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The CE concept has emerged as a response to climate change, environmental degradation, and the limitations of the linear economy. It is based on a production and consumption model that emphasizes sharing, renting, reusing, repairing, and recycling existing materials for as long as possible. The life cycle of materials is thus extended. Transition to the CE is a critical step that requires enterprises to reuse resources, address environmental issues, and promote sustainability.
The CE approach assists SMEs not only in protecting the environment but also in using resources more wisely, building new business, creating employment, and developing new capabilities. However, awareness of current trends and challenges of the CE, particularly among SMEs, is limited. Changes in mindsets and attitudes, together with the utilization of advanced technologies, are vital for a smooth, successful transition to the new wave of industrialization promoting sustainability and opportunities to grow businesses. Given the scarcity of essential raw materials and resources, SMEs must develop business models that shift from the current linear economic model to a circular one.
The APO has intensified efforts to spread awareness of the CE concept in combination with GP practices. For example, the recent international conference held in Thailand in October 2022 discussed issues involved in synergizing GP and CE practices. To continue these efforts, this workshop will share and discuss the foundations and business models SMEs could utilize in adopting the CE concept in their operations.
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