What is a Circular Economy?

    The Circular Economy is an economic system where waste and pollution are designed out, products and materials are kept in use for longer, and regenerative resources are prioritized. Our typical ‘take-make-consume-throw away’ pattern is linear. Circularity considers products from cradle to grave, from the ideation of a product through its full useful life, and into its next use or stage. This approach focuses on waste reduction, resource optimization and efficiency, by planning for the ongoing use of materials as shown in this image.  

    Although there are a variety of frameworks to reference, it is generally agreed that the core elements of the Circular Economy are: prioritizing regenerative resources, stretching the lifetime of products, and using waste as a resource.  

    What does regenerative resources mean in the context of Circular Economy?

    Regeneration is about preserving and enhancing the value of the materials and resources that a business or organization depends on and impacts.  

    Natural systems can be regenerated by adopting practices that minimize the environmental footprint and maximize the positive contribution to the ecosystems. Examples include using renewable energy sources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, implementing water efficiency, applying regenerative agriculture and forestry methods, better design of products and packaging, and supporting conservation and restoration initiatives. 

    Social systems can be regenerated by adopting practices that respect and support the well-being and development of the people and communities that an organization affects or depends on. Examples include fair wages, decent working conditions, benefits to employees, promoting diversity, inclusion, and equity in the workforce and value chain, engaging with stakeholders offering products and services that meet the needs and preferences of customers while creating social value, as well as investing in initiatives. 


    (Source Linked Inhttps://www.linkedin.com/advice/1/how-do-you-regenerate-materials-resources) 

    Why participate in the Circular Economy Trailblazer Program?

    There are many benefits to participatingThis program will allow your business or organization to: 

    • Identify circular actions appropriate to your organization and get support with turning these ideas into action  

    • Network with other likeminded business and organizations 

    • Demonstrate leadership in sustainable business practices and elevate your brand 

    • Attract customers who align with your values and sustainability efforts 

    • Realize costs savings through efficient material usage and waste management 

    • Enhance supply chain reliability and predictability 

    • Explore new revenue opportunities through innovative approaches 

    • Qualify for microgrants to implement recommendations from the Program 

    Does my business/organization need to be circular already to participate?

    The Circular Economy Trailblazer Program welcomes organizations that are embracing circular practices as well as those who are newer to bringing circular elements into their work.  

    What is the timeline for the Program?

    The program will run from May to December 2024. The network that is established will continue beyond that. 

    What is the time commitment for the Circular Economy Trailblazer Program?

    The program will require approximately 30 hours over eight months. The workshops will be 2-3 hours each, and we will support you one-on-one as you move towards the circular assessment and implementation process for your business/organization. 

    Do we need to commit to the whole Program or can my organization participate in just part of the program?

    The biggest benefits will be realized through participation in the full Program but if space permits, we welcome organizations that would like to learn more by attending one or two workshops and begin their circular journey. 

    What if we cannot participate now but would like to in the future?

    For those just starting to contemplate taking action towards circularity, learning more as time permits through the public events and Program workshops can be good first steps. While the Program offers tailored supports to participating organizations in 2024, the intention is to build an ongoing network where other organizations can join and learn from their peers. 

    What are the microgrants?

    The full Program aims to make microgrants (up to $2500) available to support participating organizations implementing actions towards circularity. More details will be shared about these later in the program. 

    Where can I find more information about the circular economy?