Why is Beyond 34 Important?
The current linear “take-make-waste” economy, which has been highly successful in delivering economic development throughout the 20th century, is no longer viable for continuing progress in the 21st century. Current systems of commerce and production processes largely follow the linear model, in which very little attention is paid to how product—and its components—can be reused. As a result, most resources are used merely once or for a single purpose and then discarded as waste.
The concept of reimagining waste as a resource, which underpins the concept of a circular economy, is a necessary alternative to the linear economy that decouples economic growth from resource constraints. It is a restorative or regenerative economic model in which resources are endlessly cycled back into supply chains as valuable commodities rather than waste for landfills.
Shifting to a circular economy represents a tremendous opportunity for business and the global economy. According to research from Accenture, it could unlock an estimated $4.5 trillion in additional economic growth by 2030 by turning current waste into wealth, and could be the biggest economic revolution in 250 years.
Beyond 34 aims to help capitalize on this significant opportunity by providing a scalable, multi-stakeholder model to optimize recycling and recovery systems as outlined below.
Beyond 34 Framework + Templates
Before applying the Beyond 34 model, it is important to consider such criteria as: existing infrastructure, current recycling rates against national average, level of public and private sector engagement, and relevant existing sustainability goals at state and local levels.
Phase 1: Initiation and Engagement
The focus of Phase 1 is on local stakeholder identification and engagement, as well as an analysis of the current state of recycling in the region. Phase 1 concludes with a kick-off vision and strategy meeting so local stakeholders can get involved, understand the baseline state of waste management, and give initial feedback on barriers and opportunities to increase local circularity.
Template Current State Assessment System Flow Map Template and Excel
Template Institutional Analysis Template Economic Impact Assessment
Cincinnati Current State Assessment Cincinnati Institutional Analysis
Cincinnati Economic Impact Assessment
Phase 2: Analysis
Phase 3: Implementation
Case Study Map
Beyond 34 has been active in two regions: Orlando, FL, Cincinnati, OH, and as of 2021, has expanded to Austin, Texas and Philadelphia. To learn more about each region's recycling and recovery efforts, click below.
Visit our Resources Hub to explore the collection of tools you can use to improve your area’s recycling and recovery, and please reach out directly if you want to bring Beyond 34 to your city or region.
The U.S. Chamber Foundation, the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Orlando are partners on the Beyond 34 pilot to increase recycling rates in the Orlando region. The U.S. Chamber Foundation and its partners have applied the Beyond 34 model in Orlando and is now in the final phase of implementing projects. In November 2018, more than $100,000 in funding was announced for implementation projects to increase the local recycling rate.
The local champions are a group of regional stakeholders that have volunteered to set in place a vision for the future state of recycling and to work with the Beyond 34 program leads, as well as other local stakeholders to devise and implement projects to work towards that vision.
The U.S. Chamber Foundation, City of Cincinnati, Hamilton County, and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce have partnered to apply a refined version of the Beyond 34 model in the Cincinnati area based on lessons learned from the Orlando pilot. The U.S. Chamber Foundation and its technical partner Arizona State University have convened local stakeholders and conducted a technical analysis to ultimately create a roadmap for increasing and improving recycling in the Cincinnati area. The last phase of the model – implementing select projects from the roadmap – will take place in mid to late 2020.
The local champions are a group of regional stakeholders that have volunteered to set in place a vision for the future state of recycling in the Cincinnati region and to work with the Beyond 34 program leads, as well as other local stakeholders to devise and implement projects towards that vision.
Beyond 34 is a multi-stakeholder partnership between the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, local governments, local chambers, technical partners, and leading corporations. The project is made possible through support from The Coca-Cola Company, Coca-Cola Consolidated, Kroger Co., Procter and Gamble, Dow, PLASTICS Industry Association, Republic Services, Target, Walgreens Boots Alliance, and the Walmart Foundation. To learn how to get involved, please email Beyond 34.
There are many ways to engage with and support Beyond 34 goals. Join us in taking action to improve national recycling and recovery systems.Take Action