Businesses discuss Peterborough’s circular future
Businesses discuss Peterborough’s circular future


Over 40 business delegates from organisations across Peterborough have helped to define how the city can measure its progress towards creating a Circular Economy.

By adopting circular economic principles, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) calculates that UK businesses could benefit by up to £23 billion per year through low cost or no cost improvements in the efficient use of resources.[1]

Facilitated by the Future Peterborough programme, discussions at a recent workshop centred around how the city and organisations could improve understanding, facilitate change and chart success within the 7 Rs – rethink, redesign, repair, reuse, remanufacture, recycle and recover products and services. These are the seven pillars that form the foundation of the Circular Peterborough Commitment.

This Commitment has set out the city’s approach to creating a Circular Peterborough and is a Future Peterborough initiative delivered by Opportunity Peterborough and Peterborough City Council. Developing a Circular Economy means encouraging collaboration across the city to maximise the lifecycle of products and services, helping organisations save money by reducing waste, environmental impact and reliance on raw materials and natural resources, whilst making better use of our resources, materials, products, property and people.

Organisations that took part in the workshop included Queensgate, Perkins, Cross Keys Homes and AECOM.

Examples of projects that contribute towards a circular economy that are already underway in Peterborough include:

  • Cross Keys Homes’ Food Cycle project which uses excess food from local supermarkets and stores to combat food poverty.
  • Share Peterborough, a free business to business online sharing platform that is helping organisations in the city to share resources.
  • Regeneration work at the Railworld Wildlife Haven reused and repurposed items – like using scrap metal pipes to build handrails and old aqueducts to create walkways.

Delegates were joined by The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a global thought-leading charity working with decision makers in business, government and academia to drive the circular economy agenda. Peterborough is part of the Foundation’s exclusive Circular Cities Network which includes New York, Rio de Janeiro and Copenhagen.

Julia Vol, Portfolio Manager from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation said, “It was inspiring to see how a small city such as Peterborough is taking big steps to introduce a circular economy approach, looking to strengthen the local business community and improve quality of life for the city’s residents.”

Steve Bowyer, Chief Executive of Opportunity Peterborough said, “The workshop has provided some practical steps for the Future Peterborough team in how we measure the city’s progress towards creating a Circular Peterborough and we’re grateful to all the businesses, and organisations such as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, who contributed their time and expertise.

“Having a circular economy could save businesses thousands of pounds by maximising their use of resources whilst significantly improving business efficiency and reducing environmental impact. Organisations may already be doing a lot within the 7Rs and we want to build on the expertise and good practice already in place within Peterborough to maximise opportunities.”