This week Innodirect was at the at the Assises Québécoises de L’économie Circulaire event, getting a rounded education on the circular economy concept.
Only 9% of what we produce is recycled.
This is just one of the many mind-bending facts I took away from the Assises Québécoises de L’économie Circulaire event last week. Organized by RECYC-QUÉBEC, the event aims to reduce waste and promote the expansion of a circular economy through reusing and regenerating resources.
The event featured thought-provoking presentations in which business leaders highlighted the unsustainable relationship between commerce and nature that exists today.
One such speaker was Mr. Robert Cadieux Director of Environment and Sustainable Development at Pratt & Whitney Canada. Mr. Cadieux spoke about the need within his industry to find alternative, environmentally conscious solutions. This need is especially urgent when considering the estimation that, within 40 years, there will no longer be sufficient precious metals available to build their engines.
It’s incredible as it is, he continued, that we’re even able to make a pure metal from a land where such a small percentage of it can be found naturally. This is doubly true when we consider that we’re unable to reproduce such a pure metal from a used part that is 90% composed of the same substance.
It’s not just large companies like Pratt & Whitney who need to take note; sustainability is an issue that affects everyone. The question, therefore, shouldn’t be whether to contribute toward a circular economy, but howto do it before it’s too late.
The responses to this concern were surprisingly similar throughout the presentations. They all implied that in order to achieve a circular economy we must:
- Be creative
- Listen to each other
- Break down silos
- Foster collaboration and synergy
- Integrate the population into the circular economy’s co-construction
- Imagine new solutions, despite our ingrained habits and thought patterns
- Build bridges between actors who do not understand one another
- Be open to innovation
It is clear that the road to a more ecological economy is not an easy one, but fortunately there are mechanisms that can help pave our way. Software tools like Innodirect help dismantle silos and encourage active collaboration, allowing users to express themselves without fear of judgement. This kind of bias-free, secure and supportive environment allows for the creation of entirely new, innovative solutions – just the sort we need when confronting radical change.
In order to grow that 9%, we need to stop fighting against or denying change. Instead we have to turn toward it, before it turns against us. In the words of Winston Churchill: “we must take change by the hand or rest assuredly, change will take us by the throat”.