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Six key business streams announced for Scotland’s Circular Economy Hotspot

Posted: 3rd August 2018

Leaders of innovative businesses operating in six of Scotland’s key business sectors, who will showcase their work to make our resources last and transform Scotland’s economy, are set to open their doors as part of a diverse visit programme for Circular Economy Hotspot Scotland, it was announced today (Friday 27 July 2018).

Circular Economy Hotspot Scotland is a prestigious, three-day international event set to take place in Glasgow, between the 30 October and 1 November 2018. Registration is now open.

The event is being delivered by Zero Waste Scotland in partnership with Circular Glasgow, an initiative delivered by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, funded by Zero Waste Scotland and backed by the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund.

The event will give delegates the opportunity to meet and hear from Scottish businesses and key partners, including some business site visits.  Delegates can choose one of six sector-themed ‘discovery tours’, and organisers urge those interested to book their conference ticket and register their place on the tour of their choice as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

The six discovery tours available for delegates to choose from are:

  • Plastic solutions in partnership with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), featuring projects seeking innovative alternatives to plastics and minimising their single use
  • Manufacturing in partnership with the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS), Scottish Enterprise, showing how Scotland’s manufacturers are “making things last” when it comes to resources
  • Construction in partnership with Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, demonstrating how Scotland is building a circular economy from the point of architectural design through to build phase
  • Food and drink in partnership with Scotland Food and Drink, allowing delegates to sample how we are working with the food and drink supply chain to retain and maximise the value of materials that go into producing food and drink.
  • Bioeconomy in partnership with The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), highlighting ‘bio’ resources as a priority area with the greatest opportunity to deliver economic, environmental and social benefits for Scotland.
  • Circular Economy in the Community in partnership with Revolve, Scotland’s national quality standard for re-use organisations, incorporating visits to community-based organisations re-using, re-making and re-selling consumer goods.

    The event will also welcome some of the most influential thought leaders on sustainability and the circular economy, including Dr Leyla Acaroglu, sustainability ‘provocateur’ and United Nations Champion of the Earth 2016, and Walter Stahel, one of the world’s most eminent thinkers on the circular economy. They will be joined by Gary Gillespie, the Scottish Government’s Chief Economic Advisor and Dr Katherine Trebeck, Research Director of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance, with more speakers to be announced in the coming weeks.

    Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said:

    “I’m delighted that Walter Stahel and Dr Acaroglu will be joining us in Glasgow later this year to share their key insights with delegates attending the Circular Economy Hotspot Scotland. It’s exciting that we can hear from world-leading experts of their stature, and that we can demonstrate, with the input of our business partners at the event, how Scotland is truly leading the way in sustainability across many business sectors.

    “All sectors and regions can benefit from becoming ‘circular’; it’s the key to keeping businesses sustainable. Delegates will see how a variety of industries and regions have adopted circular practices and how innovative collaborations were born. Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of Scotland’s first Circular Economy Hotspot by registering now and securing your place on one of the discovery tours.”

    Alison McRae, Senior Director, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said:

    “We are very much looking forward to welcoming each of the organisations currently developing circular business strategies and hearing from global experts about ways our business community can transition towards circularity.

    “As Glasgow Chamber of Commerce works to position Glasgow as a leading circular city, it’s vital to engage with global game changes within each sector. The pace of change is daily, and as new businesses continue to commit to a circular goal there has never been a better time for Glasgow to host the Circular Economy Hotspot.”

    The Circular Economy Hotspot Scotland will also offer unique networking opportunities for delegates, with potential to foster new connections between local businesses as well as international connections within the circular economy landscape.

    Across Europe, shifting towards a more circular economy could generate £1.4trillion of annual benefits by 2030.

    Zero Waste Scotland leads on delivery of the £73 million Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme, which aims to improve the economic performance of SMEs while at the same time reducing the impact of economic activity on the natural environment, supporting Scottish Government and EU policies.

    To register go to

    Join the discussion on Twitter at #CEHotspotScot

    Business Comment

    Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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