Unilever, Virgin and Marks & Spencer Join the Debate on the Circular Economy at Resource, 4-6 March 2014

Nov 04, 2013, 08:00 ET from Resource Event UBM

LONDON, November 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Resource, the major conference-led trade show focussing on resource security and the circular economy has announced major new speakers and event partners, including some of Europe's largest retailers.

Taking place at London's ExCeL centre, 4th - 6th March, Resource is the first and only major event that connects the whole supply chain to collaborate on waste and resource issues and drive the growth of a circular economy in Europe.

Unilever, Virgin and Marks & Spencer are the latest organisations to confirm involvement in the event's speaking programme. Those discussions will centre on business transformation to reduce waste, increase reuse and ensure that materials are not lost into the waste stream. Crucially, these firms will share information on how they have collaborated successfully with supply chain partners and the cost and materials savings made possible from closed loop models.

Through a series of discussions and case studies, Resource will champion forward-thinking retail and innovation from organisations looking to reduce the risks of resource security and embrace the circular economy. Other firms joining the speaking programme include Zero Waste Scotland, think tank Chatham House, The Green Alliance and Agency of Design.

The event has a growing list of forward-thinking supporters, including CIWEM and The Institute for Sustainability, who join the list of event supporters that already includes the Technology Strategy Board, RSA, Great Recovery Project, Green Alliance, Carbon Trust and 2Degrees.

Senior executives from across design, retail, manufacturing, extraction & resource recovery will come together to capitalise on the commercial opportunities of recovering and preventing valuable resource from becoming waste and promoting sustainable growth through a closed loop economy.  

Far from being a series of conceptual discussions, the event will showcase real examples of the circular economy in practice, sharing early learnings from pioneers of closed loop business. The event will also feature a series of free-to-attend workshops that will allow attendees to evaluate waste - from Design and manufacturing through to packaging and end of life.

The European economy is built on decades of resource intensive growth. Research firm McKinsey calculated Europeans use 16 tons per person per year and throw away six tons of that, and half of that waste is buried in the ground as landfill: three tons per person every year. WRAP forecast that if we continue to consume resources as now, by 2050, we will need three times the material resources and 70% more food.

DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) claim that improving resource efficiency is an £18bn per year opportunity. Mckinsey predict that by 2030, 30% of the world's demand for resources could be met by improving resource efficiency.

"The Circular Economy is not a new concept, but it represents a recognition that the global supplies of important materials are finite, and in some cases, under serious threat. Now is the time for major corporations and SMEs to take steps to protect their businesses and adopt new models that will allow them to embrace recycling, reuse, repair, whilst capitalising on the growing 'service over ownership' model. There is widespread agreement that now is the time to act and shift business models and minimise waste," said Resource Event Director, Stephen Gee.

"Resource Event is driven by the belief that a resource-constrained world demands new thinking and an urgency to act to insulate the supply chain against volatility and the threat of uncertain supply. Those who don't act now will suffer huge business risk of fluctuating materials costs and supply chain disruption."

A resource constrained future brings both threat and opportunity. The threat is a scarcity and volatile cost of virgin material - the opportunity is to move now and make the most of the way consumers are embracing companies that act sustainably.

Resource - 4th-6th March

"Waste" is now a valuable resource, both as a valuable supply of materials and an energy source.

Every company has its own approach to resource security, recycling and supply chain sustainability - learning and partnerships are crucial to progress towards a resource-efficient/closed-loop economy.

We invite you to join us as at London's ExCeL on the 4th-6th of March and become part of the circular economy.

Website - http://www.resource-event.com

Twitter - @resource_event

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SOURCE Resource Event UBM