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Building a more sustainable future

Pioneered by Ellen MacArthur, the circular economy encompasses a new way of thinking. More ‘traditional’ views of the economy are more linear in thinking, where products are bought, used, and then thrown away. Put simply, the circular economy is a system in which resources such as materials and equipment are used, reused and repurposed as effectively as possible, and for as long as possible. In our case, we want the public sector in the Cardiff Capital and Swansea Bay regions to work effectively together to rethink how their resources are managed, shared in new, and existing projects and services so that they can maximise the financial, environmental and social benefits within the organisation.

Graffiti of a recycling logo

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a circular economy aims to redefine growth, using that to generate wider societal benefits. The circular economy entails designing waste out of a system, focusing on a transition toward renewable energy sources and building economic, natural, and social capital.

It is based on three principles:

  • Design out waste and pollution
  • Keep products and materials in use
  • Regenerate natural systems
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Stock image on less CO2 usage

Examples of incorporating circular principles include:

  • Procurement of products that are refurbished, remanufactured or contain recycled materials and/or products designed for long life, reuse and repair
  • Procurement of services that provide access to products (for example, renting or leasing furniture or medical equipment)
  • Implementing processes that allow the effective sharing of resources such as equipment and staff between different public sector organisations
  • Building networks that allow the repurposing and reuse of public sector resources such as medical aids, IT or furniture in other organisations
  • Building partnerships that turn unavoidable public sector waste into resources for another industry, for example, reprocessing of single-use PVC medical devices into new products such as tree ties
  • Designing policies that ensure resource-efficient delivery of public services (for example, guidance on retrofitting of social housing or use of renewable energy for public transport)

There are many other potential circular economy opportunities and we are excited to see what your ideas are!

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Do you have a challenge that requires an innovative solution?

The Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) Challenge Fund is inviting public sector bodies to develop challenges and connect with organisations who can provide innovative solutions to those challenges, leading to better services, improved efficiency and effectiveness, and productivity.

The purpose of the funding is to help the public sector to obtain novel products and services to challenges and in doing so, provide a route to market for those solutions.

The Fund is providing public sector bodies throughout the Cardiff Capital Region the opportunity to receive up to 100% of funding to support the development of challenges. Public Sector are invited to compete for a share of £10m with the strongest challenges being selected for funding.

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Our eco-code resolutions

CEIC is underpinned by a number of eco-code resolutions. We resolve to incorporate the circular economy as much as possible into every aspect of the project, aligning with the following key principles.

Regenerate natural systems

We will resolve to:

  • Support a transition to renewable energy and materials
  • Reclaim, retain and restore the health of the planet
  • Return biological resources to nature

We will:

  • Work with our in-house procurement teams to source goods and services that, wherever possible, use renewable energy and materials, and incorporate eco-friendly materials
  • Work with our estates managers to ensure that biological resources generated by CEIC (e.g. food waste) are sent for composting or anaerobic digestion
  • Volunteer to be part of local biodiversity initiatives such planting trees, cleaning beaches and collecting litter
  • Celebrate and disseminate good ideas and practices developed in CEIC that contribute to the regeneration of natural systems

 

Our participants will:

  • Learn about circular economy strategies that regenerate natural systems
  • Hear about and/or see good examples from the public, private and third sector that produce/use renewable energy and materials and returning biological resources to nature (via, for example, composting)
  • Find out about regional companies that provide/use renewable energy and materials, eco-friendly materials and anaerobic/composting solutions
  • Be informed about opportunities to participate in biodiversity initiatives via the CEIC website

Share

We resolve to:

  • Share, reuse and prolong the life of all project assets as far as is possible
  • Encourage CEIC operation participants to take up opportunities to share assets
  • Adopt and promote transport sharing

We will:

  • Work with our in-house procurement teams to source assets that are:
  1.  Hired or leased, rather than purchased
  2. Reused or second-hand
  3. Designed for durability, maintenance or upgrade
  • Encourage transport sharing (bike hire, car share, use of public transport) for essential travel
  • Select workshop and event locations that are, wherever possible, easily accessed by public transport
  • Provide travel guidance for participants and facilitate transport sharing to all CEIC workshops and events
  • Build Communities of Practice that encourage the sharing of knowledge and other assets across organisational boundaries
  • Celebrate and disseminate good ideas and practices for sharing assets that are developed during CEIC

Our participants will:

  • Learn about circular economy strategies that share assets effectively
  • Hear about and/or see good examples from the public, private and third sector that include asset sharing, reuse and lifetime extension
  • Hear about and/or see good examples of transport sharing in the public, private and third sector
  • Hear about and/or see good examples of assets that are shared across regions and between organisations
  • Find out about regional companies that offer asset sharing solutions

Optimise

We resolve to:

  • Adopt energy, water and other resource efficient practices within the CEIC operation
  • Encourage CEIC participants to adopt energy and resource-efficient practices
  • Optimise the socio-economic benefits associated with the circular economy for Wales by working with local business, third sector and community-based organisations where possible
  • Use the most environmentally friendly choice for essential travel on the operation

We will:

  • Work with our in-house procurement teams to source products with minimum/zero packaging, that do not have to be transported long distances
  • Turn off all heating and lighting in our rooms when it is not needed
  • Turn off office equipment when it is not in use
  • Minimise the use of consumable resources, including water, during workshops and events
  • Design a durable, reusable poster to display our eco-code at workshops, conferences and events
  • Engage in active travel (cycle, run or walk) to the office or event venues where possible
  • Make travel choices that prioritise environmental impact over speed (for example, selecting travel by ferry and train over flying for essential overseas travel)
  • Monitor and publish the carbon footprint of CEIC’s essential travel and of any actions that have been taken to part-compensate for project emissions
  • Provide active travel advice to participants attending CEIC workshops and events
  • Celebrate and disseminate good ideas /practices developed in CEIC that contribute to resource, water and energy efficiency

 

Our participants will:

  • Learn about circular economy strategies that optimise the use of resources (including energy and water)
  • Hear about and/or see examples from the public, private and third sector that optimise energy, water and resources
  • Find out about regional companies that can support the public sector in becoming more resource and energy efficient

Loop

We resolve to:

  • Ensure that we play our part in looping resources by implementing good practices for managing our unavoidable waste

We will:

  • Look for opportunities to reuse CEIC assets locally at the end of the operation
  • Send suitable products to local organisations for remanufacture/ repurposing
  • Make sure systems are in place to recycle all our materials at the end of their first life, including metals, glass, plastic and food
  • Celebrate and disseminate good ideas/ practices developed in CEIC that create effective resource loops

 

Our participants will:

  • Learn about circular economy strategies that create resource loops and keep materials in use for longer
  • Hear about and/or see good examples of public, private and third sector organisations who have created value from “waste”
  • Find out about regional companies that can support the looping of resources through reuse, remanufacture, repurposing and recycling

Virtualise

We resolve to:

  • Dematerialise CEIC operations as far as possible

We will:

  • Strive for paperless office operations
  • promote the CEIC operation online via our website
  • Use ICT to minimise travel on the CEIC operation (virtual meetings, promotion events and other activities)
  • Look for opportunities to present CEIC outputs at virtual conferences and events
  • Display our eco-code on the CEIC website
  • Celebrate and disseminate good ideas and practices developed in CEIC that use virtualisation to increase resource efficiency

 

Our participants will:

  • Learn about the role that dematerialisation/virtualisation plays in the circular economy
  • Hear about and/or see good examples from the public, private and third sector of services that use virtualisation effectively
  • Find out about regional companies that can support the public sector to dematerialise their activities

Exchange

We resolve to:

  • Promote new ways of doing things that support a circular economy

We will:

  • Work with our procurement teams to choose better, where we can’t choose circular – for example, low carbon technologies that don’t yet have a defined end-of-life
  • Keep ourselves informed of new materials, technologies and systems that support a circular economy and continuously assess their relevance to the CEIC programme, updating and continuously improving our delivery
  • Accept that not all processes developed in CEIC can be circular – and celebrate and disseminate good public service innovation in all its forms that is developed in CEIC

 

Our participants will:

  • Learn about radical circular economy concepts that challenge the norms of their everyday activities
  • Learn in an environment that encourages an ‘anything is possible’ mindset, rewards creativity and innovation, celebrates success and learns from failure

Explaining the circular economy