Circle Economy Foundationnews
Published on: 
February 9, 2024

The new head of the Circularity Gap Reporting Initiative reflects on the future of Circle Economy’s flagship product

We’re thrilled to announce the new lead of the Circularity Gap Reporting Initiative (CGRi)! Marijana Novak,  who previously led our Data team, will spearhead the CGRi and work on exciting new developments for our flagship product. Marijana joined Circle Economy in 2018, the year that the first Circularity Gap Report (CGR) was launched.  She has a background in Actuarial Science, Sustainable Finance and risk modelling using big data for real estate, the built environment and the economy. She has been active in the circular economy research field for over ten years. We took this opportunity to sit down with her and look back at the evolution of the CGRi and discuss its future.

Congratulations on your new role! Let’s talk about your journey within Circle Economy. What you’ve been busy with over the past years? 

I joined Circle Economy back in 2018, initially as a data strategist. My focus was on integrating data into the circular economy framework at scale. This involved working with research programs, shaping digital products and establishing a robust data infrastructure to bolster our initiatives—think of data collection, automation and analysis, partnerships, methodology development and addressing data gaps through alternative data, using artificial intelligence, and data collaboratives.   

When you started working at Circle, did you imagine yourself spearheading the CGRi? Was it a planned direction or rather a sudden twist in your career?

My thing is building databases, particularly ones that enable data-driven decisions in the circular economy and how to ensure we achieve a positive impact. Meanwhile, the CGRi evolved as a flagship product, bringing data research and stakeholders together to kickstart conversations around the circular economy worldwide and, ultimately, converging with my aspiration of providing evidential support for the circular economy. So I would say me and the CGRi were trotting on separate paths and then came to a clearing in the woods. 

Let’s talk about how the Initiative has evolved since its onset in 2018.

Circle Economy is an innovative research organisation. After executing numerous projects across different cities and industries, we recognised the need for a global metric, which we unveiled at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2018. It was fascinating to see how it captured the curiosity of leaders at the Forum. Subsequently, we expanded its reach to encompass nations, sub-nations, cities and industries. However, what makes the CGRi unique is not just the metric but the surrounding engagement process—bringing different people to the table to discuss the metric, what it means for them and what opportunities there are to influence this metric. It’s also become important to place circularity in the context of wider impact goals. In other words, how can circular strategies enable us to stay within planetary boundaries?

What is your view on the future of the CGRi? What changes or improvements do you plan to implement?

We’re seeing an immense interest in the Circularity Gap as both a metric and a catalyst for circularity. This fascination is widespread, spanning various countries, sub-national governments, city clusters and industry leaders, all eager to contextualise their circularity gap. The challenge we face is how to deliver CGRs to these diverse entities at scale. This entails both internal collaboration and external partnerships. We’re exploring changing the mode of delivery to achieve our impact goals, which are all about activation of circularity—getting people working towards policy changes and pilot project implementation. 

Can you give us a sneak peek into what’s coming next in CGRi? 

Certainly! Our immediate plans include launching the CGR Latin America and the Caribbean—the first multinational CGR. We are also working on the CGR Munich, a pioneering endeavour focusing on the circularity gap at city level. Moreover, we are developing an online CGRi environment, enhancing the report's accessibility and interactivity through a suite of engaging features.

Stay in the loop

Subscribe today and be the first to know about new report releases, events and more.
Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please enter your email address
Please enter your company name
Choose from the list
Please enter your role
Choose from the list
Please enter your role
Please check this box
You can unsubscribe from these communications whenever you desire.
For detailed information, kindly review our Privacy Policy.


We are looking forward to keeping you updated on the latest circularity news.
Thank you!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.