From Oceans to Cities, ZWC 2017 Offers Invaluable Circular Economy Insights

The impact of plastic on our oceans is one of the key topics at ZWC 2017

The 2017 Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Conference promises to offer insights across the circular economy spectrum. Our sessions this year will be focusing on five key areas of zero waste innovation.

Plastics: Reimagining A Global Material

Plastics break down into tiny, everlasting fragments – making their way into our oceans where they are consumed by sea life. A worrying trend made even more urgent by research suggesting the weight of plastic in the ocean could surpass the biomass of all fish by mid-century. While this issue is capturing public awareness and spurring calls for action, the reality is that solutions to this newly emerging, major problem are a complex undertaking. The panel will discuss what’s at stake, and spotlight the latest global developments to stem this leakage and keep plastics out of our ocean and in our economy. With the role of plastics something nearly every business leader and policy maker must consider, this session can offer vital intelligence and direction to move forward.

Textiles: Fashion Forward Thinkers

New research illustrates the high throughput of textiles in our economy: people keeping their clothes half as long as they used to, with production doubling over the last 15 years. So it’s no surprise the textiles and apparel industry is fast becoming a global priority for the transition to a circular economy – offering the opportunity to capture value while closing material loops and reducing environmental impacts. But factors such as fast fashion, mixed materials, and consumer attitudes all present challenges in moving toward circular economy principles. What is the role of design, business model transformation, and government policy in moving the dial on textiles? Expect to find out.

Armchair Keynote: Redefining the Global Marketplace

How are global companies catalyzing a shift toward a circular economy? What drives these pioneers? What are the obstacles they are encountering and what trends are shaping the marketplace? This session will explore how companies of all sizes can find opportunities for success in their zero waste efforts, and offer real world tactics and strategies to embrace this shift.


Food waste and packaging are key themes at Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Conference

Food Waste – A National Food Waste Reduction Strategy for Canada

(Hosted by the National Zero Waste Council Canada)

From concerns about rising GHG emissions from landfills, to bottom line returns, and sustainable food systems – food waste hits home as a critical challenge for our times. There are many localized initiatives, but are they enough? New research suggests a sustainable future and reduced food waste will require highly connected markets, technological innovation, real cost food prices, and greater education and marketing to influence consumer demand. Is there a threshold when local actions, once aggregated, get us to success? Do we need nation-wide, or even global, collaborative action – on the political, policy or financial investment front? How can policy change and investment help deliver the food waste reductions we need? This session will consider the approaches suggested in the National Food Waste Reduction Strategy proposed by the Canada’s National Zero Waste Council. Are they in sync with the changes that are being proposed? Does it encompass the mechanisms that will get us there? For anyone involved in the food industry, this session will offer vital perspectives.

Circular Cities: At the Forefront of Economic Growth, Innovation and Now Circularity

(presented in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the National Zero Waste Council Canada)

Urbanization is happening around the world and it is happening fast. According to a United Nations report on this trend, 66% of the world’s population will be living in urban areas by 2050. With this shift metropolitan regions will clearly be the epicenters of economic growth and innovation in the 21st century. The advantage of population density, plus the fertile environment for innovation that cities foster also makes them an ideal testing ground for the application of circular economy principles and approaches. So, how can a circular lens help address urban challenges? Who are the pioneers? And what are some early lessons learned? Expect a thought-provoking session tackling some of the biggest questions businesses and governments will need to answer in the years ahead, featuring pioneers from the Ellen MacArthur Circular Cities Network.

NASA's Sustainability Base

Envisioning the move to circular cities will be a part of the afternoon session.

Register Today

The shift to zero waste and circular economy principles will have impacts in all aspect of our lives. To succeed in the face of this massive, fast-approaching change, you need to stay informed. Metro Vancouver’s 2017 Zero Waste Conference is the place to get the insights you can use to adapt. This year’s theme is A Circular Economy Within Reach. The conference will be held on November 1, 2017 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Subscribe to this blog (sign up window at right) and stay up to date as we finalize an exciting list of speakers, panels, and presentations. You’ll also reap the benefits of previous conferences as we continue to share the highlights from last year’s event.  Metro Vancouver’s 2017 Zero Waste Conference is an event you don’t want to miss. We look forward to seeing you! Register Now

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