General Resources


Introductory resources and reference materials to help acquaint you with the issue of materials and waste.

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The Social Foundation: 'A Safe and Just Place for Humanity' cover

The Social Foundation: 'A Safe and Just Place for Humanity'

Kate Raworth's “Doughnut” model is a key framework for understanding sustainability context. Building on the planetary boundaries framework as a 'ceiling', it adds social foundations as a 'floor' and underlines the need to operate in the space between. The social foundation is made up of 11 boundaries that draw attention to communities needing access to basic resources to fulfill their human needs. This access needs to be achieved in a way that does not place undue stress on the earth's resources. The framework is based on the premise that we should be striving to build and maintain social foundations while staying within planetary boundaries.

What a Waste 2.0: A Global Snapshot of Solid Waste Management to 2050 cover

What a Waste 2.0: A Global Snapshot of Solid Waste Management to 2050

This comprehensive report from the World Bank features extensive data on global, regional, and urban trends on solid waste management, from technical and operational trends to environmental and social impacts. It estimates and projects waste generation to 2050, and provides information on waste generation, collection, treatment, and disposal; emerging regulations and technologies; citizen engagement; and more.

The database linked with this website also includes information on 200+ countries and economies, as well as more than 360 cities.

The circular economy as a de-risking strategy and driver of superior risk-adjusted returns cover

The circular economy as a de-risking strategy and driver of superior risk-adjusted returns

If you are looking for resources that will help you to build a business case for pursuing circular economy strategies, this resource is a good place to start. This white paper explains how circular economy strategies can reduce the risk of investments and drive superior risk-adjusted returns for investors and financial institutions. By decoupling economic growth from resource consumption, diversifying business models, and allowing your business to better anticipate stricter regulations and customer behaviour, circular economy principles can reduce exposure to supply chain disruptions, resource price volatility, and more.

Global Waste Management Outlook cover

Global Waste Management Outlook

A joint effort between the United Nations Environment Programme and the International Waste Management Association, the Global Waste Management Outlook (GWMO) is an impartial, in-depth assessment of global waste management. The GWMO evaluates the potential that superior waste management can provide industries and communities in meeting future sustainability challenges. This resource draws upon scientific knowledge and the work of leading experts to provide information on trends, analysis of governance and financial mechanisms, and policy advice, and features tools for taking a holistic approach towards waste management. The GWMO also sets forth Global Waste Management Goals and a Global Call for Action. These complement the SDGs, and can support your company in recognising waste and resource management as significant contributors to sustainable development, resilient communities, and climate change mitigation. 

Zero Waste International Alliance cover

Zero Waste International Alliance

Established in the early 2000s, the Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA) promotes positive alternatives to dumping, landfills, and incineration, and raises awareness of the benefits of viewing waste as a resource that can benefit business. Operating at the international, national, and local level, the ZWIA provides definitions and standards for the application of zero waste goals and initiatives; facilitate research and information-sharing; build capacity to effectively implement zero waste; and connect change agents with leaders in the field to help achieve zero waste outcomes.

The Higg Index cover

The Higg Index

This is an open-source set of assessment tools from the Sustainable Apparel Coalition developed for apparel and footwear companies to assess the sustainability of their value chain. It is intended to enable companies to standardize how they assess their sustainability performance.