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  • Northside West

New national Circular Economy Academy launches in Ballymun

Thursday, 18th July, 2019 8:00am
New national Circular Economy Academy launches in Ballymun

Noel Barbour at Rediscover Cycling in the Rediscovery Centre where the national Circular Economy Academy is now based.

New national Circular Economy Academy launches in Ballymun

Noel Barbour at Rediscover Cycling in the Rediscovery Centre where the national Circular Economy Academy is now based.

IRELAND’S first academy designed to help businesses become more eco-friendly and take climate action has been launched at The Rediscovery Centre in Ballymun.

The Circular Economy Academy first phase will support social enterprises to transition to the circular economy, an economic system that minimises waste and makes the most of resources.

The circular economy model is a perfect fit for social enterprises and community organisations looking to establish new projects or expand operations while supporting climate action and environmental protection.

It allows products to stay in circulation for longer through reuse, repair and innovation, and prevents the creation of waste – something that’s central to the Rediscovery Centre’s ethos.

It’s estimated that the circular economy has the potential to generate 5,000 new jobs and contribute €1.65 billion to Ireland’s GDP while regenerating communities and supporting local enterprise.

The Rediscovery Centre is now seeking expressions of interest from social enterprises to participate in the first phase of the academy.

Enterprises will receive assistance from the experienced Rediscovery Centre team and their circular economy collaborators in circular business planning, financing options, training, sustainable material sourcing, technical support, incubation, access to market, networking and diversification strategies.

The academy also supports organisations to replicate the Rediscovery Centre's successful paint, furniture, fashion and furniture reuse initiatives in their locality. 

Dr Sarah Miller, CEO of the Rediscovery Centre, said the Ballymun based centre was delighted to launch the first stage of the academy to the social enterprise sector.

“The Academy will develop over time to see all Rediscovery Centre services roll out nationwide,” she said.

“The Academy is a game changer for the circular economy in Ireland. It will bring some of Ireland’s best expertise to emerging and diversifying social enterprises to help them grow and develop successful circular businesses.

 “The launch of the Climate Action Plan by Minister Bruton highlights the role of the circular economy in tackling climate breakdown.

“Ireland has ambitious targets to meet. We believe that social enterprises and sustainable Irish businesses have a key role to play in reaching those targets.

“We are encouraging social enterprises and community groups throughout Ireland to get in touch to see how we can work together on activities that will create a more sustainable, low-carbon future.”

The national roll out of the Circular Economy Academy is delivered through the Rediscovery Centre’s strategic partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Waste Prevention Programme.

The programme supports and fosters a circular economy in Ireland by providing tools and information to businesses, households and the public sector to influence behavioural change and support sustainable choices. 

Dr Eimear Cotter of the EPA said inefficient consumption and missed opportunities for reuse and recycling lead to waste generation and greenhouse gas emissions.

“Our strategic partnership with the Rediscovery Centre and initiatives such as the Circular Economy Academy supports our ambition to foster a circular economy in Ireland,” she added.

“We welcome the innovation and creativity demonstrated by the Rediscovery Centre in terms of providing support and training for social enterprises and hope to see reuse initiatives replicated in communities throughout Ireland to support waste prevention, climate action and job creation.”

Additional expansions of the Circular Economy Academy’s educational, community engagement and research programmes will be announced over the coming year.

To participate in the Circular Economy Academy, organisations should email interest to CEMovement@rediscoverycentre.ie.

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