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Knowledge Institute Podcasts

  • Abbey Road Sessions: James George on Circular Economy

    7 Apr 2019
  • James George, Network Development Lead for Ellen MacArthur Foundation, discusses the profitability of circular economy, popular misconceptions about it and what can businesses do to get on the circular economy journey.

    Hosted remotely from Abbey Road Studios by Jeff Kavanaugh, Head of the Infosys Knowledge Institute.

    The podcast is a part of our special series on an important global topic, Achieving Resilience in the Stakeholder Capitalist Era.

    “We live broadly in what we would describe as a linear economy, a take-make-waste economy. We take stuff out of the ground, we make stuff, and at the end of its useful life we throw it away. So we can get the latest version, or the latest generation, or the latest update of those particular models. The challenge with that is that it's built based on taking stuff out of the ground, which is finite. It's stuff that once we've used it up, we don't get it back.”

    - James George


Show Notes

  • 00:08

    How is James rethinking the future of plastics?

  • 02:05

    James shares his background.

  • 02:48

    Did that time in the Royal Navy influence James joining the foundation and his interest in circular economy?

  • 03:41

    How did James first become interested in the circular economy?

  • 04:45

    Given that background in charitable work and in the ‘third sector’ as James calls it, how does he define circular economy? What does it really mean?

  • 06:45

    How is the Ellen MacArthur Foundation contributing to this narrative and helping businesses in these initiatives?

  • 08:42

    James gives some examples of how the circular economy is good for the so-called triple bottom line, people, planet, profits.

  • 14:09

    How does a circular economy concept relate to sustainable development goals and are there any conflicts or what's that about?

  • 15:39

    As these SDGs have developed, there are metrics associated with those. And as people look to adopt them, is James’ work being incorporated into those?

  • 19:23

    What's the most popular misconception that people have about circular economy?

  • 21:25

    What business recommendation does James feel strongly that most people in industry don't follow or maybe they don't believe? They might buy into the overall concept, but what recommendation he wishes people would follow more?

  • 23:28

    James leaves the listeners with one thing that they can do after they're thinking about the first engineering part; a good practice that people can also try.

  • 25:19

    Who has been a major influence in James’ life and how?

  • 27:19

    James recommends books that made an impact on him.

About James George

James George

James is part of the business team at the Ellen MacArthur foundation, charity leading the transition to the circular economy. He helps organizations find the right programs and right platforms to partner with the foundation. James recently relocated to the Isle of Wight after spending a dozen years as a mine clearance diving officer with the Royal Navy, traveling the world and enjoying the adventure.