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Helping business build connection and reduce food waste

Smart Cities launches its first two COIL projects

Today the Smart Cities Office, along with partner organizations, is launching the ReSource Exchange and Circular Economy Digital Passport to help food businesses across Ontario join the circular food economy. The ReSource Exchange and Circular Economy Digital Passport are the first two projects coming out of the recently announced Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad (COIL).

ReSource Exchange

Designed to be a free business-to-business marketplace, ReSource Exchange enables companies to post their food waste, byproducts and coproducts that would normally be thrown away for other businesses to use. Businesses can also generate new revenue and reduce potential costs by posting excess space, tools and equipment, and donate a particular food product to local food-relief organizations through the platform.

“Food businesses across the supply chain currently spend considerable amounts of money to send waste materials to landfills. ReSource Exchange will help surface these materials and create new business-to-business collaborations in our region that further our goal of creating a circular food economy across our region,” says David Messer, manager, COIL, Smart Cities Office.

“The Guelph Chamber prides itself in providing meaningful opportunities to increase the competitive advantage of its members and increase economic prosperity in the community,” says Shakiba Shayani, president and CEO, Guelph Chamber of Commerce. “If you’re looking to transform a waste stream into a value stream and build collaborations with other businesses in our region, we recommend the ReSource Exchange platform.”

Beyond the website, ReSource Exchange is supported by a dedicated team at Innovation Guelph as well as Provision Coalition and other collaborators that work to actively match materials posted on the platform with other businesses that could use them. The team will also use the platform to help develop new products and companies through innovation challenges.

Circular Economy Digital Passport

Guelph-Wellington’s Circular Economy iHub (CE iHub) connects entrepreneurs and established businesses with funding and innovation opportunities. The digital passport that will help connect businesses with circular economy programs, business resources and experts that can support them on their journey. The passport itself provides digital stamps enabling businesses to share their achievements and be recognized for their commitment to the circular food economy across social networks.

“The digital passport is a new and innovative way to connect and support businesses as they work to adapt their business models to align with the circular food economy,” says Anne Toner Fung, CEO, Innovation Guelph. “Through this program, businesses will learn what it means to be circular, connect with likeminded businesses and drive change within their own organizations. In the end we want to see businesses thrive and add value to the community through the circular food economy.”

About COIL

COIL is an innovation platform and activation network aimed at creating, proving and scaling transformative solutions that will move Canada toward a more sustainable, circular economy. COIL funds a range of programs that accelerate circular enterprises, launch innovative demonstration projects and help inspire new circular collaborations across the food and environment sectors. The initiative was launched in April 2021 with $5 million in funding from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

About Our Food Future

Inspired by the planet’s natural cycles, a circular food economy reimagines and regenerates the systems that feed us, eliminating waste, sharing economic prosperity, and nourishing our communities. In Guelph-Wellington, we are working to build Canada’s first tech-enabled circular food economy that will achieve a 50% increase in access to affordable nutritious food, 50 new circular economy businesses and collaborations, and a 50% increase in circular economic benefit by unlocking the value of waste.

Our Food Future demonstrates one of the ways the City of Guelph and County of Wellington are contributing to a sustainable, creative and smart local economy that is connected to regional and global markets and supports shared prosperity for everyone.


Our Food Future website

Media contacts

Barbara Swartzentruber, Executive Director
Smart Cities Office, Office of the Chief Administrative Officer
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3066
[email protected]

David Messer, Manager COIL
Smart Cities Office, Office of the Chief Administrative Officer
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3661
[email protected]

Posted on July 14, 2021