Sustainability Series, Circular thinking: Is it the answer?
A conversation with Lucy Johnson, David Ryan, Nick Torday and Aislinn Vickers-Arrigo
The climate crisis is a well-known issue with the pursuit for net zero emissions becoming increasingly important for the future of our planet. NASA has reported a 50% carbon increase in the atmosphere over the last 200 years and 12 million hectares of forest are destroyed each year to keep up with global consumption. We are at a crossroads and desperately needing large scale change, forcing the EU to commit to initiatives like the Circular Economy Adoption Plan with the target of a carbon neutral economy by 2050. Urgent global collaboration is now necessary to facilitate impactful change.
With this in mind, circular thinking was the topic of conversation for another panel discussion in SEC Newgate’s hugely successful Sustainability Series, on Thursday 13th September.
Hosted by Naomi Kerbel, Director of Communications, the discussion focused on building a sustainable future; specifically, how individuals can take action to implement home lifestyle and consumption changes to reduce wasted resources.
The panellists were Lucy Johnson (Founder of the Green Salon, a sustainable consultancy firm), David Ryan (Commercial Director at Toast Ale), Nick Torday (Founder of the Bower Collective) and Aislinn Vickers-Arrigo (Junior Showroom Manager at Cercle). Each added their unique knowledge on the matter clarifying the changes they would like to see more people make, the barriers to sustainability and their hopes for the future.
Initiating conversation was the definition of circular thinking from the UN environment programme - keeping products at the highest value possible for as long as possible.
Due to the current economic climate the financial burden on the individual was hot in conversation. Lucy specifically, highlighted that “to be really green you don’t have to buy anything”, also noting however, that this is unrealistic. She recommends her clients realigning their spending to incorporate reusable alternatives which, although can be more expensive at first, everyone agreed can actually end up saving the individual money in the long run.
Psychological barriers also became a key theme, concluding that human nature posed the greatest challenge to the personal transition to sustainability. For Aislinn and the Cercle team “it’s all about convenience” and it was noted how Cercle has taken every step to make the process as easy as possible.
Concluding the panel conversation, everyone discussed their hopes for the future. A collaborative agreement was summed up by Aislinn; “lots of people doing sustainability and circularity imperfectly”. There were also hopes of increased conversations and inspiring each other; celebrating each other’s small accomplishments.
After the panel, Lucy Johnson then hosted a workshop on small ways to live a greener life, asking everyone to evaluate their plastic footprint via the calculator. Have a go yourself!