Last year we organized a series of events involving various stakeholder groups in activities devoted to the closed-loop economy. Between 7-13 of October 2019, inspiring meetings, workshops, study visits to selected factories and a street art happening with the use of aluminum cans were organized throughout Poland and abroad.
Circular Week – a series of events promoting pro-ecological solutions among companies and communities both in these obvious and most surprising areas in 2019 was held for the second time in Poland, but for the first time it was held in an international group. From 7th to 13th of October in Poland, France, Great Britain, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania numerous conferences, lectures and workshops were held to promote the idea of circular economy among consumers, entrepreneurs and local governments. At the same time, a number of training courses, study visits, happenings, conferences, workshops promoting pro-environmental attitudes, the use of technology to implement the principles of a closed-circular economy and designing circular business models were organised in different countries. The culmination of the whole Week was the Mazovia Circular Congress.
Mazovia Circular Congress can undoubtedly be called one of the most inspiring events in the area of the circular economy.
The Congress was an opportunity to present unique solutions of start-ups and the experiences of local governments, companies and institutions from all over the world, as well as real benefits resulting from the transformation towards circular economy.
The organizers of the event were the Mazowiecki Regional Government and the Institute of Innovation and Responsible Development INNOWO. Its aim was to present the broad possibilities offered by the Circular Economy (GOZ). The focus was on presenting the challenges that the global economy – through new technologies, consumerism, climate and social changes, as well as the dynamic development of cities – poses to us, forcing changes in traditional business models.
Mazovia Circular Congress began with a panel discussion led by Prof. Bolesław Rok. It was attended by Daphne Bergsma (Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands), Juha Ottman (Ambassador of Finland), Stefan Gullgren (Ambassador of Sweden), Lukas Schifferle (Commercial Adviser at the Swiss Embassy). The speakers paid special attention to the fact that the whole society, from consumers to companies and large corporations, should feel responsible for the development of a circular economy.
Major international sustainability experts from different industries discussed the pressing issues of the modern circular economy. Eveline Lemke, founder of Thinking Circular, an expert in energy, raw materials and ecodesign, former Minister of Green Economy and Deputy President of Rhineland-Palatinate, spoke about how the circular economy drives innovation, growth and climate protection. Jasper Dalhuisen from the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Vice-President of the Joint Working Group on Agriculture and the Environment, presented the process of moving Dutch agriculture towards circularity. Jaimy Nijnens, a consultant on the circular economy at YSE, presented a road map for circular business models. Thanks to Agacie Czachórska we had the opportunity to hear about circular inspirations from IKEA. Kim Tjoa, founder of the business sharing platform FLOOW2, in his presentation, put great emphasis on the fact that the ideal solution is for companies to share fixed assets with each other instead of acquiring them on their own.
In the business perspective session, companies presented their circular solutions and technologies. Anna Sapota (CANPACK) explained with the example of an aluminum can how permanent raw materials meet the requirements of the circular economy. Michał Mikołajczyk (Rekopol) discussed the new EU legal regulations and their consequences for entrepreneurs and consumers, and Kamil Mikołajczyk (Santander Bank Polska S.A.) summarized and presented the most important proposals for eco-transformation in the packaging industry. One of them is the growing environmental awareness of consumers, which forces companies to implement strategies to adapt packaging to environmental requirements.
Table sessions and workshops devoted to Circular Cities, Food Waste and Polish circular start-ups were of great interest, during which participants were able to get acquainted with specific solutions of companies offering circular technologies or services. The participants could learn, among other things, how to use interesting and sustainable alternatives to natural leather, which are pineapple leaves.