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A Future without Waste

Redefining Value, Building the Circular Economy  


   Final Program

OCTOBER 29, 2015

Conference Host: Malcolm Brodie, Chair, Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Committee and Chair, National Zero Waste Council

8:30 am The Day Ahead: Welcome and Introductory Remarks
  • Malcolm Brodie, Chair, Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Committee and Chair, National Zero Waste Council'
  • The Honourable Mary Polak, Minister of Environment
  • Mike Layton, Councillor, City of Toronto
  • Greg Moore, Chair, Metro Vancouver Board of Directors
8:45 am Industrial Revolution: The Business Case for Zero Waste
  OPENING KEYNOTE - William McDonough, Designer and Sustainability Pioneer

Brock Carlton, CEO, Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Disruptive designer-architect, entrepreneur and co-author of "The Upcycle" (2013) and “Cradle to Cradle" (2004) Bill McDonough charts the course of the next industrial revolution, where whole economies are refuelled by beneficial design and a “cycle of endless resourcefulness.” From urging businesses to embrace design to focusing on values-based innovation and waste as a resource, McDonough sets out principles for a waste-free world. An expert panel responds by looking at what McDonough’s principles mean in practice. How can businesses shift the market towards a regenerative ‘take-make-reuse-make-reuse’ cycle and turn a profit – particularly when customer-convenience remains the most powerful determinant of how we conceive of goods and services? And, how are they transforming operations and supply chains to do so?

Responding Panel:            

  • Tammy Ayers, Manager, Global Materials Chemistry Strategy & Practice, Steelcase
  • Jason Boyce, Sustainability Manager, Nature's Path
  • Elisabeth Comere, Environmental Director (North America), Tetra Pak

Moderator: Jim Downham, President and CEO, PAC

10:00 am BREAK
10:15 am Materialism: Innovative Materials and End-of-life Infrastructure

Can innovation in the materials that make up products and packaging be the silver bullet of waste reduction? What kinds of materials innovation is taking place? How does upstream innovation best fit with end-of-life management infrastructure? How can businesses and governments better collaborate to ensure that the right innovation happens at the right time and place?


Moderator: Christina Seidel, Executive Director, Recycling Council of Alberta

11:00 am Inglorious Food: Food Waste and the Supply Chain

SPARK Talk: Tristram Stuart, Founder of Feedback, National Geographic Emerging Explorer

The United Nations says about a third of all food grown or produced for humans goes to waste and, here in Canada, recent studies suggest that wasted food costs our economy about $31 billion per year. This session kicks off with remarks by a global campaigner, followed by a panel familiar with the real challenges, opportunities and successes in the fast emerging field of food-waste reduction. What can they tell us about the state of waste in the supply chain? How is the value of food waste being re-defined? What are businesses and governments doing to address food waste, on their own and together?


Moderator: Shelley Carroll, Councillor, City of Toronto, Ward 33 Don Valley East

11:45 am Home Economics: Food Waste and the Consumer

Armchair Discussion
Food waste happens the length of the supply chain, but nearly half of it takes place at home. Huge amounts of food bound for the landfill or composting could be diverted to communities with better-informed consumer choices and at-home management strategies. Hear how the consumer is being engaged in waste reduction with crafted communications on what best-before dates really mean, the merits of meal-planning and down-home cooking.

  • Cinda Chavich, Author, The Waste Not, Want Not Cookbook: save food, save money, and save the planet
  • Don Guthro, Chef, North Shore Culinary School; and Executive Director, North Shore Culinary Education Society of BC
  • Jen Rustemeyer, Producer, Peg Leg Films and Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story 

Moderator: Darrell Mussatto, Director, Metro Vancouver Board of Directors

12:15 pm LUNCH
12:45 pm Green Tracks Screening:  Scott Fraser, President and CEO, Encorp Pacific
1:15 pm Eurovision: Global Leadership in the Circular Economy

Circular economies offer vast new opportunities for business, economic development and jobs but may not flourish without novel partnerships between businesses, governments and others. Panelists from leading jurisdictions will look at the role of cross-sector collaboration in scaling up promising approaches and how government policy-makers can support this transition. Tough questions will include how to build a collaborative relationship among business innovators and government regulators, and what is most needed from global decision-makers to close economic loops, worldwide.


  • Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland
  • Kari Herlevi, Senior Lead, Circular Economy, Sitra (Finnish Innovation Fund), Finland
  • Klaske Kruk, Director, Cities and Tools, Circle Economy (The Netherlands)

Moderator: Vanessa Timmer, Executive Director, One Earth       

2:00 pm    Swap it!: The Dollars and Sense in Sharing Economies

SPARK Talk: Sunil Johal, Policy Director, The Mowat Centre, University of Toronto

Sharing is the new buying. Sharing, collaborative or peer-to-peer economies prevent and reduce waste by maximizing the use of idle or under-used products and assets. Bartering, exchanging, renting, lending, leasing and swapping now account for upwards of $3.5 billion per annum in transactions as new technologies enable more consumers to join in -- and save. This panel will discuss tangible examples of the sharing economy, its potential for waste prevention and the challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurs, and policy-makers, entering this surprising sector.

Responding Panel:

Moderator: Heather Deal, Director, Metro Vancouver Board of Directors

3:00 pm BREAK
3:15 pm Thinking Big Box: One Corporation's Crusade Against Waste

Keynote: Stefan Sjöstrand, President of IKEA Canada

Innovation and efficiency have been at the heart of IKEA's business model since the company was founded in 1943. Now they are taking a similar approach to zero waste challenges throughout their supply chain, energy self-sufficiency across their stores and helping their customers live a more sustainable life at home. This has made them a global leader in sustainable business. Stefan Sjöstrand, president of IKEA Canada, explains how their People & Planet Positive strategy is backed by concrete action, employee support, supplier partnerships, and customer buy-in. Ready to assemble your own action plan? Our closing keynote promises to deliver tools and ideas to get you inspired. No allen key required.

Moderator: Greg Moore, Chair, Metro Vancouver Board of Directors             

3:45 pm A Made in Canada Solution: Towards a Future Without Waste

Sponsored by the ground-breaking National Zero Waste Council, this diverse panel of leaders looks at out how business and governments can take a leadership role in advancing a waste prevention agenda in Canada - overcoming Canada's ranking as one of the world’s biggest wasters. Panelists will also draw on their own experiences to show how Canada could respond to a recent United Nations’ global call to action in shifting from a linear ‘take-make-use-waste’ economy to a circular economy, which treats waste as a valuable resource. And they will look at how Canadians and government can prevent waste generation in ways that support a high quality of life and sustainable prosperity.


Moderator: Kathryn Gretsinger, Journalist, Radio Host and Producer

4:30 pm It’s a Wrap: Key Themes & Takeaways
  • Malcolm Brodie, Chair, Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Committee and Chair, National Zero Waste Council
4:50 pm End of the Day: Closing Remarks
  • Malcolm Brodie, Chair, Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Committee and Chair, National Zero Waste Council
5:00 pm Ground Zero: Reception

Metro Vancouver invites you to unwind and chat with the speakers, panelists and delegates at Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Conference 2015.

The Zero Waste Conference is proud to welcome as a sponsor