Sep 20, 2018 / by Jennifer Wesanko / In CE Leadership

MEDIA RELEASE: Major business, NGO leaders call for Canada to go waste-free

New coalition launches as plastics waste earns global concern and G7 attention

HALIFAX, September 20, 2018 – A national not for profit coalition including corporate and NGO leaders, think tanks, and sustainability experts has announced its goal to eliminate waste and accelerate the reduction of carbon emissions from the Canadian economy.

Launched as G7 ministers gather in Halifax to tackle plastics fouling the world’s waters, the Circular Economy Leadership Coalition (CELC) will work together to eliminate consumer and business waste while generating wealth and jobs for Canadians and regenerating damaged ecosystems. This requires a fundamental shift from the dominant “take, make, dispose” economy, which leans heavily on unsustainable resource extraction, to a Circular Economy in which:

  • Resource productivity is increased;
  • Items are designed to use less material, to last longer, to be repaired or to be reused;
  • Products may be offered as services instead;
  • Pollution and toxins are designed out of the system;
  • The little waste that is generated becomes a valuable input back into the system.

Founding members of the Circular Economy Leadership Coalition include:

  • Unilever Canada
  • IKEA Canada
  • Loblaw Companies Limited
  • Walmart Canada
  • NEI Investments LP
  • International Institute for Sustainable Development
  • National Zero Waste Council
  • Smart Prosperity Institute
  • The Natural Step Canada
  • Institut EDDEC – Environment, sustainable development and the circular economy

These organizations are inspired by the economic results found in other countries that have embraced and implemented Circular Economy principles. Working together, the Coalition has forged strong working relationships with international organizations, including the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Sitra (the Finnish Innovation Fund) in order to accelerate learning and action related to Circular Economy implementation. The CELC also notes Canada shows strong potential for GDP growth in transitioning to a circular economy that simultaneously would address environmental and resource-related issues frustrating federal and provincial governments.

The Coalition will play a key role in fostering collaboration among industries, experts, communities and all levels of government in the development and implementation of new circular economy solutions that protect and regenerate our natural environment while enhancing prosperity. This week, the Coalition signed the G7 Ocean Plastics Charter because marine plastic is a serious global problem that can only be solved through circular solutions. It believes fundamental change that designs waste out of the full plastics lifecycle, from manufacture to end use, will keep plastic in the economy and out of the environment. That’s the approach outlined in the Ocean Plastics Charter, and the CELC supports it.

Quotes

“Partnerships like the Circular Economy Leadership Coalition are driving the growing global momentum to reduce waste, including plastic pollution in our oceans, one of Canada’s top priorities under our G7 Presidency. We welcome CELC’s leadership and we look forward to working together to ensure a healthier and more prosperous future for our kids and grandkids.”
Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada

“The current models of production, distribution and disposal need a radical transformation to enable a smarter, more productive cycle of productivity to emerge, one that will reveal both the economic and environmental benefits currently being overlooked. The CELC can kickstart the critical mass of support needed across businesses, government and civil society to allow this economic transformation to occur.”
John D. Coyne, Co-chair, CELC, and Vice-President and General Counsel, UNILEVER Canada

“Efforts to achieve a circular economy unify the ideals of a global sustainability movement that understands the imperative of living within nature’s limits with the goal of business leaders and economists who seek resource efficiencies to maximize profits and shareholder value. This is an ‘all hands on deck’ opportunity that will require unprecedented levels of collaboration and innovation.”
David Hughes, Co-chair, CELC, and President & CEO, The Natural Step Canada

About the CELC
The Circular Economy Leadership Coalition (CELC) is a not-for-profit alliance of corporate and NGO leaders, think tanks and sustainability experts who believe Canada can be a world leader in adopting sustainable, prosperous, zero-waste, low-carbon-emitting solutions for a global circular economy. The coalition will play a key role in fostering collaboration among industries, experts, communities and all levels of government in the development and implementation of new circular economy solutions that protect and regenerate our natural environment while enhancing prosperity.

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Media contact
Jennifer Wesanko
604.347.5988
jenn@jennwesanko.com