Resource security is a grave concern not just for burgeoning economies like India and China but also for developed regions like the EU, USA and Australia. Economic growth, hitherto, reliant on resource-intensive and polluting industries, is witnessing a strategic shift towards more sustainable, long-term, innovation and technology-intensive business models. One such approach gaining keen government, industry and academic interest worldwide, is the Circular Economy (CE). Progressive regions like the EU have released formal frameworks to support the advancement of a CE within industry and society. China, the leading industrial hub, has announced a legal mandate through the initiation of the Circular Economy Law.
PhD candidate, Simran Talwar, investigates what it is that makes CE thinking so extensively applicable. CE has underlying ideologies in economic growth, resource optimisation and ecological equilibrium. The key principles include Reduce, Recycle, Reuse, Smart design, material segregation and augmented use of renewable energy. Applications span product or service oriented businesses, public policy and infrastructure, urban development, urban mining and industrial symbiosis. Commonly witnessed examples include sharing economy and collaborative consumption models such as Uber, Airbnb, and many more. While these are Business-to-Consumer CE models, Simran’s research focuses on exploring the Business-to-Business opportunity for CE in a fast-growing economic context.
Simran’s current research looks at CE progress in Indian industry. India ranked as the seventh largest global economy with 6.9% growth rate in 2015, making it one of only two developing nations within the top eight. The country’s future growth is pitched to be intrinsically linked to its manufacturing sector, targeting 25% share of GDP by 2025. Given India’s pursuit of rigorous industrialisation, a nationwide perspective of resource efficiency trends, with the objective of addressing the ongoing dichotomy of resource security and eco-environment balance has been developed. Through a macro assessment of India’s CE agenda, time series data has been used to conduct longitudinal trend analyses and develop a quantitative framework for India’s materials use, industrial energy and emissions landscape.