BS 8001 is the first circular economy standard

Published on Wednesday, 2 August 2017

The first circular economy standard was launched by the British Standards Institution, which also worked on the first set of ISO 9000 standards.

BS8001, the name of the standard, will help companies of every size to integrate the three R's of the new economic model (Reduce, Re-use and Recycle) in their day-to-day business and long-term corporate strategies. A standard that helps companies find their own centering, regardless of geographic location, size, industry, and type.

“There is no shortage of publications and online resources covering particular aspects of the circular economy”, explains Phil Cumming of the British Standards Institution. Yet despite all this - and a few high-profile forward-thinking examples - it seems many businesses are still struggling to get started on employing circular thinking”.

The benefits include standardising the use of certain terms, some of which are currently open to different interpretations and potential abuses, helping companies identify their role, and providing clarity and guidance on key issues to enable greater collaboration at work.

It must be stressed that BS 8001 is a "guide" standard. This means it provides advice and recommendations in the form of a flexible framework, not requirements that must be met. You can’t certify your organisation or product/service to the standard”, Cumming explains, you are completely free to decide how aligned you want to be with the core principles the standard sets out.

This standard, though made in the UK, is intended for international application and consequent development not only as a standard for organisational efficiency, but also as a management strategy for costs and consequent revenues.

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