An Urgent Global Issue

Waste is an urgent global issue. Per capita waste generation has risen markedly in 50 years and Canadians produce the most garbage per capita when compared to 16 other OECD nations - a whopping 777 kilograms per person per year (Conference Board of Canada, 2013).

A collective shift in thinking and action is needed away from waste management in a linear economy to waste prevention and whole-systems resource management in a circular economy.

Regenerative by design, a circular economy is a systems solution to waste –avoiding the end-of-life impact of waste production and management by eliminating waste in the first place. This shift holds significant potential for improving business competitiveness, innovation, job creation and economic development.


The Cost of Waste

Every year local governments in Canada spend approximately $3.2 billion managing 34 million tonnes of waste.  For businesses waste affects the bottom line, cutting into business profits and revenues, and eroding their competitiveness in a global economy where it is getting harder to  source relatively cheap and abundant materials and resources.

 

A Political Priority and Business Opportunity

  • Waste prevention is a tangible lever to help Canada meet its global sustainability goals and commitments.
  • Preventing waste offers much greater carbon savings than recycling waste.
  • Waste prevention is an opportunity for governments in Canada to support job creation, economic development, investment, and innovation as well as environmental protection - with benefits to citizens and communities.
  • Waste prevention positions Canadian businesses to effectively compete in a resource constrained world.  

 

Business Benefits

The business benefits of reduced resource consumption, improved resource efficiency, and reduced costs of waste management can include:

  • Cost savings and profit generation
  • Enhanced brand and reputation
  • Greater customer acquisition and enhanced loyalty
  • First mover advantage in terms of developing new business opportunities
  • Security of supply and improved access to resource inputs
  • Less exposure to commodity price volatility; reduction in virgin resource requirements