Circular economy pioneer Walter Stahel tops the bill at Scottish Resources Conference 2013

International experts and policy makers will lead discussion on resource efficiency and the opportunities for creating a circular economy at the Scottish Resources Conference 2013. Keynote speakers for the flagship annual event include circular economy pioneer Walter Stahel, who first coined the phrase 'cradle to cradle', and EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik.

1 Jul 13

Professor Stahel, the founder and Director of the Geneva Association, is one of the world's leading influencers on the circular economy and has authored a number of landmark publications on the subject.

Mr Potočnik, who will deliver his address by video link, is likely to stress that the economy and the environment can no longer be viewed separately. Just this week, speaking in Sofia, the Commissioner said: "I am convinced that if there is to be growth, it will have to be Green Growth. Unless we transform our economies into resource-efficient, low carbon economies in the coming years, then we will find ourselves in much deeper economic trouble than we are already in today."

The conference will also feature further insight on Scotland's zero waste ambitions from Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment Richard Lochhead MSP and other key speakers will include Chief Executive of WRAP Liz Goodwin and the Head of Zero Waste Policy at Scottish Government Stuart Greig.

Organised jointly by Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) and the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), the two-day conference will analyse and explore some of the key issues facing the resource efficiency and resource management sector in Scotland, including the political landscape and the likely impact of the Scottish Independence Referendum, the question of recycling value versus volume, and the role of the supply chain. Day two brings a debate about the role of markets versus the government, and breakout sessions looking at some of the most exciting product innovations and new business models that can help to deliver a circular economy.

Now in its 12th year, the conference is Scotland's foremost event for professionals involved in the resources industry. This year's event holds particular significance as it comes only months before a key requirement in the Waste (Scotland) Regulations for separate recycling collections for all businesses in Scotland comes into force on 1 January 2014.

Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland, said: "Scotland is positioning itself in the vanguard of efforts to develop a more circular economy, so this is a great opportunity to learn from international experts as well as showcasing the great work already underway in Scotland. It's important that we bring a wide audience together to drive this agenda forward, from retailers, manufacturers, product designers, councils and resource management firms."

Linda Ovens, Chair of CIWM Scotland Centre, said: "This year's event will look at the key themes affecting our stakeholders as we work together to deliver the aspirations of Scotland's Zero Waste Plan. We are delighted to have once again attracted such a strong line-up of speakers, particularly the opportunity to hear from influential figures such as Janez Potočnik and Walter Stahel who are leading and shaping the debate at an international level."

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