Can Northern Ontario become it’s own supply chain? Yes, in a Circular Economy

Economic recovery, future growth, job creation and sustainability were all topics that were discussed in the Northern Ontario Circular Economy Symposium that was hosted virtually on January 19.


The circular economy movement is one of the biggest ideas in sustainable thinking at the moment. Visualize an economy where we minimize waste and generate prosperity for future generations. Creating more self-sustaining communities, producing more jobs, becoming our own supply chain, and reaping the benefits regionally.


During the symposium we heard from various industries such as mining, health, and business technology about how innovation in these sectors are already contributing to the development of a circular economy in Northern Ontario.


Some key points from the presentations:

  • “Not only opportunities for the resources sector to build upon and play with, but speaks to reality of labor changes. No industry is immune to the fourth industrial revolution. More remote work and automation. We need to integrate circular solutions.” – Aaron Henry, Senior Director for Natural Resources & Sustainable Policy,Canadian Chamber of Commerce
  • “Sudbury is a great example of wise investment in environmental improvements. Becoming a model for the rest of the world.” – Dr. John Gunn, Living with Lakes Centre
  • “Waste product historically used in construction projects – Sulphur waste- becomes sulphuric acid to fertilize farms.” – Peter Xavier, Vice President Glencore and Chair of Ontario Mining Association
  • “To have sustainable health care, we need less waste and more health.” – Dr. Gary Bota, Chair of the Climate & Health taskforce at NOSM and Chair of CAPE-ON
  • “Need to support access for green jobs to women, to ensure a circular economy does not exacerbate gender inequality at labor market” – Ana Belen Sanchez, Green Jobs Specialist from International Labour Organization (ILO)


Nickel Belt MP, Marc Serré, served as the honourary event champion. He had this to say at the conclusion of the event:

  • “Today’s Circular Economy Symposium highlighted the true commonality between a healthy environment and a healthy economy across various sectors like mining, health, business and more. We can support job growth by investing in green technology and encouraging businesses to explore models that focus on sustainability in innovation. Looking forward to continued work with partners, industry, and all levels of government to put these concepts into action. We can attain a more prosperous Nickel Belt – Greater Sudbury and position Northern Ontario as a leader in fighting climate change all while simultaneously creating jobs and becoming our own supply chain and enabling post-pandemic economic recovery. Thank you to presenters, moderators, participants, Northern Policy Institute, Glencore, DE Design and Environment and other key individuals for the success on this first event. The next session will explore further application in other sectors and I look forward to how these concepts will benefit the future of a Northern Ontario Circular Economy.”


Hosted by Northern Policy Institute and DE Design + Environment Inc., the event was moderated by Angela Recollet and David Oswald.


“The panelists were excellent and the symposium as a whole rocked!  An honour to be a part of it.” said Oswald, Founder and President of DE Design and Environment Inc.


Recollet, E’Niigaanzid (CEO), Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre, added, “It was a pleasure to serve as co-moderator amongst a wealth of knowledge, intelligence and passion. The youth leaders are individuals to continue that passion in our collective pursuit to respecting and honouring all our relations. Specifically, in respecting, protecting and nurturing our first mother – Shkagamik-Kwe (mother earth) with all her resources.”


Charles Cirtwill, President of NPI, outlined for attendees how this event is meant to kick start a larger NPI project to expand the foundation for a circular economy in the regions of Northen Ontario. “By producing things locally, extending the useful life of products and materials, adopting innovative business models and strategies, and by turning our waste into resources. We can grow our economy and create sustainable jobs.” said Cirtwill.


You can watch the whole symposium here:

This Media Release