Is the Circular Economy key in business sustainability?
It is not news that we are facing a climate crisis. We have been smelling the rat for years. Experts warn, data corroborate, policies tighten and circular economy becomes important.
It has been 6 years since the Member States adopted the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a measure to protect the planet and guarantee the well-being of people. The message is getting through, however, there is still much to do.
According to data from the report “Contribution of Spanish companies to the Sustainable Development Strategy 2030: a comprehensive consultation“, prepared by the Spanish Global Compact Network, 81% of companies claim to know the SDGs and 47% have sustainability policy or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
What is the insurance sector doing for sustainability?
For the insurance sector, the future goes through digitization and sustainability. It is a way of adding value and adjusting the policies to the needs of each client.
Achieving sustainable development is a purpose that insurers assume. For this reason, UNESPA, the business association of insurance companies in Spain, publishes 17 Principles for Sustainability in Insurance.
Among them, we find responsible production and consumption as a resource to guide our own activity by controlling our emissions and the waste we generate.
Adopting sustainable measures in the insurance sector, as in any other, consists of understanding that actions that focus on improving people’s quality of life are those that generate a greater return for both society and companies.
For insurers, concern for people is a maxim. Reaching out to new digital customers also includes meeting their sustainable expectations. At Insurama, to achieve this, we work every day on our CSR and 100% of our workers use reconditioned devices.
Circular Economy, star measure in sustainability
We generate a huge amount of waste, how can companies reduce them?
The Spanish Sustainable Development Strategy 2021 of the Government of Spain seeks to achieve the SDGs by establishing a series of national challenges, accelerating policies and priorities for action.
As for how to deal with the climate and environmental emergency, the strategy considers the Circular Economy as one of its key measures, laying the foundations for a new production and consumption model.
The circular economy is often related to recycling, but it goes much further. Nowadays, people are beginning to talk about the 9R formula:
- Reject what is not needed
- Reduce the consumption
- Reuse products that are in good condition
- Repair to give a second life to those damaged objects
- Restore old products by modernizing them
- Remanufacture, assessing the state of a product and rebuilding it to be sold again
- Redesign to conform to sustainability criteria
- Recycle, allocating discarded parts to the creation of new products
- Rethink, as a way to raise awareness
Although there are variants, the general mentality that is perceived of the circular economy is to reach total reuse of objects and their components to avoid the generation of waste.
It is a process that begins at the moment of design and affects all phases of the life of a product. Thanks to this type of model, sustainability is gained and resources are optimized, while the economy is boosted.
Sustainability, the pending task for SMEs
In Spain, SMEs are the engine of work. It is striking that, being such an important part of the economy, 60% of these companies do not carry out any measure related to the SDGs, according to the report by Red Española.
But what’s more, if we go into specific measures, we find that 54% do not know what the circular economy is, as reflected in a report prepared by the Chamber of Commerce in 2020.
For business sustainability to become effective, it is necessary to continue working so that these models are recognized by the entire business world and are adopted, not as an optional element, but as an essential factor in the development of the activity and part of the corporate culture.
How does the circular economy benefit companies?
Adopting sustainability policies significantly increases the attractiveness of companies, as well as their reputation and image, but it is not the only thing. It is also the way to match the working process, with current and future regulations on sustainability.
The circular economy favors these objectives in addition to:
- Help generate employment
- Reduce costs in raw materials
- Generate less pollution thanks to less aggressive production processes
- Support the territorial industry
- Satisfy new consumer profiles and demands within the market
- Improve acceptance and relationship with stakeholders
The circular economy is one of the starting points for sustainability. It is necessary to continue developing and implementing this type of measure to level the playing field and guarantee an economic future based on business sustainability.
In order to reach the sustainability objectives in the established time, it is vital to bear in mind that every action counts; from the largest to the smallest and almost every day.
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