Major business, NGO leaders call for Canada to go waste-free

//Major business, NGO leaders call for Canada to go waste-free

Major business, NGO leaders call for Canada to go waste-free

HALIFAX, September 20, 2018 – A national not for profit coalition including corporate and NGO leaders, think tanks, and sustainability experts has announced its goal to eliminate waste and accelerate the reduction of carbon emissions from the Canadian economy.

Launched as G7 ministers gather in Halifax to tackle plastics fouling the world’s waters, the Circular Economy Leadership Coalition (CELC) will work together to eliminate consumer and business waste while generating wealth and jobs for Canadians and regenerating damaged ecosystems. This requires a fundamental shift from the dominant “take, make, dispose” economy, which leans heavily on unsustainable resource extraction, to a Circular Economy in which:

  • Resource productivity is increased;
  • Items are designed to use less material, to last longer, to be repaired or to be reused;
  • Products may be offered as services instead;
  • Pollution and toxins are designed out of the system;
  • The little waste that is generated becomes a valuable input back into the system.

Founding members of the Circular Economy Leadership Coalition include:

  • Unilever Canada
  • IKEA Canada
  • Loblaw Companies Limited
  • Walmart Canada
  • NEI Investments LP
  • International Institute for Sustainable Development
  • National Zero Waste Council
  • Smart Prosperity Institute
  • The Natural Step Canada
  • Institut EDDEC – Environment, sustainable development and the circular economy

These organizations are inspired by the economic results found in other countries that have embraced and implemented Circular Economy principles. Working together, the Coalition has forged strong working relationships with international organizations, including the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Sitra (the Finnish Innovation Fund) in order to accelerate learning and action related to Circular Economy implementation. The CELC also notes Canada shows strong potential for GDP growth in transitioning to a circular economy that simultaneously would address environmental and resource-related issues frustrating federal and provincial governments.

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The Coalition will play a key role in fostering collaboration among industries, experts, communities and all levels of government in the development and implementation of new circular economy solutions that protect and regenerate our natural environment while enhancing prosperity.

This week, the Coalition signed the G7 Ocean Plastics Charter because marine plastic is a serious global problem that can only be solved through circular solutions. It believes fundamental change that designs waste out of the full plastics lifecycle, from manufacture to end use, will keep plastic in the economy and out of the environment. That’s the approach outlined in the Ocean Plastics Charter, and the CELC supports it.

Quotes

Partnerships like the Circular Economy Leadership Coalition are driving the growing global momentum to reduce waste, including plastic pollution in our oceans, one of Canada’s top priorities under our G7 Presidency. We welcome CELC’s leadership and we look forward to working together to ensure a healthier and more prosperous future for our kids and grandkids.

Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada

The current models of production, distribution and disposal need a radical transformation to enable a smarter, more productive cycle of productivity to emerge, one that will reveal both the economic and environmental benefits currently being overlooked. The CELC can kickstart the critical mass of support needed across businesses, government and civil society to allow this economic transformation to occur.

John D. Coyne, Co-chair, CELC, and Vice-President and General Counsel, UNILEVER Canada

Efforts to achieve a circular economy unify the ideals of a global sustainability movement that understands the imperative of living within nature’s limits with the goal of business leaders and economists who seek resource efficiencies to maximize profits and shareholder value. This is an ‘all hands on deck’ opportunity that will require unprecedented levels of collaboration and innovation.

David Hughes, Co-chair, CELC, and President & CEO, The Natural Step Canada

About the CELC

The Circular Economy Leadership Coalition (CELC) is a not-for-profit alliance of corporate and NGO leaders, think tanks and sustainability experts who believe Canada can be a world leader in adopting sustainable, prosperous, zero-waste, low-carbon-emitting solutions for a global circular economy. The coalition will play a key role in fostering collaboration among industries, experts, communities and all levels of government in the development and implementation of new circular economy solutions that protect and regenerate our natural environment while enhancing prosperity.

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BACKGROUNDER – The Circular Economy Leadership Coalition

The Circular Economy Leadership Coalition (CELC) is a not-for-profit alliance of corporate and NGO leaders, think tanks and sustainability experts who believe Canada can be a world leader in adopting sustainable, prosperous, zero-waste, low-carbon-emitting solutions for a global Circular Economy.

The coalition will play a key role in fostering collaboration among industries, experts, communities and all levels of government in the development and implementation of new Circular Economy solutions that protect and regenerate our natural environment while enhancing prosperity.

CELC founding members include Unilever Canada, IKEA Canada, Loblaw Companies Limited, Walmart Canada, NEI Investments LP, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), National Zero Waste Council (NZWC), Smart Prosperity Institute, The Natural Step Canada and lnstitut EDDEC – Environment, sustainable development and the Circular Economy (I- EDDEC).

The Linear Economy

In a linear economy, products are manufactured, used and discarded. It is a “take-make-dispose” model. Its reliance on increasingly scarce and deceptively inexpensive inputs creates economic and ecological instability. It also generates considerable waste. Local governments in Canada spend approximately $3.2-billion annually managing 34 million tonnes of waste. The University of Georgia engineering professor Jenna Jambeck has estimated the world has produced more than 8 billion metric tons of plastic since the 1950s – the equivalent of four Mount Everests.

The Stockholm Resilience Centre has calculated that without increased resource efficiency, total global demand for limited resource stocks (such as metals, biomass, minerals) will reach 130 billion tons by 2050 (up from 50 billion in 2014), exceeding the Earth’s total capacity by a physically impossible 400 per cent.

Paul Ekins, professor of resources and environment policy at University College London and member of the UN Environment’s International Resource Panel, has examined current business-as-usual projections up to 2050. His research findings show a “nightmare” of price volatilities as finite resources run out leading to interruptions in supply chains, lower output and fewer jobs than can be expected from a Circular Economy.

The Circular Economy

A Circular Economy means transforming the way we design, produce and use products with the goals of eliminating waste, keeping materials in high-value use, and contributing to the regeneration of natural systems.

It is much more than just recycling. It relies on a combination of strategies and innovative business models that close material loops, and focus on optimizing resource flows, decreasing the need for virgin resource use, and reducing a range of environmental impacts including greenhouse gas emissions.

The Circular Economy approach decouples economic growth from the extraction of finite natural resources and is underpinned by a complete transition to renewable energy.

Implementing a Circular Economy presents significant economic opportunities. Through innovation, job creation and resource shortage mitigation, current Circular Economy practices will give rise to upwards of US$4.5-trillion in economic activity by 2030.

Benefits for Canada

For Canadian businesses the Circular Economy provides a pathway to sustainability and enhanced competitiveness by lowering input and manufacturing costs, building resilient supply chains, responding to increased consumer awareness, opening new markets and increasing market share.

Canada is currently far behind other regions such as China, Japan, the UK and the EU in embracing the Circular Economy, including regulations and incentives to support businesses. Reducing pollution and environmental damage caused by unsustainable resource extraction, product use and waste generation, the implementation of a Circular Economy would place Canada on a more sustainable long-term path and help the government meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets.

About the CELC

The Circular Economy Leadership Coalition (CELC) is a not-for-profit alliance of corporate and NGO leaders, think tanks and sustainability experts who believe Canada can be a world leader in adopting sustainable, prosperous, zero-waste, low-carbon-emitting solutions for a global Circular Economy. The coalition will play a key role in fostering collaboration among industries, experts, communities and all levels of government in the development and implementation of new Circular Economy solutions that protect and regenerate our natural environment while enhancing prosperity.

For more information

www.circulareconomyleaders.ca

Info@circulareconomyleaders.ca

2018-10-09T17:14:21+00:0020 Sep 2018|Categories: Media Release|Tags: , , , , , , |