The existing economic model of taking natural resources, making, using, then disposing of products cannot be sustained.
Cities, enterprises and communities need a new economic model – the circular economy.
The circular economy designs out waste and pollution, keeps products and materials in use and regenerates natural systems. Transition to a circular economy requires fundamental redesign of existing systems, innovation and incorporation of new technology and smart materials.
Pam Ford, General Manager Economic Development for Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) says ATEED worked with the Sustainable Business Network to understand how Auckland could benefit from moving to a circular economy.
“Auckland could be $6-$8 billion better off, with much lower carbon emissions by 2030. We could create new economic opportunities for our businesses and our people, and enable a more resilient future for Auckland."
From there, we discovered a lack of awareness and understanding about how circular economy principles apply to business and industry.
"We found Auckland businesses need information, tools and skills to enable them to use circular economy ideas to create new opportunities and reduce their reliance on finite resources.”
To help lead the way, and alongside its destination management work, ATEED is working to support Auckland’s transition to a circular economy in partnership with New Zealand company Circularity.
Circularity helps businesses understand circular economy principles, build in-house capability and design business solutions using its Circular by Design methodology. Through circular economy projects, workshops and consultations, Circularity helps businesses find ways to unlock new economic value that is better for people and planet
One of ATEED’s first circular economy initiatives is a circular innovation programme made in partnership with Circularity, XLabs. To our knowledge, this is the first of its kind for both Auckland and New Zealand.
XLabs is a series of five one-day workshops, every Friday over five weeks, bookended by two events.
Auckland businesses from the tourism, consumer goods, built environment and transport sectors are invited to form teams of three to six people and bring their challenges to XLabs.
They will work alongside other businesses and leading circular thinking experts to build their knowledge, capability and skills – and ultimately accelerate circular innovation in Auckland.
Participants will learn about resource-use, circular economy systems and processes, and work together to create innovative circular solutions for real-life business challenges Auckland companies are facing.
XLabs combines cutting-edge thinking and proven real-world models from sustainability, technology and science.
Be part of Auckland’s first lab dedicated to using a circular economy framework to solve business problems and create positive economic and environmental outcomes.
Register a team from your business to work with circular experts, scientists, technologists and creative minds. Teams can be from three to six people.
Learn about real-world examples of innovative circular business models from around the world and expert knowledge in emerging technology, smart materials, waste, packaging, carbon emissions and regenerative practices.
Participants will create, prototype and market test circular economy innovations across tourism, consumer goods, transport and the built environment, then pitch their ideas to potential funders.
For more information or to register, visit XLabs.