Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Sign In

Conference Program


We hope you enjoyed this year’s confluence of visionaries, innovators, and thought leaders committed to a future without waste.

View the 2023 conference videos​

2023 Zero Waste Conference Program: Climate Action Through Circularity Program

Presented by Metro Vancouver and the National Zero Waste Council​

Conference Moderator: Kathryn Gretsinger​, Associate Professor/Journalist, University of British Columbia School of Journalism, Writing and Media​

*Only Day 1 of the conference is available virtually.​

  • 8:00 am PDT Breakfast and Networking
    9:00 am PDT Welcome and Opening Remarks
    • ​​Indigenous welcome
    • Opening remarks
    9:15 am PDT

    Opening Keynote
    Jonathan Foley has dedicated his life’s work to finding solutions that sustain our climate, ecosystems, and natural resources. His organization Project Drawdown is the world’s leading resource for climate solutions, highlighting pathways to reduce emissions and regenerate nature. Join him as he draws a solutions map with the call - it’s not game over for our planet, it’s game on!

    10:00 am PDT Connecting Conference Attendees​
    10:15 am ​PDT Networking Break
    10:45 am PDT Building Circular Cities of Tomorrow

    Cities are complex ecosystems, sustained by intricate systems like buildings, waste management and water infrastructure. As we step into the future, these urban systems must not only coexist but contribute positively to cities that are circular, waste-free, and low in greenhouse emissions. This session calls policymakers, engineers, and designers to a new frontier – to think, collaborate, and innovate on a scale previously unimagined, sculpting urban centers that are not only functional but flourish in harmony with nature.

    Session Moderator:

    Video Spotlight:

    • Lillian Zaremba, Program Manager for Collaborative Innovation, Liquid Waste Services, Metro Vancouver: The embedded resources we didn’t know existed.

    Featured Presentation:


    Featured Innovator:

    • Adam Corneil, CEO and Founder, Unbuilders and Heritage Lumber
    12:15 pm PDT Morning Recap
    12:20 pm PDT

    Lunch and Networking

    1:20 pm PDT


    1:30 pm PDT

    Accelerating Action on Plastic Pollution
    At the intersection of industry innovation, government regulation, and climate action lies the enigma of plastic waste. Are we at a pivotal moment, one where businesses, communities, and corporations are ready to align and create a circular economy for plastics. Join representatives from all three sectors shed light on the ambitious efforts underway to turn off the tap on plastic waste and reduce the related greenhouse gas emissions.

    Session Moderator:

    • Christina Seidel, Executive Director, Recycling Council of Alberta and Board Member, National Zero Waste Council

    Video Spotlight:

    • Unwrapping – A documentary that sheds light on the complex system of packaging, the importance of conscious consumption and the role for better design.

    Spotlight: Plastic Waste at a Glance

    • Karen Storry, Senior Engineer, Solid Waste Services Planning, Zero Waste Implementation, Metro Vancouver


    • Sonya Sundberg, Executive Director, Environmental Standards Branch, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, Province of British Columbia
    • Neil Menezes, Packaging Sustainability Policy Manager, General Mills
    • Crystal Dreisbach, CEO, Upstream​

    Featured Innovator:

    2:30 pm PDT

    Revolutionizing the Future of Fashion
    Today, a staggering 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions can be traced back to our clothing. In a world where less than 1% of our garments are recycled, there’s an urgent need for change. Dive deep into a transformative approach to textiles that doesn’t just reduce harm or waste but actively integrates regenerative principles to restore the environments it impacts. From an enlightening spark talk to discussions with Canadian apparel pioneers, this session unveils the much-needed metamorphosis of the sector.​

    Session Moderator:

    Featured Presentation:

    • Céline Semaan, Social and Environmental Justice Advocate and Founder, Slow Factory

    Responding Panel:​

    Video Spotlight:

    • Metro Vancouver’s Think Thrice Campaign
    3:45 pm PDT

    Closing Keynote

    Circularity and the Climate Crisis – a Powerful Opportunity
    Martijn Lopes Cardozo, serial entrepreneur and CEO of Circle Economy from the Netherlands, believes planetary survival depends on our next societal transition being a circular one. In the day one closing keynote, Cardozo will unpack the circular economy, unveiling an immense opportunity to unlock innovation and investment. Why is circularity critical to addressing the climate crisis? Let’s find out. Cardozo is in conversation with Elizabeth Shirt, Managing Director of the Globe Series.


    • Elizabeth Shirt, President, GLOBE Series, and Managing Director, Canadian Business for Social Responsibility (CBSR)

    Consulate General of the Netherlands
    Hosted in collaboration with the Consulate General of the Netherlands

    4:30 pm PDT
    Networking Reception ​
    6:00 pm PDT
    Day 1 Program Ends
  • 8:00 am PDT Breakfast and Networking
    8:45 am PDT

    Welcoming Remarks and Opening Keynote

    The Elephant in the Room: Behavior Change Solutions for Climate and Circularity
    Driving change requires politics, policy, and social will. But it also requires individuals, from citizens to CEOs, to make shifts in behaviour. What spurs behaviour change? While shame and blame often backfire, change driven by community connection is powerful. The ways in which we design our cities, businesses, and even our homes can foster community connection and shift behaviour. Join our keynote speaker, Dr. Jiaying Zhao, who will share strategies we can carry into workshops where we get tactical on advancing climate action and the circular economy.

    • Dr. Jiaying Zhao, Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Sustainability and Associate Professor, University of British Columbia
    9:30 am PDT

    Interactive Workshops
    These dynamic, interactive workshops will run simultaneously. Each addresses a different and compelling waste challenge: cities, food, textiles, and consumer habits.

    Addressing Life Cycle Emissions and Embodied Carbon in Buildings through Circular Economy Strategies
    Explore circular economy strategies that are well-positioned to tackle deeper life cycle GHG emissions, including standards and practices (such as modular construction), design for deconstruction, and building life extension. The workshop program includes the government policy considerations needed to advance these circular strategies.

    Co-hosted by:

    Circular Economy Leadership Canada
    CSA Group
    Metro Vancouver
    National Zero Waste Council



    • Ivica Karas, Manager, Strategic Initiatives, Construction and Infrastructure, CSA Group
    • Zahra Teshnizi, Senior Planner, Embodied Carbon, City of Vancouver
    • Emanuel Resendes, Director, Business Development, Fero International Inc.
    • Gil Yaron, Managing Director, Circular Innovation, Light House
    • Anthony Pak, Principal, Building LCA Consultant, Priopta

    Building Circular Culture for Climate Action
    Cities, governments, business, funders, and communities are working to mainstream a circular culture and enable Canadians to live sustainably. Discover circular practices motivators, new innovation areas and discuss people-centred solutions that transform how we live, travel, work and consume.

    Co-hosted by:

    OneEarth Living
    BCIT Centre for Ecocities
    Share Reuse Repair Initiative
    Metro Vancouver



    • Rosemary Cooper, Director, Share Reuse Repair Initiatives
    • Heléne Loberg, Country Sustainability Manager, IKEA Canada
    • Vanessa Timmer, Executive Director, OneEarth Living
    • Cora Hallsworth, Manager, Municipal Programs, BCIT Centre for Ecocities
    • Joanne Gauci, Senior Policy Advisor, Metro Vancouver and National Zero Waste Council
    • Dagmar Timmer, Managing Director, Strategic Initiatives, OneEarth Living
    • Isabelle Moïse, Director of Operations, Department of Strategic Development, RECYC-QUÉBEC
    • Alison Henning, Chief of Strategy, MakeWay Foundation
    • Erica Priggen Wright, Creative Director, OneEarth Living
    • Edna Catumbela, Project Manager, Information Design, OneEarth Living

    Circular Food Systems workshop: FOOD SOLVE for loss and waste
    The path to a circular food system has its own unique twists and turns. Meet business and government representatives who are navigating the change and share similar challenges to going circular and waste-free. This is a SOLVE workshop to crowd source promising, scalable ideas from participants, who will leave with strategies that will help reduce waste and advance their work on circularity.

    Co-hosted by:

    City of Vancouver
    Metro Vancouver
    National Zero Waste Council


    • Erin Nichols, Senior Project Manager – Zero Waste, Engineering Services Department, City of Vancouver
    • Denise Philippe, Senior Policy Advisor, Metro Vancouver and the National Zero Waste Council


    Are Textiles Next for EPR?
    Explore the significance of regulations in combating textile waste, and the potential of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for textiles in British Columbia. We'll delve into the textile waste landscape, including the challenges, discuss the role for targeted legislation across government, and explore proactive policies upstream to simplify downstream management.

    Co-hosted by:

    Recycling Council of BC
    Metro Vancouver
    National Zero Waste Council



    • Kelly Drennan, Founding Executive Director, Fashion Takes Action
    • Amelia Eleiter, CEO and Co-founder, debrand
    • Karen Storry, Senior Engineer, Solid Waste Services Planning, Zero Waste Implementation, Metro Vancouver
    11:30 am ​PDT Conference Closes
​​Subscribe to be notified about future event dates,​ early bird discounts, and other announcements.


Have a suggested session, workshop, or other great idea for our next event? Let us know.

M​ake a suggesttion


By continuing to use our website, you acknowledge the use of cookies. Privacy Statement | Accept all cookies | Change settings