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Knowledge Sessions 2017

Advancing the Circular Economy


Circular economy is becoming a widely-used term that provides an important platform beyond historical concepts of the 3Rs and waste reduction. It introduces resource efficiency that expands our collective thinking on how we produce and consume materials. Transitioning to a circular economy requires production and consumption shifts that can be furthered through policy development, market practices, and behavioural change.

RCO is pleased host and facilitate a new trio of Knowledge Sessions in 2017 that aim to educate and empower members, interested stakeholders and the public to better understand, support, and accelerate the transition from a linear model of take-make-dispose to a circular economy.

The series will inform participants on the theory of circular economy and how it is creating change around the globe. It will offer businesses, policymakers, and organizations innovative examples that outline ideas and opportunities how to leverage this emerging economic model. 

All Knowledge Sessions are full-day forums (lunch included) and at the Beanfield Centre in Toronto.



Session 2: Thursday, May 4, 2017
Procurement: Advancing the Circular Economy through Buying Power
Beyond Policy and into Practice

Leveraging buying power and sustainability-driven product or service specifications are direct and effective methods that drive circular economy outcomes. Commercial relationships can shift markets and drive greater innovation in product design and service offerings that are restorative and resource efficient.

There is also an on-going shift in consumption models that considers investing in service rather than product (purchasing light instead of light bulbs); sharing resources to maximize utilization (leasing floor cover instead of buying carpet); and incentivizing innovative partnership (ride sharing instead of car buying). These market responses demonstrate economic, social, and environmental gains while influencing how we buy and consume goods and services.

Specific to waste reduction, purchasing agreements that require suppliers and producers to extend their responsibility and provide consumers end-of-life product management options will lead to immediate market responses.

As part of the Waste-Free Ontario Act the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change released Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario: Building the Circular Economy, which includes government commitment to lead by example utilizing sustainable procurement to drive waste reduction outcomes.

Recycling Council of Ontario is committed to Ontario’s transition to a circular economy, and is pleased to host a one-day forum that spotlights supply chain efficiency, procurement, and buying power as pivotal instruments to achieving it.


Mathy Stanislaus

In September 2016 the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report for a G7 Alliance – Advancing Resource Efficiency and the Supply Chain (PDF) – that highlights abilities for private and public organizations to stimulate the development of products and services that are more resource efficient over their lifecycles. 

Joining us to elaborate on this report is Mathy Stanislaus, Senior Advisor, Accelerating Circular Economy Policy, World Economic Forum; and former Assistant Administrator in EPA's Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM).

Mr. Stanislaus will discuss how we can take immediate action to support greater circularity in Ontario’s production and consumption behaviours.  Mr. Stanislaus began work as Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) after being confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 8, 2009, and responsibilities included leading EPA programs on hazardous and solid waste management, and hazardous waste cleanup. Mr. Stanislaus has also been an advisor to other federal government agencies, Congress, and the United Nations on a variety of environmental issues.

Dr. Mervyn Jones

Dr. Mervyn Jones is an independent sustainable procurement specialist who has provided technical support on the development and implementation of the 10YFP: Sustainable Public Procurement Programme a global framework of action to enhance international cooperation to accelerate the shift towards sustainable consumption and production (SCP) in developed and developing countries.  

He has also contributed to the EU LIFE REBus, a pioneering and testing a methodology that enables companies to transform their strategies to profitable, resilient, and more resource efficient business models (REBMs); and European Clothing Action Plan, which helps public procurers reach their environmental goals by using their buying power to stimulate a circular approach to workwear, and focuses on the clothing supply chain specifically to reduce waste and bring about effective waste recovery.

He previously worked for WRAP, where he led the Construction Waste Prevention programme, Sustainable Procurement, Manufacturing, and Products & Materials Programmes; and has a proven and independently audited track record in initiating and delivering projects that have demonstrated the business case for adopting and embedding more sustainable procurement policies and criteria into tenders and contracts.      

Other topics to be explored: 

  • Leveraging environmental and economic gains through buying power  
  • What governments are and could be doing 
  • Role of the private sector and collective buying groups 
  • Product and service providers shifting business models to respond
  • Tools and resources to help define and score performance to ensure environmental and social benefits and economic costs are at par
  • Champions: case studies that bring concepts to life

RCO Member Rate: $300

Non-Member Rate (early bird to April 20): $375
Non-Member Rate (April 21 - May 2): $425

Add to your calendar: Thursday, May 4, 2017

Session 3: Thursday, June 8, 2017
Accelerating Circular Economic Behaviour and Waste Reduction in the
IC&I Sector

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and Statistics Canada are consistent in reporting that Ontario’s waste diversion rate in the IC&I sector remains at a low 25 per cent. There are significant differences and various factors that contribute to the performance disparity between municipal and IC&I collection, including recycling and composting programs procured on a fee for service basis paid for on a building or portfolio basis that challenges economies of scale and costing structures. Coupled with a lack of regulated performance standards and reporting requirements there is limited means to motivate improvement.

In spring 2016 RCO convened an Advisory Committee representative of the diverse IC&I sector to inform a strategy and set of resources intended to advance the circular economy and improve waste reduction performance. Discussions from the committee inform the basis of this session.   

Topics to be explored:  

  • State of affairs for tracking and reporting performance, improving accuracy and transparency  
  • Barriers and opportunities to improve organics management
  • Linking procurement of goods and services with waste reduction objectives
  • Product and service providers shifting business models to respond
  • Role of the private sector and collective buying groups

RCO Member Rate: $300

Non-Member Rate (early bird to May 25, 2017): $375
Non-Member Rate (May 26 - June 6): $425

Add to your calendar: Thursday, June 8, 2017 

Session 1: Thursday, March 2, 2017
Implementing the Waste-Free Ontario Act
Supporting the Introduction of Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority

Event Recap 


Knowledge Sessions sponsorship is a prime opportunity for organizations to showcase your commitment to advancing Ontario’s circular economy with a diverse and rotating set of influential industry and government stakeholders. By partnering with an environmental non-governmental organization that offers collaborative opportunities organizations demonstrate a keen understanding and commitment to sharing best practices and waste reduction solutions. Contact us for more.



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