Shelagh Kerr – Zero Waste Conference 2016

ZWC 2016 Reuse and Repair_Shelagh Kerr from Metro Vancouver on Vimeo.

Every year the Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Conference features compelling keynote speakers, panels, and armchair discussions – sharing their insights regarding zero waste and the circular economy. In this video highlight from the 2016 conference, Kerr outlines the current environment for electronics product recycling and reuse, highlighting the opportunities, stumbling blocks, and factors impacting repair and reuse of the ubiquitous electronic devices that can be found in throughout society.

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ZWC 2016 Keynote Speakers Offer Visions of Tomorrow and Solutions for Today

Neri OxmanMetro Vancouver’s 2016 Zero Waste Conference will begin the day with the big ideas of Neri Oxman. The event wraps up with Owen Zachariasse’s successes putting cradle-to-cradle principles into practice. These two speakers are emblematic of the conference itself. Inspiring ideas and real world solutions meet at ZWC 2016, where long-term visions of a zero waste future share the spotlight with ways of starting that process in the present.

Oxman is a ground-breaking designer and architect at M.I.T.’s Media Lab, where her work in ‘material ecology’ merges the latest technology with the timeless design efficiencies found in Nature.

oxman-carpal-skinThe results are objects that very nearly defy description, such as ‘Carpal Skin’, a prototype for a protective glove to protect against Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The resulting synthesis of natural designs and modern materials is a look ahead to one of the fundamental questions posed by adherents to the zero waste approach: what can we learn from nature when designing products for a circular economy?

Neri Oxman will be the opening keynote speaker at ZWC 2016, with her presentation ‘Design by nature, revolutionary innovation at the edge’


owenzachariasseOwen Zachariasse began his career in real estate development within the construction industry at age 19, managing the production crews of single-family homes before moving into the financial department at age 21. Today he is one of the principals at Zachariasse Consulting, bringing Cradle-to-Cradle® principles into play in the area of real estate development for projects such as Park 20|20 – the first full service Cradle to Cradle® inspired working environment in the Netherlands.

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-2-58-17-pmPark 20|20’s human-centred design features monumental buildings of glass and steel combined with ergonomics, state of the art installation techniques and integrated landscaping to create a working environment which is both inspiring and user friendly. The design strategy has attracted high-profile tenants such as the FIFA Professional Football Players Association, who have made Park 20|20 the home of their international headquarters.

Owen Zachariasse will be the closing keynote speaker at ZWC 2016 with his presentation ‘Circular Innovation and Business Leadership in the Netherlands’


Thought-provoking experiments. Real world examples. The Metro Vancouver 2016 Zero Waste Conference offers both. Whether you’re looking for practical ways to enhance sustainability in your organization today, or creative visions for the future opportunities of the circular economy, mark Nov. 3 on your calendar and register for an inspiring day exploring the shift to a zero waste world.

ZWC 2016 Educates with Innovation, Inspiration, and Marketplace Success

Big Ideas. Groundbreaking innovations. Cutting-edge solutions. Metro Vancouver’s annual Zero Waste Conference has gained a reputation for delivering invaluable perspectives on all three. The one-day conference’s well-deserved reputation for impacting policies and practices is due in large part to its track record of showcasing real world successes in the shift towards the circular economy and a zero waste world. This year’s edition promises to continue that tradition.

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#ZWC 2015 – 2015 Conference Delivers Insights into a Future Without Waste


Chris Diplock of Ponder Research addresses the audience during a panel on the sharing economy

Global Expertise Delivers Optimistic Plan for Zero Waste World

An enthusiastic audience of more than 500 delegates gathered at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre for Metro Vancouver’s 5th annual Zero Waste Conference held on Thursday, Oct 29th, 2015.  Presenters from around the globe delivered key insights into zero waste principles and the circular economy – offering a promising vision for the economy and environment.

For the first time, a satellite conference was hosted in Toronto, by the city of Toronto’s Long Term Waste Management Strategy, held in conjunction with the Metro Vancouver event. Delegates were able to participate via a two-way livestream of the events. Zero Waste Conference participants included ‘start-ups’, major corporations, and government. The presenters were equally diverse, ranging from big picture visionaries to leading edge entrepreneurs who are already embracing zero waste ambitions.

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#ZWC 2015 – Stefan Sjöstrand and IKEA Canada’s Planet & People Positive Vision

IKEA Canada President Stefan Sjöstrand

Innovation and efficiency have been at the heart of IKEA’s business model since the company was founded in 1943. Now they are taking a similar approach to zero waste challenges throughout their supply chain, energy self-sufficiency across their stores and helping their customers live a more sustainable life at home. This has made them a global leader in sustainable business. Stefan Sjöstrand, president of IKEA Canada, explains how their People & Planet Positive strategy is backed by concrete action, employee support, supplier partnerships, and customer buy-in. Ready to assemble your own action plan? Our closing keynote promises to deliver tools and ideas to get you inspired. No allen key required.

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William McDonough named Keynote Speaker for 2015 Zero Waste Conference

William-McDonough_headshot_formal-200x300In the world of zero waste, the circular economy, and sustainable design, few people can match William McDonough’s accomplishments. We are proud to announce he will be the keynote speaker for the 2015 edition of Metro Vancouver’s  Zero Waste Conference.

Renowned as an architect, advisor, designer, and author, McDonough is widely considered one of the world’s leading thinkers on the topic of sustainability. Along with Michael Braungart, McDonough created the Cradle to Cradle product certification program in 2002, recognized globally as an effective framework for assessing the environmental impact of consumer products. In 1996, McDonough received the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, and in 2003 he earned the first U.S. EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for his work with Shaw Industries. In 2004, he received the National Design Award for exemplary achievement in the field of environmental design. He is currently serving as the Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Meta-Council on Circular Economy.

McDonough’s sustainable architectural design work includes NASA’s Sustainability Base, the Ford Rouge truck plant in Dearborn, Michigan, the Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies at Oberlin College and most recently, the LEED Platinum Hero Motorcycles ‘garden’ factory in India.

NASA's Sustainability Base

NASA’s Sustainability Base

He is the co-author of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things and  The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability–Designing for Abundance (both with Michael Braungart) and promotes the cradle to cradle approach to a global audience ranging from TED talks to the political business leaders of the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland.

In a wide-ranging interview from 2014 with the online design journal Inhabit, McDonough explains how Cradle to Cradle works:

“Cradle to Cradle products Certification goes beyond the definition of a rating system or a binary pass/fail seal of approval. Cradle to Cradle is a process for managing the total quality of a product and an engine for business innovation, taking into consideration not only environmental impact but also safety, health and social responsibility. The certification is a continuous and rigorous process, and participating companies hope to move their Basic (CCPC certification level) products toward the achievement of Gold, Silver, or Platinum (levels). No single company product has yet achieved Platinum. Certification takes into account five dimensions: materials as nutrients for safe continuous cycling; development of systems to safely close the loop on our biological and technical nutrients; power all operations with 100% renewable energy; regard water as a precious resource; and finally respect for all people and natural systems.”

upcycle book coverThis holistic and ambitious approach to zero waste principles is a big reason why McDonough is in high demand to help governments and industry improve their environmental performance. His participation in the 2015 Zero Waste Conference promises to inspire and educate. If you are interested in understanding where we need to go and how to get there – to realize the potential for a truly circular economy and a thriving planet, you don’t want to miss this rare opportunity to hear William McDonough speak about his vision for an abundant, healthy world.

Stay up to date with all the speaker announcements and ZWC 2015 news by subscribing to our blog (top right corner). As we lead up to the conference we’ll keep you up-to-date as the program and participants are finalized.