Circular Economy

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COLOGNE: Katrin Zeiler is Senior director Zero Waste World, Customer Innovation & Solutions Europe for supply chain solutions company CHEP. A former innovation executive for DHL, she says collaboration is key to realising a circular economy:


Recently, we celebrated Earth Day alongside many wonderful colleagues and companies. We saw great initiatives and new projects being launched, and a growing awareness that changes need to be made now rather than later. However, as helpful as this yearly reminder is, one day simply won’t do.

Leading the European division of Zero Waste World at CHEP, I know first-hand how much work has to happen year-round to launch collaboration projects with our customers and partners that create a more sustainable supply chain.

In fact, “more sustainable“ is not enough – at CHEP, we have pledged to create the first global regenerative supply chain by 2025. This goal will take many hours of passionate work, critical thinking, collaborating business partners and putting the heart to everything we do.

As logistics industry leaders connecting people with life’s essentials every day, we need to rethink our impact on the environment, every day.

Part of our strategy to meet that objective is to encourage a circular economy with products that have a continuous life cycle. For my co-workers and me, that means coming up with projects that test these products or business models and then helping to implement these strategies on a large scale.

At Zero Waste World, we see a lot of potential especially for unpackaged goods and zero waste stores. Current solutions are a great first step, but place responsibility largely on the shopper with mostly insular systems and logistics that often leave room for improvement.

So, let’s get to work! My team and I will be focusing specifically on packaging free aisles in the coming months. We have a number of promising projects lined up that we will be sharing in an effort for transparency.

Meanwhile, if you work for an innovative start-up or are developing a product in this area, we want to hear from you! Collaboration is key in our efforts to move towards a circular economy.

Yes, creating lasting change takes courage and effort. But with our core expertise in share and reuse and our unique position in the supply chain, we believe we can help implement and scale this change at a much faster rate, ultimately saving waste.

Circularity is, after all, at the heart of what we do every day, and we’ll happily share what we’ve learned. On Earth Day, and any other day.
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