Supporting local innovation and sustainability through circular development and management

About the USA Hub

Throughout the United States, cities design out waste, shorten supply chains, and increase sharing and reuse, but only recently are these activities connected through the concept of circular economy. The USA Hub builds momentum in cities and regions through circular development frameworks, analysis, and convening peers and stakeholders.

Priorities of the USA Hub

  • Increase economic opportunity and reduce inequality

    One of the federal government priorities is to advance equity for all. The recent economic, health, and climate crises have broadly revealed and worsened the unequal access to opportunity and safety in the United States. The country’s extractive economy resulted in environmental and social conditions that disproportionately impact people with a low socio-economic status and people of color. The USA Hub works with cities to develop strategies to understand and remove these inequities and provide economic opportunity through skill development, local jobs, and innovations enabled by circular economy strategies.

  • Reduce consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions

    Efforts to eliminate local greenhouse gas emissions are essential, but do not fully address the climate crisis if consumption patterns remain unchanged. From large infrastructure projects to purchasing vehicles, food, and consumer goods and services, supply chain emissions average about five times the direct emissions of the local government itself. The USA Hub addresses both local emissions as measured by ICLEI-USA’s Local Government Recycling and Composting Emissions Protocol (RCProtocol), and sustainable public procurement and broader emissions through consumption-based and supply-chain emissions accounting and management.

  • Build local resilience through shorter supply chains and regenerative practices

    Cities and regions across the nation are experiencing increasingly intense droughts, fires, floods, heat waves, and more. These disruptions can reduce communities’ access to essential services, food, and water. To foster resilience, the USA Hub enables cities to conduct vulnerability assessments and build circularity into the financial, technical, economic, and social systems that impede climate adaptation.

USA’s Leading Circular Cities



Denver’s vision is to help create and sustain a more INCLUSIVE, HEALTHY, VIBRANT and RESILIENT food system. The city’s goals include a 57% reduction in tons of residential food waste collected. This goal is supported by initiatives such as Denver Food Rescue, which helps connect organizations and individuals with excess food to those who need it most.

Maui County


As an island community, Maui is especially aware of the impacts of single-use plastics. Effective January 2022, plastic disposable foodware is banned for use, sale, or provision in the county. Businesses will provide non-plastic products that are safer for the environment. Through its work with Circulars and ICLEI USA, the county will explore additional circular strategies.



Certain new construction and remodeling projects must recycle or divert at least 65% of nonhazardous construction and demolition waste per the Cupertino Municipal Code and California Green Building Standards Code. The city provides education and resources for building owners and contractors to salvage materials for reuse or recycling.

  • The USA Hub network

    ICLEI USA will build private sector partnerships, building on the success of its Green Business Challenge program (2009 – 2015) and collaborate with leading NGOs active with ICLEI USA in related climate resilience and climate risk projects. ICLEI’s USA Hub will provide cities and regions with opportunities to tackle the most difficult recycling challenges, including plastics.