ZWC 2014 Opening Remarks

In the coming weeks we’ll bring you the presentations that made the 2014 Zero Waste Conference such a success. Over 500 people participated, gaining insight into a wide variety of topics, from product design to disposal, and tackling the complexities that are part and parcel of facilitating the cultural shifts necessary to switch to a circular economy. If you didn’t attend this year’s conference, here is your opportunity to take advantage of the learning opportunities the event offered. We begin this retrospective of the event with the opening remarks from British Columbia’s Minister of the Environment Mary Polak.

Minister Polak touched on a variety of topics in her opening remarks, but key themes emerged. One was the realization that a move to a zero waste way of life is by its nature disruptive, but it brings opportunities as well as challenges. She also noted the important role education, particularly for young people, can have in fostering change throughout society. She spoke of the early successes we can point to as signposts — such as the waste reduction achievements of the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. Polak highlighted extended producer responsibility efforts by the Province and its ongoing commitment to the Zero Waste Council. Lastly, she spoke of the role for leaders in these efforts, reiterating the importance of embracing this change and leading the way, so that the population at large has a clear path to follow.

This video is just the first in a series. In future posts we’ll bring you more insightful presentations, by world leading experts across a broad range of topics related to zero waste.  You can also choose to subscribe to this blog (go to top right of page). It’s a great way to ensure you don’t miss a single post; as we bring you the best of this year’s event and preview the 2015 edition of Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Conference.

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