CEW Programme

Circular Economy Wales aims to work with strategic partners to enable social enterprises in the reuse sector to seize the opportunities available

In the next three years we plan to:

  • Represent our members on a Wales Strategic Re-use Board
    Help our members develop new business segments
  • Gather data from these organisations on preparation for re-use to report outcomes accurately and verifiably
  • Lead development and promotion of a national re-use brand
    Create regional re-use hubs and collection points
  • Assist the members in contributing to the Welsh Government’s re-use target
  • Work in partnership to set up an accredited re-use standard and help members achieve that standard.
  • Collaborating with organisations to include commercial re-use in their planning.
  • Work with partners and universities to establish an academic centre of excellence on re-use
  • Researching and implementing progressive financial incentives and disincentives to support re-use with the use of the Celyn mutual credit system for Wales

COVID19 has taught us all that agility is key to the future success of the foundational economy of community-facing services. CEW is committed to taking evidence-based approaches towards the circular economy and sustainable development. Innovative models, to help ‘Build Better’, are always being reviewed by CEW and the global network of practitioners it has access to, for the social, environmental and economic benefits they bring.

Opportunities appear and leave the sector, in response to the rise and fall in availability of materials from the waste stream. This ongoing development needs careful and coordinated specialist support. Without it, the sector stands still, as has largely been the case since Cylch, Wales’ community waste membership organisation closed in 2013. CEW’s Sector Mapping report prepared for the Welsh Government in 2019, showed a sector that had grown relatively little without the support it once received.

Funded Coordination and Development

How could funded coordination and PfR development make a difference?
From 2012-19, reuse organisations in Wales lacked any representation and specialist development support. Previously, when this was funded in Wales to provide targeted and specialist support to social PfR, grant dependency within the sector moved from 80 per cent to 20 per cent within three years of tailored and targeted support.

What could a People’s Circular Economy developmental network bring to Wales right now?

CEW’s programmes and developmental expertise aim to build product and service diversity and resilience within Wales’s Social PfR sector.

Proven exemplars of community ingenuity are now moving forward globally. CEW is connected to a number of international Zero Waste organisations globally who are involved at the front line of service delivery, as opposed to discussion forums. CEW’s mapping of the PfR social economy in 2019 shows, with a few exceptions, that the sector has not seized new opportunities to build contracts with local authorities, to establish new services and reach further into our communities.

With limited resources, CEW has been working on individual partnerships, to bring new services to fruition.

Strategically supported, CEW would be able to broaden, deepen and build on its innovative work and accelerate progress:

A stimulus to locally grown and organic food by helping the social economy produce products to stimulate regenerative farming in their communities.

Community-owned micro-reprocessing services for upcycling glass, plastics and wood; to turn these material streams into useable product desired that are saleable to community members

Collaborating to create a unified online marketplace (a ReBAY if you will) for products made in Wales.

Embedding the redistribution of all surplus food into Welsh culture, via small scale but numerous, non-stigma and non-means-tested Community Fridge services

The Foundational Economy Challenge Fund backed ‘CELYN’, being rolled out by CEW, is a global first for Wales; a liquidity saving measure that closes the loop on recycling/reuse initiatives by further circulating the wealth it generates in the locality. (Mutual Credit is part of Switzerland’s economic success story, see section 4)
Finding creative ways of using the Celyn to affect consumer behaviour.
Strategic Partnerships

CEW is seeking to establish formal partnerships or other formal collaborations with the following as a first step to avoid duplication of effort.

Development Trusts Association
One Voice Wales
Federation of Small Businesses
WCVA
WLGA
WAMITAB
Wales COOP Centre
Renewable Energy Wales
WeALL Economy Alliance
Wales Chambers of Commerce
Farming Connect
Sustainable Food Trust

Can a Social PfR network in Wales rise to the challenge of COVID19?

These are extraordinary times, with continuing financial pressures and an
economy reeling from the impacts of Covid19. Circular Economy Wales shares
the same view as the Welsh Government that protecting and building the
foundational economy in our communities is core to rebooting the Welsh
economy as a whole.

During Wales’ recovery from Covid19 there is an opportunity, and indeed a pressing need, for social enterprises involved in PfR to catch up with other parts of the world, to put new opportunities onto a sustainable financial footing so that they can contribute further to community regeneration, social cohesion, personal inclusion and a sustainable management of material resources where communities benefit.

Following the COVID19 impacts upon Wales and the world, taking care of our environment and developing a more resilient economy with shorter and more secure supply chains is advantageous -essential maybe.

With the Celyn, Circular Economy Wales brings a unique liquidity saving mechanism to the table to help achieve this at scale. This is particularly valuable when cashflow is in short supply due to a crisis. The Celyn is the financial equivalent of the Circular Economy. The WIR, Celyn’s Swiss counterpart and the SARDEX in Sardinia have been central to the success of the Swiss and Sardinian economies for many years.

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