New initiative strengthens link between circular economy and actions to address climate change

Guelph, Ontario, October 3, 2022 – Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad (COIL), a Smart Cities initiative of City of Guelph and County of Wellington, launched the Climate and Circularity Solutions Hub(Hub) on September 19.

The Hub provides expertise, research and strategies to help regional businesses and community organizations adopt circular economy actions to reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change. It will also further Guelph’s commitment to the United Nations Race to Zero campaign and becoming a net zero carbon community by 2050.

Leveraging COIL’s existing regional networks, infrastructure and expertise, the Hub understands, develops and shares specific strategies that reduce waste, creates new value and fights climate change. It supports new learning opportunities, and the evaluation and measurement of circular approaches that maximize emission reductions. 

“The circular economy is climate action, and in Ontario we have an incredible ecosystem of leaders committed to building a more sustainable future,” says David Messer, executive director, Smart Cities Office, City of Guelph. “The research and programming within the Hub fosters new knowledge, tools and resources that will engage more people with the circular economy and ensure developed strategies deliver maximum impact toward emissions reduction. We look forward to working with current and new collaborators to accelerate the shift to a climate-smart circular economy.”

The Hub will drive innovation through three areas of focus.

  • Carbon Negative Innovation Zone: Using COIL expertise, this zone will attract forward-looking businesses and social innovators to work together on system-changing demonstration projects. The Hub prototypes and pilots policies, tools, technology and infrastructure to accelerate climate-smart and circular systems redesign.
  • New Climate-Smart Circular Indicators: Not all circular strategies result in emissions reductions. Innovation efforts must concentrate investigation on approaches and practices that maximize decarbonization. The Hub brings together experts, academic partners and communities of practice to stimulate new thinking to identify, measure and verify circular economic pathways and best-practices.
  • Learning Extension: Businesses – their leaders, staff and customers – need greater awareness of the benefits and opportunities of the circular economy for sustainable growth. The Hub leads education, training and engagement programs that will increase knowledge and skills needed to drive a climate-smart circular economy.

COIL’s Climate and Circularity Solutions Hub collaborators and advisors include: 10C Shared Space, Anthesis Provision, Arrell Food Institute at University of Guelph, CSA Group, David Suzuki Foundation, Innovation Guelph, Innovation North, Ivey Business School – Centre for Building Sustainable Value, Network for Business Sustainability and Our Food Future.

Funding for initial Hub programming and research was provided by corporate supporters, such as Desjardins and Maple Leaf Foods. Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad (COIL) is reliant on generous contributions from funders; if interested in helping us further our circular economy goals, then please contact us at [email protected].

About Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad (COIL)

Launched in April 2021, with $5 million in funding from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, COIL is an innovation platform and activation network focused on creating, proving and scaling transformative solutions across all sectors – starting with food and environment – in southern Ontario that will move Canada toward a more sustainable, circular economy. Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad (COIL) is a sister initiative to the flagship, Our Food Future – both led by the Smart Cities Office, a joint local government project of City of Guelph and County of Wellington. Funding for COIL program participants is provided in collaboration with 10C’s Harvest Impact Fund, a social-finance initiative that supports impactful projects to strengthen local communities.

Media contact

David Messer

Executive Director
Smart Cities Office, City of Guelph
[email protected]  

Forty food and environment businesses will work with COIL to reduce or transform waste

COIL expects 40 circular businesses across southern Ontario to be involved in our programs by December 2021. Below are details on some of the sustainability-focused businesses that are currently partnering with COIL to advance the circular economy.

Examples of companies working with COIL:

Escarpment Labs (Guelph): a microbial culture producer that supplies brewers with liquid brewing yeast through reusing materials and transforming waste into new products. 

The SEED (Guelph): as a project of the Guelph Community Health Centre, the SEED aims to ensure that everyone in Guelph-Wellington has access to nutritious food. The SEED’s Good Food Warehouse reduces waste and gets food where it is most needed.

Ag Business & Crop Inc. (Palmerston): supplies innovative tools for precision agriculture and educates famers on how to improve environmental sustainability and crop productivity when growing nutritious food. 

The Conscious Kitchen (Holland Centre): as a solution to the waste that is produced by the meal kit industry, The Conscious Kitchen provides convenient, ready-to-eat meals that are plant-based and zero-waste.

Suntech Greenhouses (Manotick): a hydroponic greenhouse that provides locally grown produce and is committed to reducing food waste. 

Spent Goods (Toronto): food waste solutions provider that enables Canadian businesses to transform spent barley from craft breweries into delicious foods that can then be sold in grocery stores, markets, schools, and restaurants.

Abokichi Inc. (Hamilton): a Japanese inspired food brand that develops innovative and unique products using upcycled ingredients.

Quinta Local Superfoods Inc. (Guelph/Eramosa): superfood company that supplies high nutrient quinoa, which it will be providing to communities in need while reducing emissions and implementing sustainable packaging alternatives.

Green Table Foods (Guelph): manufactures plant-based, certified organic probiotic foods using upcycled ingredients and other waste reduction techniques.

Heartwood Farm & Cidery (Acton): a family-owned regenerative farm and cidery offering immersive onsite experiences and craft beverages, including a new line of non-alcoholic beverages.

Collection of personal information

Personal information is being collected and will be used for the purpose of sending COIL news by email.

Personal information, as defined by Section 2 of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA), is collected under the authority of the Municipal Act, 2001, and in accordance with the provisions of MFIPPA.

If you have questions about COIL please contact us at 519-822-1260 extension 3559 or [email protected].

If you have questions about the collection, use or disclosure of this personal information please contact the City of Guelph’s Information and Access Coordinator at 519-822-1260 extension 2349 or email [email protected].