Posted on 27th June 2019
The Rediscovery Centre launches Ireland’s Circular Economy Academy
The Circular Economy Academy will support social enterprises to transition to the circular economy
The Rediscovery Centre, the National Centre for the Circular Economy, has launched Ireland’s first Circular Economy Academy. The Academy’s first phase is a nationwide support service to assist social enterprises to develop successful businesses using circular economy models.
The circular economy model is a perfect fit for Irish social enterprises and community organisations looking to establish a new project or expand operations whilst supporting climate action and environmental protection. It enables products to stay in circulation for longer through reuse, repair and innovation, and prevents the creation of waste. It has been estimated that the circular economy has the potential to generate 5000 new jobs and contribute €1.65 billion to Ireland’s GDP, regenerating communities and supporting local enterprise.
The Rediscovery Centre is currently seeking expressions of interest from social enterprises to participate in the first phase of the Academy. Enterprises will receive assistance from the experienced Rediscovery Centre team and their circular economy collaborators in circular business planning, financing options, training, sustainable material sourcing, technical support, incubation, access to market, networking and diversification strategies. The academy also supports organisations to replicate the Rediscovery Centre’s successful paint, furniture, fashion and furniture reuse initiatives in their locality. To participate organisations should email your interest to CEMovement@rediscoverycentre.ie
The national roll out of the Circular Economy Academy is delivered through the Rediscovery Centre’s strategic partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Waste Prevention Programme. . The National Waste Prevention Programme supports and fosters a circular economy in Ireland by providing tools and information to businesses, households and the public sector to influence behavioural change and support sustainable choices. In the coming year, additional expansions of the Academy’s educational, community engagement and research programmes will be announced.
Dr Sarah Miller, CEO of the Rediscovery Centre, said, “The Rediscovery Centre is delighted to launch this first stage of the Academy to the social enterprise sector. The Academy will develop over time to see all Rediscovery Centre services roll out nationwide. The Academy is a game changer for the circular economy in Ireland. It will bring some of Ireland’s best expertise to emerging and diversifying social enterprises to help them grow and develop successful circular businesses.
“The launch of the Climate Action Plan last week by Minister Bruton highlights the role of the circular economy in tackling climate breakdown. Ireland has ambitious targets to meet. We believe that social enterprises and sustainable Irish businesses have a key role to play in reaching those targets. We are encouraging social enterprises and community groups throughout Ireland to get in touch to see how we can work together on activities that will create a more sustainable, low-carbon future. ”
Dr Eimear Cotter, Director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Sustainability said, “Inefficient consumption and missed opportunities for reuse and recycling lead to waste generation and greenhouse gas emissions. Our strategic partnership with the Rediscovery Centre and initiatives such as the Circular Economy Academy supports our ambition to foster a circular economy in Ireland. We welcome the innovation and creativity demonstrated by the Rediscovery Centre in terms of providing support & training for social enterprises and hope to see reuse initiatives replicated in communities throughout Ireland to support waste prevention, climate action and job creation.”
About the Rediscovery Centre
The Rediscovery Centre is a creative movement connecting people, ideas and resources for greener, low carbon living. As the National Centre for the Circular Economy in Ireland, we work to design out waste by repair, reuse, redesign and innovation.
The Rediscovery Centre is located in a demonstration eco-facility; a centre of excellence in sustainability incorporating educational exhibits, renewable and efficient energy systems, sustainable building materials, rainwater harvesting, grey water recycling, composting toilets and gardens designed for biodiversity enhancement and environmental education.
The Rediscovery Centre supports four reuse social enterprises; Rediscover Furniture, Rediscover Fashion, Rediscover Paint and Rediscover Cycling. These social enterprises use unwanted materials donated for reuse to create new upcycled products and designs.
The Rediscovery Centre is an accredited Discover Primary Science and Maths centre that offers interactive educational workshops for primary, secondary and third level students covering wide-ranging environmental and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) topics.
The Rediscovery Centre is open to the public Monday to Saturday 9-5pm and includes an eco store supporting Irish producers and designers, a cafe (relaunching mid-July) and meeting spaces suitable for sustainability gatherings and events.
The Circular Economy:
The circular economy is an economic system aimed at minimising waste at all stages of the economic cycle and making the most of our resources by keeping them in circulation for longer. This approach maximises the value of resources and is in contrast to the traditional linear economy, which has a ‘take, make, dispose’ model of production.
National Waste Prevention Programme:
The National Waste Prevention Programme is a Government of Ireland initiative, led by the Environmental Protection Agency and funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, which supports national-level, strategic programmes to prevent waste and drive the circular economy in Ireland. Targeted funding programmes support the development of novel solutions for the circular economy. Waste prevention programmes are delivered through partnerships. Priority areas are food waste, construction & demolition, plastics, agriculture, resources & raw materials and local waste prevention. See www.epa.ie/waste/nwpp/ for more information.