New circular economy support programme launched in London
The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) has launched its new business support programme, Advance London, set to open from January 2017, to help SMEs adapt to a circular economy.
The programme will give free help and advice to SMEs in London to aid them in moving towards a circular business model, while also identify emerging opportunities and demonstrating the value of a circular economy, one in which resources remain in use for as long as possible before being recovered and regenerated at their end of life.
Support will come in the form of a team of business advisors delivering a series of events, workshops and one-to-one support to SMEs in London that have yet to adopt a circular business model, while the programme will also support existing circular businesses to overcome barriers to growth and competiveness.
Wayne Hubbard, Chief Operating Officer of LWARB, said: “London is host to several circular economy leaders. The nature of the circular economy requires collaboration throughout the supply chain and changes the way businesses interact with consumers. As more and more businesses ‘go circular’, new opportunities will emerge for SMEs to bring innovative solutions to overcome the challenges that businesses face in this transition. We want London to be a world leader in nurturing circular economy businesses.”
Following a study carried out last year by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) that found the circular economy in Europe could create three million extra jobs and reduce unemployment across the bloc by 520,000 by 2030, Europe has launched a number of initiatives to aid the development of the circular economy.
The three-year Advance London programme is being jointly funded by the European Regional Investment Fund and LWARB, a partnership between the Mayor of London and London’s boroughs focused on improving waste and resource management in the UK’s capital.
The programme will receive £628,936 of funding from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020, but it remains to be seen whether this figure will be affected by Brexit over the coming years.
The European Regional Development Fund investment forms part of the EU’s commitment to a transition to a circular economy. An investment package of €222.7 million (£198 million) from the EU budget was approved earlier this month (8 November) to support moves towards a circular economy in Europe, while in September the Europe-wide Circular Economy for SMEs (CESME) initiative began in Wales to help the transition to a circular economy through allowing SMEs to share experience and best practice.