We create the knowledge, networks, and opportunities that accelerate circular innovation across Canada’s economy.

Tapping into a network of Partner organizations across the country, we provide thought leadership, technical expertise, and collaborative platforms for accelerating systems change and the transition to a low carbon, circular economy in Canada.

Our Impact

CELC is dedicated to filling existing gaps in the market place and supporting efforts to accelerate the transition to a circular economy in Canada. We do this by:

Championing a national approach to the circular economy and a coordinated innovation ecosystem.

Serving as a national hub and international bridge connecting people to the knowledge, networks, and opportunities to help achieve circular innovation.

Working to gather and share compelling information and evidence on the benefits of circular economy strategies and solutions in Canada for advancing economic, social, and environmental goals - including the linkages between circularity and climate action.

Focusing on the critical enablers for advancing circularity across all sectors, including improved data and knowledge sharing, supportive policy, access to finance and funding, and addressing important infrastructure gaps.

Accelerating circular economy transitions focused on specific sectors and resource streams of strategic importance to Canada by advancing opportunities and tackling barriers, including in the areas of agri-food, construction / built environment, and critical minerals and metals.

Supporting convening and relationship building across Canada’s circular economy ecosystem, including through our events and community platforms.


  • Information / Knowledge Sharing:

    Including improving access to data for business and policy-making, aggregating and sharing success stories and case studies, and demonstrating the linkages between circular strategies and climate action.

  • Supportive Policy:

    Advocating for supportive policy and launching a ‘policy incubator’ bringing together all levels of government across Canada to advance a national approach to circular economy, increase collaboration, and enhance policy harmonization.

  • Finance / Investment:

    Addressing finance / investor risk and infrastructure gaps to support capital flows and investments that support circular economy business and activities.

  • Construction materials and real estate value chains

    including launching a multi-year Circular Construction Hub

  • Agriculture, food waste-to-resource, and circularity

    including building a national biodigester network and supporting nutrient upcycling initiatives in collaboration with the Canadian Alliance for Net-Zero Agrifood (CANZA).

  • Critical minerals and metals for the net-zero transition

    including supporting research and convening with Smart Prosperity Institute, Max Bell Foundation, and other project partners focused on energy storage / EV batteries, wind, and solar

  • Planning for and hosting the bi-annual Canadian Circular Economy Summit

    bringing together stakeholders from across Canada and globally to advance circular economy investments and collaboration.

  • Hosting strategic Knowledge Series events and workshops

    on critical topics of strategic importance for advancing Canada’s circular economy.

  • Curating and hosting an online community

    to support CELC Partner collaboration, knowledge sharing, relationship building, funding, and project ideation.

Join Canadian leaders from across sectors who are driving the circular economy solutions our future requires.

Our Journey

Canada needs a strategy to ensure industrial competitiveness while reducing our environmental impact, made possible through embracing circular approaches that protect the health of our environments and communities.

Building a low-carbon, circular economy in Canada will require an enormous structural and cultural shift to address our currently unsustainable “linear” model. While daunting, the challenge will also bring many new opportunities and advantages.

Collaboration across governments, business sectors, academic and applied researchers, and non-governmental organizations is essential for advancing a thriving innovation ecosystem that attracts investment and creates jobs, while strengthening communities and protecting the environment.

As a solution, CELC was launched in 2018 at the G7 Oceans Summit in Halifax as a network of corporate leaders, non-profit think tanks, and academic researchers. CELC is working to connect Canada’s circular economy community and serves as a bridge to similar networks around the world.

We are a Solution Space of Generate Canada

CELC is part of a broader family of organizations under the umbrella of Generate Canada, a not-for-profit charity, focused on advancing a “strong and inclusive economy that thrives within nature’s limits”. In addition to CELC, the organizations under Generate Canada’s umbrella include: Smart Prosperity Institute, Canada Plastics Pact, Energy Futures Lab, the Canadian Alliance for Net-Zero Agri-food (CANZA), and the Nature Investment Hub.

Much of Generate Canada’s work is done through innovation-focused multi-stakeholder initiatives that place us on the front-lines of the environment and economy, working alongside major brands, policy-makers, and key stakeholders.

In collaboration with leaders and experts from industry, government, and civil society, our teams are working to collectively develop effective and scalable solutions to economic, social, and environmental sustainability and resilience – including addressing issues related to climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution.  CELC is leading the charge in Canada to make circularity a widely-adopted strategy for advancing sustainability.

Together, we can create more resilient and prosperous businesses and communities in Canada.

Our Team

Paul Shorthouse

Managing Director

Paul is one of Canada’s leading experts in the emerging circular economy, providing solutions and engaging leaders who are working at the intersection of business innovation, public policy, economic development, and sustainability. For over a decade, this work has placed him at the forefront of the important transition that is underway towards a greener, more prosperous, low-carbon economy.

In February 2021, Paul took on the role of Managing Director of Circular Economy Leadership Canada (CELC), a network of leaders from all industries and sectors who are fostering collaboration, innovation, and knowledge exchange to accelerate the transition to a circular economy in Canada. In this role he is the driving force behind CELC’s Circular Economy Solution Series and the network’s efforts to amplify leading-edge work already underway in this space, while fostering innovation and synergies among business leaders, policymakers, academics, and other stakeholders to drive meaningful systems change.

Paul is also Board Chair for the Synergy  Foundation and Project Zero (a circular economy accelerator program based in British Columbia). Prior to this, Paul served as Senior Director at the Delphi Group, Managing Director of Vancouver-based GLOBE Advisors, and was the Conference Director for the GLOBE Series (from 2009-2016), considered one of the largest sustainability events of its type in the world. He was also a founding Executive Member of the BC Home Performance Stakeholder Council, as well as a member of the Program Advisory Committees for BCIT’s School of Business and UBC’s Masters in Energy Leadership (MEL) Program.

Paul can be contacted at pshorthouse@circulareconomyleaders.ca

Kiana Klassen

Program & Communications Coordinator

Kiana is the Program & Communications Coordinator at CELC. She has a B. Arts Sc. from McMaster University and an M.A. specializing in Environmental Sustainability at the University of Ottawa. Kiana cares deeply about sustainability which reflects in her lifestyle, studies and professional work. Her personal passion is on the circular economy in textiles, and appreciates the opportunity to work towards exploring pathways for change in this area, as well as many others, in her work at CELC.

David Hughes

President & CEO, Generate Canada & Chair, Circular Economy

David Hughes is the President and CEO of Generate Canada which serves as the host organization for Circular Economy Leadership Canada, the Canada Plastics Pact, the Energy Futures Lab and other multi-stakeholder initiatives that are fostering innovation and systems change to advance a strong economy and a healthy environment. He has previously served as President and CEO of two of Canada’s leading charities – Habitat for Humanity Canada and Pathways to Education Canada – during periods of unprecedented growth, transformation, and impact.

Prior to that, David spent 10 years in senior positions at SOS Children’s Villages International which included postings to Africa, Asia, Europe, USA, and the United Nations. Other management roles have included serving as Senior Vice President of YMCA Canada and President of AIESEC Canada.

David is a Senior Fellow of the Smart Prosperity Institute (SPI), a member of the Smart Prosperity Leaders’ Initiative, an inaugural member of the Business for Purpose Network (B4PN), and has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation, AIESEC Canada, and the Canadian branch of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project.

He holds an economics degree from the University of Western Ontario, a postgraduate degree in social policy and non-profit management from the London School of Economics (LSE), and was recognized as a 2020 Clean50 Honouree for “outstanding contribution to clean capitalism”. He lives in Toronto with his wife Laura and his two children, John and Alexandra, who provide the inspiration and incentive to challenge the status quo and strive for a better future for Canada and beyond.

Nick Betts

Managing Director, CANZA

Alison Cretney

Managing Director, Energy Futures Lab

Cher Mereweather

Managing Director, Canada Plastics Pact

Sarah Brooks

Senior Associate, The Natural Step Canada

Geoff McCarney

Director of Research, Smart Prosperity Institute

Mike Wilson

Executive Director, Smart Prosperity Institute

Alan Young

Principal, Material Efficiency Research Group (MERG)