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Circular supply chains – event

February 14, 2020 @ 9:30 am - 1:00 pm

Circular Economy Supplier Workshop at the University of Exeter:

‘Developing the sustainability & circular agenda in Purchasing & Supply Chain Management’

Reed Hall, Streatham campus, Exeter, EX4 4QR. Friday 14th February, 2020. 9.30am – 1.00pm

Led by Kathy Duffie, Mickey Howard, Steffen Boehm and Dan Eatherley

The aim of this event is to explore how to support local buyers and suppliers in the south-west become more sustainable by transitioning towards a circular economy (CE). The University of Exeter has recently declared a climate emergency which coincides with the development at the Business School of several CE tools for circular business development. This event therefore welcomes all suppliers in the SW region (e.g. agri-food, beverages, chemicals, construction, office consumables, waste etc) and invites them to engage in a convivial environment with university procurement, business school professors and local councillors.

A circular economy is defined as one in which maximum value is extracted from resources during use through closing loops within organisations or sharing resources between them. In this way, avoidable waste is eliminated and unavoidable waste reused or recycled. The benefits to the firm may include reduced operating costs through savings in water, energy & materials, and longer term may develop better business resiliency. At a higher level, finding a solution to complex environmental problems in the region such as pollution, environmental degradation and climate change requires everyone to take action and collaborate together, hence this workshop.

Although held on university premises, this event has evolved over time through discussions with a number of leading organizations in the SW including: Torridge District Council, North Devon Council, Cornwall Council, Exeter Council and the South-West Business Council. In partnership with the University of Exeter, we seek to bring both the private business sector and local authority together as part of a collaborative approach in shaping region-wide economic policy. Research from the University of Exeter on sustainable business practice indicates that the circular approach offers many advantages and is preferable to traditional linear business models around ‘take, make & waste’. The CE concept is gaining traction across many countries and industries, and is increasingly regarded as a powerful tool for achieving not only economic but social and environmental sustainability.


9.30 Registration, tea & coffee

10.00Introduction & outline (Kathy Duffie, Head of Strategic Procurement UoE, Prof Steffen Boehm, UEBS & Prof Mickey Howard, UEBS).

10.15 Presentation 1: ‘Circular Economy, Purchasing & Supply Chain Management and the CE Maturity (CEM) model’ (Prof Howard, UEBS & Prof Steffen Boehm, UEBS)

10.30 Presentation 2: ‘How small scale ethical growers collaborate with large scale operations’ (Dominic Acland, Consultant)

10.45 Presentation 3: ‘Climate emergency and role of the University ’ (Emma Page, Head of Environment & Climate Emergency Team, UoE)

11.00Break for tea & coffee (informal Q&A’s with organisers & presenters)

11.15 Presentation 4: ‘SME financing for sustainability & circular economy’ (Tony Greenham, South-West Mutual).

11.30 Break-out session to review CEM model: what works, what doesn’t, and what’s missing? (All, led by MH).

12.15 Feedback from sessions (led by SB, MH).

12.30 Summary & the way ahead (KD, SB, MH).

1.00 Event closes. Buffet lunch available – Reed Hall restaurant, from 12.45pm to 2pm.

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University of Exeter Business School
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Reed Hall
Streatham Campus
Exeter, EX4 4QR
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