A woman fills her reusable container in a zero-waste grocery store demonstrating the growing market circular economy solutions.

The Growing Market for Circular Economy Solutions

Accelerating the Transition to a Circular Economy

In the centuries since the Industrial Revolution, the linear model of production has become common, if not dominant, in sectors like apparel, manufacturing, food and retail. Linear production consumes large quantities of raw materials while creating large quantities of waste. However, a confluence of factors, including rising costs of materials, commitment to climate action, and supply chain disruptions, have led many businesses within these industries to reconsider this standard.

Small and large businesses alike have begun shifting their operations and production towards circularity – a model that is regenerative by design, retaining the value of materials by prioritizing the redesign and reuse of products throughout their lifecycles. However, they may require assistance navigating the transition.

There is a huge potential market for circular solutions providers and designers, if the large companies in the Vancouver Economic Commission’s recent circular economy reverse pitch session are anything to go by: Arc’teryx, Metro Vancouver Regional District, MEC, Save-on-Foods, and Canadian Tire.

If you’re a circular solutions innovator that missed the reverse pitch session, not to worry! You can still propose a solution. These will then be vetted and provided to the pitching companies in question, and B2B meetings arranged for successful applicants.

Are you an innovator or solution provider?

You can propose a circular solution to Arc’teryx, Canadian Tire, MEC, Metro Vancouver, or Save on Foods by applying for a B2B meeting where you can discuss your proposal with them directly.

Deadline for submission: April 22, 2022
Read the challenge statements
Submit your proposal and register for a B2B Meeting

Recap: Get In The Loop: Circular Reverse Pitch Event

Get in the Loop took place as part of the GLOBE Forum 2022 on March 30, 2022. Pitching companies represented a variety of sectors, and their challenges ranged from designing a grocery retailer that eliminates waste hauling to redesigning artificial Christmas trees for greater circularity. Participants included Arc’teryx, Canadian Tire, MEC, Metro Vancouver Regional District, and Save-on-Foods – diverse companies united by a commitment to implement innovative solutions that make progress on zero waste, design for disassembly, improve material efficiency, and incorporate circular process design.

The challenges presented reflect unique barriers for each company:

  • For Arc’teryx, an underlying issue is the struggle to upcycle its Gore-tex material. Currently, a large volume of used/returned/defective garments are stored indefinitely, waiting for new uses or technologies to be discovered.
  • Metro Vancouver, although able to recycle a large majority of the municipalities’ solid and liquid waste, retains a residue called “grit” that gets discarded in the landfill. The company is seeking applications for grit that provide environmental benefits or a lower environmental impact.
  • As part of their outdoor gear collection, MEC is seeking a 100 percent circular solution for its materials that can be scaled across Canada. The new products or materials will be used for the MEC label.
  • On the journey to becoming Canada’s first zero-waste conventional grocery store, Save-on-Foods is looking for adaptable and scalable solutions to completely eliminate the need for waste hauling.
  • Canadian Tire, a household name among Canadians, is eager to redesign its branded artificial Christmas trees for easy disassembly and recycling or upcycling.

Highlighting the circular challenges facing large companies helps to foster innovation within the community and enables B2B collaboration. Innovators with products, services or technologies that can solve the circular challenges presented are encouraged to submit their solutions for consideration.

The response to Get in the Loop has been overwhelmingly positive on both sides: participation by both the presenting companies and audience of solutions providers shows the appetite for engagement to explore circular solutions and learn about the needs of larger companies as they transition to circular business models.

Answer the call for circular solutions

We want to hear solutions to the circular challenges presented by our pitching companies, and assist circular innovators seeking to make connections to potential new markets. Select submissions will be matched with the pitching companies for a direct B2B meeting, where innovators can discuss their solution with one of the pitching companies directly.

Are you an innovator or solution provider? Submit your circular solution to Arc’teryx, Canadian Tire, MEC, Metro Vancouver, and Save on Foods today. Here’s what to do:

  1. Read the challenge statements
  2. Submit your proposal and register for a B2B Meeting
  3. Deadline for submission: April 22, 2022

Thank you to Project Greenlight

Get in the Loop was generously sponsored by Project Greenlight, a Vancouver Economic Commission program that connects enterprises and innovators to build sustainable, resilient and strong communities. We encourage solutions providers and potential members to consider joining Project Greenlight to access further calls for innovation presented by major enterprises across Metro Vancouver.

Learn more about Project Greenlight.