Adrian Matthews and Zoe Antrobus
Around 25 professionals gathered for Wales' first global online festival last week dedicated to bringing together the circular economy community from across South West Wales. The event helped organisations understand the theory and application behind the concept of the circular economy.
EFT Consult, a specialist in building services design consultancy and the implementation of the principles of the circular economy, officially launched the Circular Economy Club in Swansea on 14 November 2018 with the support of 4theRegion - a new regional engagement project for South West Wales.
Held at the new Construction Wales Innovation Centre at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Waterfront Campus in SA1, the event brought together professionals and businesses interested in sustainability, the bio-based economy, the built environment, valorisation of waste, and the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.
The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 is thought to be the first act of its type in the world that puts the well-being of people, resources and the planet at the heart of policy, key-decision-making and shared resource-values.
As part of the event, attendees were shown a number of inspiring short films curated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and discussed the progress the region is making towards implementing a circular economy strategy for future generations to benefit from now and in the future.
The circular economy is an alternative to the current linear model of take, make, waste. It is designed to help organisations be more prudent with their use of resources – to reuse, recycle, regenerate, and care for the well-being of people, resources and the planet.
The Circular Economy Club (CEC) is a non-profit international network of over 2,600 circular economy professionals and organisations in over 60 countries. The CEC is headquartered in London, coordinated by volunteers.
EFT Consult, is the official organiser of the Circular Economy Club in the city and county of Swansea, reflecting the company’s determination to help the regional economy become more circular and sustainable for generations to come.
Through its work with companies and organisations in the built environment across Wales and beyond, EFT deploys circular economy principles to help building owners and managers manage, maintain and renovate their facilities in line with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.
Dave Kieft, managing director of EFT Consult, said: “Circular economy practices are not only beneficial to people and the environment, but offer cost-savings and efficiencies for all businesses and organisations in our region, as well as aligning them with the law in terms of the Well-being of Future Generations Act.
"It is an economic, social and environmental ‘no-brainer’ that we move our economy towards a circular model, which is why we have formed the Swansea Circular Economy Club and intend to play our part in encouraging everyone to take the principles on board.”
Adrian Matthews, circular economy consultant at EFT, added: “The beauty of the circular economy model is that it serves the wellbeing of everyone in a sustainable way. Businesses can grow and be environmentally responsible, in a way that also helps to regenerate businesses and the economy - through circular economy and well-being principles, through local sourcing, and through the use sustainable materials, products and services.”
Dawn Lyle, founder of 4theRegion, who facilitated the event, said: “We see the move towards a circular economy as a fundamental part of how our regional economy develops over the next few years. There are great rewards at stake for businesses and regions prepared to lead the way in embracing circular economy principles. That’s the message, and that’s why we’re so keen to make sure everyone knows what the Circular Economy means and is engaged in the challenge.”
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