Tuin van BRET Circular Manifesto
We at “Tuin van BRET” believe in moving away from the (dead end) linear economy to a circular economy. Our purpose is to be an accelerator and facilitator of that process in our own Amsterdam Sloterdijk area.
For us a circular economy is a regenerative system in which resource input and waste, emission, and energy leakage are minimised by slowing, closing, and narrowing material and energy loops. This can be achieved through long-lasting design, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing, and recycling.
We focus on 7 circular pillars that we promote and live by:
1 Prioritise regenerative resources
Ensure renewable, reusable, non-toxic resources are utilised as materials and energy in an efficient way. Ultimately the system should aim to run on ‘current sunshine’ and generate energy through renewable sources. An example of this principle is The Biosphere Rules framework for closed-loop production which identifies Power Autonomy as one of nature’s principles for sustainable manufacturing. It requires that energy efficiency be first maximized so that renewable energy becomes economical. It also requires that materials need to be non-toxic to be able to recirculate without causing harm to the living environment.
2 Use waste as a resource
The second element aims to utilise waste streams as a source of secondary resources and recover waste for reuse and recycling and is grounded on the idea that waste does not exist. It is necessary here to design out waste, meaning that both the biological and technical components (nutrients) of a product are designed intentionally in such a way that waste streams are minimalized.
3 Design for the future
Account for the systems perspective during the design process, to use the right materials, to design for an appropriate lifetime and to design for extended future use. Meaning that a product is designed to fit within a materials cycle, can easily be dissembled and can easily be used for a different purpose. Hereby one could consider strategies like an emotionally durable design. It should be stressed that there is not something like one ideal blueprint for future design. Modularity, versatility and adaptiveness are to be prioritised in an uncertain and fast evolving world, meaning that diverse products, materials, and systems, with many connections and scales are more resilient in the face of external shocks than monotone systems built simply for efficiency.
4 Preserve and extend what’s already made
While resources are in-use, maintain, repair and upgrade them to maximise their lifetime and give them a second life through taking back strategies when applicable. This could mean that a product is accompanied by a pre-thought maintenance programme to maximise its lifetime, including a buyback program and supporting logistics system. Second-hand sales or refurbish programs also fall within this element.
5 Collaborate to create joint value
Within a circular economy, one should work together throughout the supply chain, internally within organisations and with the public sector to increase transparency and create joint value. For the business sector, this calls for collaboration within the supply chain and cross-sectoral, recognizing the interdependence between the different market players. Governments can support this by creating the right incentives, for example via common standards within a regulatory framework and provide business support.
6 Incorporate digital technology
Track and optimise resource use and strengthen connections between supply chain actors through digital, online platforms and technologies that provide insights. It also encompasses virtualized value creation and delivering, for example via 3D printers, and communicating with customers virtually.
7 Prices or other feedback mechanisms should reflect real costs
In a circular economy, prices act as messages and therefore need to reflect full costs in order to be effective.The full costs of negative externalities are revealed and taken into account, and perverse subsidies are removed. A lack of transparency on externalities acts as a barrier to the transition to a circular economy.
Want to be a part of our quest? Join us @
Tuin van BRET