZWS to champion the circular economy within the design for innovation policy agenda and place itself at the forefront of a resource-efficient economy movement.

Download a summary of the report here:
Design CE Action Plan