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The economic benefits of a circular economy in Auckland

Client: Sustainable Business Network

What are the potential economic benefits of a circular economy in Auckland?

A circular economy involves keeping resources and products in use for as long as possible, extracting the maximum value from them while in use, and then recovering and regenerating products and materials at the end of each service life.

International studies suggest that lower rates of resource extraction and use can be achieved with associated increases in aggregate economic output. We tested this for Auckland using top-down and bottom-up analysis.

The top-down approach focuses on GDP-level impacts, drawing on the range of potential outcomes modelled internationally. This analysis points to a circular economy for Auckland potentially being worth an additional $0.8 – 8.8 billion in GDP in 2030.

The bottom-up approach investigates sector-level impacts to get a sense of the potential scale of benefits grounded in Auckland-specific data for food, transport and construction. These sectors tend to include high waste, high cost and heavily polluting activities in the current linear economy model.

We find that the circular opportunities across the three sectors can add between $6.3 and $8.8 billion GDP for Auckland in 2030, with an emissions reduction potential of 2,700 ktCO2e in 2030.

More information is available on the Sustainable Business Network website.

Full report

Our team included

  • Gary Blick
  • Corina Comendant

Authors who contributed to this article

Corina Comendant