Global companies are striving to create a circular economy in which production takes into account the reduction of environmental pollution and recycling of waste. The pandemic has stimulated interest in changing the TAKE, MAKE, WASTE paradigm to TAKE, MAKE, REUSE, as noted by the speakers of the session "Circular Economy. Companies Changing the Linear Paradigm" at the Open Innovations Forum.

The carbon footprint reduction trend in the year of the pandemic has become evident, says Emmanuel Lagarrigue, Chief Innovation Officer at Schneider Electric: "Companies want all new solutions in their factories to be green. They understand that capitalization will go down unless they have a clear policy for sustainable development.

Nicola Kimm, head of Sustainability, Environment, Health and Safety at Signify, said the company intended to double revenues from fully recycled products. Wesley Spindler, Director of Business Strategy and Sustainable Development at Accenture Strategy, said that the world market for circular economy now exceeded USD 4.5 billion.

The Coca-Cola Company plans to collect 100% of the packaging from its products back by 2025, said Therese Noorlander, Sustainability Director Europe. The speaker added that it was important not only to teach the consumer to return bottles and cans, but to create conditions everywhere for recycling of plastic and other types of packaging.

PJSC Severstal intends to invest up to USD 25 million a year in various programs related to the creation of circular economy, said Andrey Laptev, Director of Business Development and Corporate Venture Projects. "Steel is 100% suitable for creating a circular economy, because it is completely recyclable almost an infinite number of times. This is the only mass material with such a property. It is worth looking not only at the emissions from the production of a product, but also at what happens to it later. Thus, 25% of steel product are made from scrap," noted Andrey Laptev.

Gayle Schueller, Vice President at 3M, said the company was channeling up to six annual revenues towards sustainable development, including creating circular economy. "The main idea of all areas that we are engaged in is science as a driver for the emergence of new solutions. This is especially true during the pandemic, when we see a positive effect from scientific advances," added Gayle Schueller.

Circular economy is not the final goal, companies need to move to the paradigm of continuous improvement, saysAleksandr Dmitriev, COO at Ctrl2GO Group: "This movement requires two-way motivation — both from the state as a regulator and from the business side when it sees that circular economy generates income. Then the business wants to be "green", environmentally sound, and work to make profit, not only today, but in the long term.