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The Next Economy
Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Conference to Highlight Innovations in Policy, Practice

The 2016 edition of the Zero Waste Conference (ZWC), taking place on November 3, features an international roster of presenters discussing the growing momentum behind the need to reduce waste, boost efficiency, close loops in production and marketing, tap into whole new markets and exploit opportunities in the fast-emerging circular economy. In the opening keynote, visionary architect and designer Neri Oxman will discuss how biology and technology can be used to create buildings and products compatible with highly efficient circular systems of the natural world.

Groundbreaking ideas from renowned thinkers have been the hallmark of the ZWC since the first event was held in 2012 - previous speakers include Bridgett Luther, founder of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute; Dame Ellen MacArthur, author and economist Jeremy Rifkin, food waste activist Tristram Stuart, and designer and sustainability pioneer William McDonough.

Sessions on other topics such as food waste, repair and reuse, and the built environment feature Scott Tudor of Canada’s influential food-retailer, Sobey’s; Tony Shumpert of textile-reuse pioneer Value Village; and Owen Zachariasse of the Dutch innovator in sustainable real-estate management, Delta Development Group.

“Business and political leaders that come to the Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Conference will see things that are happening all across Canada, ways that both municipalities and businesses are advancing their efforts in waste reduction,” Shumpert says. “One of the best ways to advance your own efforts in waste reduction is to find out what’s going on somewhere else and figure out if it fits for you, and if so, advancing that in your own operation. What people will be surprised about is that there are all sorts of things going on and we can learn from each other to help advance the cause very quickly.”

“Above all, we’ll be offering perspectives focused on creating solutions, finding opportunities, and sharing the fruits of innovation and knowledge,” says Metro Vancouver board chair Greg Moore. “Want to spend time with pessimists complaining that zero waste is just too hard? ZWC 2016 is not the event for you!”