Circular Economy and Bioeconomy

MBIE has commissioned research on how Aotearoa New Zealand can reduce emissions, and lift the value derived from our biological resources.

A circular economy and bioeconomy can tackle climate change and lift economic value

The research programme was undertaken to identify how New Zealand can:

  • increase the value derived from our biological resources
  • significantly increase the efficiency and utilisation of resources within the economy to reduce emissions.

The research also explored how circular approaches can provide new business and job opportunities and can help maintain New Zealand’s economic competitiveness as global markets demand stronger environmental credentials across value chains.

Some of the headline insights from the research are:

  • New Zealand has significant opportunities to produce added-value, bio-based products that utilise bio-waste streams, and reduce emissions and dependency on fossil fuels.
  • Adoption of circular practices in buildings, agriculture/food, and manufacturing would provide emission savings over time and have impacts for productivity, jobs and supply chain resilience.
  • Internationally, many policies and regulations are aimed at circular practices and have implications for New Zealand exporters.
  • Data, information, and digital tools can help track and manage resources more efficiently, supporting the functioning of markets and transparency for consumers.
  • New Zealand is at an early stage of the shift to a more circular economy; there is emergent activity in sustainable businesses and communities.
  • International experience indicates that adoption of circularity is challenging as it involves significant change in production and consumption systems; governments are using market-shaping interventions to accelerate the shift to reduced and more efficient use of resources.  

A summary of insights arising from the research programme is available:

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Last updated: 23 July 2024