Accelerating the Transition to the Circular Economy – the Role of SMEs
On 10th May 2022, the 7th Conference on Circular Economy will be held in Tbilisi to facilitate the accelerated transition to the circularity and efficient implementation of this system in Georgia.
After the six Circular Economy Conferences organized during 2019-2022 for the state, regional and municipal authorities, policy makers and the Parliament, businesses and financers, universities and other educational entities of Georgia in the frames of the Circular Economy Programme funded by the Government of Sweden, the seventh Conference on Circular Economy is targeting the small and medium size enterprises of Georgia and Azerbaijan as one of the key enablers of the transition process.
The keynote speaker of the conference will be Dr. Dariusz Edward Prasek, an International Expert in sustainable finance, environmental, social and governance areas and Circular Economy, member of the United Nations Advisory Board on Circular Economy, former Director of Operations in Environmental and Sustainability Department of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Independent Expert on Development Financing at IDB Invest, who will inform attendants about main aspects of the transition to the circular economy, how this system could be efficiently implemented and what is the specific role of the SMEs in this process.
This training programme has been designed through funding of the Government of Sweden to raise awareness about the circular economy among wide range of stakeholders. Its purpose is to provide recommendations to different groups of key stakeholder, including governmental authorities, policy makers, financial institutions, businesses, educational entities and academia how to speed the adoption of circular economy principles at various levels of the national economy. Particular emphasis is put on recommendations such are: improving financing conditions, removing barriers for circular economy projects, identifying main areas where incentives should be provided, educating experts in variety of areas.
• The circular economy is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible. In this way, the life cycle of products is extended and waste is reduced to a minimum.
• A circular economy is a systemic approach to economic development designed to benefit businesses, society, and the environment. Circular development is a model of socially and environmentally responsible production and consumption that aims to build a sustainable society. This is a new economic model that represents sustainable progress towards efficient green growth. It provides inspiration for businesses, in particular for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), to increase their resource efficiency. By adopting circular economy strategies and practices entrepreneurs can realize all sorts of different business benefits. These benefits depend on the adopted strategy, the degree to which the business processes are circular, the environment in which the company is active and the role of the company in the value chain.
• Like with any systemic change, the transition to the circular economy requires several elements of the system to change simultaneously, what requires concerted actions by a host of stakeholders. The circular economy is a highly relevant concept for SMEs, which can play an important role in creating circular businesses with the principal objective to succeed in identifying, conceptualising and developing circular business models and projects that are both sound and bankable, and congruent with a long-term development vision and strategy for the transition to the circular economy.
• SMEs by their nature can identify various opportunities and grasp the circular thinking much faster that larger businesses. These enterprises are the core of the supply chain to larger businesses and can swiftly embrace the circularity principles, to ensure circular business models become the best option for companies willing to gain competitive advantage and maintain their market share while aligning their goals with society’s goals.
The Conference on Circular Economy is organized commonly by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia and Georgian Society of Nature Explorers “Orchis” in the frames of the Circular Economy Programme financed by the Government of Sweden and implemented by GSNE “Orchis” with the support of Georgian Ministries of Environmental Protection & Agriculture, Economy and Sustainable Development, Regional Development & Infrastructure, and Education & Sciencე