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City of Campbell River signs on as regional partner in Circular Economy project

Island businesses invited to sign up for Circular Economy Accelerator
A circular economy would reduce the amount of waste that goes into the landfill. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror

The City of Campbell River is on board with a new circular economy accelerator program for Vancouver Island.

A new program launched by the Vancouver Island Coast Economic Developers Association (VICEDA) and the Synergy Foundation has been set up to help local businesses transition to the green economy and increase sustainability for the Island.

The City of Campbell River has signed on as a regional partner.

According to a press release, the program is “the first of its kind in Canada” and “is designed to support businesses who seek to adopt circular economy principles, reduce waste and emissions, and develop innovative practices while increasing revenue and reducing operational costs.”

Circular economies are economic systems that eliminate pollution and waste. They do this by retaining resources and goods within the system by reusing, repairing, redistributing, reconditioning and recycling goods. The goal is to power all of these processes using renewable energy.

“The Accelerator program will foster innovation, stewardship, and collaboration within our business community, providing the hands-on support they need to adopt innovative circular practices. The transition to a circular economy will secure a vibrant, resilient, and prosperous future that will allow our community and environment to thrive,” said Amrit Manhas, Economic Development Officer, City of Nanaimo, which is another regional partner.

The project’s principles have been “integral to traditional ways of life for Indigenous Peoples since time immemorial” and are more in line with natural processes than our current “take-make-waste” model, the press release says. Transitioning to the circular economy would reduce emissions, waste and virgin resources, while enabling affordable lifestyles and green job creation.

The program is open to 16 businesses located north of the Malahat. For a $500 participation cost, they will have be able to:

- Complete an on-site assessment with a circular advisor to identify circular solutions for their operations,

- Receive a report outlining key opportunities to reduce waste, energy use, and emissions,

- Attend facilitated industry-specific workshops to explore circular economy best practices and

strengthen industry connections,

- Incorporate leading sustainability practices,

- Identify cost savings and value-add opportunities

- Receive a certificate of completion for the Circular Economy Accelerator Program

A business resource toolkit will also be available, which will include best practices, case studies, self-assessment tools and waste audit tools to help support other businesses seeking these solutions.

The applications will open July 19 and will be reviewed on a rolling basis until Aug. 31 or until all spots are filled. Businesses that are interested can attend a free webinar on July 20.

Businesses can apply to the program and register for the webinar here.

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