Scottish Resources Conference Poll Highlights Eco-Design Desire

iain-gullandThe need for collective action to achieve a more circular economy was the key message from the world-leading experts gathered at this year’s Scottish Resources Conference, earlier this month, but a new infographic created from the results of the polls taken at the events also shows that a more “beefed-up” eco-design criteria is wanted; and that delegates felt that food waste innovations are not being adopted quickly enough.

Held for the 15th consecutive year, and for the first time at Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC), the event saw hundreds of representatives from businesses, social enterprises, academia, local authorities and governmental organisations come together to discuss Scotland’s growing circular economy.

Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, opened the conference by highlighting the “huge appetite” to make the circular economy work in Scotland and the need to realise that ambition. He also commended policy progress, with the Scottish Government’s Circular Economy Strategy ‘Make Things Last’ launched earlier this year and the backing of major new investment from the European Regional Development Fund.

It was a message reinforced by Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, who reaffirmed the Scottish Government’s commitment to the circular economy in her keynote speech. She said: “The effort that goes into our achievements is the collective effort of a huge number of individuals. It can be small activities right across the country that collectively make the difference. Our circular economy strategy is called Making Things Last, and now we need to make things happen.”


Delegates were asked to respond to questions during each of the sessions, and these have been turned into an event infographic. Among the highlights were:

78% of delegates feel eco-design criteria needs to be beefed-up to force more circular products

78% agree it’s more important that PR systems influence choices at product design than end-of-life

90% say new food waste reduction innovations aren’t being adopted quickly enough by businesses and the public

100% say universities and businesses need to work together to develop innovative solutions to food waste

94% think current approaches for encouraging behaviour change around reducing food waste are not sufficient

Chaired by BBC journalist Sally Magnusson and attracting a record number of delegates, the Scottish Resources Conference 2016 generated lively debate not just at the event itself but also online, with the hashtag for the conference trending in Edinburgh and tweets reaching nearly 168,000 users.

Iain Gulland, added: “There is no doubt that the Scottish Resources Conference has become a key event in the zero waste calendar both in Scotland and among our global network of partner organisations. Its success this year is testament to the hard work of those within the sector and their continued commitment to achieving an economy in which nothing is wasted and everything is valued.

“We look forward to inviting everyone back next year for an even bigger and better event – but more importantly to work with us to make things happen, so, collectively, we have an even better story to tell.”

Download a larger version of the infographic here

Next year’s event will again take place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on 27-28 October 2017.


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