Circular Solutions for Nature and the Economy – CE-Hub Lunchtime Webinar


On Thursday 20th July we hosted the last in the summer series of the CE-Hub’s Lunchtime Webinars. “Circular Solutions for Nature and the Economy” was a side event of the World Circular Economy Forum 2023 with over 70 attendees present. Chaired by the CE-Hub’s Professor Peter Hopkinson, and featuring three speakers, the webinar explored the concept of circular solutions and their application in various fields related to nature.

To kick off, Karl Fuller, National Sustainability Performance Advisor at the Environment Agency, discussed the need for sustainable solutions in flood risk management. He presented a number of case studies of projects conducted by the EA that focus on regenerating natural capital and reducing flood risk through alternative approaches.

Karl was followed up by Dr Suzy Moody a Lecturer in Eukaryotic Microbiology at Kingston University and principal investigator of “The Old Pants Project”, one of the feasibility studies funded by the CE-Hub (read more about that here). Suzy talked through her novel idea to tackle the impact of textile waste by growing edible mushrooms on the waste materials. This unique idea sparked lots of discussion around whether you could (or would want to!) eat mushrooms grown on old pants and the potential to further explore this in the future.

Finally, we heard from Professor Ian Bateman, Director of the Land Environment, Economics and Policy Institute (LEEP) at the University of Exeter. Ian spoke about the South West Partnership for Environmental and Economic Prosperity (SWEEP) project and its aims to use multi-disciplinary research, expertise, and evidence to place the environment at the heart of policy and business decision-making. He explained how there are four intersecting principles that shaped SWEEP’s unique approach: natural capital approach, whole-systems thinking, specialist impact teams, and place-based approach, and talked through the impact the 6-year project has had.

The following audience discussion was chaired by Peter Hopkinson and raised some valuable points around flood risk management, whether mushrooms grown on textiles are safe to eat, and the legacy of the SWEEP project now that it has come to a close.

This and previous webinar’s are available to watch on the CE-Hub Youtube Channel. To keep up to date with our webinars and other events, follow us on EventbriteLinkedIn and Twitter and sign-up to our newsletter for news across the NICER Programme.