What the circular economy is

A circular economy is a key part of the solution to tackle climate change.

It aims to:

  • reduce overconsumption and related greenhouse gas emissions
  • design out waste
  • restore and regenerate ecosystems

Circular economy principles are based on moving away from a ‘throw-away society’ to one that eliminates waste and pollution. It keeps products and materials in use for as long as possible.

A circular economy aims to redefine economic prosperity by separating economic activity from the consumption of finite resources.

Working towards a circular economy

We have committed to tackling the biodiversity crisis and becoming carbon neutral by 2030. The transition to a circular city will help us achieve this ambition.

We are:

  • making changes to our policies and practices to reduce the carbon and material footprint of council services
  • changing the way we do business and procure services

A Route Map to the Circular Economy

We have developed a circular economy route map and action plan to help deliver improved services and enhance and protect our environment.

Read the Circular Economy Route Map

Read the Circular Economy Action Plan

Making a difference

A move to a circular economy must involve stakeholders across the city:

  • residents and communities can work together to share, re-use and reduce
  • local businesses can reduce waste and try out new business models
  • universities can foster the development of new materials and enterprises
  • schools can nurture circular thinking in young minds

How to get involved

What qualifies as a circular business or initiative 

A circular business or initiative is primarily concerned with the supply of 'circular products or services'. 

Circular products are designed to go from cradle to cradle, rather than cradle to grave, drastically reducing virgin material consumption and eliminating waste. 

Circular services can range from public engagement and financial services to more practical services that extend product lifetime (e.g. maintenance and repair services), redistribute materials (e.g. building reclamation and surplus food redistribution), and bring materials back into use (e.g. composting, recycling, upcycling and remanufacture). 

For a full definition of 'circular products and services' read Ellen Macarthur's Circular Economy definitions and indicators lists. 

Resources for businesses

Circular Brighton & Hove

If you or your organisation would like to learn more about circular actions you can join the Circular Brighton & Hove network or sign up for their next event.

Brighton & Hove Loop

In 2023, a campaign was launched to help Brighton & Hove businesses work towards a circular economy by reducing waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use for longer, and regenerating and protecting natural resources. Learn more about the Brighton & Hove Loop campaign

Discover how other businesses in the city are supporting the circular economy by following Brighton & Hove Loop’s Instagram page or the Brighton & Hove Loop LinkedIn account.