Alternative paths for waste circulated through new initiative

A global, challenge-based initiative to encourage greater re-use of materials has kicked off in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.

Led by the World Economic Forum, the partnership, named SCALE 360, will involve government, business, civil society, and entrepreneurs to reduce waste and find alternative uses for extracted materials.

Today, only nine per cent of extracted materials are re-used, yet businesses and governments are looking into how a circular economy model, which is described as a regenerative approach to production and consumption, can lead to products and materials being redesigned, recovered, and reused.

While benefiting the environment, research has found that recirculating materials into productive products can lead to a US$4.5 trillion ($6.51 trillion) in additional economic output by 2030.

“Artificial Intelligence and advanced technologies have incredible potential to change our relationship with natural resources by applying it in new ways. This partnership provides an important opportunity to trigger new solutions and applications of these technologies,” said H.E. Mr Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence of the United Arab Emirates.

SCALE 360 will look to find new markets for circular goods, by encouraging entrepreneurs with industrial innovations in participant countries. While many projects will still be in their infancy, the program will leverage existing technology to apply these solutions at a commercial scale, with the support of investors, experts, and companies.

“This partnership aims to trigger a worldwide movement for radical change by identifying new technologies and business solutions that break our dependency on natural resource extraction while marrying targets for protecting the environment with ones for boosting economies,” said Dominic Waughray, head of the Centre for Global Public Goods, member of Managing Board, World Economic Forum.

The challenge will circulate around the world, with its next stop being in Chile.