Skip to Main Content
Centre for Building Sustainable Value · Light Naing

Ivey research drives circular strategies to combat carbon emissions in Canada

Jun 20, 2023

Gettyimages 1254345680 (1)

Research from the Centre for Building Sustainable Value’s Circular Economy Lab was recently featured in a Canadian Climate Institute report, which highlighted its key contributions to the field of study. 

Over the past 50 years, materials extraction has more than tripled. This upward trend in resource extraction, processing, and the lifespan of products poses a significant challenge for emissions reduction efforts. To address these challenges and others and transition toward more sustainable resource usage, the adoption of circularity strategies is critical. 

Research on promoting circularity remains robust at Ivey 

The Canadian Climate Institute (CCI) has published a report entitled How circularity can contribute to emissions reductions. The report presents an overview of how Canada can improve its circularity and related emissions reductions. The report draws upon valuable insights from the Ivey report “Scaling the Climate-Smart Circular Economy” published by Jury Gualandris, Sourabh Jain, and Matthew Lynch at the Circular Economy Lab. This study serves as a crucial resource in discovering the best solutions and policies to effectively reduce carbon emissions. 

The Ivey Circular Economy Lab is actively working to advance these strategies. Researchers at the Ivey Centre for Building Sustainable Value (BSV) have been analyzing and promoting waste repurposing exchanges between businesses, quantifying the environmental impacts of these exchanges in reducing carbon emissions and combating climate change. By exploring innovative solutions and measuring their effectiveness, the lab is contributing to the development of a more circular and environmentally conscious economy. 

Leveraging food waste upcycling for carbon emission reductions 

The BSV “Scaling the Climate-Smart Circular Economy study unearthed that upcycling food waste, which involves transforming waste materials into new materials and products, can achieve significant reductions and even net reductions in carbon emissions. Specifically, it focused on two sectors in Ontario and explored how food waste, such as spent grain and fruit and vegetable residues, could be repurposed into items like cookies, crackers, and flavourings. Further, the researchers highlighted how businesses can financially benefit from the adoption of these circular strategies. The CCI report drew upon these findings to underscore the importance of circular approaches in achieving emissions reductions.  

Continued research seeks to reform climate policies 

Through an analysis of the impacts of circularity, case studies from several countries, barriers to change, and potential solutions, the CCI report showcases the importance of promoting circularity and working towards a circular economy. The findings will inform climate-action stakeholders and individuals on how Canada’s federal climate efforts can be improved. Such changes will ultimately shift policy structures towards decarbonization, rebuilding natural capital, creating well-paid and secure jobs, and developing new markets based on renewable sources of energy and low-carbon technology. The efforts of the CCI and the Ivey Circular Economy Lab continue to drive climate change initiatives, offering valuable insights and solutions to work towards a sustainable and prosperous future. 


Read the Canadian Climate Institute report

Read the BSV report