Circularity 20: Circular Economy Conference will take place on May 18-20, 2020 at the May 18 – 20, 2020 at the InterContinental Buckhead in Atlanta, Georgia. This is the largest circular economy conference in the United States. Join 1,000+ thought leaders and practitioners to accelerate the circular economy. Rates Increase Feb. 28. Types: Design & Materials, Next-Gen Packaging, Business Model Innovation.
- Business Model Innovation
- Design & Materials
- Food & Water Systems
- Logistics & Infrastructure
- Next-Gen Packaging
- Stakeholders & Storytelling
- Jay Bolus, President, MBDC
- Audrey Choi, Chief Marketing Officer & Chief Sustainability Officer, Morgan Stanley
- Mark Costa, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Eastman
- Deborah Dull, Product Leader, GE Digital
- Brendan Edgerton, Director of Circular Economy, World Business Council for Sustainable Development
- Susannah Enkema, VP Research & Insights, Shelton Group, Inc.
- James George, Network Engagement Lead, Ellen MacArthur Foundation
- Nina Goodrich, Director, Sustainable Packaging Coalition
- Lauren Heine, Director of Safer Materials & Data Integrity, ChemForward, Senior Science Advisor, Northwest Green Chemistry
- John Holm, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, PYXERA Global
- John Anderson Lanier, Executive Director, Ray C. Anderson Foundation
- Vivien Luk, Executive Director, Work
- Joel Makower, Chairman & Executive Editor, GreenBiz Group
- Lauren Phipps, Director & Senior Analyst, Circular Economy, GreenBiz Group
- Stephanie Potter, Senior Director, Sustainability and Circular Economy, US Chamber of Commerce Foundation
- Christina Raab, Vice President, Strategy & Development, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute
- Beth Rattner, Executive Director, Biomimicry Institute
- Pam Romano Walker, Senior Business Development Manager, UL
- Suzanne Shelton, President & CEO, Shelton Group
- Katrina Shum, Sustainability Officer, North America, Lush
- Meghan Stasz, VP, Packaging and Sustainability, Consumer Brands Association
How can biomimicry drive innovation, and which team will win the 2020 Ray of Hope Prize?
Biomimicry, the design and production of materials, structures and systems that are modeled on biological strategies and processes, accelerates breakthroughs we need to achieve a circular economy. The Ray of Hope Prize competition was created by the Biomimicry Institute, in partnership with the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, to support nature-inspired entrepreneurs as they take their biomimicry startups to market, deploying the circular, regenerative solutions we need right now.
Nearly 200 startups from 42 countries around the world entered the 2020 competition in hopes of being selected as the top up-and-coming business that is applying lessons learned from nature to solve for climate change and sustainability challenges. Ten of these startup teams will take the stage at Circularity 20 to find out who will win the prestigious $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize, sponsored by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. The Ray C. Anderson Foundation also will award a $25,000 Runner-Up Prize and $25,000 in additional prizes. In addition to the prizes, the 10 finalists will take part in fundraising and pitch workshops and share their innovation with investors that can help accelerate their business.
How Capital Markets Can Support a More Sustainable Plastics Economy
How can the capital markets and major financial institutions help corporates, governments and investors tackle global plastic waste?
In many ways we all benefit from the innovative products and services that plastics enable throughout our lives, from our smartphones and office computers, to the transit systems that get us to work, and vital diagnostic and medical equipment. Yet, as we discard 300 million metric tons of plastic waste every year, we struggle to find scalable, economically effective and environmentally conscious ways to reengineer and recycle plastic material, so that we can enjoy its beneficial qualities while reducing the negative effects of plastic waste.
In 2019, Morgan Stanley launched its Plastic Waste Resolution, pledging to facilitate the prevention, reduction and removal of 50 million metric tons of plastic waste in rivers, oceans, landscapes and landfills by 2030. It was a newsworthy commitment — the first of its kind from a major financial institution. But why Morgan Stanley? As a financial services firm, we don’t produce, or even consume, that much single-use plastic (although we’re certainly working to eliminate it from our offices). The answer is simple: Tackling the global plastic waste problem must be done in a systemic way, across the plastics value chain, from industrial design to consumer use to recycling infrastructure. That means leveraging the capital markets and sophisticated problem-solving to innovate, incubate and scale solutions. Reflecting on the first year of Morgan Stanley’s Plastic Waste Resolution, how have we partnered with corporates, investors, government and academia on solutions to the global plastic waste problem? In what ways are financial tools such as green, blue and sustainability bonds, structured products, investment funds, research funding and corporate engagement helping to establish a more sustainable plastics economy?
A Conversation about Chemical Recycling
What will it take to scale chemical recycling technologies?
There’s been a growing buzz around chemical recycling, and the promise of transformational technologies that can close gaps in the current recycling system. This conversation will begin to break down the chemical recycling landscape, considering systemic implications, appropriate applications and an exploration of what it will take to get to scale.
WORKSHOPS & TUTORIALS
Foundations of the Circular Economy
What are the foundational blocks of the circular economy, and how can they help drive opportunity and innovation?
This half-day tutorial will provide the basics of the circular economy, from theory to action, from guiding principles to case studies spanning products, business models and system-level innovations. Much of the work in the circular economy to date has centered on deep analysis of the broader economic opportunity. This session will help translate the theory into practical opportunities for colleagues working in various functions within an organization and value chain.
Measuring Circularity: Using CTI to Quantify & Track Progress
How can business-level metrics help accelerate and communicate the impact of a circular transition in your business?
Circular initiatives can transform business operations and models, but measuring their impact and communicating them succinctly across industry and value chain can prove challenging. Using metrics established across diverse materials, sectors and technologies, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development has published its Circularity Transition Indicators (CTI). Developed by business for business, CTI is simple, comprehensive and flexible, providing a common language for businesses to measure and communicate circularity, identify circular opportunities and strategize circular priorities.
This interactive, half-day training will provide an introduction to the CTI framework and its complimentary online tool, unlocking the resources needed to measure circular performance.
Designing Best-of-Class Circular Partnerships
How can companies navigate internal and external roadblocks in order to unlock circular advancement?
Fueled by consumer activism and investor demand, the transition from a linear to a circular economy is disrupting how the private sector conventionally positions its sustainability agenda. Traditionally siloed in a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR), the infusion of circular economy into sustainability has provided companies a platform to unlock financial value and demonstrate ROI, while appealing to a broad range of diverse stakeholders. For many companies, however, the rapid shift to a circular platform is causing tension in how a company prioritizes, partners and communicates sustainability and circular economy initiatives both internally and externally.
To ensure that companies are aligned on their sustainability, shared value and philanthropic initiatives, this session will help attendees to:
Understand how to identify and overcome internal barriers that prohibit progress on circular economy goals.
Unlock insights into the internal silos around sustainability/corporate responsibility that exist in the corporate space that stifle innovation, grow distrust and potentially can cause financial harm to the company.
Learn best practices on integrating circular economy initiatives into the corporate ecosystem to drive internal alignment, innovation and external partnerships.
Uncover internal corporate value chain biases (Finance, Sustainability, CSR and Corporate Foundation)
Capture key insights on successful corporate and nonprofit circular partnerships.
Unpacking Packaging: The Nuances of Material Health
How can businesses balance public perception, circular advancement and regulatory compliance when selecting materials?
The safety of the chemicals used in packaging is an increasingly pressing concern for consumers, brands and retailers. This workshop addresses the essentials on this topic, starting with public perceptions of material health in packaging, and how consumers are pushing companies toward action. Next, we’ll cover key regulatory requirements related to chemicals in packaging, and discuss how companies can go above and beyond. We’ll discuss the importance of material health throughout the lifecycle of the package, and how it’s relevant in the context of a circular economy. Finally, we’ll learn about strategies and tools companies can use to select safer alternatives and better manage chemicals in the supply chain.
Engaging Middle America in Recycling Solutions
How can brands, NGO’s and municipalities partner with consumers to put their materials in the right places?
Last year Shelton Group fielded an eye-opening study to gauge consumer awareness about the plastic waste crisis and expectations of brands and policymakers for solving the problem. Now the firm has fielded a follow-up study to dig into consumer understanding of the struggling recycling system and its impacts on behavior.
What are Americans feeling and doing now that curbside recycling programs are shutting down, the volume of recyclables being landfilled (or burned) is being published and it’s becoming clear just how many items we’ve been putting in the recycling bin aren’t actually recyclable? What’s the impact on brands and consumers perceptions of a brand’s “convenience” promise? How can brands, NGO’s and municipalities partner with consumers to put their materials in the right places — and is that even possible or have consumers just given up? This session will answer all those questions and give attendees the opportunity to put themselves in the shoes of average consumers in a hands-on Life Game of materials disposal. Suzanne Shelton and Susannah Enkema of Shelton Group will lead and facilitate this revealing session.
From Product to Practice: Circular Innovation from the Ground Up
How can companies use circular product innovation to drive organizational transformation?
Companies with business models made for a traditional linear economy are facing the need to transform their models for a circular economy — all while continuing to fulfill current and evolving market and customer demands. Join this session to hear from leading companies about their journeys in optimizing a single product, and how it helped launch enterprise-wide changes in business strategy. Guided by Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute Vice President of Strategy and Business Development Christina Raab, this breakout will present practical case studies on how implementing and innovating for circular products can transform business practices — from supplier engagement, to materials innovation, process improvement, resource optimization and global business strategy.
How can biomimicry help design more circular products?
A perfectly circular system — one without waste, non-renewable inputs or inefficiencies — already exists in nature. Of course, it’s not that simple for humans. With capital flows on top of material flows, industry on top of ecosystems, our system isn’t quite as perfectly designed. But why start a design from scratch when you can borrow from 3.8 billion years of the earth’s nature-based problem-solving? Some designers and entrepreneurs are using the natural world as a guide to increase the circularity of design and the efficiency of product development.
Biomimicry, the practice of looking to nature for inspired ideas, can speed up the circular design process by borrowing from the elegance and efficiency of nature to solve complex human problems. This workshop will help designers and non-designers alike learn how to look to nature as a guide, ask the right questions and accelerate the design process for circular products.
Material Change: Selecting Better Materials for Circular Products
How can companies make better materials choices to more effectively design, source and manufacture circular products at scale?
When prioritizing the circularity of products, businesses face a daunting task: They must balance product performance, health and safety, regulatory compliance and cost, to name a few of the countless considerations — and frequent barriers. With an ever-increasing demand to deliver products to market with speed, effectively evaluating and prioritizing these attributes is a critical yet challenging hurtle.
This panel will help attendees learn how to weigh these considerations, select better materials and design more circular products. Evaluating resources from established circularity standards to emerging AI and predictive analytics tools, this session will help designers and non-designers alike assess the resources and best practices to effectively pursue circular products at scale.
The Case for Regional Circularity: Learning from the Great Lakes
What is the business case for establishing a regional circular economy, and how can companies learn from a successful case study in the Great Lakes Region to support their own initiatives?
A recent study found that circularity could unlock billions of dollars in revenue and save over 100 million tons of carbon dioxide in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence region, across three materials alone (steel, plastic and paper), according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) and Navigant Research. This research demonstrates the potential economic, environmental and social benefits for adopting a circular economy — and it can help others discover opportunities for growth and innovation as they translate circular opportunities into actions.
In this session, the USCCF will share the approach, specific findings and broader implications of this regional circular economy research, creating a clear business case for circular priorities and illustrating how companies and municipalities can leverage the findings in support of their own circular priorities.
Click here to register.