The Rediscovery Centre, the National Centre for the circular Economy, has launched Ireland’s first Circular Economy Academy. The Academy’s first phase is a nationwide support service to assist social enterprises to develop successful businesses using circular economy models.
The circular economy model is a perfect fit for Irish social enterprises and community organisations looking to establish a new project or expand operations whilst supporting climate action and environmental protection. It enables products to stay in circulation for longer through reuse, repair and innovation, and prevents the creation of waste. It has been estimated that the circular economy has the potential to generate 5000 new jobs and contribute €1.65 billion to Ireland’s GDP, regenerating communities and supporting local enterprise.
The Rediscovery Centre is currently seeking expressions of interest from social enterprises to participate in the first phase of the Academy. Enterprises will receive assistance from the experienced Rediscovery Centre team and their circular economy collaborators in circular business planning, financing options, training, sustainable material sourcing, technical support, incubation, access to market, networking and diversification strategies. The academy also supports organisations to replicate the Rediscovery Centre’s successful paint, furniture, fashion and furniture reuse initiatives in their locality. To participate organisations should email your interest to CEMovement@rediscoverycentre.ie
The national roll out of the Circular Economy Academy is delivered through the Rediscovery Centre’s strategic partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Waste Prevention Programme. The National Waste Prevention Programme supports and fosters a circular economy in Ireland by providing tools and information to businesses, households and the public sector to influence behavioural change and support sustainable choices. In the coming year, additional expansions of the Academy’s educational, community engagement and research programmes will be announced.
Dr Sarah Miller, CEO of the Rediscovery Centre, said, “The Rediscovery Centre is delighted to launch this first stage of the Academy to the social enterprise sector. The Academy will develop over time to see all Rediscovery Centre services roll out nationwide. The Academy is a game changer for the circular economy in Ireland. It will bring some of Ireland’s best expertise to emerging and diversifying social enterprises to help them grow and develop successful circular businesses.
“The launch of the Climate Action Plan last week by Minister Bruton highlights the role of the circular economy in tackling climate breakdown. Ireland has ambitious targets to meet. We believe that social enterprises and sustainable Irish businesses have a key role to play in reaching those targets. We are encouraging social enterprises and community groups throughout Ireland to get in touch to see how we can work together on activities that will create a more sustainable, low-carbon future. ”
Dr Eimear Cotter, Director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Sustainability said, “Inefficient consumption and missed opportunities for reuse and recycling lead to waste generation and greenhouse gas emissions. Our strategic partnership with the Rediscovery Centre and initiatives such as the Circular Economy Academy supports our ambition to foster a circular economy in Ireland. We welcome the innovation and creativity demonstrated by the Rediscovery Centre in terms of providing support & training for social enterprises and hope to see reuse initiatives replicated in communities throughout Ireland to support waste prevention, climate action and job creation.”