Circular Economy
Leadership Coalition

Accelerating sustainable, profitable, zero-waste solutions to ensure Canadian
leadership in the global Circular Economy

2019 Zero Waste Conference

Our Leaders

The elegant beauty behind a circular economy is that it’s an economy without a tailpipe. Nothing gets dumped into the ground, emitted into the atmosphere or shunted into our oceans and waterways. Waste is designed out of the system.

The current models of production, distribution and disposal need a radical transformation to enable a smarter, more productive cycle of productivity to emerge – one that will reveal both the economic and environmental benefits currently being overlooked. Unilever believes that the CELC can kickstart the critical mass of support needed across businesses, government and civil society to allow this economic transformation to occur.

john d. coyne

Vice-President & General Counsel

The National Zero Waste Council is leading Canada’s transition to a circular economy by bringing together governments, businesses and NGOs to advance a waste prevention agenda that maximizes economic opportunities for progressive innovators – ensuring all materials and products continue to circulate at their highest and best use. 

Through cross-sectoral collaboration, we actively seek out and showcase the best and the brightest ideas to inspire mainstream adoption of circular business models. This  focuses on material reuse as well as smarter product and packaging designs that protect the environment while minimizing costs and creating widespread economic opportunities.

Heather Schoemaker

Director, National Zero Waste Council Secretariat, and General Manager, External Relations Department, Metro Vancouver

Since its inception, the global sustainability movement has been about advancing a society that thrives within nature's limits. Meanwhile, business leaders and economists have pursued the efficient use of resources to maximize profits and shareholder value.

A circular economy is a unifying concept that is about achieving these two ideals while tangibly improving the quality of life for families and their communities, both at home and abroad. This will be a defining issue and opportunity of our times, but achieving its full potential will require “all hands on deck” and an unprecedented level of collaboration between businesses, NGOs, academics and all levels of government.



The solutions to the waste and carbon emissions require thoughtful, stable, harmonized public policy, which enables the private sector and citizens to mobilize. Loblaw Companies Ltd is therefore pleased to join the CELC and are committed to pursing the principles and practices of the Circular Economy throughout our all aspects of our business. Over the coming years we look forward to working with a wide range of players, from our employees, to customers and leaders across different sectors to contribute to the transition to Circular Economy in Canada.

Kevin Groh

Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Communication
Loblaw Companies Limited

As the world’s largest retailer, Walmart aims to use our strengths and collaborate with others to make transformational change. We believe this approach is not only beneficial for our bottom line, but also creates shared value for our customers and society as a whole. In Canada, we’ve committed to achieving zero waste across our operations by 2025, resulting in less cost for our business and less carbon gas for the environment. Through collaborative initiatives like the Circular Economy Leadership Coalition, we aspire to reshape the way we work to achieve significant and lasting improvement in environmental and social outcomes in a way that also improves our business.

Susan Muigai

Executive Vice President, People and Corporate Affairs
Walmart Canada

The transition to a circular economy holds plentiful opportunity – to truly maximize the value of products and materials, eliminate the concept of waste, and establish productive new relationships. Those who embrace this approach will see improved business performance along with better outcomes for communities and the natural world. IKEA Canada is committed to this economic transformation and recognizes the crucial role that the CELC will play in bringing together business, government, and citizens to accelerate the shift and capture the benefits.

Michael Ward

Country Retail Manager & Chief Sustainability Officer
IKEA Canada

The move to a circular economy is gaining speed. Consumers want products with less waste – including carbon pollution waste –and more value. Global companies, cities and national governments are moving from a linear, high waste model to a cleaner, zero waste model. It's the smart business move.

Jane McDonald

Interim President and CEO         
International Institute for Sustainable Development

The circular economy, at its heart, is about shifting traditional resource and pollution challenges into opportunities. Instead of seeing these as nothing more than a waste problem, it’s about retaining the value of products, materials and resources in the economy through closed production and consumption loops.

Mike Wilson


Implementing a circular economy that efficiently leads to more sustainable development will require an exceptional level of cooperation between actors of all the value chains, as well as the creation of various training programs, implementation tools and rigorous performance indicators.

Daniel Normandin

Executive Director
Institut EDDEC - Environment, sustainable development and the circular economy

Canadian Tire Corporation prides itself on being a trusted Canadian brand and an integral part of Canadian communities, with a strong commitment to improving environmental and social outcomes for Canadians, our communities and our planet. We believe that collaboration amongst businesses, governments, NGOs, universities and other organizations, working to develop science-based solutions and sharing the levers necessary to effect those solutions, will help to sustain the quality of life we enjoy in Canada and lead to a better future.

Robyn Collver

Senior Vice-President, Risk & Regulatory Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer
Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited

NEI Investments is Canada’s leader in Responsible Investing (RI) with a commitment to helping our clients grow wealth while advancing the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance of publicly-traded companies wherever we invest.

The curicular economy concept aligns perfectly with our beliefs about what it means to act responsibly, and our ability to work directly with companies to advance the sustainability goals of the circular economy movement.

Jamie Bonham

Manager, Corporate Engagement
NEI Investments


To make Canada a world leader in building a sustainable, prosperous, zero-waste, low-carbon-emitting Circular Economy that benefits the lives of people at home and abroad.

Our Mission

To provide thought leadership, technical expertise and a collaborative platform for the development of pioneering solutions that eliminate waste at all stages of the life cycle of products and accelerate the transition to a Circular Economy.


Foster a greater understanding of the barriers and benefits associated with eliminating waste and transitioning to a Circular Economy, producing best-in-class research and initiating broad engagement to create a society-wide dialogue across silos and between uncommon partners.

Spearhead a national strategy for the circular economy by developing and proposing a Circular Economy Roadmap, with an approach to change that is bold but achievable with goals and solutions for all levels of government, business and civil society.

Provide guidance to develop a systems approach to innovation and change at a national scale, leading to the adoption of strategies and policies that eliminate waste and accelerate the development of Canada’s Circular Economy.

Lead communications efforts to engage Canadians in every walk of life, shift mindsets and behaviours, and encourage broad participation in the transition to the Circular Economy.

Our Experts

A team of talented experts from across sectors advances the impact of the Circular Economy Leadership Coalition.

Jennifer Barbazza, Manager of Sustainability, Walmart Canada
Sarah Brooks, Senior Associate, The Natural Step Canada
Stephanie Cairns, Director of Circular Economy, Smart Prosperity Institute
Joanne Gauci, Senior Policy Advisor, Metro Vancouver and the National Zero Waste Council
Usman Valiante, Senior Policy Analyst, Corporate Policy Group
Alice Irene Whittaker-Cumming, Director of Communications, CELC
Alan Young, Special Advisor of the CELC Secretariat

Circular Economy 101

With waste piling up on our land and in our oceans we need a solution. Fortunately, there is one; it's called the Circular Economy, but what exactly does that mean?

A Circular Economy for Plastics in Canada

A plastics circular economy is a prosperous economy that recirculates materials, keeping plastics out of the environment and in the economy. It harnesses the extraordinary material properties of a wide range of plastics, and captures their full value but without waste or harmful emissions.

Learn More about our Policy Brief


Our Members and International Allies

CELC would like to acknowledge the generous support of the McConnell Foundation, The Ivey Foundation and Environment and Climate Change Canada.