In Vancouver and worldwide, the circular economy is gaining popularity as an economic model that aims to design waste out of the lifecycles of products and services altogether.
It achieves this through a focus on material reuse, repair, and recycling, and by limiting inefficiencies and closing gaps within the production and consumption system itself.
Throughout the month of October, Vancity and the Vancouver Economic Commission co-hosted a three-part series on Vancouver’s growing circular economy. Titled Success and Opportunity in Vancouver’s Circular Economy, the webinars highlighted key local organizations and businesses leading the way, convened businesses and community support for circularity, with presenters making the case for new circular ventures and for existing businesses to transition to circular practices.
Circularity is gaining momentum in Vancouver
With an estimated $195 million potential savings in food systems, 20,000 tonnes of unused textiles, and an estimated annual $340 million in potential revenues for the deconstruction industry in Metro Vancouver alone, businesses and governments alike have set their sights on circular economy goals as a viable solution for greater efficiency, cost savings and improving regional self-sufficiency.
As such, the circular economy’s high potential for all three has been recognized and prioritized in the recent and unanimous passing of a City of Vancouver Council motion, Improving the Circularity of Vancouver’s Economy, and the Zero Waste 2040 strategy. Meanwhile, Metro Vancouver has active campaigns to locally reduce food waste and rethink the textile purchasing industry.
Venturing into the circular economy
The webinar series promoted the 2021 expansion of Synergy Foundation’s circular incubator, Project Zero, from Vancouver Island to the Lower Mainland. The third webinar featured businesses from previous Project Zero cohorts, including Ergo Eco Solutions, Flipside Plastics and SUPPLY Victoria. Each Project Zero graduate in turn shared insights and detailed the benefits they gained from participating in the incubator, which included building connections with like-minded entrepreneurs and subject-matter experts, tailored education for circular economy businesses, and support to develop a robust business plan.
Attendees gained a deeper understanding of the principles of the circular economy, the local landscape, and heard stories from local circular leaders, including Share Reuse Repair Initiative and Susgrainable. Some presenters shared tools that will help accelerate the business transition to circularity, such as the Circular Economy Solution Series and a new e-commerce platform for material exchange, BizBiz Share BC.
Apply to Project Zero
Individuals with new circular business ideas may apply to join Project Zero in 2021. The application for Project Zero will be open until January 6, and can be found here.
Meet the presenters and view the presentations
Those interested in connecting with any of the webinar series’ presenters may refer to the webinar syllabus, which includes links to presenter websites. Contact information is also included in the slide decks below.
- Webinar #1: Introduction to Vancouver’s Circular Economy
- Bonus: question and answer excerpts
- Webinar #2: Tools for the Circular Economy
- Webinar #3: Project Zero Circular Economy Ventures
Let us know what you think
If you are interested in seeing more circular economy webinar series, or having your circular business or solution featured in future circular economy events, we invite you to contact us. Please address queries to Brianna Bishop (email@example.com).