Prittle Prattle News in conversation with By Shalini Goyal Bhalla, Managing Director International Council for Circular Economy
Incorporated in July 2020 as Section 8 Company under the Companies Act, 2013. International Council for Circular Economy envisions India as a central hub of knowledge exchange and research by enabling an environment that galvanizes action around the circular economy for escalated, coordinated, and comprehensive interventions for businesses, the environment, and the community. ICCE is the largest international network for professionals, corporates, and organizations in the Circular Economy. Our mission is to accelerate the transition to a circular economy that is restorative and regenerative by design. ICCE aims to build a resilient and thriving local network by providing expertise to design and strategize circularity emanating from the grassroots level. We envision redefining lives by embracing and spreading change globally to make the dawn of a new circular era. ICCE was launched in 2020 to accelerate the transition to a Circular Economy in India. ICCE is a global thought leader, establishing the circular economy on the agenda of corporates and decision-makers across the business, Government, and academia.
The vision of ICCE is to redefine lives by accepting and promoting global change in consumption and production patterns by introducing a new cyclical era. Our mission is to accelerate the transition to a circular economy that is restorative and regenerative, where the usage of products and materials is maintained longer, natural systems are regenerated, and waste and pollutants are designed out.
§ What does your company do? Your role in it?
International Council for Circular Economy (ICCE) is the largest international network for professionals, corporates, and organizations working in the Circular Economy. Its mission is to accelerate the transition to a circular economy that is restorative and regenerative by design. ICCE aims to build a resilient and thriving local network by providing expertise to design and strategize circularity emanating from the grassroots level. We envision redefining lives by embracing and spreading change globally to make the dawn of a new circular era. ICCE was established in 2020 in India as a global thought leader, setting the circular economy on the agenda of corporates and decision-makers across the business, Government, and academia.
I am Shalini Goyal Bhalla, the founder, and Managing Director at ICCE. My experience of over seven years of work in sustainability, resource management, and circular economy has enabled me to advance the circular economy agenda globally.
My book is India’s first book on this subject. We delivered multiple courses and got Circular Economy embedded in formal education in India. We have conducted capacity-building training at various levels. As the editor of the Journal on Circular Economy, which promotes research, innovation, and policy, we have published almost 12 papers.
The Economic Advisory Council published my recent paper to the Prime Minister and the G20 compendium. The Finnish Government has invited me to lead the Global South discussions at the World Circular Economy forum, where I lead a cooperation of 18 countries.
Evolution in the past few years in the industry you work in. Your contribution to the betterment? –
The evolution of the circular economy in recent years has seen significant progress and increasing recognition of its potential to address environmental challenges and promote sustainable development. There has been a notable increase in awareness and understanding of the circular economy concept. Businesses, governments, and consumers are recognizing the limitations of the traditional linear economy and the benefits of transitioning to a circular model. More companies are adopting and integrating circular principles into their strategies and operations. The Government has been actively promoting and supporting the circular economy.
Growing emphasis on circular design principles and product innovation have made companies rethink the entire lifecycle of their products, considering factors like durability, recyclability, and repairability. Eco-design, cradle-to-cradle approaches, and product-as-a-service models are gaining traction, encouraging sustainable consumption and reducing waste.
I have personally contributed through various avenues such as advocacy, policy influence, innovation, business leadership, and knowledge sharing that have inspired others, driven a positive change, and accelerated the transition to a more circular and sustainable future.
§ Any Success routine you would like to suggest
Making a list of what needs to be done for the day will help you prepare your thoughts for the day ahead. To-do lists aren’t for everyone, but successful individuals like Michelle Obama and Richard Branson believe in methodically planning what must be done each day.
One great way to be fully prepared for the day ahead is to make a to-do list; I plan up to six tasks I want to complete during the day on mine, which works twofold.
First, it helps me plan my day in a way that allows me to get the most out of it versus just performing random tasks and hoping that they move me forward. Second, creating a to-do list keeps me on task. I know exactly what you want to get done and when, making it more likely that you’ll do it.
Keep your daily to-do list small to manageable and not overwhelming. An incredible hack to keep your lists simple is using a Post-It Note. The dimensions of a Post-It Note are perfect (typically 3″ X 3″) because the size constraint will force you only to write down the most important things that you have to do each day.
You can only fit up to 6 items on a Post-It Note; these tasks should be your MITs (Most Important Tasks).
Plus, when you can cross items off this list, it inspires you to keep going and accomplish even more!
§ How did the company raise funding, or are you looking forward to the same?
Most of our funds come from the courses and training programs. Being a non-profit, grants and aid have been supportive of our growth. This has kept us afloat for the last 2 years. A lot of our work with the Government is more into policymaking. As the industry embraces circularity, our work expands and becomes more demanding.
§ Explain Post Covid-19 Scenario by 2030 for the company and your career.
As we navigate the aftermath of the global COVID-19 pandemic, it becomes increasingly important to explore and understand the potential landscape that awaits us in the post-pandemic world. Looking ahead to 2030, the scenario promises challenges and opportunities for companies and professionals in various industries.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies across industries, and by 2030, the digital landscape will be even more advanced. Remote work and flexible work arrangements have proved to be highly effective. By 2030, these practices will likely be more prevalent and widely accepted. Companies will be more open to remote work options, allowing for more excellent work-life balance and access to talent across geographical boundaries. The pandemic has disrupted various industries, leading to new trends and business models. Sectors such as healthcare, e-commerce, and cybersecurity have witnessed significant growth during the crisis and are expected to continue expanding in the post-COVID-19 era. It is crucial to stay updated on industry trends and identify emerging opportunities that align with the latest skills and expertise.
§ Why did you choose this industry over any other space?
The central premise of the circular economy is to break the global ‘take-make-consume-dispose’ growth pattern to reduce the environmental impact of production and consumption and eliminate waste. In a circular economy, products are used repeatedly, reducing our use of precious raw materials and cutting CO2 emissions. The Circularity Gap Report highlights the importance of a circular economy that we must follow to get things back on track. Switching to a circular economy is the way forward. Choosing the circular economy industry signifies my commitment to creating a more sustainable and equitable future. It is a dynamic field where one can actively contribute to environmental preservation, drive innovation, benefit from economic advantages, foster collaboration, and engage in purpose-driven work. The circular economy presents a unique opportunity to reshape our current systems and create a world that values resources, minimizes waste, and prioritizes long-term sustainability.
§ Inspiring quote for aspiring youth.
“Embrace the power within you and unleash your potential to create a thriving world. Let your work catalyze positive change, driving the transformation towards a sustainable and circular future. You can shape a better tomorrow with passion, innovation, and unwavering determination. Believe in your purpose, follow your dreams, and become a force that inspires generations to come. The world awaits your contribution towards a brighter, greener, and more inclusive tomorrow.”
§ Do you like participating in CSR initiatives, and what motivates you?
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives are essential for fostering positive social change and addressing various social and environmental challenges. Organizations like ours often engage in CSR initiatives. It’s our moral obligation to give back to society and contribute to its well-being. Engaging in CSR allows us to align our actions with their values and positively impact the communities they operate in.
CSR initiatives have contributed to long-term sustainability by addressing environmental challenges, promoting responsible practices, and ensuring the well-being of future generations. It allows organizations to adopt a broader perspective beyond short-term profitability and consider the broader impacts of their actions.
Social impact, enhanced reputation, employee satisfaction, risk management, innovation, and long-term sustainability are the motivations that drive me and my organization to actively participate in CSR activities and make a positive difference in the world.
§ Would you like to name a few people who helped you the most in your professional upliftment
I want to thank my husband the most. He has been a support right through. My parents, my in-laws have been my back for years. My son has been my driving force to prove myself every single day. The sheer happiness in his eyes on my achievements motivates me to do more. I want to mention my colleagues and partners who have built confidence in me and my decisions to manage a big organization like ICCE.
§ Could you elaborate on the challenges you encountered while establishing and retaining?
One of the significant challenges in establishing and retaining a business is managing financial resources effectively. Limited capital, securing funding, and cash flow management can pose significant hurdles. With adequate financial stability, sustaining and growing a business can be more accessible. Since Circular Economy is a new subject, the products or services around it require strategic planning, innovation, and effective marketing strategies. Finding the right talent that aligns with the organization’s goals and values, managing employee turnover, and maintaining employee engagement and satisfaction are crucial for long-term success.
In today’s fast-changing world, businesses operate in dynamic environments where change is inevitable. Adapting to technological advancements, market trends, and customer preferences requires agility and embracing change. Failure to adapt can hinder growth and sustainability.
Overcoming these challenges requires strategic planning, resilience, adaptability, continuous learning, and effective problem-solving. It is essential to seek support, leverage resources, and embrace a proactive approach to address these hurdles and ensure long-term success in establishing and retaining a business.
Prittle Prattle News composed this article as an Interview.