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Eco Action Day Circular Economy Challenge

As the world population continues to grow – to some 8.5 billion by 2030, and 9.7 billion in 2050, according to the United Nations – the demand for products and services will be unparalleled.

Most manufacturing practices today follow a linear “take, make, waste” model, where the flow of materials from mines to landfills is a one-way affair, and according to the World Economic Forum, results in trillions of dollars in annual economic losses.

As resource availability shrinks and the global population expands, this industrial model is no longer viable.

In its place, the circular economy is now emerging as a response to this global challenge. An economic model in which resources are never lost, the circular economy is able to channel by-products and goods that have reached the end of their lifespan back into the production cycle to be reconstituted or reused.

Studies by The Ellen MacArthur Foundation show that the economic gain from material savings alone is estimated at over US$1 trillion a year by 2025 if companies focus on circular supply chains that increase recycling, reuse and remanufacturing.


Sustainable consumption and production is also one of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the global masterplan for a better future. The goal promotes resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and providing access to basic services, green and decent jobs and a better quality of life for all.

In support of the UN SDGs and World Environment Day 2017, Eco-Business and Ricoh Asia Pacific are hosting the inaugural Eco Action Day Circular Economy Challenge.

We are looking for innovative circular economy solutions that will improve sustainable consumption and production patterns in Singapore. These may be tailored for a specific company or sector of your choice.

If you are a youth or young professional in Singapore and have an idea that challenges the status quo, this contest is for you!

The Challenge

  1. Form teams of 2-4 people, aged between 17-30 years old.
  2. Identify a specific company or an industry that you want to focus on, and the potential circular economy solutions applicable to it.
  3. Sign up to be part of the Ricoh Eco Action Day Circular Economy Challenge here and tell us why you picked your chosen company/sector.
  4. Produce a report on your proposed solution and submit it here.
  5. If your team is selected as one of the final five, you will present your solution to a group of distinguished judges from government, business, academic and NGO sectors on 22 May 2017.
  6. 3 winning teams will be awarded their prizes at the Eco Action Day Circular Economy Roundtable on 1 June 2017.
To be submitted by May 16, 2017: A written report (no longer than 10 pages in Times New Roman font size 12), based on your investigation into your chosen company that includes explanations on:
  1. Why the company was chosen
  2. The potential for adoption of circular economy principles
  3. The solution - how it works
  4. How the companies benefit
  5. Who are some proposed partners for this solution, and how will they benefit?
  1. The contest is open to youths and young professionals who are based in Singapore and not older than 30 years of age, except those related to Ricoh and Eco-Business employees.
  2. Solutions must be original, new and never been published before, in this or any other competition or forum.
  3. Plagiarism is taken as a serious offence and will result in immediate disqualification.
  4. All late submissions will be immediately disqualified.
  5. The decision of the judges is final.
  6. Participating teams own all intellectual property rights (including copyright) to their proposal and the intellectual property rights have not been licensed or assigned to any other person.
  7. By participating in the Ricoh Eco Action Day Circular Economy Challenge, the team grants Eco-Business and Ricoh a non-exclusive, royalty-free and transferable right to use (including the right to reproduce, edit or distribute) all proposals, articles and information for publicity. The team will be acknowledged accordingly when their proposal, article or information is used.
  8. Organisers of the Ricoh Eco Action Day Circular Economy Challenge reserve the right to alter the rules of the competition at any time before and during the event.
  9. The best team will win a field trip to Ricoh’s Eco Business Development Centre in Japan, in July. They will be asked to submit a report of their overall experience of the field trip along with feedback or ideas that can help further enhance the Eco Business Development Centre. The field trip report should be submitted by 31 August 2017.
  1. Shortlisted teams shall present their ideas to the panel of judges on 22nd May and winning teams will be notified 1 week prior to the Eco Action Day on 9th June. The decision of the judge(s) shall be final and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into.
  2. The three winning teams will have to be present during the Industry Roundtable on 1st June to receive their prizes. The top-scoring team will also present its ideas to the audience as part of the programme on that day.
  3. Claims for prizes for the two runner-up prizes must be made by end August 2017.
  4. Planning of the Japan Trip for the top prize will be taken care of by Ricoh Asia Pacific. Prize Winners shall accommodate the traveling date and itinerary set by the Organiser. The trip excludes insurance, certain meals and personal expenses, upgrades etc. Specific requests incurring additional cost shall be the sole responsibility of the Prize Winners.
  5. Ricoh Asia Pacific reserves the right to amend these terms and conditions without prior notice at any time in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Sign up for the Challenge now


Winning teams will be awarded with prizes including a trip to Japan, cameras and travel vouchers, as well as a certificate of participation.

Winners will get opportunities for media exposure, and will present their ideas to industry and government leaders at the Eco Action Day Circular Economy Industry Roundtable on June 1, where the prize-giving ceremony will be held.

The top prize is a fully-sponsored 5D4N trip to Japan for all team members, inclusive of:

  • Field trip to Ricoh’s Eco Business Development Centre at Gotemba, Manufacturing Plant and the Technology Centre at Ebina in the month of July
  • 1 day sightseeing at Tokyo or Gotemba area

Total prize package worth SGD10,000.

Merit prize-winning group to receive: Ricoh Theta Camera x 4
Total prize worth SGD2,500.00

Special prize-winning group to receive: Travel voucher
Total prize worth SGD1,200.00

Sign up for the Challenge now

Important Dates

February 22: Launch of the Eco Action Day Circular Economy Challenge
May 16: Deadline for submission of entries (extended from May 10)
May 22: Judging of submissions, 5 teams shortlisted
June 1: Presentation of prizes at the Eco Action Day Industry Roundtable. Winning teams will be asked to participate in the roundtable.
August 31: Submission of field report

Each team will be given 15 minutes to present their solution, after which judges will have 15 minutes to ask questions or seek clarifications from the team.
Business casual.
Creativity (30 points): How innovative the proposal is compared to what exists on the market currently.

Feasibility (30 points): Can the proposal be realistically implemented within the company/economy?

Understanding of circular economy principles (30 points): The proposal demonstrates a clear understanding of what constitutes a circular economy, ideas behind it, and reflects awareness of other proposed solutions in literature.

Presentation (10 points): Clarity, coherence and creativity in how the proposal is presented.
J.D. Kasamoto, General Manager, Service & Environment Division, Ricoh
Tim Hill, Research Director, Eco-Business
Desmond Tan, Director (Projects), Waste Resource & Resource Management Department, NEA
Ann Florini, Professor of Public Policy, SMU
Eugene Tay, Founder and Director, Green Future Solutions

Sign up for the Challenge now

About Eco Action Day

Eco Action Day is Singapore’s largest business-led environmental awareness campaign encouraging awareness and action for the environment, registered and supported by the World Environment Day.

The national campaign calls on organizations, schools and individuals to pledge green action on World Environment Day.

Be part of the green movement; make your pledge at

Read more information about Ricoh’s Eco Business Development Centre.

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