Since 2014, the Sustainable Business Network has been leading the effort to accelerate NZ to a circular economy. In 2017 we created the Circular Economy Accelerator to amplify our efforts to achieve our vision.

Our vision

To make NZ an exemplar Circular Economy Nation

If any country is going to adopt the circular economy, it will be NZ - with your close-knit community and island configuration you are ripe for adding value by making more of your resources.
— Dan Epstein, Useful Simple Trust, London

What We Do

  • Lead coalition projects to unlock circular opportunities

  • Run campaigns to enable circular progress

  • Work with individual organisations to progress their circular journey

  • Advocate for the systemic adoption of the circular economy

  • Profile organisations achieving circular success

  • Connect organisations looking to progress the circular economy

  • Provide resources for organisations working on their circular transition

  • Link with international organisations working to accelerate the circular economy on a global scale


What we Know

To formulate our activity we conducted a 'systems analysis', engaging with more than 40 stakeholders across sectors. They included designers, manufacturers, retailers, end-users, waste organisations and not for profit organisations.

We discovered six key leverage points for accelerating a more circular economy in New Zealand

  1. Design – products need to be designed for ‘circularity’, rather than retrofitting an end of life solution. Designers tell us they have the desire and expertise to design for a circular economy, but there is limited demand for such products

  2. Demand – the customer ‘pull’ for more circular solutions needs to be increased

  3. Infrastructure – additional infrastructure is required to make circular solutions more readily available

  4. Ownership – customers need to move away from their need to ‘own’ products. The focus should shift to access rather than ownership. At the least customers need to consider the ‘whole of life’ costs

  5. Emerging technology – the benefits provided by technology such as additive printing and the Internet of Things need to be captured

  6. Policy – Government needs to send signals to business that it considers circularity important

Our work focuses on addressing these points.