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SIS enlists worldwide circular economy experts to support Scotland’s social enterprises

Social Investment Scotland (SIS) has enlisted the support of circular economy experts from across the world, as part of an initiative designed to help all social enterprise and third sector organisations understand circular economy principles and reduce their environmental footprint.


Circular Economy 360 – the new video and webinar series delivered in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland – will enable social enterprises from all backgrounds to move towards a more circular model for their operations, helping to debunk any myths around circular practices and uncover the commercial benefits. Experts in the circular economy from around the globe, including social enterprises in the USA, France, Northern Ireland, Greece, and Austria, will support the sessions, inspiring participants in forming plans to reduce costs and make a positive impact on the environment.

The programme of events, which kicks off on 3rd May, will be hosted by Naomi Johnson, SIS Associate, and social enterprises are invited to join five live sessions, as well as gaining access to a range of recorded materials. Participants will leave the programme with the skills to conduct baseline environmental assessments and develop a plan for their organisation to embed the circular economy principles into the business.

Those attending will have the opportunity to gain experience from leading international social entrepreneurs ranging from someone giving a second life to used medical equipment such as wheelchairs and crutches, to those who have utilised the circular economy to develop more affordable housing. There will also be sessions with leaders from Scottish social enterprises who are embedding circular economy practices closer to home.

Kieran Daly, head of Market Building at SIS said: “Social enterprises are, by design, purpose driven organisations and increasingly looking to both reduce their carbon footprint and, in many cases, design new products and services with an environmental benefit. However, it can still seem challenging knowing where to start and getting to grips with some of the jargon around the circular economy. Having an active and demonstrable plan for meeting climate targets is becoming an increasingly important consideration in the buying decisions of consumers and businesses. With this in mind, we have developed Circular Economy 360 to inspire and guide social enterprise leaders to think about how by-products from other sectors can have a productive second life, both for commercial benefit and sustainability reasons.”

Naomi Johnson, SIS Associate, said: “Circular Economy 360 will look at practical and pragmatic solutions to help social enterprises on the journey towards net zero. Expert speakers and social enterprise founders will come together to share knowledge, so that when participants leave, they have a clear idea of what next steps and actions they can take.”

The international speakers include:

  • USA – Terry McDonald of St Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County
  • France – Lysiane Serret of Envie Autonomie
  • Northern Ireland – Eric Randell of Bryson House
  • Greece – Nikos Chrysogelos of Welcommon
  • Austria – Thomas Room of Baukarussel & Gabriela Sonnleitner of Magdas Hotel.

Find out more and register for any of the Circular Economy 360 events here.