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Resources & Circularity

Enabling the transformation

DSM’s ambition is to enable the transformation towards a Circular & Bio-based Economy.
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Defining a Circular & Bio-based Economy

A Circular Economy provides food, materials and energy in a way that is restorative by design, helped by nature’s ability to regenerate resources for our consumption. As opposed to the current Linear Economy, in which products are consumed briefly and inefficiently disposed of, a circular model makes sure that resources serve our economy to their best potential and maintain their highest value. A Bio-based Economy mutually reinforces a Circular Economy, as they complement each other in many respects.

- "A Circular Economy is one that is restorative by design, and which aims to keep products, components and materials at their highest utility and value, at all times " - Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

- "A Bio-based Economy uses renewable biological resources from land and sea – such as crops, forests, fish, animals and micro-organisms – to produce food, materials and energy " - European Commission.

Recycling materials and recovering energy are obviously good practice, but in a Circular Economy one can also think of sourcing renewable materials, more durable materials, and designing products that are easier to repair, re-use and re-purpose, thereby preventing waste in the first place.

Meeting increasing demand

The expected increase in world population and growing middle class will inflate demand for food, materials and energy. Some of the resources we rely on for these products cannot be replaced by nature at the rate we consume them, with fossil fuels being an obvious example.

Our current and predicted consumption patterns not only create scarcity of natural resources, but also harm natural cycles and produce negative side effects such as climate change and pollution. A Circular Economy in contrast will keep materials and products at their highest value for the longest possible time.

Developing our pillars

DSM is dedicated to securing the future availability of natural resources and unlocking more value from the limited resources that are available. In order to reach this twofold goal, DSM has developed five circular pillars:

  • Reduce the use of critical resources
  • Replace scarce, hazardous, and potentially harmful resources
  • Extend the lifetime of products
  • Enable recycling with smart and safe materials
  • Recover waste streams