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An interview with Dame Ellen MacArthur

Dame Ellen MacArthur 14 Aug 2014


Royal BAM Group was the first construction company to join the Ellen MacArthur Circular Economy 100 group, which is a global platform bringing together leading companies, emerging innovators and regions to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. The programme is based on the principle that more value can be gained from collective problem solving than can be achieved by working alone. We are actively collaborating with other members, sharing best practices, new ideas and exploring how to remove barriers to a more circular economy.



We interviewed Dame Ellen MacArthur for the Royal BAM Sustainability Report 2013:


What would you like to point out to the readers of Royal BAM Group’s Annual Report about the Circular Economy?

‘The current linear ‘take, make, and dispose’ model has been successful in a context of falling energy and resources prices, yet that trend which has been valid for the best part of the 20th century has brutally reversed at the turn of the 21st. In times of resource crunch and increased price volatility, the circular model proves to be a credible offer and can provide much-needed long-term visibility: by working out future costs and securing supplies, companies embracing the circular model can see further.’


What do you think of how BAM can contribute to sustainable development?

‘The construction sector has a pivotal role to play not only through the design of efficient buildings but also in terms of management and re-purposing of high volumes of materials. The way we tackle urban development and infrastructure will also have an important impact on the way the economy and society as a whole evolve: if the right choices are made now in terms of energy generation and distribution or when it comes to factoring in reverse logistics capacity, they can work as enabling factors to accelerate the transition towards a regenerative economy.'


What should be the priorities when it comes to sustainable enterprise?

‘The key is to set out on a path with clear objectives, and to work towards decoupling revenue generation from the consumption of finite resources. A circular, regenerative economy, holds the promise of benefits for businesses as well as individuals, and rather than adopting a reductionist approach - mitigating the negative effects of one’s activity - making it the company’s core strategy to create virtuous loops is the way forwards.’


What can the world expect from new collaborations as they are shaped within the CE100?

‘The CE100 is based on the principle that more value can be gained from collective problem solving than can be achieved by working alone. Change will happen quicker through cooperation, and a systemic shift such as a transition to a circular economy requires the participation of all economic actors - from large corporations to small innovative structures, as well as regions. By opening the dialogue, the CE100 aims to help companies build capacity internally but also learn to devise strategies that include their supply chains, whilst providing opportunities to maximise revenue streams in a positive way.’


Dame Ellen MacArthur
Trustee at Ellen MacArthur Foundation




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