Virtual event tells businesses: ‘Circular economy is essential to Glasgow’s COVID recovery’

Alison McRae, senior director at Glasgow Chamber of Commerce

AS cities across the world are working towards a new normality post-COVID lockdown, a virtual event will look at the ways in which the circular economy plays an essential role in Glasgow’s recovery, with learnings from other international cities.

Get Inspired 2020:The Future is Circular, hosted by Circular Glasgow, will welcome a number of keynote speakers to discuss their experiences of implementing and converting to circular practices that have benefited their business in terms of economic growth, job creation, and innovative sustainable solutions.

During the pandemic, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind about their role as a global citizen, what that meant and how they should play their part. Circular Glasgow, hosted by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, supported by Zero Waste Scotland and funded through the European Regional Development Fund, is hoping to capitalise on this feeling of unity to encourage businesses to consider adopting circular practices which will not only influence the climate change agenda but also improve business opportunities, safeguarding their future and finances.

As Glasgow and the rest of the UK enters unprecedented times of unemployment as well as having to adapt business models and to new markets, the benefits linked to circular business models cannot be overlooked as Glasgow begins to recover from reduced economic activity.

Job creation, stimulating innovation and competition, and securing the supply of raw materials are all cited as beneficial factors of a circular economy and ones which would no doubt aid Glasgow in its post-Covid recovery.

Business-led circular, innovative strategies are in direct challenge to the ‘take-make-waste’ mentality of the linear economy. It is clear that the current linear systems will not support solutions to our global challenges and the circular economy presents a fundamental economic model shift, which means rethinking and transforming full value chains to create waste-less and restorative systems. It is thought that there is £4.5 trillion of business value to be unlocked globally by 2030 by embracing these circular systems.

The Get Inspired 2020 event which will run from Monday 21st – Thursday 24th September 2020 will focus on four key sectors, hearing from experts and thought-leaders in each of the following: food and drink, construction, manufacturing and events & conferences.

Webinars will be held each day as speakers from organisations including Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Zero Waste Scotland and Circle Economy, as well as a number of businesses based in Glasgow including DF Concerts, HFD Property Group, Eusebi’s Deli & Restaurant and Scottish Leather Group, share their insights and learnings on ways to adopt innovative, business led circular strategies.

Alison McRae, senior director at Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “The pandemic crisis has forced through a speed of adaptability that previously we might not have seen. As we move towards recovery and also start to address the climate change crisis, we know that businesses can adapt and find innovative ways to future-proof their operations. And through this thinking, businesses can embrace the financial and competitive opportunities to be found within circular principles.

 “Glasgow has already nailed its colours to the mast, setting possibly one of the most challenging targets globally for a city: to be net zero by 2030. COP26 next year will assert a punctuation point in this timeline and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce will continue to advocate the benefits of moving to a circular economy to assist with this ambition.

“We look forward to welcoming businesses from Glasgow and throughout Scotland to our first virtual Get Inspired event.”

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