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Circular solutions tackle biodiversity loss and unlock business growth – see Europe’s top 30 list

A list of 30 European companies, unveiled at the World Circular Economy Forum 2024 in Brussels, shows how circular solutions can tackle biodiversity loss and unlock new business opportunities. Alongside the list, the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra released a first-of-its-kind handbook for developing circular economy business models to deliver on nature targets.


Antti Koistinen

Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs


The pioneering list of Europe’s top 30 circular solutions for nature showcases practical examples of circular business models that tackle biodiversity loss and generate new business. The list was published at the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF2024), which started in Brussels on Monday 15 April.

“Companies are starting to see the potential for tackling biodiversity loss through circular solutions, but there is little information out there to help guide them. That’s why we need inspiring examples and action-oriented guidance,” says Senior Lead Riku Sinervo, co-lead for the list at Sitra.

A report published in 2022 by Sitra showed that the circular economy plays an essential role in halting and reversing biodiversity loss. However, only a few tangible circular business solutions for nature have gained visibility – until now.

The ongoing loss of biodiversity has far-reaching impacts on our economy, health and well-being. Biodiversity loss is also a significant business risk. On the other hand, tackling biodiversity loss with circular solutions opens up new business opportunities and helps manage risks and build resilience.

Impressive range of companies and creative solutions that generate value

The circular economy eases the pressure we put on nature by unlocking more value from existing resources. This reduces the need for new natural resources, leaving more room for nature to thrive.

The companies on the list represent sectors that play a vital role in tackling biodiversity loss, in particular in the food and agriculture, buildings and construction, fibres and textiles, and forest sectors.

“Two things have stood out to us: First, the range of companies driving change, from the very small to the very large. Second, the range of creative solutions that create value in new, less extractive ways is quite impressive,” says Circular Economy Specialist Tim Forslund, co-lead for the list at Sitra.

The list includes companies from eight European countries: Denmark, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium and Greece. Some of the companies on the list will present and pitch their solutions at WCEF2024. These include:

  • Corbion, a listed Dutch company working on setting science-based targets for nature, and at the same time showing that concrete action need not wait for perfect information. For example, they are already developing algae-based substitutes for fish oil produced from the world’s depleted fish stocks.
  • Parmaco Group from Finland leases modular buildings and ensures they have a continuous life cycle, resulting in less land use, with fewer idle buildings and less need for building materials.
  • Colorifix from the UK mimics the natural coloration processes of the living world through DNA sequencing and synthetic biology, thereby significantly reducing the pollution associated with traditional textile dyeing methods.

Companies were sought through an open call for applications. The selection of the 30 companies for the final list was based on criteria assessing their circular business model and economic viability, along with their track record and potential for contributing to safeguard biodiversity. The assessment was carried out by experts from Sitra and consulting partner KPMG. The list did not seek to assign rankings to the companies.

Explore Europe’s top 30 circular solutions for nature on Sitra’s website.

Sitra unveils guidance for circular business models at WCEF2024

Sitra is also releasing a groundbreaking handbook at WCEF2024, offering businesses a first-of-its-kind structured approach to integrating circular business models to tackle biodiversity loss.

The guide outlines a three-step strategy for businesses to identify and mitigate their biodiversity impacts through circular solutions. Tailored for key sectors like food and agriculture, construction, textiles and the forest sector, it presents six circular business models for effective action. This essential handbook empowers companies across all sectors to contribute to safeguarding biodiversity and unlocking new opportunities for value creation.

“With circular solutions, businesses can take action for nature. Many of the solutions can be implemented right away, so there’s no need to wait,” says Riku Sinervo.

European policymakers can pave the way for the transition to a circular economy. Sitra has suggested in a memorandum that the EU should make the single market circular. That would enable companies to scale up their innovative solutions across Europe, fostering economic growth while leaving more space for nature to thrive.

The eighth World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) highlights solutions to tackle our societies’ over-dependence on natural resources. WCEF2024 emphasises the circular economy as a key source of future well-being and the premier post-fossil fuel investment frontier. The forum takes place in Brussels, Belgium, from 15 to 18 April and convenes thousands of experts to explore the vast opportunities presented by the circular economy.

Want to learn more? Click below to see the full list of companies and download the handbook!

Read more:

Explore the full list: Circular solutions for nature

Download the publication: Circular solutions for Nature – Handbook for businesses

Take a closer look at the WCEF2024 programme

Sitra memorandum: Putting nature at the heart of the European Green Deal – Building blocks for the next European Commission

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