Our Focus on Circular Economy



October is Circular Economy Month in Canada. Circular Economy Month raises awareness about the benefits of the circular economy and celebrates circular innovations. At Alberta Ecotrust, advancing the circular economy is one of the focus areas of our Environmental Impact Grant program. Through this lens, we aim to catalyze change by encouraging innovation, sustainable practices, and providing support for projects that embody circular principles. 

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation defines circular economy based on three design-driven principles:

  • eliminate waste and pollution,

  • circulate products and materials (at their highest value),

  • and regenerate nature.

Underpinned by a transition to renewable energy and materials, circular economies are resilient systems that are good for business, people, and the environment. They are also regenerative and aim to make the most of resources. This shift from a linear "take-make-dispose" model to a circular model is the cornerstone of this concept.

Alberta Ecotrust is committed to supporting projects that embody the principles of circularity and have the potential to drive significant environmental and economic benefits. The circular economy challenge statements in our Environmental Impact Grant identify barriers to this system that we hope to address by funding initiatives that enhance the knowledge and understanding or ability to engage in circular economy activities and those that accelerate the transition to a circular economy.

Supported Circular Economy Project Examples

Circular Economy Roadmaps by the Recycling Council of Alberta

Location: Alberta

Description: The Recycling Council of Alberta supports communities across the province to develop their circular economy roadmaps. This comprehensive initiative aims to promote circular economy principles in Alberta. It includes educational resources, case studies, and guidance for businesses, municipalities, and individuals. The roadmaps raise awareness and also provide practical tools and information to help organizations and communities transition to circular economy practices.

Circular Innovation Council

Location: Alberta

The Circular Innovation Council is simplifying food rescue and reducing the cost of organic waste diversion through an innovative, cooperative pilot program tailored for the institutional, commercial, and industrial (IC&I) sector—making impacts where it’s needed the most.

Leftovers Foundation

Location: Alberta and Manitoba

Leftovers Foundation’s mission is to reduce food waste and prevent the greenhouse gas emissions when good food is left to rot. They connect surplus food to service agencies in need of food donations for clients experiencing hunger crises and the affordability challenges of today.

Alberta Ecotrust recognizes that supporting circular economy projects will play a significant role in advancing our province’s journey toward sustainability. We are excited to see what innovative work and projects emerge across the province responding to the circular economy challenge through our Environmental Impact Grant. The next intake will open for Expressions of Interest mid-December 2023. Watch out for announcements through our newsletter or website.

For more information please contact: 

Lori Rissling Wynn 

Program Specialist, Alberta Ecotrust Foundation