A network promoting knowledge transfer among businesses to implement circular economy principles has launched in Cardiff.
Following a successful pilot project, which saw businesses from across the region join together to learn about circular economy, network and innovate, the Cardiff Circular Economy Network (CCEN) was launched at Techniquest on 4 October 2022, attended by representatives from the business community, education, Cardiff Council and Welsh Government, along with partners and network members.
The Circular Economy principle encompasses a new way of thinking. More ‘traditional’ views of the economy are 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.
The CCEN pilot project ran from January to September this year, with Cardiff Metropolitan University, Celsa Steel UK, One Planet Cardiff and Cardiff Commitment (Curriculum Development) teaming up to work with businesses and schools within the Cardiff Council boundary to network and develop a deeper understanding of circular economy principles and practices.
To date CCEN has delivered seven workshops and engaged with 12 schools. These sessions provided educators with tools to embed circular economy principles across the curriculum, supporting the sharing of resources and the development of new lesson plans. This supports the implementation of the One Planet Cardiff Strategy and new educational resources for New Welsh Curriculum. Techniquest and ISG Ltd supported the workshops with their expert knowledge on sustainability in the context of education.
A short video testimonial on the benefits of the workshops for educators has been created.
Furthermore, CCEN has engaged with businesses in a wide range of sectors such as manufacturing, construction, utilities, retail and finance, and business support service organisations such as Business Wales and Cynnal Cymru have been included. Small, medium and large businesses engaged in knowledge transfer and developed innovation and decarbonisation plans.
A short video testimonial on the benefits of the workshops for practitioners has been created.
The event was opened by Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rachael Langford of Cardiff Metropolitan University who, said: ”It was a great pleasure to hear from the project participants and project partners and to learn more about the vital work that is being realised through the success of projects such as this. As a university, Cardiff Metropolitan University is committed to achieving carbon net zero as soon as possible, in line with our commitment to contribute to creating a greener, fairer, more prosperous society locally, nationally, and globally wherever we can make a difference.”
Councillor Caro Wild, Cardiff Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change said: ‘The project has been really successful in bringing together different partners to solve problems and work on solutions to make Cardiff a more sustainable city. We have a climate emergency, and we need everyone to be working together to tackle it. In particular, it was great to hear how schools and young people are getting involved.’
Building on the success of CCEN and with support from Universities Wales through the Wales Innovation Network (WIN), another project is now underway and a collection of short films to raise awareness of good practices of how organisations across Wales have adopted circular economy principles and practices will be launched at the WIN conference on October 27. A database of innovative and effective learning resources on the circular economy will also be shared to help boost better knowledge and skills in this field.
The CCEN project received £52,262 from the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.