CIRCULAR WEEK 2021
Last year’s edition of Circular Week was held under the theme Together for a sustainable future. The event brought together experts from Europe and beyond who, through a series of expert panels, webinars, workshops and networking sessions addressed to representatives of business, start-ups, think tanks and public administration, discussed how we can make the transition towards a circular economy.
The event included almost 50 events organized internationally in cooperation with stakeholders from European countries (including Bulgaria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Italy, France, Norway or Serbia), this year we were also joined by guests from outside Europe: Canada and Israel. Once again it turned out that different time zones are not an obstacle for us, and the idea of a closed loop economy is an international phenomenon.
During last year’s fourth edition of Circular Week we discussed solutions to challenges facing the modern economy, such as: extended producer responsibility, wise food management, bioeconomy development, sustainable production in the fashion industry or changes in the plastics market. There were also a number of events aimed at consumers that showed in a simple way how to implement the principles of sustainable development in everyday life, e.g. a workshop for children organized by the Warsaw Public Cleaning Company on waste segregation, a webinar entitled Everything you’d like to know about GOZ for beginners and those looking for circular solutions organized by Circular Economy Club Warsaw or an online meeting with a representative of North.pl entitled How to take care of household appliances so that they last as long as possible?
An interesting event was the Dutch Day, during which two debates took place: Circular economy practices in manufacturing and Towards Food Circularity: food waste and HoReCa.
As every year, a summary of Circular Week 2021 took place during the Mazovia Circular Congress – an international conference dedicated to circular economy. We searched for answers to the following questions: What will the raw materials of the future look like – highly durable but at the same time environmentally friendly? How can forest management contribute to the development of the GOZ? What financial incentives are being introduced by governments in various countries to help entrepreneurs change their business model to a more circular and sustainable one?
Special guests of the congress included Helena Braun – Member of the Cabinet of Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, Jaqueline Cramer – Dutch biologist, professor and politician, 2007-2010 Minister of Construction, Spatial Planning and the Environment and François Gaudet – Head of Thematic Impact Finance Operations at the European Investment Bank (EIB). Experts from the area of circular transformation of cities, bioeconomy, and extended producer responsibility from Poland and Europe have also shared their perspective and knowledge. Mazovia Circular Congress was simultaneously translated into Polish and English and was held in a hybrid form in Warsaw.
During the Congress, in addition to debates and panels, there was a virtual fair where sustainable companies could display their portfolios and presentations, as well as workshops.
CIRCULAR WEEK 2019
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.