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A Future without Waste

A circular economy within reach

November 1, 2017

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


8:30 am Welcoming/Opening Remarks
  • Malcolm Brodie, Chair, Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Committee and Chair, National Zero Waste Council
  • The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada - video welcome
  • Honourable George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, British Columbia - video welcome
  • Mike Layton, Councillor, City of Toronto (joining from the City of Toronto satellite event)
8:45 am Opening Keynote - The Circular Economy, A Brave New Frontier

Her experience as a scientist and NASA astronaut gave Dr. Cady Coleman an orbital perspective. Now she sees our blue planet’s possibilities with a unique and hopeful viewpoint. Coleman will share her insights and vision for a world where people work together to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.

 “We have everything and everyone that we need to live sustainably. Being open to seeing and hearing what others bring to the table, and brave enough to realize that what each of us has to share can be the key to advancing step-by-step towards significant solutions. Our success lies in being both open and brave when it comes to working together to find solutions to our terrestrial challenges."

Moderator: Kathryn Gretsinger, Journalist and Professor

9:30 am Textiles: Fashion Forward Thinkers

The textiles and clothing industry is ripe for disruption. New research illustrates the high throughput of textiles in our economy: people keeping their clothes half as long as they used to, with production doubling over the last 15 years. Textiles recycling and reuse is scaling up and so are efforts to reduce the environmental impact of textiles in design, manufacture and sale. What innovations and new solutions are industry embracing to eliminate waste across the value chain? What is the role of governments and the consumer in shifting the dial on textiles?


Moderator: Myriam Laroche, President & Founder, Eco Fashion Week

10:45 am Break
11:00 am Food Waste: How Do We in Canada Rise to the Challenge?

Hosted by the National Zero Waste Council Canada

Special Presentation of Canada’s National Food Waste Reduction Strategy

  • Malcolm Brodie, Chair, National Zero Waste Council, and Chair, Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Committee

Globally, almost one third of the food we produce is wasted. Local food waste solutions are on the rise. But are they enough? New national and international approaches are suggesting greater levels of collaboration are needed – across sectors, interest and even political boundaries. A transformational shift in everything from technology to governance, using levers in policy and capital investment, is the only way to successfully reduce food waste. What’s the right balance between policy change and investment?


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

12:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm Plastics: Reimagining a Global Material
            Video Spotlight – Ocean Pollution Research Collaborative

Lightweight and durable, plastics are a valuable and ever-growing component of our economy that provide broad social and environmental benefits. But limited recovery and reuse has also led to one of the greatest environmental issues of our time: plastics in our oceans and in our sea life. Current trends suggest that by mid-century the weight of plastic in the ocean could surpass the biomass of all fish. This panel will discuss what’s at stake, and spotlight the latest global developments to stem this leakage and keep plastics out of our ocean and in our economy.


  • Richard Thompson, Professor and Associate Dean, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Plymouth University
  • Mats Linder, Lead, Innovation Programme, New Plastics Economy, Ellen MacArthur Foundation
  • Andrew Falcon, CEO, Full Cycle Bioplastics

Moderator: Jim Downham, President & CEO, PAC Packaging Association and Vice Chair, National Zero Waste Council

2:45pm Business Innovation

According to Accenture, transitioning to a circular economy is the biggest economic opportunity of our time – worth upwards of $4.5 trillion by 2030. How do we accelerate circular business innovation in Canada and what are the potential benefits? How do we transform the delivery of goods and services in a way that eliminates waste but supports business growth and development? How do established businesses transition, and what new opportunities exist in the marketplace for start-ups and entrepreneurs?


  • Martin Charter, Director, The Centre for Sustainable Design, University for the Creative Arts

The Canadian Context - Three Champions - Three Stories

Moderator: Christina Seidel, Co-Chair of the Circular Economy Working Group, National Zero Waste Council and Executive Director, Recycling Council of Alberta.

4:00 pm Circular Cities: At the Forefront of Growth, Innovation and Now Circularity

Some say metropolitan areas are taking the place of nations as the epicenters of economic growth and innovation. As major concentrators of people, materials, data and capital, metropolitan areas offer an ideal testing ground for circular solutions - amplifying the social and economic impact of new approaches and providing the economies of scale for circular business models.

Armchair Discussion

  • Ellen MacArthur Foundation: Julia Vol, Government and Cities Network Manager
  • London: Wayne Hubbard, Chief Operating Officer, London Waste and Recycling Board

Moderator: Vanessa Timmer, Co-Founder and Executive Director, One Earth and Board Member, National Zero Waste Council

4:45 pm Closing Keynote - Infinite Possibilities, Circular Solutions
  • Tristram Stuart, award-winning author, National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and founder of Toast Ale

Hidden behind spotless grocery aisles, perfect vegetables, and confusing best before labels, Tristram Stuart discovered a world of waste.

"And I'm not talking about rotten food being thrown away, but rather perfectly edible food."

This realization became a call to action – spawning an award-winning book, his not-for-profit organization Feedback, and business success. Stuart's journey is an inspiring story, offering valuable circular economy insights, regardless of your industry. Combining ground-breaking ideas with time-tested principles, his practical, yet creative approach is delivering solutions on a global scale. Get inspired by a visionary change-maker sharing his recipe for success and find out how you can turn his hard-won battles into victories for your own zero waste efforts.

Moderator: Erica Johnson, Journalist, CBC

5:30 pm Closing Remarks
  • Malcolm Brodie, Chair, Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Committee and Chair, National Zero Waste Council
5:45 pm Networking Reception

Unwind and connect with the speakers, panelists and delegates.


The Zero Waste Conference is proud to welcome as a sponsor