The Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) will participate in an island-wide pilot project to support local businesses to include circular economy concepts in their operations.
The Vancouver Island Coast Economic Developers’ Association (VICEDA) is leading this initiative with funding support from Island Coastal Economic Trust’s DIVERSIFY Capital & Innovation Program. Island-based Synergy Foundation has been contracted to implement the accelerator program. Economic Development Cowichan has been instrumental in developing this project through involvement with VICEDA, and will be spearheading our region’s participation in the pilot. The Cowichan Valley Regional District is one of a dozen Vancouver Island communities who are excited to support the new program.
“The circular economy is an important tool in our transition to a sustainable future, both locally and globally,” said Brittany Taylor, Acting Manager of Economic Development Cowichan. “This pilot project is unique in offering support to existing businesses who recognize the economic opportunities of reducing waste and emissions through innovation.”
In a circular economy, products are designed to keep materials out of landfills and in the system longer through reuse, repair, reconditioning, and more, thereby increasing their value. Businesses looking to transition to a more circular model might consider reducing waste in their production practices, buying more goods from local suppliers, and partnering with other local businesses who can make use of their waste materials. We are very excited to see what new and innovative ideas are developed in Cowichan through this program.
The pilot project will target existing construction, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing and forestry companies with 25 to 200 employees who are interested in applying circular principles to operations, products, and services. The project team anticipates working one-on-one with 20 businesses in the Vancouver Island and Coast region during the pilot. The project will also include workshops, webinars, case studies and toolkits.
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