EDAS / SUII Learning Seminar: Practical Benefits of the Circular Economy

Friday 17th March

Scottish Universities Insight Institute

University of Strathclyde, Collins Building, 22 Richmond Street, Glasgow

2.00pm – 4.30pm

Refreshments provided

£25 + VAT EDAS Member / £50 + VAT Non-Members [Join to gain member rate]

Book your place today!



Today's linear ‘take, make, dispose’ economic model...is reaching its physical limits. A circular economy is an attractive and viable alternative that businesses have already started exploring today. 

Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

A more circular economy, where we make things last, is an economic, environmental and moral necessity. It will help conserve our finite resources, help support jobs in our communities and improve our quality of life. It just makes good sense. 

Richard Lochhead MSP, former Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment: Making Things Last - A Circular Economy Strategy for Scotland.


What is the “circular economy”, and how does this approach produce organisational efficiencies, cost savings, business opportunities and job creation? How might better processes and use of resources be utilised by public, private and third sector organisations to create a more sustainable and resilient economy for Scotland? Find out more at this unique event by the Scottish Universities Insight Institute and Economic Development Association Scotland!

Hear from expert researchers and best practice case studies at this learning seminar to gain a better understanding of the  benefits of the circular economy and practical information for your work and organisation.

Presentations will be followed by interactive group-based discussion between attendees to exchange knowledge and insight on this topic, as well as to share feedback on what more can be done to help the public, private and third sectors take advantage of circular economy practices.

This unique learning opportunity will be useful to businesses, consultancies, non-profit organisations, local and national government, public bodies, higher and educational institutions, and any other organisation which can benefit from circular economy practices or offers advice and support in this area.

Book your place today!



Donald Jarvie (Event Chair): Chair, Lead Scotland; Board Member, EDAS; Former Head, Scotland's Futures Forum

Dr Richard Lord, Director of Knowledge Exchange & Senior Lecturer in Engineering Geoscience, University of Strathclyde

Fiona Deans: Impact Manager, Research & Knowledge Exchange Services, University of Strathclyde

Louise McGregor, Head of Circular Economy, Zero Waste Scotland

Martin Valenti: Head of Strategic Initiatives, Scottish Environment Protection Agency

Geoff Leask: Chief Executive, Young Enterprise Scotland

Lucy Morrison: Digital Content and Programme Executive, Young Enterprise Scotland




14:00 Arrival, networking and refreshments

14:15: Introduction and Overview

14:20 SUII Resarch Programme: Fostering Collaboration and Innovation to Drive the Circular Economy

14:40 Audience Q&A 

14:50 ZWS: How the Circular Economy is Stimulating Economic Development Opportunities across Scotland

15:05 SEPA’s One Planet Prosperity Regulatory Strategy and How Organisations Across Sectors Can Benefit 

15:20 Young Enterprise Scotland: Educating the Next Generation in Circular Economy Practices

15:30 Audience Q&A 

15:45 Interactive Group Discussion and Feedback

16:05 Networking

16:30 Close



Introduction and Overview

An Introduction to the session will be given by Donald Jarvie. Donald chairs Lead Scotland, a charity that links education and disability. He also chairs “The Growth Partnership”, an organisation that promotes social preventative spend in a circular manner. He is a non- Executive Director of EDAS.

Donald is also the former Head of Scotland’s Futures Forum. SFF was created by the Scottish Parliament to help its Members, along with policymakers, businesses, academics, and the wider community of Scotland, look beyond immediate horizons, to some of the challenges and opportunities we will face in the future.


Fostering collaboration and innovation to drive the circular economy in the Scottish bio-economy

Fiona Deans, Impact Manager, Research & Knowledge Exchange Services, University of Strathclyde

Dr Richard Lord, Director of Knowledge Exchange & Senior Lecturer in Engineering Geoscience, University of Strathclyde

This talk will present cutting-edge findings from a collaborative research project supported by the Scottish Universities Insight Institute. The initiative brought together circular economy experts from the University of St Andrews, University of Strathclyde, University of Edinburgh, and the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC).

This programme aimed to establish a Scottish network with broad participation from industry, government and the third sector to identify technologies and knowledge that can help Scotland progress towards a zero waste and circular economy. Engaging a wide range of businesses as a priority, the project investigated the problems organisations face in becoming part of the circular economy, be these technical, financial or managerial. It also looked at best practices from other countries in the move to a circular economy, such as Sweden and the Netherlands. A talk not to be missed! 


How the Circular Economy is Stimulating Economic Development Opportunities Across Scotland

Louise McGregor, Head of Circular Economy, Zero Waste Scotland

Zero Waste Scotland will present its work to stimulate economic development opportunities across Scotland by engaging with businesses, trade bodies and regional organisations to identify and implement circular economy approaches across a number of key strategic sectors.

From this work ZWS has a number of interesting case studies that demonstrate the potential benefits of this approach that the organisations would like to share with the wider economic development community.


SEPA’s One Planet Prosperity strategy and practical benefits of a circular economy approach

Martin Valenti, Head of Strategic Initiatives, Scottish Environment Protection Agency

The most successful countries in the 21st century will be resource efficient, circular economies, which do not produce significant quantities of waste. A circular economy keeps materials in use for as long as possible and extracts maximum value from them.

SEPA’s innovative “One Planet Prosperity” regulatory strategy outlines how organisations in the public, private and third sectors can benefit from the shift to a circular economy. It contains as a core aim “the essential task of helping regulated businesses to reduce water use, carbon-based energy use, materials use and all forms of waste and pollution beyond compliance standards in ways that improve their profitability and long-term viability”. Martin Valenti will explain how this can be done, including by utilising collaboration and innovation, and will share knowledge of best practice to date.


Young Enterprise Scotland: educating the next generation in circular economy practices

Geoff Leask, Chief Executive & Lucy Morrison, Digital Content and Programme Executive, Young Enterprise Scotland

Geoff and Lucy from Young Enterprise Scotland will introduce the creation of an educational programme for schools to teach pupils the importance and benefits of a circular economy. Developed with a range of key partners, the talk will show how collaboration can be used to promote circular economy practices in a range of contexts. The presentation will also provide valuable lessons for universities, colleges, schools, businesses and other organisations on how practical understanding of the circular economy can be strategically embedded. About the programme, Young Enterprise Scotland stated:

Our Circular Economy Programme (offical name tbc) focuses on gauging the level of understanding already held by the participating pupils and building on this prior knowledge. There is an effort to make a clear distinction between recycling, upcycling and creating a circular economy.

Throughout the programme we introduce some previously unheard of ideas which eliminate waste and ask participants to reflect on what this means for the economy and for consumers themselves.

Additionally, we highlight that we ourselves have put a circular economy into practice through our group of social enterprises at our head office - this then encourages the participants to identify what the circular economy is in a more practical sense.

Our efforts to create this programme is in line with [work by] Zero Waste Scotland and we are excited to see how this will develop before it launches - predicted as 2018.

Book your place today!

Image source: www.energenz.com