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How we're supporting the circular economy

Zero Waste Scotland provides leadership and practical support to encourage growth of the circular economy in Scotland.

We will lead Scotland to use products and resources responsibly - making Scotland a pioneer of the circular economy, just as we were a pioneer of the industrial revolution.

Zero Waste Scotland is a lighthouse for the circular economy.

Our role is underpinned by the Scottish Government's target to produce net-emissions by 2045. In recognition of our pioneering approach to the circular economy, Scotland won the global Circulars Award at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2017.

Iain Gulland, CEO at Zero Waste Scotland, explains our role and the benefits of a circular economy in our short video below:

Our key areas of work

The Circular Economy Accelerator Programme

The Circular Economy Accelerator programme aims to increase the resource efficiency of Scottish SMEs, further develop and strengthen Scotland's circular economy, and support community-based organisations to build on existing local resources. 

Louise McGregor, Head of Circular Economy at Zero Waste Scotland, explains how we can help Scottish businesses identify opportunities and embrace the benefits of a circular economy in our short video below:

Circular Economy Business Support Service

Our Circular Economy Business Support Service delivers tailored, expert, one-to-one consultancy directly to small and medium sized businesses across all sectors in Scotland looking to develop circular business models. It’s designed to help companies explore more circular ways of doing business that can result in resource efficiencies, improved profitability, higher quality products, increased customer base and alternative supply chains for your business.

Find out more about our business support service on our Circular Economy Accelerator website

Circular Economy Investment Fund 

The Circular Economy Investment Fund is a £18 million funding opportunity for small and medium sized businesses and organisations who have already tested their circular model, and are looking for investment to further develop this to create a more circular economy.

Find out more and apply for the Circular Economy Investment Fund.

In general, it’s about making new material streams available at a low cost. Sacks – or any other waste stream that’s going into landfill – are either cheap or free. When it works, the financial advantage is pretty simple...reduce raw material costs, boost profits.

We are proud to have helped over 40 Scottish businesses adopt circular business models. Read about their journeys.

The Circular Economy Business Support Service is supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the £73million Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Accelerator Programme.

Circular Cities and Regions

Zero Waste Scotland works in partnership with Chambers of Commerce in four areas, as part of its Circular Cities and Regions programme, to deliver a tailored programme of business engagement to identify and exploit the key sectors and businesses for circular growth.

Find out more about our work with cities and regions.  

Working in Partnership to deliver Change 

Collaboration is crucial if we are to transition to a circular economy.

Zero Waste Scotland work closely with professional networks, industry and other key delivery bodies to ensure the circular economy is embraced in Scotland.

Find out more about our partnerships.  

Scottish Circular Economy Business Network

Zero Waste Scotland are founding members of “The Scottish Circular Economy Business Network (SCEBN)” in partnership with Scottish Enterprise (SE), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). The network work aims to share and build on good practice in order to lead the transition towards a circular economy.

Find out more about the Scottish Circular Economy Business Network.

Research and Evidence

Zero Waste Scotland is investigating new and innovative ways to conserve materials and to cycle materials and products efficiently back into supply chains and the economy.

Find out more about our research.

Circular Procurement

Zero Waste Scotland is a key partner in a transnational circular economy procurement project called ProCirc. This three-year project is part-funded by the eco-innovation strand of the European Union North Sea Region Interreg Programme. Find out more about how to responde to the climate emergency through procurement .

Skills and Education

Zero Waste Scotland is working with education to deliver key government policy and influencing programmes to development of Scotland's future workforce.

The support from Zero Waste Scotland has helped us develop marketable solutions which will accelerate the take up of LED lighting in commercial property. Throughout the process they have kept Market LED focussed on the end objective, challenged where necessary and provided support when we required. It is fair to say that we would not have been able to launch a ‘Rent a Light’ service without them.

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