Today's climate

requires

Bigger

Broader

Bolder

innovation

ABOUT US

Circular Innovation Council believes solutions for greater resource efficiency and environmental protection is to advance the circular economy, which decouples economic activity from production and consumption of finite resources. We are inclusive and collaborative among supply and value chains; and seek to advance circular business models, products, and services that deliver redefined values to equate social, environmental, and economic benefit. Throughout our history we have played a lead role in uniting stakeholders across entire value and supply chains, and utilize expertise and experience of our diverse membership. We leverage collaborative efforts to fully understand priority and realize potential. In doing so we are strategically positioned as a resource organization that all actors can use to develop and implement their strategies.

Our Story

We were first established as Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) in 1978 focused on a more environmental and economical way of redefining waste and reintegrating it back into production as valued resources. We were created to help Ontario’s struggling recycling operators co-operatively market the newspapers, glass, and metal cans, which they were collecting from community recycling depots and door-to-door drives.

Our Impact

Canada’s resource-based economy depends on the ability to preserve the value of finite resources and natural capital for success. By putting circular economy concepts into action through collaboration and inclusion we discover solutions through circular business models that design waste out of production and consumption.

Circular
Economy
Respects the
Full Value of
Resources
Beyond Just Recycling

OUR TEAM

Jo-Anne St.Godard

Executive Director

416.657.2797,ext3 JoAnne@CircularInnovation.ca

Jodi Houston

Program Manager

416.657.2797,ext5 Jodi@CircularInnovation.ca

Shannon Lavalley

Program Manager

416.657.2797,ext202 Shannon@CircularInnovation.ca

Shirley Ouellette

Membership Manager

416.657.2797,ext203 Shirley@CircularInnovation.ca

Katie Motta

Pilot Manager

416.657.2797,ext6 Katie@CircularInnovation.ca

Caitlin Perry

Program Manager

416.657.2797,ext22 Caitlin@CircularInnovation.ca

Audrey Manuel

Resource Development & Outreach Co-ordinator

416.657.2797, ext 4 Audrey@CircularInnovation.ca

OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Peter Veiga

Ex-Officio Past Chair

Manager, Waste Management Operations
Regional Municipality of Durham

Giles LeVasseur

Chair

Professor
University of Ottawa

Andrew McLachlin

Secretary

Senior Vice President General Counsel, Corporate Secretary
BGIS Global Integrated Solutions

Ryan Dyment

Treasurer

Director of Finance and Administration
Ecoschools Canada

Isabelle Faucher

Director

Manager Director
Carton Council of Canada

Erica Gale

Director

VP Sustainability – North America
Snowfox Group

Patrick Kane

Director

Environmental consultant
Alberta, Canada

Neil Menezes

Director

Founder
EcoCompass

Erwin Pascual

Director

Manager, Waste Planning
Region of Peel

Wendy Potomski

Director

Managing Partner/CFO
Redeuse Sustainable Office Solutions

Ted Troughton

Director

Managing Director
National Recycling Operations
Salvation Army Thrift Stores

Charlotte Ueta

Director

Project Director, Business Transformation – Extended Producer Responsibility
City of Toronto

OUR GOALS AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Full Cost Accounting

We believe that the cost of goods and services should be determined according to the principles of full cost accounting. Full cost accounting means that goods and services are priced to include their true environmental costs from all phases of production, transportation, distribution, use, reuse, recycling, composting and disposal.

Shared Responsibility

We believe that responsibility for minimizing environmental and economic impacts must be shared by all parties that benefit from and/or impact on the production, distribution, use, and/or disposal of products and packaging or delivery of services. In sharing responsibility, the parties should have the authority and ability to influence those policies and practices that affect them.

Regulatory and Legislative Initiatives

We believe that governments should intervene using regulatory and/or legislative mechanisms where voluntary initiatives are not in place or fail to adequately protect the environment.

Non-Regulatory Initiatives

We support non-regulatory environmental protection and remediation initiatives implemented on a voluntary basis providing there are mechanisms to monitor performance and that there are consequences for non participants and/or failure to meet established performance standards.

Level Playing Field

We believe that government(s) should support environmental policies and practices that ensure equitable participation through the introduction of incentives, disincentives or if necessary, regulations.

Economic Instruments

We believe that financial incentives / economic instruments should be used to encourage the development and implementation of environmentally sound programs and practices. Moneys generated through these instruments should be used to support such programs and practices.

Harmonization

We believe that federal / provincial / municipal environmental policies and programs should be harmonized where possible and practical. Any harmonized approach should meet or exceed the highest environmental protection standards currently in use.

Accountability

We believe that participants in both voluntary and regulatory environmental programs and practices should be continually monitored and held accountable for meeting established goals, targets or standards. Monitoring data and analyses should be publicly available.

Communication and Education

We believe that stakeholders should be adequately informed and educated as to their respective roles and responsibilities in environmental programs and the results and effectiveness of their participation in these programs.

Public Participation

We believe that all stakeholders should have the opportunity to participate in the development of environmental policies and the monitoring of environmental programs and practices. RCO believes that adequate resources should be made available to ensure such participation.

Operational Efficiency

We believe that environmental policies and practices should promote the highest levels of efficiency and effectiveness through the use of ‘Best Available Technology’ and benchmarking.

WE INVITE YOU TO JOIN US

Become a Member

We offer collaborative opportunity and inspiration to redefine value in communities across Canada through showcase opportunities and putting circular economy concepts into action.

We Invite You to Join Us

Become a Member

As the Circular Innovation Council we leverage our history to advance waste elimination and strengthening its connection to low-carbon production and consumption.

Our transition to Circular Innovation Council also provides exciting and timely opportunity to expand our focus beyond end of life and waste issues to a broader mandate that promotes circular production and consumption models designed to reflect the true value of resources.

Through the long-standing support of Members, we make far reaching and meaningful impacts to reduce waste, and through collaboration we can work together to inspire greater sustainability across Canada and put circular economy concepts into action.

Stay Connected With Circular Innovation

Sign up for periodic updates of our activities and circular innovations happening across Canada and around the world.

Our Story

In the 1980s, we began to host conferences and seminars to discuss a wide range of recycling issues from technology and subsidies for recyclers, to government policies and public education. RCO had an active role in the development and introduction of a test Blue Box program in Kitchener, Ontario in 1981. At a United Nations dinner during the 1989 Our World Summit on the Environment in Toronto, the United Nations Environment Program presented an Environmental Leadership award to RCO for our contribution and leadership with the Blue Box program.

In the late 1990s, RCO was appointed by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment to lead the Roles and Responsibilities forum facilitating discussions between industry and municipalities. These discussions led to the adoption of Ontario’s first stewardship legislation, the Waste Diversion Act, which required brand owners to be responsible, physically or financially, for the end-of-life management of their products and packaging. 

Throughout the 2000s RCO continued to be an active stakeholder in waste reduction and recycling across Ontario and beyond: we took a lead role organizing and leading annual Waste Reduction Week in Canada campaign that debuted in 2001; designed Canada’s first procurement-based extended producer responsibility program for fluorescent lights as Take Back the Light in 2008; developed Canada’s only waste certification program for the Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional sector in 3RCertified in 2011.

In 2020, we rebranded to Circular Innovation Council, and continue to develop programs and pilots to advance the circular economy in communities across Canada through our actions.

Our Impact

The circular economy re-engages consumption and production beyond the linear model by decoupling economic growth from resource use. Circularity has the ability to improve the value of natural resources, reduce carbon emissions, and eliminate waste. It encourages innovation in product design and business delivery systems. Transitioning to a circular economy doesn’t balance economic, environmental, and social priorities in isolation: it delivers them simultaneously.

We invite you to join us as a Member to advance circular economic outcomes in communities across Canada, and help us redefine value by adopting circular economy business models that remake how we produce and consume products and services.