A circular economy could save the world's economy post-COVID-19

October 12, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged all facets of human endeavours, and seven months later the economic effects are particularly being felt

How the world can leverage the positive and negative effects of COVID-19 to build a new, more resilient and low-carbon economy has been analysed by a group of academics led by WMG, University of Warwick

A more sustainable model based on circular economy framework could help the world recover financially from COVID-19, whilst facilitating the attainment of net zero carbon goals

The World's economy is feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with many industries under threat. A group of researchers from the UK, Malaysia, Nigeria, UAE and Japan, led by WMG, University of Warwick have concluded that adopting circular economy strategies would be the best way for the world's economy to recover, whilst enabling the transition to a low-carbon economy.Dr Taofeeq Ibn-Mohammed

The World Health Organisation declared the COVID-19 pandemic on the 11th March 2020, which saw global supply chains severely disrupted and strained, and the financial market unsettled, resulting in a cross-border economic disaster. Lockdowns and border closures shattered the core sustaining pillars of modern world economies, with the economic shock due to these measures still being weighed across the globe.

In the paper, 'A critical analysis of the impacts of COVID-19 on the global economy and ecosystems and opportunities for circular economy strategies', published in the journal Resources, Conservation & Recycling sees a group of researchers led by WMG, at the University of Warwick, critically analysed the negative and positive impacts of the pandemic. To make the world resilient post-COVID-19, the adoption of circular economy framework is recommended for all sectors.

The pandemic had many effects on everyone's lives, from not leaving the house, being infected and possibly hospitalised, and even losing a loved one. It has had a strain on those who were furloughed or even lost their jobs, and the mental health of the populace. Economically, the effects can be felt everywhere due to the colossal financial loss across both the macro and micro levels of the economy, including the global supply chains and international trade, tourism and aviation and many other sectors, hampering the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. However, the pandemic has provoked some natural changes in behaviour and attitudes with positive influences on human health and the planet including:The researchers have examined the impacts of the pandemic and its interplay with circular economy, to evaluate how it could be embraced to rebuild the world's economy.

Dr Taofeeq Ibn-Mohammed, from WMG, University of Warwick comments:

"The pandemic has highlighted the environmental folly of 'extract, produce, use and dump' economic model of material and energy flows, however the short term resolutions to cope with pandemic will not be sustainable in the long-run, as they do not reflect improvements in economic structures of the global economy.

"We therefore propose circular economy adoptions for all industries, with different strategies for each one. For example, embracing the transformative capabilities of digital technologies for supply chain resilience by leveraging: big data analytics for streamlining supplier selection processes; cloud computing to facilitate and manage supplier relationships; and Internet of Things for enhancing logistics and shipping processes.

"The post-COVID-19 investments needed to accelerate towards more resilient, low carbon and circular economies should also be integrated into the stimulus packages for economic recovery being promised by governments, since the shortcomings in the dominant linear economic model are now recognised and the gaps to be closed are known."
-end-
NOTES TO EDITORS

Paper available to view: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921344920304869

High-res images available at:

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/october_2020/taofeeq_headshot_.jpg

Caption: Dr Taofeeq Ibn-Mohammed, from WMG, University of Warwick
Credit: WMG, University of Warwick

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager - Science
University of Warwick
Tel: 44 (0) 7920 531 221
E-mail: alice.j.scott@warwick.ac.uk

University of Warwick

Related Pandemic Articles from Brightsurf:

Areas where the next pandemic could emerge are revealed
An international team of human- and animal health experts has incorporated environmental, social and economic considerations -- including air transit centrality - to identify key areas at risk of leading to the next pandemic.

Narcissists love being pandemic 'essential workers'
There's one group of essential workers who especially enjoy being called a ''hero'' during the COVID-19 pandemic: narcissists.

COVID-19: Air quality influences the pandemic
An interdisciplinary team from the University of Geneva and the ETH Z├╝rich spin-off Meteodat investigated possible interactions between acutely elevated levels of fine particulate matter and the virulence of the coronavirus disease.

People who purchased firearms during pandemic more likely to be suicidal
People who purchase a firearm during the pandemic are more likely to be suicidal than other firearm owners, according to a Rutgers study.

Measles outbreaks likely in wake of COVID-19 pandemic
Major measles outbreaks will likely occur during 2021 as an unexpected consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new academic article.

The COVID-19 pandemic: How US universities responded
A new George Mason University study found that the majority of university announcements occurred on the same day as the World Health Organization's pandemic declaration.

Researchers find evidence of pandemic fatigue
A new study from the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology shows that the behavioral responses to COVID-19 differed by age.

Excessive alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic
The full impact of COVID-19 on alcohol use is not yet known, but rates have been rising during the first few months of the pandemic.

How fear encourages physical distancing during pandemic
Despite guidelines plastered on the walls and floors of grocery and retail stores encouraging customers to maintain six-feet of physical distance during the pandemic, many do not.

COVID-19 pandemic and $16 trillion virus
This Viewpoint aggregates mortality, morbidity, mental health conditions, and direct economic losses to estimate the total cost of the pandemic in the US on the optimistic assumption that it will be substantially contained by the fall of 2021.

Read More: Pandemic News and Pandemic Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.