About The Circulars

The Circulars, the world’s premier circular economy award program, offers recognition to all individuals and organizations from commerce and civil society across the globe that have made a notable contribution to driving circular economy principles. Entries are now open for The Circulars 2016 – awards will be presented in a ceremony at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos in January 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’.

Find out more on the Accenture website.

Entry Categories

Awards will be made in seven distinct categories to recognize the diversity of circular economy work taking place across the globe. There will also be a “People’s Choice” award winner as voted by the public via the website.

  • Award for Circular Economy Leadership

    Award for Circular Economy Leadership

    Award to honor an individual in business or the public sector 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 Enterprise

    Award for Circular Economy Enterprise

    Award for a small-to-medium sized organization, with between $10 - 100 million in turnover, which is transforming its business towards the circular economy.

  • Award for Circular Economy Entrepreneur

    Award for Circular Economy Entrepreneur

    Award for an early-stage organization, with under $10 million in turnover, which is at the vanguard of the circular economy demonstrating innovation and market disruption. Entrants must demonstrate concrete proof of business model and scale / ability to expand.

  • 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 enables an environment for the circular economy to develop and flourish.

  • Award for Circular Economy Investor

    Award for Circular Economy Investor

    Award for the investment body which is providing financial backing for the circular economy to become mainstream. Open to venture capital and private equity firms, sovereign wealth funds, pension plans, investment banks, and other entities or individuals who have invested at least $15 million into circular businesses or businesses which are investing in the circular economy.

  • 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.

  • People’s Choice Award

    The entry which receives the most public votes, via polling on the website in Autumn 2015, will be recognized as the People’s Choice winner. Entrants who want to be considered for the People’s Choice Award will need to check the relevant box on their entry form, and submit their entry by 1st September 2015.

The Circulars 2016 Timeline

  • Enter The Circulars

    Submit an entry to one of The Circulars categories by 30th September 2015 – if you want to be considered for the People’s Choice Award your entry must be submitted by 1st September 2015. Full entry details are available once you set up a Circulars account.

    enter the 2016 awards
  • Judging Process

    An esteemed judging panel, drawn from the Young Global Leader community and leading experts across business and civil society, will review applications during Autumn 2015 through a series of desk-based reviews and virtual discussions. 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 2016 Finalists in each category before the end of 2015. The Finalists will be promoted via the website and through both traditional and social media.

    view the 2015 finalists
  • Awareness Campaign

    In line with an objective of the awards to "raise the bar for the circular economy" - The Circulars Award Team wants to engage Finalist and other businesses in conversation about the circular economy, via channels such as social media, to tee up the discussions at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos.

  • Awards Ceremony

    The Circulars 2016 Awards Ceremony will be held at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland in January 2016. Winners and Runners Up will be invited to attend.


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

Highlights from The Circulars 2015

On 20th January 2015, the Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum hosted the first annual Circular Economy Awards (“The Circulars”) at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos. The event was a great success, and covered by international media outlets such as Fortune and Forbes, among others.

  • Michael Dell, CEO of Dell, accepting the Accenture Award for Circular Economy Pioneer on behalf of Dell from Pierre Nanterme, CEO of Accenture.

  • Watch how the trophy was made, hear from the finalists, and see an excerpt from the ceremony.

  • Attendees at the ceremony in the UN World Food Programme Tent at Davos.

2015 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 is to inspire leaders to embrace the circular economy business philosophy for their organizations and provide tangible examples of successful business models and means of implementation.

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
    Accenture Strategy

  • Rain Newton-Smith

    Director of
    Economics CBI