Circular Economy in Practice, Challenges and Opportunities (a BAS and Cambridge Network event)

 Registration is closed for this event
Economic growth, whilst desirable, tends to be linked to consumption yet our consumption rates cannot continue indefinitely at the expense of the earth’s resources. The Circular Economy encourages all businesses, organisations and individuals to look at all their processes and habits to minimise consumption and waste. This free event on 26th February will explore the circular economy from 5 aspects: materials (not just plastic!), retailing, water, infrastructure and policy.

Today's linear ‘take, make, dispose’ economic model relies on large quantities of cheap, easily accessible materials and energy, and is a model that is reaching its physical limits. A circular economy* is an attractive and viable alternative that businesses have already started exploring today. It preserves and enhances natural capital, optimises resource yields, and minimises system risks by managing finite stocks and renewable flows.

This event, led by the British Antarctic Survey, will bring together thought leaders from industry, academia and the public sector to share best practice, give an honest account of successes and set-backs, and highlight which barriers and knowledge gaps need to be addressed to accelerate progress. 

Who should attend?

  • Industry / creative minds in the Cambridge innovation landscape: be inspired to become part of the solution
  • Researchers: find out where your research expertise can help address global sustainability issues

* A circular economy is an alternative to a traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose) in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life.(Definition from WRAP)



Registration, coffee and networking

A chance to look at the exhibition of speaker topics prior to their talks.


Welcome to Aurora at the British Antarctic Survey

Dr Beatrix Schlarb-Ridley, Director of Innovation and Impact, British Antarctic Survey.

Aurora provides a vibrant niche in the Cambridge ecosystem for excellent research, entrepreneurial activity and knowledge exchange in the areas of climate change, environmental stewardship and technologies for challenging environments. We aim to inspire innovators to co-create solutions for environmental issues.

Dr Beatrix Schlarb-Ridley, Aurora, British Antarctic Survey


Setting the context – a review of the Circular Economy concept from the research angle
Dr Jonathan Cullen, University Lecturer in Energy, Transport and Urban Infrastructure from the University of Cambridge.

Jonathan will give an overview of the circular economy, focussing on some metrics for the 5 key material groups: steel, concrete, aluminium, paper and plastics. 

Dr Jonathan Cullen, University of Cambridge



A retailer's perspective on the Circular Economy
Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business (Plan A), M&S.

Mike will talk about the groundbreaking Plan A, a 100-point, 5-year plan to address a wide range of environmental and social issues.  Plan A is M&S’ way to help build a sustainable future by being a business that enables their customers to have a positive impact on wellbeing, communities and the planet through all that they do.  It covers areas such as clothing and home, food and food waste, property and construction, retail operations and community engagement.

Mike Barry, Plan A, M&S



A Utilities view on the Circular Economy
Sarah D’Arcy, Lead for campaign ‘love every drop’, Anglian Water.

Anglian Water’s Love Every Drop strategy puts water at the heart of a whole new way of living, working with everyone who influences water use in our region – housing developers, retailers, manufacturers, government and customers. We want to learn as much as we can from each other and develop new ways to supply and use water sustainably.



The challenge for the built environment
Richard Boyd, Senior Engineer, Arup.

Transitioning to a circular economy in the built environment is a particular challenge; it operates at a large scale, with huge variety and over long timescales. Richard will present some thoughts on how these can be overcome, and will include details of some circular economy initiatives Arup is working on.

Richard @Boyd, Arup


Brief comfort break


The Policy Perspective to creating a circular economy.

Dustin Benton, Policy Director,  Green Alliance

Dustin will put current developments in circular economy initiatives in the context of the Industrial Strategy and May’s ‘global leadership’ announcement.  What could this mean for funding connecting high value expertise in Cambridge to industry needs?   What can government do to help industry redesign business models to align with CE in the Industrial Strategy, eg differential taxation?

Dustin Benton, Green Alliance


Panel Discussion:

Chair: Dr David Greenfield, SOcial, Environmental & Economic Solutions (SOENECS) Ltd and Circular Economy Club (CEC)

This will be an opportunity to pose your questions to the panel based on the talks heard during the afternoon.  Delegates are encouraged to download the app in advance so you can submit your question earlier in the day or during the event.

Dr David Greenfield, Sonecs


Networking Reception

An opportunity to meet the speakers and delegates over a glass of wine and light refreshments.

During the event participants will be invited to post ideas on the areas discussed: Metrics, Retail, Utilities, Infrastructure and Policy with a view to forming focus groups for subsequent discussion/action.


Event close




To attend

Members: Any Cambridge Network member may attend free of charge. Please log in first using the link at the top of this website where you should be recognised as a current member.  You will be then able to register free of charge by returning to this page and clicking Book Now!

Non-members may also attend this session free of charge. To sign up please register as a user here first. Then return to this page in order to be able to complete the booking process.  Alternatively, please email

February 26th, 2018 3:30 PM   to   7:00 PM
British Antarctic Survey
High Cross
Madingley Road
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB3 0ET
United Kingdom
URL circular-economy-in-practice-challenges-and-opportunities-a-bas-and-cambridge-network-event-26022018
Reference circulareconomy
Premium Event Expires 26/02/2018
Publish On 20/12/2017
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Contact Name Matthew Polaine, BAS
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