Circular Economy and Sustainable Supply Chain Champion

A circular economy is an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. A circular economy can be considered an economic model that encourages continuous reuse of materials to minimize waste, as well as driving demand for natural resource consumption. Circular systems employ re-use, sharing, repair, refurbishment, re-manufacturing, and recycling to create a closed-loop system to minimize resource inputs and reduce waste, pollution, and carbon emissions. Circularity focuses on resource cycles and the most obvious outcome is that products in a circular economy no longer follow any traditional model of supply chain. The impact is a shift towards distributed manufacturing and localization, both in manufacturing and localized sourcing.

Research has shown that, for most companies, the supply chain is responsible for the bulk of their environmental impact. Gaining visibility and executing projects to reduce these impacts is a challenge for every business, with the size and complexity of modern-day supply chains making progress difficult. By their very nature, supply chains often involve energy-intensive production and transportation as goods are made and moved around the globe. Therefore, organizations can often make the biggest difference by making changes to their supply chain rather than other business operations.

DACA 2022 'Circular Economy and Sustainable Supply Chain Champion Award’ rewards teams that are addressing environmental and social issues in the supply chain. This category recognizes teams that are adopting innovative methods to identify sustainability issues in their supply chain and are working collaboratively with their suppliers to effect change. This category recognizes an organization that has gone above and beyond to help create this economy, making significant changes to how they run their business to do so.  This award challenges businesses to rethink their operations and value chains and to bring about a more sustainable future through innovations and strategies by virtue of which materials and information are continuously reused, recycled, and retained.

The sustainable supply chain award will be given to an organization where the principles of sustainability have been fully embedded in a transparent and sustainable supply chain, particularly those that demonstrate creative thinking and leadership. The winning entry will be an exemplar of sustainability, providing evidence that effective management of the supply chain and environment and economic aspects have achieved a significant improvement in the sustainability of the end product or service. The judges will be looking for quantifiable improvements to the sustainable supply chain, demonstrably effective forms of partnership and collaboration where appropriate, information sharing and transparency, innovative processes, and the delivery of benefits in terms of process improvements in time, cost and operation. Consideration also extends to forward looking entities that go ‘beyond end of useful life’ planning and demonstrate circular economy considerations.  The judges will look for entrants who demonstrate a responsible, long term and collaborative approach to adding value in a responsible way and achieving a range of benefits for themselves and others. Participants will consider all aspects of not only waste reduction and recycling but will take a holistic approach to ‘The 5 R’s’ where relevant – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle – and will include supply chain integration and collaborative working.

Who can participate?

This award is open to all organizations taking a ‘circular economy and Supply chain approach” to overall organizational, site or project specific resources during 2021 or ongoing.

It is open to any organizations that are working independently or with partners and collaborators to improve their sustainable supply chain processes / circularity approaches and deliver an environmentally improved product or service. Key elements will include efficient and innovative utilization of local and ideally replenishable resources and consideration and reduction of the transportation footprint of the products or services. This award goes beyond the simple purchase of recycled products and instead looks at the complete process of production and sourcing as far and wide as possible.

The judges will want to know how your initiative or management approach made a difference, so please outline the challenge at the outset, before explaining how the project has improved the situation. The Judges will be looking at how challenges are addressed, how the supply chain is involved and how emerging technologies are utilized. Emphasis on waste reduction technologies, process innovation, repurposing and material reductions are key. Entrants will demonstrate how they defined the challenge, identified solutions and engaged key stakeholders.