Ellen MacArthur is a former professional sailor who became known for breaking the record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe in 2005. However, her experiences on the high seas ultimately led her to found the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in 2010, a charity that aims to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.
MacArthur became acutely aware of the planet’s finite resources during her solo sailing expeditions. She realized that the linear model of “take, make, dispose” was unsustainable and would ultimately lead to a depletion of resources. She began to explore the concept of a circular economy, which involves designing out waste and pollution, keeping materials in use, and regenerating natural systems. She saw the potential of this model to create a more sustainable and prosperous future for all.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was established to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. It has worked to inspire and support businesses, governments, and academia to embrace this new model of economic development. The Foundation has developed a range of initiatives, including the Circular Economy 100 (CE100) program, which brings together leading companies and innovators to explore new opportunities and drive innovation in the circular economy. The Foundation has also developed the Circular Design Guide, a practical tool that helps businesses to design out waste and pollution from their products and services.
The Foundation’s work has influenced how businesses think about circular and regenerative business practices. It has been shown that these practices can deliver significant economic benefits, including increased efficiency, reduced costs, and new opportunities for innovation.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has catalyzed a shift in thinking and behavior essential to create a more sustainable and prosperous future for all.