Going Circular for Sustainability

In shifting mindsets around systems of consumption and waste, Hélène – global head of circular economy & zero waste – is working toward zero-waste models and greater social impact.

July 20, 2023 3 Minute Read

Zero waste goes beyond just the data. It means implementing effective circular business models, enforcing accountability around them and building sustainability into the culture and experience.
For too long, big business has been synonymous with waste—but Hélène is working hard to fix that, one client at a time.

“The circular economy means changing how we think about consumption, moving from a take-make-dispose culture to one with no place for waste,” she explains. “How can we consume less? How do we use items longer? How can items be repurposed or recycled? Every company should be asking these questions.”

In her role in Global Workplace Solutions over the past year, Hélène has worked directly with major clients to change their consumption of goods and materials. And she stresses that recycling should be the last resort.

“Companies can’t just look at what they already have, they need to focus upstream. Let’s say they’re planning to renovate some space. Configuring the layout to use fewer construction materials, incorporating multi-functional spaces and items, choosing materials and furnishings with recycled content—being proactive and reducing waste early on makes a real difference.”

A major goal for Hélène is to assist CBRE clients in achieving TRUE Zero Waste Certification for their facilities. TRUE uses an internationally recognized definition of zero waste and independent third-party assessments to champion the highest and best use of resources and to focus on responsible upstream practices and sustainable supply chains.

“Achieving TRUE Zero Waste Certification goes beyond just the data. It means they’re implementing effective circular business models, enforcing accountability around them and building sustainability into their culture and experience.

“Then there’s the social impact. Externally in communities, the circular economy reduces social inequity, provides fair access to products, and enhances health and wellbeing. Internally with employees, it’s an excellent way for companies to build trust, foster innovation, create a thriving corporate culture and stand apart from the competition.”

Hélène continually partners with colleagues across the organization—in procurement, Advisory Services, facilities and project management and more—to expand her program’s reach and implement best practices. “Because of CBRE’s size and scale, we’ve embraced our potential to drive measurable change in decarbonization and sustainability. And a zero-waste circular economy is a big part of that.”

To learn more about how we’re realizing a sustainable future, download our Corporate Responsibility Report here.

Interested in a Career with CBRE?

Visit our job search page to view our current openings.

Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer
Women/Minorities/Persons with Disabilities/US Veterans