FEAD Biennial Conference on „Dynamic Potential of a Circular Economy“

Opening speach by David Palmer-Jones (Foto: FEAD)

Brussels — The biennial FEAD Conference was once again a success in terms of organisation, presentations and participation. The conference, held in London on 23 June 2015, was co-organised by FEAD’s UK member, ESA, and was attended by more than 100 participants from 17 different countries.

David Palmer-Jones, FEAD President, opened the FEAD Biennial Conference by stressing that moving towards a more circular economy in Europe will bring both environmental and economic advantages. “Improving the efficiency with which we use material resources is in all of our interests. Provided Circular Economy measures are framed sensibly, and in full consultation with all those involved in making it happen, they will be positive for jobs and growth, rather than negative”, he said.

The private waste and resource management industry can and should play a key role in the transition to a more circular economy. They have the skills and the experience to work with partners in the value chain, to reduce waste and recover materials and energy, and they have the capacity to invest for the future. Significantly, to make this transition successful, FEAD believes that four key ingredients need to be in place: investment by the private sector in more efficient FEAD Biennal Conference London 2015, resilient markets for secondary raw materials, stronger demand from within Europe for secondary raw materials (promoted as necessary by “pull” measures such as green public procurement), and free and fair competition in waste markets.

Sally Uren, Chief Executive of Forum for the Future, focused her keynote speech on how to unlock the dynamic potential of a circular economy. She underlined how patterns of the economy are changing and more sustainable solutions are emerging. The circular economy can change the current narrative. Sally Uren stressed that business models are still built to support linear supply chains; hence, a shift to value networks, which put a value on skills, knowledge and material assets, is necessary. Global actors need to make the market work better, for example by generating new solutions, becoming better systems thinkers, developing standards, focusing on the replicability of business models, increasing access to solutions and findings, and creating demand for sustainable products. Only in this way will it be possible to unlock the dynamic potential of a circular economy.

The three following session focussed on

  • Dynamic Measures for a Circular Economy,
  • Research, Innovation and Investment in a Circular Economy and
  • The Circular Economy in action

Session Three was followed by a Q&A session moderated by Roy Hathaway, Coordinator of the FEAD Executive Council.

The full Special Edition of the FEAD Bulletin containing the summary of all the presentations delivered at the conference can be found under FEAD Biennal Conference London 2015.

Source: European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services