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Waste not


Squeeze the value from waste

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development predicts there will be $4.5 trillion in commercial opportunities from the circular economy over the next decade. To spot opportunities, businesses must understand waste, design with waste in mind, adopt novel processes and technologies and collaborate across sectors.

As consumption continues to grow, brands urgently need to transform to tackle waste. While the technologies exist to reduce waste, infrastructure, policies, financing and business processes are impairing rapid and scaled deployment. A systematic change is needed across the value chain and broader ecosystems.

Find business value from waste

9 steps to tackle and benefit from waste successfully


Address waste systemically across the value chain – collaborate across industries, regulators, and infrastructures


Understand which waste can be valuable to you or be used as an input elsewhere


Label, track and monitor waste flows to drive insights and measure success


Design with waste in mind from the onset, designing out waste where possible


Decide which business model to adopt to deliver the value and scale you need


Take responsibility for waste and influence up- and downstream in your industry, including competitors (your new “cooperators”)


Find new technologies and innovators to drive carbon, heat, water, and product waste out across the supply chain


Use decarbonization or dewaterisation as a way to reduce waste


Create solutions and innovate locally where possible to limit the export of waste

We can help you get more value from waste

We can help you capture value and opportunity from waste. Our end-to-end innovation capabilities and unique breadth of expertise in sustainability and the circular economy include transformational business redesigns, landscaping, strategies, design and partnerships and collaborations.

Enabling an innovative circular economy business model in retail

We helped Stuffstr, an innovative technology start-up that collects, recycles, refurbishes and resells used clothing on behalf of brands, develop the backend systems it needed to grow its business and operations.

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Delivering sustainable products and packaging at scale

Pulpac is a patented solution that uses renewable pulp and cellulose to produce low cost, high performance, fiber-based packaging and single-use products. It offers up to an 80% lower CO2 footprint and is a low-cost alternative to plastics.

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Developing a seaweed packaging solution to replace plastics

We worked with Notpla, a London-based start-up using a material made from seaweed to develop an alternative to single-use plastic packaging. We worked with the business to design, build and test the machine that makes containers from the seaweed-based material.

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Finding new uses for old plastic and creating a sustainable business

Ecobooth, a sustainable events company, wanted to reduce the huge amount of plastic waste produced by the events industry. We partnered with them to transform an innovative idea into a successful business.

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Waste not, want not - finding new value from the world's waste

Many leading brands have already adopted and achieved zero-waste goals. What’s new is that they’re extending responsibility both upstream and downstream of their value chain to scale results. Here’s how your organisation can follow suit.

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High growth rate projected for the waste to energy industry

PA Consulting’s sustainable materials expert Tony Perrotta discusses the waste to energy (WtE) industry.

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Viewing health by-products as resources rather than waste

PA Consulting’s healthcare expert, David Rakowski, discusses how the healthcare sector must reconsider health by-products as resources instead of waste.

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How can all organisations bring the circular economy to life by design?

The circular economy is a unique opportunity for business – one where cost savings and economic productivity go hand in hand with reducing environmental impact. The key to unlocking these benefits is designing and implementing successful circular business models.

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Consumers are confused about plastics recycling, and are holding brands responsible

Consumers are increasingly holding brands and retailers responsible for the full breadth of sustainability, from the sourcing of ingredients through to end of life and beyond. The brands that take radical ownership of the entire process and make it easy for consumers to make sustainable choices.

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Focus, start, share: how companies can win at innovation for sustainability

Find out how leaders from all sectors can innovate for sustainability and climate response, in more concrete and impactful ways.

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More sustainability articles and insights

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Get in touch

Let’s discuss your sustainability challenges and get you moving forward. Use the form below to get in touch, or connect with us on LinkedIn.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Tony Perrotta

Sustainability expert


Jonquil Hackenberg

Global Head of Sustainability


Explore the areas with the biggest impact commercially and environmentally:


Businesses have the power and opportunity to transform for commercial and environmental success.


Don’t treat water as a consequence. Understand your ecosystem and footprint to uncover the hidden value.


Carbon equals revenue, not cost embrace innovation, technologies and new business models to generate revenue.


Businesses that design sustainability into their product lines are seeing increased revenues and greater consumer loyalty.


Stop tackling packaging in isolation, collaborate across the lifecycle to reduce confusion and wasted effort.