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The Circular Pathway

Bring nature’s balance into your economy.

Decouple economic activity from the use of natural resources and move economic activity from a one-way flow of materials extraction-to-disposal to a circular flow of material reuse.

Circularity's Key Role

Because a large portion of greenhouse gas emissions for many communities come from goods and services that are consumed—rather than from direct activity in the community itself—the circular economy plays an important role for climate-neutral communities.

Our Approach to Circularity


Understand Your Economy

We support local governments with supply chain emissions accounting, which provides a starting point for this work. Local governments can also help plan for circularity in the community. ICLEI can support a consumption-based GHG inventory, which accounts for household and business food choices, travel habits, and more.


Implement Sustainable Procurement

Cities such as Boulder, CO, are developing circular economy strategies. Sustainable public procurement is one entry point for local governments to show circular economy leadership. ICLEI offers the Procura+ Management Cycle model as a framework of action.


Collaborate and Lead the Movement

ICLEI’s Global Lead Cities Network for Sustainable Public Procurement includes Cities of Denver and Pittsburgh and is comprised of cities that have established clear and measurable procurement targets. The Green Circular Cities Coalition, convened by ICLEI’s East Asia Secretariat, presents an opportunity for leading cities across the world to become global leaders in urban circular economy transition.  

ICLEI USA Circular Projects

Member Benefit

Sustainability Planning Member Cohort

This capacity-building cohort provides structured technical assistance to guide local governments through the steps necessary to develop a Sustainability Plan.  A sustainability plan addresses social,

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2021 SDGs Cities Challenge

8 CITIES AND COUNTIES SELECTED FOR UN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDG) ‘CHALLENGE’  July 14, 2021 [New York, USA]. Eight Local Governments (cities and counties) from

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More Projects

  • The CityFood program is a flagship program of ICLEI that aims to accelerate local and regional government action toward sustainable food systems transformation. It spans a number of projects and initiatives across all of ICLEI’s Regional Offices and brings together local and regional governments as well as critical global and regional partners. 
  • The Circular Turku project conducted by ICLEI and Turku, Finland, is developing a regional roadmap for circularity through collaboration with a wide variety of stakeholders.
  • The Circle City Scan Tool, currently being piloted with ten global cities, helps identify material flows through cities and intervention points to shift economies towards circularity.

ICLEI USA Circular Cohorts

Cohorts are guided group technical assistance programs that guide communities to results. Learn More


Circularity Cohort

A circular community is one that promotes the transition from a linear to a circular economy in an integrated way across the public and private

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ICLEI USA Circular Resources

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