Irish businesses can upskill to become more resilient and sustainable by adopting circular economy principles
The innovative circular economy training programme, called MODOS, will be available nationwide for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Ireland from September 2020 to help businesses to become more resilient by integrating sustainability elements into their post-COVID recovery.
Moving to a circular economy, where materials are continuously reused and recycled, is essential if Ireland is to meet its greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets under the national Climate Action Plan.
Research by the Ellen McArthur Foundation revealed that around 45% of GHG emission reductions would come from applying a circular approach in production and supply chains.
“With SMEs making up to 99% of Ireland’s economy, it is vital that these businesses embrace the circular thinking. The MODOS training gives SMEs the practical advice and support they need to do this,” says Dr. Joanne Rourke, Regional Resource Efficiency Officer at the Waste Management Plan Lead Authority.
The MODOS training is a joint initiative of Dublin City Council and the Waste Management Plan Lead Authority. The course aims to empower SMEs to apply circular economy principles in their business, helping them reduce waste and carbon emissions while creating opportunities to save money, increase resilience and boost competitive advantage.
The circular economy is a sustainable economic model that replaces the current linear ‘take-make-waste’ model and creates ‘closed-loops’ supply and production chains where materials are kept in use for as long as possible.
This strategy allows organisations to operate cost-effectively while reducing their environmental impacts.
New business models based around leasing, remanufacturing, recycling and upcycling are already emerging on various markets.
In Europe alone, creating a circular economy could save 450 million tonnes of carbon by 2030, create 580,000 jobs and save €600 billion for EU businesses according to the European Commission.
EU Green Deal, European Commission
With the European Union introducing new policy and regulations for transitioning to a low-carbon economy as part of the EU Green Deal, and the Irish government bringing in new Green Procurement standards, Irish businesses must understand and apply circular economy principles.
Doing so will help to future proof their business and enable them to become part of a new economy.
The MODOS circular economy training will be delivered online by experts in September-October 2020, and participants will be charged a nominal fee to make this course as accessible as possible to everyone interested in joining. It is suitable for businesses from all industries.
Still, the following sectors are likely to find it particularly relevant: construction and the built environment, food, retail, manufacturing, textiles and fashion, electronics, plastics and packaging.
To give potential participants a sense of what is involved in the training and what the benefits are, free one-hour taster session will be available on Friday 28th August 2020.