ZWC 2014 — Profiling the New Business Models of the Circular Economy

What do the business models of the future look like? How can embracing the circular economy be a key to success? Three voices from the front lines of the sustainable business community offer a road map through the challenges of doing business within a zero waste paradigm.

Moderated by sustainability strategist Coro Strandberg, of Strandberg Consulting, this wide-ranging panel discussion featured Nadine Gudz, Sustainability Director for Interface, David Katz — founder and CEO of the Plastic Bank, and Brad Marchant, CEO of the Enterra Feed Corporation. The three panelists discussed topics such as:

  • How discarded fishing nets played a role in helping Interface meet its recycled nylon goals.
  • Collecting and trading plastic waste as a currency in developing nations.
  • How David Suzuki and fish farms helped inspire the Enterra business model.
  • Role of the manufacturing industry in the circular economy, how does repurposing infrastructure get built?
  • How Plastic Bank turns plastic waste into opportunities for the disadvantaged, by giving
    the plastics industry a ‘story’ to share with their consumers.
  • Why sorted waste streams are more valuable and require significant governmental buy-in to achieve.
  • Which is better, getting ahead of customers and educating, or following their demands?
  • What is the role of the customer in creating a zero waste economy?
  • Why government can play a key role in creating the new technologies we need for zero waste innovation. How the NRDC (in Canada) plays an important role by supporting research.

The panelists also speak to their individual motivations to take on the challenges of doing business within a zero waste framework and how they work to bring about a corporate culture shift to the circular economy, both in their companies and the larger business community.

We’ll be featuring additional presentations from the 2014 Zero Waste Conference throughout the year, as we prepare for the 2015 edition of the event. Make sure you don’t miss a post, by subscribing to the blog, so you’ll get an email notification every time a new post is published.

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