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Squire Sanders

09 Oct 2012 10:10:42

Business leaders from McKinsey, National Grid and Green Alliance to explore whether 'circular economy' is the answer to business prosperity at Squire

Leeds, 9 October 2012 – As market volatility increases across the world and signs of resource depletion multiply, the calls for a dramatic new economic model are gaining momentum – and the buzzword of the moment is the 'circular economy'.

As businesses start to examine ways to reuse products and components and restore their material, energy and labour inputs, could this concept really be the way forward for organisations to achieve future success?

Squire Sanders in Leeds has chosen to explore this exciting concept in a high-profile debate on November 22nd. 'The Circular Debate: A new route to competitive edge and business growth' will feature a distinguished panel of experts sharing their thoughts about how to change the way we produce and deliver goods – and how organisations can implement this concept within their own businesses.

A panel of leading UK experts will gather to consider this rapidly expanding school of thought that is changing the way we produce and deliver goods – from linear to circular – and will discuss how the model can help address a host of issues by citing their own experiences and offering solutions. Speakers include directors and senior management from McKinsey & Company, BASF, National Grid, Green Alliance, Kelda Water, C02Sense and HSBC. The keynote address will be given by chief executive of Leeds City Council, Tom Riordan. The Circular Debate will be held at The Carriage Works, Leeds.

Commenting on the event, Richard Glover, partner at Squire Sanders said: "The Circular Economy represents a creative challenge to the status quo. Although the commercial and environmental benefits are obvious, it will be difficult to persuade businesses, consumers and governments to make the changes needed to the market. The aim of this event is to get people talking and sharing views on a topic that is relevant to all of us, in all sectors of business."

Fraser Thompson, senior fellow at McKinsey & Company, the global management consulting firm, added: "Over the past century, progressively cheaper natural resources have underpinned global economic growth as higher supply and productivity offset demand. But the past ten years have wiped out all of the price declines of the previous. The next 20 years will present further challenges to global resource markets as three billion more people join the global consuming class. Dealing with this new resource era will require businesses and society to rethink the way we extract, convert, and use our natural resources, and the shift to a circular economy will be a critical component of this. 'The Circular Debate' is an important forum for sharing insights and exploring key themes on how British businesses can successfully make this shift to a closed loop system."

Dr Geoff Mackey, sustainable development & communications director, BASF explained: "A recent report estimated that moving towards the circular model could generate $630 billion of cost savings per year across Europe. The Squire Sanders event will continue to open up this debate to businesses that now need information to make the necessary steps and ensure we move further towards our sustainable development goals."

The Circular Debate, run in partnership with BASF, Leeds Metropolitan University, the Green Alliance and HSBC, is set to be the biggest and most informative discussion on the subject of the circular economy in the North. The main panel session will be followed by a series of breakout sessions discussing the unique challenges in building & manufacturing, energy & renewables, retail & consumer goods and the service sector.

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