• Apr 20, 2022

Solutions for Circularity in Canada’s Built Environment: Unlocking the Business Case for Action

Read the event summary report here.

Date / Time:

  • Part 1 (webinar): April 20, 2022 – view the recording here
  • Part 2 (workshop): April 27, 2022 / 10:00am-11:30am Pacific Time (90 minutes)

Format:  Zoom webinar & virtual workshop

Organizers: Circular Economy Leadership Canada (CELC), CSA Group & GLOBE Series

Who attended? Real estate investors / owners / developers, builders, architects / engineers / designers, manufacturers and suppliers, government (at all levels), standards bodies, academic / training institutions, research agencies, industry associations, insurance providers, and financial institutions.


Adopting circular economy strategies and practices within Canada’s built environment and construction sector can bring a broad range of benefits, including new waste-to-resource opportunities, diversified revenue streams, more resilient supply chains, and reduced environmental impacts, including GHG emissions.

Moving from the current linear system requires structural shifts, as well as growing the demand for circular products and services while addressing concerns around quality, consistency of supply, and cost issues – which will help make the business case for circularity.

What would a truly circular economy within the built environment look like for Canada? What key issues must be addressed and what barriers tackled to make the business case? What actions should be prioritized and who should lead?

Event Overview:

Solutions for Circularity in Canada’s Built Environment: Unlocking the Business Case for Action was a 2-part, solutions-oriented, virtual event, powered by GLOBE Series, that explored the questions above.  The event took place on April 20 and April 27, 2022, and the series convened leaders and stakeholders from across Canada who explored the critical factors for advancing the business case and accelerating circular economy practices within Canada’s built environment and construction sector. Informed by related events over the previous 12 months and ongoing research by CELC and CSA Group, this 2-part event series identified the priority actions needed to advance the transition.

Key objectives for the event series included: 

  1. Share information from recent research on the current state of the circular built environment sector in Canada.
  2. Explore key barriers and opportunities for advancing the business case for action that will help drive demand for more circular products and services.
  3. Test the need for and interest in developing a circular economy roadmap for Canada’s built environment sector, including alignment with existing sector priorities around net zero, embodied carbon, resource competitiveness, and the elimination of waste.
  4. Exploring the potential to harmonize approaches across Canada (policies, standards, and practices) to align and scale efforts.

PART 1 (April 20) – Day 1 was a knowledge-sharing webinar where experts from industry and policy leaders reflected on a vision for the future and the critical factors required to advance the business case for action.

Click here to view a recording of Part 1.

Opening Remarks:

  • Paul Shorthouse, Managing Director, Circular Economy Leadership Canada
  • Dwayne Torrey, Director of Construction & Infrastructure standards, CSA Group

Visionary Keynote:

  • William McDonough, Architect & Founding Principal, William McDonough + Partners

Panel Discussion:

  • Vince Catalli, Circular Built Environment Specialist / Advisor (moderator)
  • Jonathan Westeinde, CEO, Windmill Developments
  • Mary Van Buren, President, Canadian Construction Association
  • Matt Keliher, General Manager, Solid Waste Management Services, City of Toronto
  • Nick Xenos, Executive Director, Centre for Greening Government, Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada

PART 2 (April 27) – Day 2 consisted of a virtual workshop where participants were invited to ‘roll up their sleeves’ and engage in interactive breakout group discussions to set a course for action and explore the potential for a circular economy action plan / roadmap for Canada’s built environment and construction sector.