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Circular Economy and Private Sector Development: Learning Series

September 21, 2020-July 14, 2022




Circular Economy and Bioeconomy

Click on the image to watch the replay of the event: Circularity and the Bioeconomy


>>>  Watch the Replay! <<<

    The use of fossil-based non-renewable materials and industrialized agriculture is responsible for a large share of GHG-emissions, pollution and loss of biodiversity. The world is losing species at an unprecedented rate, the impacts of climate change are hitting natural ecosystems and the rapid exploitation of natural resources harm not only the wellbeing of wildlife and nature health but long-term people and the economy as a whole. But what can we do about that? In this event, we explored one possible pathway, the Bioeconomy.

    It offers a variety of opportunities mainly around three pillars that consist of

    • growing biobased resources
    • producing bio-based products
    • using bio-based waste to create new products or services, that are sustainable and regenerative by design.

    In countries with dominant sectors in agriculture and forestry, the bioeconomy is especially suitable to decrease greenhouse gases and increase climate resilience while adding value to the local economy. This twelfth session of the circular economy learning series explored the opportunities that emerge from the realization of bioeconomy business models with a focus on circularity and nature-inspired solutions. The session also showed challenges and barriers that might be encountered in the private and public sector in different country contexts. During the webinar our panel of experts discussed questions such as: What is a sustainable bioeconomy and why do we need it? How does circularity look like in a bioeconomy? What are success stories of leveraging the potentials of the circular bioeconomy in the private sector? Are there limitations to the application of the bioeconomy and the circulation of biomaterials?

    ​Panelists & Presentations

    Dr Valerie Hickey, Global Director of Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy, World Bank

    Dr Federico Torres Carballo, coordinator of the Costa Rican Bioeconomy Committee and member of the International Advisory Council on Global Bioeconomy
    ➡️ National Bioeconomy Strategy

    Dr Krishna Manda, Vice President of Sustainability, Lenzing Group

    Dr Andrea Hodgson, Fellow at Schmidt Futures developing and co-leading the Bioeconomy Program
    ➡️  Charting the way for a resilient. competitive and circular Bioeconomy

    Tim Forslund, Circular Economy Specialist, Finnish Innovation Fund SITRA


    Last Updated: Jul 14, 2022

  • The linear, take-make-dispose economy that has driven economic growth over the past several hundred years has generated wealth and lifted individuals out of poverty. It has also created vast amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, wasted valuable natural resources, and harmed fragile ecosystems.

    Many in the business community have recognized sustainability to be a judicious choice that serves economic, environmental, and societal goals. From large corporations to entrepreneurial start-ups, private sector players have begun embracing this transformation and new business opportunities, through innovative business models, close coordination along their value chains, enhanced processes and products, and a general reevaluation of what works and why.

    Systems change requires complex solutions. Join us in this curated learning series to better understand how the private sector makes sense of these complexities and help accelerate the world’s transition toward a regenerative and circular economy.



    1. CE and Competitiveness – Sept. 21, 2020

    7. Textiles – Jan. 2021

    2. Eco-Industrial Parks – Oct. 7, 2020

    8. Finance – March 2021

    3. Plastics – Oct. 21, 2020

    9. Construction – March 2021

    4. Emerging Technologies – Nov. 2020

    10. Food and Agriculture – Apr. 2021

    5Critical Minerals – Dec. 2020

    11. Climate Change – May. 2022

    6. Tourism – Dec. 2020




    In this eleventh session of the Learning Series we explored the dematerialization and decarbonization challenges and opportunities to reduce GhG emissions, leverage low-carbon policies, and enable private-sector circularity in key industrial (and complementary) sectors and business innovations around the world. The expert panel also shed light on the role of policy as well as comments on degrowth as a potential solution.

    >>> Watch the Replay! <<<

    ​Panelists & Presentations

    Mona Haddad, Global Director, World Bank Group

    Dr. Max Åhman, Associate Professor, Lund University

    ➡️ Circularity, climate change, and the basic materials industry

    Molly Walton, Energy and Transport Manager, We Mean Business Coalition

    Anirban Ghosh, Chief Sustainability Officer, Mahindra Group

    Stephane Hallegatte, Senior Climate Change Advisor, World Bank Group



    In this tenth session of the Learning Series we explored the challenges and opportunities inherent to this critical sector and tackle topics from the manufacture of bioproducts, food losses and waste, to regenerative agricultural systems, and strategic investments. The expert panel also shed light onto examples of effective policies being implemented around the world to enable innovation, dematerialization and greater efficiencies in the food production processes.

    >>>  Watch the Replay! <<<

    Panelists & Presentations

    Dr. Karin Kemper, Global Director, World Bank Group

    James Pronio, Food Loss and Waste Manager, WWF

    Dr. Marianne Thomsen, Professor and Researcher, Aarhus University
    ➡️ Regenerative Circular Food Systems

    Ani Vallabhaneni, Co-Founder, Sanergy

    Dr. Francisco Palma, Co-Founder, PolyNatural

    Dr. Claire Sand, Co-Founder, Packaging Technology and Research

    Stephen Otieno, Senior Manager for Climate Action Planning for Africa, C40

    Yasmine Berbir, Head of Sustainability for MENA region, Nestlé

    Julian Lampietti, Practice Manager, World Bank Group



    Along with global leaders who are advancing sustainable construction initiatives, we explored opportunities and constraints of construction industry stakeholders as well as the role of governments in scaling up circular economy practices and enhancing decarbonization and competitiveness of the sector. 

    >>>  Watch the Replay! <<<

    Panelists & Presentations

    Demetrios Papathanasiou, Global Director for the Energy and Extractives Global Practice, the World Bank

    Sabine Schlorke, Global Head of Manufacturing and Global Portfolio Manager of Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services, International Finance Corporation 

    Carol Lemmens, Global Director and Advisory Services Leader, ARUP
    ➡️ Circular Economy and the Construction Industry

    Dr. Jeremy Gregory, Executive Director, MIT Concrete Sustainability Lab
    ➡️ Opportunities to lower the environmental impacts of cement and concrete

    Dr. Andrew Minson, Concrete and Sustainable Construction Director, Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA)

    Eric Bourdon, Deputy CEO Industrial and Innovation, VICAT

    Salome Galjaard, Deputy Program Manager Circular Economy at City of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

    Wilson W.S. Lu, Professor, Department of Real Estate and Construction, University of Hong Kong

    Monica Moesker, Head of Cities, Danish Design Center



    In the 8th session of our Circular Economy Learning Series, we explore the critical issues that can inform policy makers and stakeholders within the financial sector.

    >>>  Watch the Replay! <<<

    Panelists & Presentations

    Koen Davidse, Executive Director, World Bank Group

    Jean Pesme, Global Director (FCI GP), World Bank Group

    James Leaton, Senior Vice President, Moody’s

    Aglaia Fischer, Circular Finance Project Manager, Circle Economy
    ➡️  Financing for a global circular economy

    Hein Brekelmans, Head of Sustainable Finance Desk,  ABN AMRO

    Davinah Milenge Uwella, Principal Program Coordinator, African Development Bank

    Luigi Ruggerone, Director, Intesa Sanpaolo Group

    Elisa Achterberg, Researcher, Sustainable Finance Lab

    Dr. Tian Huifang, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

    Arnoud Walrecht, Director, KPMG



    In the 7th session of this learning series on ‘Circular Economy and Private Sector Development’, we invited global leaders who are advancing sustainable textiles initiatives, and explored questions of economic viability, policy, environmental impact and scalability in a new normal.

    >>>  Watch the Replay! <<<

    Panelists & Presentations
    ➡️  Event Slides – Session Agenda

    Isabelle Durant, UNCTAD Deputy Secretary General

    Francois Souchet, Lead, Make Fashion Circular, Ellen Macarthur Foundation
    ➡️  Make Fashion Circular

    Lisa Emberson, Professor of Environmental Science in Environment and Geography Dept., University of York and SEI Affiliated Researcher

    Khalid Mahmood, Executive Director, Master Textile Mills Limited, Pakistan 

    Jenny Fredricsdotter, Circular Business Manager, re:newcell

    Amorpol Huvanandana, Co-Founder, moreloop Thailand  

    Whitney Bauck, Senior Sustainability Reporter at Fashionista 

    Jessica Long, Sustainability & Responsible Business Expert and Co-author, “The Circular Economy Handbook”’

    Mart Drake-Knight, Rapanui clothing & 

    Sarah Hayes, Circular Strategy Lead, Sustainability Dept at H&M Group 

    Henrique Pacini, Economist, UNCTAD



    The tourism sector is a generator of jobs and income but without proper systems in place, tourism can consume large quantities of energy, water, and plastics which degrade the environmental quality of coastal destinations and ecosystems and affect the lives of residents. New and circular business models are needed to change the way tourism operates and enable businesses and destinations to be sustainable. The COVID-19-related tourism pause is an opportunity to rethink, refocus, and reimagine how the tourism sector can build a better and more circular economy tourism system for the future.  

    >>>  Watch the Replay! <<<

    Panelists & Presentations
    ➡️  Event Slides – Session Agenda

    Virginia Fernández-Trapa, Programme Officer, Sustainable Development of Tourism, UNWTO
    ➡️  Circular economy and tourism towards recovery, sustainability and resilience

    Jenna Jambeck, Co-Lead Source to Sea Plastics Initiative, National Geographic

    Megan Morikawa, Director of Sustainability Office, Iberorstar  

    Karin Strand, VP Expedition, Hurtigruten 

    Kevin Duffy, Co-Founder, Winnow 

    Sergio Guerreiro, Senior Director, Tourismo de Portugal



    The 5th session of the Learning Series on Circular Economy discussed mining of main minerals and metals, how they affect strategic value chains and their impacts on competitiveness. The panelists shed light upon fostering efficient design of products to improve traceability, recovery and recycling of main minerals and metals; and increasing  accessibility to recovered minerals and metals by strengthening urban-mining. They also provided examples of policies to foster circular economy business models, smart mining and urban mining.  

    >>>  Watch the Replay! <<<

    Panelists & Presentations

    Daniele La Porta, Senior Mining Specialist, WBG
    ➡️  Climate Smart Mining Presentation | Supporting materials

    Peter Handley, Head of Resource Efficiency Unit, European Commission
    ➡️  Critical Raw Materials, Opportunities and Challenges of Circular Economy Strategies

    Holy Ranaivozanany, Head of Sustainability, Huawei, China
    ➡️  Presentation | Supporting materials

    Sarah Maryssael, Battery Metals Group Manager, Tesla, USA
    ➡️  Critical Minerals - Battery Supply Chain

    Danilo Bonato, Managing Director, Erion, Italy
    ➡️  Circular Economy and Critical Materials Bonato

    Lucia Helena Xavier, Senior Researcher, CETEM/Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation – BRAZIL
    ➡️  Circularity in the e waste supply chain

    Suzanne Greene, Program Manager of the Sustainable Supply Chains initiative, MIT, USA

    Stephen D'Esposito, President, RESOLVE, USA

    Jan Klawitter, Head of International Policy, Anglo American, UK 

    Payal Sampat, Mining Program Director, EARTHWORKS - USA



    In the fourth session of this learning series on ‘Circular Economy and Private Sector Development’, we invited global leaders, scientists, researchers and relevant stakeholders from industry to share experiences, to discuss challenges and report state-of-art and in-progress research in the intersection of ICT and Circular Economy. A key takeaway from the session is the important role of private sector technology solutions - such as digital platforms, AI and Blockchain - that enable the smart use of resources and create new efficiencies. In addition, panelists provided insights into the role of policy makers in ensuring a secure and transparent enabling environment, conducive incentives and improved coordination to help scale circular business models.

    >>>  Watch the Replay! <<<

    Panelists & Presentations
    ➡️ All presentations | Master

    Wesley Spindler, Director, Business Strategy & Sustainability, Accenture
    For background information, please check here.

    Attila Turos, Senior Advisor, Value Chains, UNDP I Co-Founder, Seven Chapters of Circularity

    Henrik Hvid Jensen, Head, Circular Economy Internet Initiative, Corporate Blockchain
    ➡️ The Circular Economy Internet

    Danny Groh, CEO, Frountier Tech
    ➡️ Unlock The Power Of Intelligent Data

    Dr. Matanya Horowitz, CEO, AMP Robotics
    ➡️ Enabling a world without a waste using AL and robotics

    Matthew Silver, CEO, Cambrian Innovation
    ➡️ Making water reuse and resource recovery simple, sustainable and cost effective

    Gerhardt Carsten, Partner, A.T. Kearney, Germany
    ➡️ Circular Valley - Hot Spot for the Circular Economy

    Elisa Tonda, Head, Consumption & Production Unit, Resources & Markets Branch­, Economy Division UNEP

    Giorgos Demetriou, Director, Circular Economy Research Center, France
    ➡️ Circular Economy and Private Sector Development: Emerging Technologies

    Mathy Stanislaus, Interim Director, Global Battery Alliance, World Economic Forum
    ➡️ Batteries Powering Sustainable Development



    In the third session of this learning series on ‘Circular Economy and Private Sector Development’, we invited global leaders who are advancing circular plastics models, and explore questions of economic viability, environmental impact and scalability in a new normal.

    >>>  Watch the Replay! <<<

    Panelists & Presentations

    Roland Geyer, Professor at Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara
    ➡️ Plastic: Too much of a good thing?

    Jane von Rabenau, CEO and Founder, Siklus

    Seah Kian Hoe, Founder and Managing Director, Heng Hiap Industries

    Dr. Michael Saltzberg, Global Business Director, Biomaterials at Dupont

    Sander Defruyt, New Plastics Economy Lead, Ellen Macarthur Foundatio

    Juliet Kabera, Director General, Rwanda Environment Management Authority



    In the second session of this learning series on ‘Circular Economy and Private Sector Development’, we launched the 2nd edition of the EIP framework and invited global leaders who are advancing circular models in EIPs, exploring questions of economic viability, environmental impact and scalability in a new normal.

    >>>  Watch the Replay! <<<

    Panelists & Presentations

    Mareike Boll: Advisor in the GIZ Competence Center Environment in Germany.

    Nilgün Taş: Deputy Director of the Department of Environment and Chief for the Industrial Resource Efficiency Division at UNIDO.

    Dario Quaranta: Senior Advisor in the Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice at the World Bank Group.
    ➡️ Presentation by GIZ, UNIDO and WBG

    Paban Chowdhury: Secretary to the Government is currently acting as the Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) under Prime Minister’s Office of Bangladesh.

    Dr. Marian Chertow: Professor of industrial environmental management at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Director of the Center for Industrial Ecology.
    ➡️ A paper by Zaoual, A.-R., & Lecocq, X. on Orchestrating Circularity within Industrial Ecosystems: Lessons from Iconic Cases in Three Different Countries. California Management Review, 60(3), 133–156.
    ➡️ A paper on uncovering Industrial symbiosis (JIEUncovering 1-07)
    ➡️ A paper on Industrial Symbiosis Dynamics and the Problem of Equivalence (Boons 2017)
    ➡️ A paper on understanding the organization of industrial ecosystems: A social network approach (j.1530-9290.2008)

    Hannes Utikal: Head of the Center for Industry and Sustainability at Provadis Hochschule, a university of applied sciences based at the industrial park Frankfurt Höchst. 
    ➡️ An exploratory study on how Industry 4.0 could enhance sustainability in industrial areas.
    ➡️ A methodology on how clusters may evolve from administrative entities to clusters of change

    Dr. Sangjoon An: Project Manager, Korea National Cleaner Production Center (KNCPC) in Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH). 
    ➡️ Presentation (KNCPC)



    In the inaugural session of this learning series on ‘Circular Economy and Private Sector Development’, we invited global leaders and practitioners invested in a private sector-led transition to explore questions of its economic viability, contribution to resilience, and impact on applicable Sustainable Development Goals.

    >>>  Watch the Replay! <<<

    Panelists & Presentations

    Joke Dufourmont: Joke leads Circle Economy’s Circular Jobs Initiative.
    ➡️ The Social Impact of The Circular Economy

    Ken Webster: Ken is currently a senior lecturer at the University of Exeter, Business School and guest researcher at Linköping University in Sweden.
    ➡️ The Sandwich

    Nabil Nasr: Dr. Nabil Nasr is Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Director of Golisano Institute for Sustainability at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).
    ➡️ Circular Economy and Value Retention Products (VRP)

    Shardul Agrawala: Dr. Shardul Agrawala is Head of the Environment and Economy Integration Division at the OECD Environment Directorate. 
    ➡️ Circular Economy the Environmental Case Business Models and Role of Trade