Man standing at a podium delivering a speech to a room of people

Innovative ways the public sector in South Wales is tackling the climate emergency have been highlighted at a conference organised by the circular economy experts. 

The CEIC Autumn Conference - Supporting the sustainable future of Wales, led by the Circular Economy Innovation Communities team at Swansea University and Cardiff Metropolitan University, attracted a national and international audience.

CEIC project director Dr Gary Walpole said the programme had a crucial role to play in helping Wales’s transition towards a circular economy.

He said: “We are creating communities that support public and third sector professionals to develop new processes and solutions which implement circular economy principles.

“We are connecting 14 cohorts across South Wales to help organisations learn with each other and from each other. These cohorts have developed into circular economy communities of practice that we linked up to support the development of the regional innovation eco-system.

“The CEIC conference is one element of what we're doing to develop the regional eco-system.’’

The conference focused on the importance of the circular economy in tackling the climate emergency, social learning, communities of practice and innovative solutions via collaboration. It also provided a showcase for initiatives being delivered by CEIC participants in public service sectors in the Swansea Bay and Cardiff Capital regions.

The keynote address by Etienne and Bev Wenger-Trainer, renowned experts in the field of social learning, emphasised the importance of finding a voice and gaining strategic influence by delivering community practice strategies.

CEIC participants shared their collaborative team challenges which included looking at post-industrial landscapes and identifying the need for an assessment tool to identify the next lifecycle for these environments.

Hayley Richards, from NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership, presented her team challenge on de-carbonisation and emphasised the need to create organisational change.

Faye Ward, of Dŵr Cymru, and Natalie Burton-Dudley, from NRW, presented their challenge group focus on water quality and their ideas on improving the water quality monitoring systems in Wales.

Delegates also heard from John Eden-Holt, from OVO Energy, and learning more about its net zero plan to deliver behaviour change to its workforce and communities via there e-learning open access tool Plan Zero.


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