Photo looking through light blue walls with circles cut out

Building a Circular Ecosystem for Scottish Businesses

02 Nov 23

Supporting Businesses on their Circular Economy Journey.

Our report ‘Building a Circular Ecosystem for Scottish Businesses’, explores and reviews two of our biggest business-support initiatives - the Circular Economy Investment Fund (CEIF) and Circular Economy Business Support (CEBS) service, both made possible in part thanks to the European Regional Development Fund.

Read the report and summary report.

The Problem

Many Scottish businesses are currently operating linear models of ‘take, make, waste’, contributing to our production and consumption of materials accounting for roughly 80% of Scotland’s carbon footprint.

The Solution

We need to support the implementation of circular business models in Scotland. 

The report found: 

  1. Investment in people is important for successful implementation of circular strategies.
  2. Demonstrating environmental and social credentials of circularity was both a challenge and an opportunity in competitive markets.
  3. Funding helped businesses turn innovative ideas and strategies into tangible and successful pilots, implementing circularity in real-world operations.
  4. Working together to be critical to driving the circular transformation Scotland needs.
  5. Flexibility and adaptability helped businesses to adapt to economic polycrises, acting as a catalyst for businesses to adapt supply chains and consider innovative new practices, opening the door for circular enterprises to capitalise.

The report recommends:

  1. Investing for scaling
    Highlighting the importance of outside investment channels to support businesses to adapt to circular business models.

  2. Addressing the skills gap
    Circular economy skills should be built into all national skills planning, education and life-long learning systems. 

  3. Market making
    Government should help shape markets and incentivise engagement with circular businesses.

Consumption in Scotland is unsustainably high. This is, in part, due to the quantity of things we buy – but also due to the way we operate as a society.

The report, highlights that through meaningful collaboration, we can deliver on our mission of supporting businesses to eliminate waste, create value and drive our transition to a circular economy in Scotland.