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
Consumption-based and Supply Chain Member Cohort
More and more communities are interested in consumption based emissions but thus far, there is not as detailed a protocol as traditional inventories. Photo by
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,
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
- 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.
Regional Climate Collaborative Cohort (RC3)
No Longer Offering This Cohort This 12-month curated guide of ICLEI’s five pathways: low emission, resilient, circular, nature-based, and equitable is an introduction to holistic
Supply Chain GHG Emissions Inventory Cohort
Efforts focused on the elimination of domestic fossil fuel uses are critical, but do not fully address the climate crisis if consumption patterns remain unchanged.
Consumption-Based Emissions Inventory Cohort
Efforts focused on the elimination of fossil fuels are critical, but do not fully address the climate crisis if consumption patterns remain unchanged. From land
ICLEI USA Circular Resources
Insights & Exchange Episode 2: An Exploration Urban Food Policy Factsheet
The City of Atlanta, City of Denver and the Natural Resources Defense Council spoke on food justice and the implementation of food policy. Explore this
Insights & Exchange Episode 2 – An Exploration of Urban Food Policy
The City of Atlanta, City of Denver and the Natural Resources Defense Council spoke on food justice and the implementation of food policy.
Science-Based Targets for U.S. Communities
Science-based targets (SBTs) are climate goals in line with the latest climate science. They represent your community’s fair share of the ambition necessary to meet
- The Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement collects resources and information about sustainable procurement targets set by leading global cities, focusing on procurement of construction (factsheet), food, energy and transportation (factsheet).
- The Procura+ Manual offers practical advice for how to integrate sustainability into procurement, including the Procura+ Management Cycle model.
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