About The Circulars

The Circulars, an initiative of the World Economic Forum and the Forum of Young Global Leaders, is the world’s premier circular economy award program, offering recognition to individuals and organizations from commerce and civil society across the globe that have made notable contributions to the circular economy in the private sector, public sector and society. Entrants to the awards are leading the way in driving innovation and growth that is decoupled from the use of scarce natural resources. Awards will be presented in a ceremony at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos in January 2017.

Why Enter?

By entering The Circulars 2017 you have the unique opportunity to be recognised by international business and public sector leaders from across the globe for your contribution to the circular economy. The winner of each category will be invited to attend the ceremony and showcase their winning innovation at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos.

Click here to view the Highlights from The Circulars 2016.

What is the circular economy?

The circular economy is a resource efficient alternative to the traditional wasteful linear economy. It decouples growth from scarce resource use allowing economic development within natural resource limits and allowing companies to innovate to enable customers and users to do ‘more with less’ whilst driving real business value.

Find out more on the Accenture website or contact us.

Entry Categories

Entries for The Circulars 2017 are now open!

Awards will be made in six distinct categories to recognize the diversity of circular economy work taking place across the globe. There will also be a “People’s Choice Entrepreneur” award winner as voted by the public via the website. If you have a question about the entry categories, please email the awards team: awardteam@thecirculars.org.

  • Award for Circular Economy Leadership

    Award for Circular Economy Leadership

    Award to honor an individual who has demonstrated inspirational leadership in the journey towards a circular economy.

  • Award for Circular Economy Multinational

    Award for Circular Economy Multinational

    Award for an established organization, with global reach and over $100 million in turnover, which is demonstrating innovation in its existing business.

  • Award for Circular Economy SME

    Award for Circular Economy SME

    Award for a small-to-medium sized enterprise (SME) with $10 – $100 million in turnover, which is transforming its business towards the circular economy.

  • Award for Circular Economy Government, Cities & Regions

    Award for Circular Economy Government, Cities & Regions

    Award for the city/region, local or national government body/program, public procurement program, or public policy initiative which best provides an enabling environment for the circular economy to develop and flourish.

  • Award for Circular Economy Investor

    Award for Circular Economy Investor

    Award for an investment body or individual which is providing financial backing for the circular economy to become mainstream. Entrants with cumulative investments upwards of $15 million are preferred.

  • People’s Choice Entrepreneur Award

    People’s Choice Entrepreneur Award

    For an early-stage organisation, with $1 – 10 million in booked revenue, which is at the forefront of the circular economy demonstrating innovation and market disruption.

  • Award for Circular Economy Digital Disruptor

    Award for Circular Economy Digital Disruptor

    Award which recognizes an organization or public sector program that is disrupting business as usual by using digital technologies to enable the circular economy; chosen from entries across all categories.


The Circulars 2017 Timeline

  • Enter The Circulars

    Entries for The Circulars 2017 are open from 1st June, 2016. Entries close for the People’s Choice Entrepreneur Award 15th September, with the remaining categories closing for entry 30th September. If you want to enter The Circulars or if you have a question about the process, please email the Awards Team: awardteam@thecirculars.org

    enter now
  • Judging Process

    An esteemed judging panel, drawn from the Young Global Leader community and leading circular economy experts across business and civil society, will review applications during Autumn 2016. In parallel, the People’s Choice Finalists will be made available on the website for public voting.

    view the judges
  • Finalist Selection

    The judges will determine The Circulars 2017 Finalists in each category before the end of 2016. The Finalists will be promoted via the website and across multiple media channels, including social media and publications.

    view the 2016 finalists
  • Awards Ceremony

    The Circulars 2017 Awards Ceremony will be held at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland in January 2017. Winners and Runners Up will be invited to attend and showcase their circular economy innovation to a global audience.

    view the 2016 winners

Contact the Circulars Award Team at awardteam@thecirculars.org with any questions on the process.

Highlights from The Circulars

On January 19th 2016, The World Economic Forum’s Community of Young Global Leaders, in collaboration with Accenture, hosted the second annual Circulars awards at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters. The event was a great success, with eight Circular Economy Awards being presented. Sponsors BT, Ecolab, Alliance Trust and SABMiller, together with media partner, Fortune, were on hand to recognize and celebrate this year’s winners.

  • David Bateson, Senior Vice President, Canon Europe accepting the People’s Choice award from Andy Wales, Corporate Affairs Director, Europe, SAB Miller. The People’s Choice winner is chosen by the public. Learn more
  • Watch the “Best of the Circulars 2016”, and learn more at The Circulars YouTube channel.
  • Michael Dell, CEO of Dell, accepting the Accenture Award for Circular Economy Pioneer in 2015 on behalf of Dell from Pierre Nanterme, CEO of Accenture.
  • Veolia

    Winner, The Accenture Award for Circular Economy Multinational 2016

    Three years ago we engaged in a transformation journey towards a circular economy. We’ve changed our mission as resourcing the world, we changed our organization out of the silos.

    Read more about Veolia’s project
  • Feike Sijbesma

    Winner, The Fortune Award for Circular Economy Leadership 2016

    We are really committed to help to transition to the circular economy… This is our business model and our company is to create value but value with a purpose.

    Read more about Feike Sijbesma
  • Optoro

    Winner, The Ecolab Award for Circular Economy Enterprise 2016

    If there is one thing we could do to advance the circular economy, it would be to change the attitudes around owning and buying pre-owned and used goods.

    Read more about Optoro’s project
  • Flanders’ Materials Programme, Belgium

    Winner, The Award for Circular Economy Governments, Cities & Regions 2016

    To have a platform where we can learn from each other and share best practices has to be done worldwide.

    Read more about the Flanders’ project
  • Materials Marketplace

    Winner, The Award for Circular Economy Digital Disruptor 2016

    There is a growing recognition of the carbon value of material reuse and there’s a potential for it to be included in the post Paris agreement as a new carbon reduction strategy.

    Read more about Materials Marketplace
  • Dell Inc.

    Winner, Circular Economy Pioneer 2015

    The Circulars is bringing visibility to an important shift happening in our world, and the people, companies and countries bringing innovative approaches to addressing this shift. Winning The Circulars’ Pioneer Award validated our longstanding commitment to running a sustainable business and energized our teams to continue driving circular principles into our value chain.

    Read more about Dell’s project
  • Denmark

    Winner, Circular Economy Cities & Regions 2015

    The Circulars is a unique platform for knowledge sharing of best practices, since it gathers an impressive group of frontrunners and innovative practitioner of circular economy from both private and public sector.

    Read more about Denmark’s project
  • Janez Potočnik - European Commissioner for Environment 2009-2014

    Winner, Circular Economy Leadership 2015

    The Circulars 2015 was an amazing event that brought together people who share the same passion for change - needed and necessary. Organized at the right place - where those who are governing the economic world gather - those who are… best positioned to provide workable solutions. An event, which has a real potential to develop … and helps bring about a brighter future.

    Read more about Janez Potočnik’s project

2016 Winners and Runners Up

Young Global Leaders Circular Economy Taskforce

The Young Global Leaders Circular Economy Taskforce is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders (YGL) initiative. The vision of the taskforce is to create a socially and environmentally prosperous world where profitable businesses provide smart goods and services within the resource limits of the planet. The mission of the taskforce has evolved, building on previous success by heightening its focus on enabling an understanding the circular economy among business leaders, policymakers and political leaders, allowing the circular economy to be fully appreciated as a viable response to the global resource challenge.

The YGL Circular Economy Taskforce Co-Chairs lead The Circulars program:

  • David Rosenberg

    CEO & Co-Founder
    AeroFarms

  • Ida Auken

    MP
    Danish Parliament

  • Peter Lacy

    Managing Director, Global
    Accenture Strategy – Sustainability Services

  • Rain Newton-Smith

    Chief Economist
    CBI