Initiative To “Unlock” Circular Economy Potential For Edinburgh SMEs

A major new initiative to help SMEs in Edinburgh identify and capitalise on circular economy opportunities, has been launched – Circular Edinburgh is a joint initiative delivered by Zero Waste Scotland and Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce.

The capital is one of four Scottish regions selected in 2018 to receive free support and project funding for local businesses. The Chambers will deliver a range of local activities to help identify opportunities for local business, and direct them towards available support and funding.

Circular Edinburgh complements Zero Waste Scotland’s nationwide support for SMEs to develop circular economy business ideas, including its £18m Circular Economy Investment Fund and Circular Economy Business Support Service.

“Businesses are already capitalising on the vast benefits of being circular and, through new business models, are finding untapped opportunities for innovation and increased profitability, whilst addressing the issue of resource pressures.”

The initiative is part of the Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme, which will invest £27m in Scotland in circular economy projects until December 2019, thanks to support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Iain Gulland, chief executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “I’m delighted today to announce Zero Waste Scotland is joining forces with Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce to launch Circular Edinburgh, an ambitious initiative to unlock the potential for SMEs in the region, by thinking innovatively about business models.

“Circular Edinburgh is a terrific opportunity to help local businesses in making the transition to a circular economy, that has the potential to create jobs, support sustainable business models and help the environment and the economy. Across Scotland, a circular economy could generate £3bn of annual benefits.

“Scotland is at the cutting edge of developing a more circular economy, and was recently chosen to host the Circular Economy Hotspot Scotland, a major international trade mission, taking place later this year.

“Businesses are already capitalising on the vast benefits of being circular and, through new business models, are finding untapped opportunities for innovation and increased profitability, whilst addressing the issue of resource pressures.”

Liz McAreavey, chief executive, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Circular Economy will provide business with tremendous opportunities, in creating efficiencies, reducing waste, and in creating new products, services, wealth and jobs.

“The Chamber is delighted to be working with Zero Waste Scotland on a project to engage the Capital’s business community with these opportunities, and making a big contribution to future growth and sustainability.”

Zero Waste Scotland leads on delivery of the £73m Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme, which aims to improve the economic performance of SMEs while at the same time reducing the impact of economic activity on the natural environment, supporting Scottish Government and EU policies.


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