Dutch participation in Canadian conferences about circular economy

In November, the Dutch mission network in Canada participated in two Canadian conferences in relation to the circular economy. The Scaling-Up Conference took place in Ottawa on November 6 (2018), which focused on promoting the bio-economy in Canada. Following this, the National Zero Waste Conference took place in Vancouver from 8-9 November, and focused on how Canadian businesses, communities and governments can accelerate their transition towards a circular economy.

Scaling-Up Conference, Ottawa

During this conference there was a focus on different challenges and opportunities that Canadian companies that focus on the bio-economy encounter. Some examples of the topics that were discussed: Finding funding for projects, how to communicate about innovation, good examples that can be followed, government strategies on fighting climate change. At this moment Canada lags behind Europe and the U.S. when it comes to the bio-economy.

To illustrate the possibilities Henk Snoeken, CG Vancouver, led a panel discussion on international developments of the bio-economy and provided examples of (Dutch) government participation against climate change such as public-private investments and influencing consumer behavior. He also highlighted how the bio-economy is becoming more important worldwide. An important role can be played by governments by taking environment and climate into consideration on all policy domains and government decisions. Another role is laid out for by multinationals on a global level; by incorporating sustainability in their strategies, the various locations of multinationals can help lower the production of carbon-gasses worldwide.

The speakers and participants at this conference consisted mainly of company representatives and officials in the Canadian government who focus on clean energy, clean production and a sustainable future. Multiple speakers spoke in favor of a Canadian Carbon Tax. Prior to this conference it was announced that Canada is going to implement a revenue-neutral carbon tax starting in 2019. While most conference participants were in favor of it, it is a controversial issue in Canada right now. The government is planning to use the profits created by the carbon tax into clean energy projects. This is seen by bio-economists as a big step towards developing a sustainable economy.

National Zero Waste Conference, Vancouver

During this conference special attention was paid to the Oceans Plastics Charter. This G7-initiative aims for resource-efficient lifecycle management of plastics. During the recent visit of the Dutch Prime-Minister Mark Rutte to Ottawa, Netherlands announced its endorsement of this initiative.

Worth noting is that the Circular Economy Leadership Coalition was announced during this conference. This cooperation of the Canadian government and big companies such as Unilever Canada, Walmart and Ikea Canada, aims for Canada to be a world leader in achieving a circular economy.

CG Vancouver was one of the keynote speakers on transformational leadership in a circular economy. He shared his thoughts and experiences on the Zero Waste and Circular Economy initiatives such as the Holland Circular Hotspot.