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Glasgow becomes first city in UK to join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation


Glasgow has become the first city in the UK to sign the Circular Cities Declaration after receiving support from the council’s City Administration Committee.

The declaration, which was developed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, recognises the city of Glasgow as one of the leading European cities working in the circular economy.

By signing the declaration, Glasgow will become a member of a unified network of 40 cities across Europe working together to raise awareness of the environmental, economic and social benefits of the circular economy.  

The network also includes leading strategic partners in the United Nations Environment Programme, European Investment Bank (EIB) and Metabolic.

Executive Director of Neighbourhoods, Regeneration and Sustainability for Glasgow City Council George Gillespie, welcomed the move.

Mr Gillespie said: this commitment to shift from a linear to circular economy will provide clear benefits and further emphasises Glasgow’s commitment to becoming a net-zero city by 2030.

He added “there has been an over reliance on raw materials in the past and by signing this commitment, Glasgow will lead the way in encouraging individuals and businesses to reuse, repair, recycle and remanufacture goods which would have previously been destined for landfill or incineration.”

“We hope that by adopting this method across Glasgow, we will begin to see marked benefits across all aspects of life from improved air quality, new and skilled opportunities within the job market alongside a stimulated local economy which will support Glasgow’s businesses”

Alison McRae, senior director at Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “Glasgow Chamber of Commerce is committed to supporting and enabling actions to tackle climate change and has been doing this through our Circular Glasgow initiative for five years now.”

“Through a partnership approach with Zero Waste Scotland, Glasgow City Council and Circle Economy in the Netherlands, our business community has been embracing circular economy business models to become future proof by delivering closed loop value chains and driving innovative solutions; ultimately reducing their climate impact.”

“We know that moving to renewables will address around 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions but it is through a circular economy approach that we will deliver long term sustainable solutions across all sectors. It is ultimately good business.”

“Glasgow’s work to date has already been used as a case study by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, so becoming the UK’s first city to sign this Cities Declaration is a testament to the progress being made by both our businesses and our partners through the wider city ambitions of its Circular Economy Route Map. This is fantastic for Glasgow and a milestone moment as the host city for COP26 later this year.”

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