April 10, 2024

Synergy Foundation looks to grow its circular economy ecosystem training after a successful pilot program that helped 16 small businesses, including Naas Foods, improve their operations.|

VANCOUVER ISLAND – Synergy Foundation aims to build an inclusive circular economy across Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast. This initiative will facilitate regional development and create new economic opportunities in the region through a new project investment with Island Coastal Economic Trust.

The Circular Economy Ecosystem Project will be focused on urban and rural communities. In its initial phase, Synergy Sustainability Foundation will support existing businesses to incorporate circular economy practices. Through site visits and circular economy assessments, participating businesses will receive a five-year action plan prioritizing actions to make their ventures more sustainable. These actions will range from easy-to-implement solutions to large capital projects with significant environmental benefits.

The program also includes continued support and implementation assistance, helping businesses activate opportunities and track their progress in 6- and 12-month intervals.

This phase of the project will support 15 small and midsized enterprises in urban communities and 12 in rural communities as part of a larger Vancouver Island-Coast Circular Economy Ecosystem Project that will take place over three years. It is divided into four phases, including rural and urban business transition training, entrepreneurial training, and cluster hub strategy. The Trust’s investment is focused on creating positive impact on the first two phases, which will be completed by May 2025.

“The pilot project highlighted the power of collaboration and effective partnerships by fostering a vibrant circular ecosystem. The businesses we worked with openly embraced circularity and we are excited to build off the momentum gained through that project. By providing support to more businesses in the transition to a circular economy, we will create broader impact and increased resilience in our communities,” said Georgia Lavender, Director of Program Operations, Synergy Foundation.

Further information and applications for the rural and urban Business Transition Training programs are available now.

Previously, Synergy Foundation and Vancouver Island Coast Economic Developers Association developed and ran a successful pilot program that was funded by Island Coastal Economic Trust. The initiative assisted 16 businesses to identify and implement opportunities to enhance circularity within their operations. The recommendations focused on diverting waste from landfill, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and conserving water and electricity use. Its success featured at the National Circular Economy Summit, in Toronto, and the Vancouver Economic Alliance Summit, in Nanaimo.

Island Coastal Economic Trust is investing with Synergy Sustainability Foundation into the Vancouver Island-Coast Circular Economy Ecosystem Project through the Capital and Innovation Program. The Trust will contribute $50,000 towards a total new investment in the region of $229,696. The project will positively impact the Innovation and Technology sector, developing an inclusive circular economy across the region. Read our project summary for further information.

The Trust has previously invested in similar projects, including phase one of this initiative, led by Vancouver Island Coast Economic Developer’s Association, and the Seafood Business Accelerator.

Source: ICET


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