Creating the Circular Economy in New West

What is the Circular Economy?
The circular economy is changing the way we see waste. Businesses have traditionally taken in raw materials and produced products and waste. By finding value in business wastes, the material circles back into the economy. Creating a circular economy has economic value and environmental benefits.


A successful, business-focused circular economy model called the National Industrial Symbiosis Program (NISP) started in the United Kingdom. NISP uses facilitated workshops and free follow-up support to match the inputs and outputs of local businesses. NISP Canada is being piloted here on the Lower Mainland.


Circular Economy Workshops for Local Businesses

Two of the six pilot Business-to-Business Circular Economy workshops have taken place in the City of New Westminster at the Anvil Centre. Twenty-six organizations attended in June 2018 and 23 organizations attended in October 2018.

Each workshop kicked off with an update in the City of New Westminster’s Intelligent City initiative and clean energy efforts, as well as circular economy success stories from Metro Vancouver and around the world.

The NISP practitioners then guided the participants to identify excess resources or materials in their operations that they had or wanted that were also considered ‘waste’. These identified resources could be anything from scrap materials to underutilized equipment to waste heat to industrial organics and more. Then, the other businesses had an opportunity to express their interest in using that resource. Creative matches were encouraged from different industry types, allowing diverse enterprises to have unexpected matches.

Together, these two workshops resulted in 313 distinct resources being identified by participants and 404 potential resource matches between local and regional businesses.

Learn more about each workshop with the NISP Canada one-page summary reports:

Next Steps

The NISP practitioners with support from City are following up with the participating businesses to discover the resource matches that make the most immediate business sense and help them become a reality. Plus, these businesses and resources are being connected to the companies and resources from all the previous NISP Canada workshops. By growing this network, additional matches and new business opportunities are identified and can be pursued.

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