The world needs a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Led by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, Finland has joined forces with Canada and the Netherlands to host three high-level events to address the important role circularity plays in the economies of the future as well as in the fight against the climate change crisis.

Along with their partners, Sitra will showcase the tools and solutions countries need to build well-being and prosperity by hosting three events under the flagship of the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF):

  • WCEFonline on September 29 and 30, 2020
  • A WCEF event on April 15, 2021, in the Netherlands and online
  • WCEF2021 from September 13 to 15, 2021, in Toronto, Canada

The three events will address the choice we face at this critical juncture. We can find our way back to growth by kicking “business as usual” into overdrive—or we can capitalise on a shift that has already started, the shift toward the circular economy, which helps us to thrive in the long term.

Linear economy versus circular economy (author: Catherine Weetman)

WCEFonline will share leading circular economy solutions for building more resilience

The upcoming virtual event WCEFonline will show practical circular economy examples that will help us to seize this unique opportunity to rebuild our economies stronger, greener, and better. Throughout six sessions, WCEFonline will enable the circular community from all over the world to participate in the discussions.

The sessions will provide different lenses through which business leaders and policymakers can assess the risks and opportunities associated with their resource dependence. The key questions will include how the circular economy helps in building more resilient businesses, why sustainable finance is key, and what governments need to focus on now to scale up the circular economy.

The event will include keynotes from Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme; Frans Timmermans, Vice President of the European Commission; Stientje van Veldhoven, the Minister for the Environment of the Netherlands; the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change; and Jyrki Katainen, President of Sitra, among others.

“To ensure a sustainable recovery, we need to take decisive measures that encourage the transition to a carbon-neutral circular economy that prospers in harmony with nature,” says Jyrki Katainen, President of Sitra.

The Netherlands, also an active member in the Platform for Advancing the Circular Economy (PACE), will organise a multi-stakeholder high-level meeting as part of the World Circular Economy Forum to address the links between the circular economy and climate. It will help to prepare for upcoming international climate negotiations and aim to position the circular economy higher on the COP and broader international agenda. The objective is also to broaden the coalition of the willing, build bridges between the public and private sector, and include more developing countries in the global debate on the benefits of circularity. The event will take place both in the Netherlands and online.

The Netherlands is very much looking forward to hosting a high-level WCEF meeting on the circular economy and climate change, on April 15, 2021. There is no doubt that the transition to a circular economy is crucial in reaching our climate goals. We need to recognise the large and cost-effective contribution that the circular economy can make in building a more sustainable society, especially in the post-COVID-19 world,” says Stientje van Veldhoven, Minister for the Environment of the Netherlands.

WCEF2021 will address systemic changes needed to accelerate the circular transition

The landmark circular economy event of the year, the World Circular Economy Forum, will be held in Toronto, Canada. This event will mark the first time the annual forum is held in North America. WCEF2021 will build on the previous events to focus on the cross-cutting issues and topics that are central to economic recovery and the circular shift. WCEF2021 will identify the key actions and systemic changes needed to create the conditions for a thriving global circular economy.

“The work to advance the circular economy must continue, and Canada is looking forward to hosting the World Circular Economy Forum in 2021. We will assemble the world’s leading thinkers and innovators on the circular economy to take an in-depth look at opportunities in the North American and global context. This event will showcase the sustainable pathways needed to advance the transition to the circular economy around the world,” says the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change.