Circular & Green Economy Sector Forum October 2022

4theRegion members met with businesses and organisations across South West Wales to share their insights surrounding the circular economy, ambitions for the future and emerging opportunities to collaborate

We believe that South West Wales must move away from our linear economy (make, use, dispose), closing the loop to conserve resources and ensure long term sustainability.

We were joined by Dr. Jennifer Rudd, programme manager for the Circular Economy Innovation Communities (CEIC). 

Jennifer is familiar with the circular economy from a chemical perspective, working on solar panels, the hydrogen economy and carbon dioxide to fuels. Jennifer has communicated the climate emergency through national talks, radio and printed media and gave a TEDx talk in 2019. She is regularly invited to give talks on climate change mitigation and climate change education and was nominated for two Swansea University awards in 2020.

You can catch up on the discussion surrounding the circular economy in our region by watching the event recording or reading the event notes.



Catch up on the full event recording, hear about Jennifer Rudd’s background in the circular economy and learn about CEIC’s fully funded, 10-month programme, which is designed to give organisations the most practical, straightforward and effective way to implement sustainable change for the future and achieve social, economic and environmental goals.

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Thematic Priorities


  • If we need people to understand the climate emergency and circular economy, we need to bring them with us, rather than dictating it to them.
  • How can we help major housing associations set up specialist decarbonisation centres and wider access to retrofit schemes?
  • It’s easy to design things into a new building, but far more difficult and complex in retrofitting.
  • The circular economy is not just about resource-use and manufacturing, it’s about considering new, regenerative ways of working.
  • One person’s waste can be another’s valuable material.
  • It would be an interesting challenge to ask what businesses’ biggest waste products are and to see how it can be repurposed.
  • How could we link up these businesses and see how their byproducts can be used by others?


  • CEIC offer a fully funded, 10-month programme to give organisations effective way to implement sustainable change for the future.
  • WRAP Cymru provides an interactive tool that maps Wales’ plastics and paper sectors, plotting business locations and helping to identify where there are clusters. View the map here.
  • Capital Valley Plastics take waste products from industrial clientele and repurpose it within Wales, which is a practice becoming more and more common.
  • Tools such as explainer videos can form part of carbon literacy training materials.
  • Carbon training can be streamlined to fit different sectors.
  • Working collaboratively with other organisations can help address challenges and find solutions, much like how CEIC runs its cohorts.
  • The importance of intelligence, knowing what is where, seems to come up again and again in circularity conversations.
  • We need to stop using waste as a noun. It’s a verb and we need to be consistent with this and change people’s attitudes.
  • If you don’t think of things as waste, you won’t treat it as waste. It’s a circular economy resource.


We recently released our Green Business Report, following a conference in June, where businesses were invited to address the urgent question of: “How can we create a sustainable, prosperous future for Swansea’s businesses and communities?”

Waste and materials were one of the key themes at this conference and the report can be read here.

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Please get in touch with 4theRegion to tell us about your work in South West Wales’ circular economy sector, or to share challenges and ideas about what more is needed.