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BLOG: The Circular Economy – Think differently and look at the $trillion opportunity

Date: Thursday, June 7, 2018 Date: Thursday, June 7, 2018 Time: 07:45 - 09:15 Location: Gusto, 16 Bothwell St, Glasgow G2 6NU

This is a past event

There is no question that the recent BBC Blue Planet series made people stop, reflect and take action! We are seeing activity weekly in the media of government and businesses’ reactions at both a policy and operational level around plastics consumption.

At our June breakfast we welcomed for the first time Alison McRae, Senior Director at Glasgow Chamber of Commerce where she is responsible for a portfolio of strategic partnerships – working across a range of organisations, which seek to innovate and anticipate new opportunities for Glasgow and its business community.

Alison opened with 3 questions around the circular economy:

  • What are we all doing?
  • What could we do differently?
  • What are we going to do differently by thinking differently?

Alison is currently facilitating a movement for change around circular economy principles in urban environments; working across her extensive networks of key stakeholders and senior influencers in Glasgow. In partnership with the Circle Economy in the Netherlands, Zero Waste Scotland and city stakeholders, the Chamber acts as facilitator and connector, engaging businesses in the city to look at ways to open up new revenue streams, increase competitive advantage and realise financial savings. Alison told us that the biggest impact would come from change in our cities, presumably because that’s where the majority of people live and work.

We were shown innovative case studies of how recycled products such as jeans, lighting and timber have been used in building projects. In one example an entire building was designed to be recycled at a later date – fascinating!

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Looking after our planet is something we all have a responsibility for. Managing plastic consumption out and making greater endeavours towards recycling are just two ways to help make a difference. Moving from a linear economy – which is all about ‘make, take, dispose’ – to a circular economy takes it to a much wider proposition and makes good business sense.

Alison went on to share her ideas to help make Glasgow more circular:

  • Collaboration of willing organisations
  • Learn from other cities
  • Make examples of products and services that everyone can relate to i.e. food and drink

As it turns out Glasgow is already doing a great deal more than most cities as demonstrated in some case studies from food and drink to leather production.

It was very clear by the end of the presentation that we all have our part to play however small. ‘Together we can make a difference’.

If you want to find out more, Glasgow Chamber offer a free consultancy service designed to help your business better understand the Circular Economy.

You can also visit for further details and case studies.

Next month ‘Motivational Dude’ aka Ross Anderson shares his ‘Mindful approach to business – practical health tips for the professional’. 5th July – Book Now