Photo: Francois Le Nguyen, Unsplash
Sweden: Sustainability gaps and their possible solutions
March 25, 2024

It’s easy to talk about circular economy, harder to make it happen. Being both a call to action and a roadmap, the half-year-old report Mind the Gap(s) aims at charting out a path towards a transition into a circular economy. For all of us.

The Mind the Gap(s) report identifies 15 sustainability improvement areas (so-called gaps) between stakeholders at different levels in society.
We all need to overcome these gaps to be able to speed up the transition to a circular economy. For example, the report highlights the geographical gap, which underlines the global inequalities in the work for circular material flows. The report also covers gaps in knowledge, infrastructure, and communication, and more. Together with the descriptions of these gaps comes proposals for solutions and methods to bridge them. And to simplify our efforts for a sustainable transition.

Project manager Birgitta Losman, presenting the report at Almedalen, Sweden. Photo: Högskolan i Borås

Reports on sustainable consumption
Since 2019, the Science Park Borås at the University of Borås has produced reports that highlight sustainable consumption. Especially regarding the demand perspective on the transition to a circular economy. Birgitta Losman is the project manager of these reports at the Science Park.
— One of our more important assignments is to support companies in the circular economy transition. Our annual reports are vital in that work, helping the companies to understand circular economy and how the consumers think about sustainability and circularity. We’ve also found a great interest in the consumption reports from other stakeholders – working with the behavioural and infrastructural transition.

Joint efforts matter
The success of this transition into a circular economy depends on the joint efforts of various stakeholders – in the report mainly divided into governments, businesses, and consumers. Simply put, governments must craft and implement forward-thinking policies and regulations. Businesses, as the driving force behind production and innovation, are uniquely positioned to redefine product lifecycles and supply chains. Consumers play on the other hand a crucial role in demanding and embracing sustainable products and services

One of the problems that the Mind the gap(s) report underline is that consumer demand seems to be lagging. Even if the consumers increasingly favour sustainability, particularly when it comes to reducing consumption.
— There is often an overly strong belief that consumer pressure will solve sustainability issues. The consumers are of course important in this transition, but the major system change required for our sustainability challenges depend on multi-dimensional revisions and modifications.

Download/read the report by clicking here

FACTS about the report
Science Park Borås shares new knowledge in the areas of textiles, consumption, and community building. Since 2019, a sustainability report on consumption has been produced annually, in collaboration with the Västra Götaland region. The Mind the Gap(s) report was produced by Kairos Future on behalf of Science Park Borås, CircularHub and Textile&Fashion 2030. Supported by the European Regional Development Fund, it was first presented in the summer of 2023.

Read more about Textile waste management, by clicking here.

Read more about the Science Park at the University of Borås, at their homepage (in Swedish)