The Circular Economy Summit took place at Pollutec on 28 November 2018. The 600+ participants, hailing from 28 different countries, were in major part local governments, institutions, state agencies and private sector representatives. It gathered over 600 participants, hailing from 28 different countries and representing local governments, institutions, State agencies and the private sector, to discuss the challenges and stakes of circular economy for cities and regions.
The circular economy at Pollutec
Several years ago, Pollutec decided to explore the circular economy, a concept set to overturn the models, economic organisations and industry professionals across the environmental sector.
With circular economy models resting primarily on structure-building efforts and initiatives at the local level, this move was also designed to broaden the dynamics developed around the sustainable city which had long been promoted at the show.
In 2016, the first talk organised during the show not only illustrated the growing awareness in cities and regions of the challenges of circularity, but also highlighted the initial actions and experiences of the cities pioneering the move.
With the support of Lyon Métropole, Pollutec welcomed the cities of San Francisco, Amsterdam (already recognised as Europe’s first circular city) and Singapore, as well as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, with the aim of creating a global network of circular cities.
2018, launch year
On the back of this first experience and with the active support of Lyon Métropole, in 2018 Pollutec wanted to establish the circular economy’s place at the show through a broader initiative: the Summit for Cities and Regions Driving the Circular Economy.
Organised in full co-operation with a steering committee(1) and international partners(2), this event sought to shed light on the challenges involved in transforming the activities central to the regions in order to conserve resources, limit the impacts of human activity, and generate new local loops and values. It also aimed to highlight the operational dimension of different aspects(3) of the circular economy, using concrete initiatives and field projects. These were brought to light following a call for projects which helped to collect 53 initiatives, at varying stages of development, with different types of public and/or private delivery, often cooperative in nature, and across different types of region in France, Europe and internationally.
Main directions of the Circular Economy Summit
The programme offered a platform for testimonials, experience sharing and meetings bearing on the main directions set out by the representatives of the French, European and international cities, regions and local/regional authorities in attendance. These included:
- Making the circular economy a course of action which ensures the economic, social and environmental balance of our lifestyles, to the benefit of all.
- Not postponing any longer, but instead initiating as fast as possible the necessary changes to maintain quality of life in the city while reducing the environmental impacts which today are unsustainable
- Transforming cities – the densely-populated living spaces which embody our outdated consumption patterns and result in dwindling resources – in order to create new living environments that support innovation, social integration and the protection of nature, climate, resources and biodiversity. In other words, this means transforming cities, which by 2050 will house nearly 70% of the global population, into places where human, social and environmental transformations are accelerated
- Adopting the circular economy as a challenge to improve infrastructures and the management of urban infrastructures for the common good
- Making public governance at every level (multilateral, national and local), a regulatory framework which encourages, facilitates and obligates, so that agreements made at the top level (Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement, European Circular Economy Package, regional schemes, etc) can be translated and implemented on a daily basis by economic actors on the ground. And in so doing, turning long-term political vision into a driving force for everyone
(1) Comprising ADEME (French Environment & Energy Management Agency), Lyon Metropolis, the non-profit environmental organisation OREE, Institut National de l’Economie Circulaire (National Institute of the Circular Economy), CIRIDD, (International Centre for Resources and Innovation for Sustainable Development) ICLEI, etc.)
(2) ICLEI, ACR +, EuroCities
(3) Urban planning and development / Industrial and territorial ecology / Waste and recycling / Reuse and remanufacturing / Resource Management / Shared services and usage