The current cost of living crisis combined with climate breakdown challenges has highlighted once again the urgent need for a just transition to a circular economy that protects both the planet and its people.
Businesses need to demonstrate that they understand the difficulties
facing customers and are working to support them, providing longer-lasting products and services that reduce the economic burden on consumers and the resource burden on the environment.
The circular economy is a systemic approach that provides a solution to global issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. Waste and pollution are eliminated by design, materials are kept in circulation for as long as possible and resources are protected and regenerated. This provides the perfect opportunity for businesses and communities to realise the social, economic and environmental benefits of low carbon living through embracing new and transformative ways of living and working.
Dublin’s Circular Transition
Dubliners recognise this opportunity, with 66% agreeing that going green is critical for the city’s economic development. Reflecting this, Dublin City Council’s Draft Development Plan 2022 -2028 commits to supporting a circular transition in line with national policy.
To ensure the transition to a circular economy is just and equitable, lifelong learning programmes to empower people and build their skills are essential. At the Rediscovery Centre, we advance learning through formal education and embedding the circular economy into the national curriculum. Beyond this we provide technical repair and reuse skills to people distanced from the workforce through innovative labour-activation initiatives. In fact a circular transition creates new job opportunities with the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimating that this shift will result in a global net increase of between 7 and 8 million jobs by 2030.
Our visitor centre also educates and inspires action, through events, tours and workshops, and through demonstrating circular solutions that are replicable across society. Ballymun is just one example of a Dublin community benefiting from the development of localised economies and sharing platforms. Initiatives are flourishing as a result of collaboration between local businesses, non-profits and schools.
Circular Economy Leaders
Dublin is home to some of the world’s greatest circular economy leaders and innovations. As a host of Circular Economy Hotspot Dublin 2023 (May 29th – June 1st) the city will showcase circular economy progress made in design and manufacturing, food and the bioeconomy alongside social enterprise activity. Tackling Dublin’s housing crisis through circular solutions will also be explored; going beyond green building materials to explore additional benefits that can be designed into our city to improve well-being and encourage carbon positive lifestyles. A cross-sectoral and public engagement event, Circular Economy Hotspot Dublin will provide the perfect platform to present the circular economy as a positive framework for the city to demonstrate adaptation and growth within planetary boundaries.