Fifteen local governments have been selected to participate in the Canadian Circular Cities and Regions Initiative’s (CCRI) Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Network, designed to promote job creation and sustainable practices in the post-pandemic economy.

The CCRI is a one-year national pilot developed by the National Zero Waste Council, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund, the Recycling Council of Alberta, and RECYC-QUÉBEC, to provide local governments in Canada with the knowledge and tools needed to accelerate circular economy solutions.

The CCRI will be a venue for community members to learn and share best practices for implementing circular economy strategies and policies. They will have access to one-on-one mentoring and support from advisors representing leading Canadian and international leaders and practitioners. Through peer-to-peer exchange and direct interaction with subject matter experts, local governments will be able to develop their own unique circular economy roadmaps for their communities.

“Local governments are planning their post-pandemic economic recovery, making now the perfect time to adopt innovative solutions that create jobs and benefit the environment,” said Jack Froese, chair of the National Zero Waste Council. “With focused goals of developing resilient and liveable communities, these local governments are perfectly situated to be key enablers of the circular economy transition. With the right tools, knowledge, peer-to-peer support and expert guidance, we can create the foundation for future circular economies across Canada.”

The CCRI and its project partners include the following local governments:

  • Calgary (AB)
  • Canmore (AB)
  • Chapais (QC)
  • Gatineau (QC)
  • Mississauga (ON)
  • Montréal (QC)
  • Nanaimo (BC)
  • New Glasgow (NS)
  • Region of York (ON)
  • Richmond (BC)
  • Saskatoon (SK)
  • Sherbrooke (QC)
  • St. John’s (NL)
  • Vancouver (BC)
  • Whitehorse (YK)

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the effects of the current “take-make-waste” economy are being felt in cities and regions. Currently, cities consume 75 per cent of natural resources, produce over 50 per cent of global waste, and emit between 60-80 per cent of greenhouse gases. This provides a tremendous opportunity for local governments to lead the way in the transition to a circular economy, where waste is designed out, natural systems are regenerated and products and materials are kept at their highest utility and value.

Accelerating the transition to a circular economy is recognized as an opportunity for new jobs and environmental sustainability at a time when governments and communities are in critical need of both. As the Canadian economy rebounds from the COVID-19 downturn, the circular economy provides a framework for achieving climate action commitments and nurturing a prosperous and equitable future for residents and businesses.

“Cities are in a unique position to advance the Circular Economy. They represent the majority of the population, being hubs of economic activity and primary sources of environmental impacts,” said Christina Seidel, executive director of the Recycling Council of Alberta. “At the same time, cities are much more nimble than higher level governments, allowing them to be proactive and bring a high level of innovation to the challenge of evolving our economy to be more circular.”

RECYC-QUÉBEC is also proud to be associated with the project, according to CEO Sonia Gagné. The circular economy is an asset for municipalities. It allows them to create short loops of resource use using various strategies and especially in a way that is adapted to local realities. This transition requires committed municipalities, exchange with peers, and communication of experiences and results. All elements that our partnership with the Circular Cities and Regions Initiative allows us to activate.”

A series of national webinars is being hosted throughout the year to profile leading examples from within Canada and abroad. Webinars are open to the public and delivered in English with French simultaneous interpretation. Registration is available online.

To find out more information, visit canadiancircularcities.ca.

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