• Sep 15, 2021

Financing the Circular Transition


The circular economy can help meet global sustainability goals, address local environmental priorities, and deliver economic returns. However, the financing of circular solutions faces challenges.

This outcome-oriented virtual event focussed on accelerating and scaling up circular financing, from the global to the local level. The event began with a global view of opportunities and challenges curated by the UNEP Finance Initiative followed by an in-depth look at local applications specific to Canada.

Powered by GLOBE Series, this outcomes-oriented virtual session focussed on key framing questions including:

  • Despite a lack of harmonized frameworks, taxonomies, and metrics, what circular financing solutions are being implemented today?
  • How can we accelerate the scale-up of circular finance within the financial sector, to financial institutions not yet actively involved in circular financing, and across the supply chain, including SMEs?
  • What are the potential returns and associated risks of investing in circular products, services, and solutions?
  • How can we leverage the intersection of circular economy with broader ESG investment opportunities, the UN SDGs, net-zero climate commitments, and green economic recovery objectives?

The first part of the session was a globally focused panel featuring a diversity of views on financing the circular economy. Speakers included:

  • Marisela Alvarenga, Chief of the Financial Intermediaries Division, IDB Invest
  • Gerald Banaga-Baingi, Assistant Commissioner-Technical Planning, Uganda Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development
  • Jean Luc Lavergne, Founder, Lavergne Group  
  • Jan Raes, Global Sustainability Advisor, ABN AMRO
  • (Moderator) Peggy Lefort, Resource Efficiency Coordinator, UNEP Finance Initiative

The second part of the session featured a series of interviews focused on financing the circular economy in Canada, featuring a range of Canadian financial institution perspectives. Speakers included:

  • Michelle Bonner, Community Investment Portfolio Manager, Vancity 
  • Michela Gregory, Director ESG Services, NEI Investments 
  • Jonathan Hackett, Co-Head, Energy Transition Group and Head, Sustainable Finance and Managing Director, BMO Capital Markets  
  • Gildas Poissonnier, Director, Sustainability and Responsible Finance, Desjardins
  • (Moderator) Elizabeth Shirt, Managing Director, GLOBE Series 

This public event was targeted to an audience of international and Canadian finance and investment business leaders, practitioners, and policymakers.