Canada will host the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) in September of 2021 in Toronto. The gathering was originally scheduled for 2020, but due to the pandemic, this year event moved online and the Toronto forum got postponed to the next year. Being the first WCEF taking place in North America, the event will be an important opportunity for Canada to demonstrate its leadership and innovation with respect to circular economy.

WCEF was first launched in 2017 by Finalnd, on its 100th independence anniversary, as a platform for business leaders, policymakers and experts to network and present their best circular economy solutions. Finland introduced the event as a “gift to the world” in view of the country’s leading role in laying the ground for a circular economy.

Juts a year before the first WCEF, the Finish Government had released a roadmap setting the ambition for the country to be a pioneer in bioeconomy and circular economy by 2025. To achieve this goal, Finland fostered an environment of dialogue and cooperation between different sectors and parties in society, and with WCEF2017, they aimed for pushing that partnership and collaboration to a higher level.

The Finish Innovation Fund Sitra, with the support from different ministries, has been the key organization in coordinating national and international efforts on transitioning to the circular economy. As an independent public foundation, Sitra invests in companies and startups to create new profitable businesses in different themes, including Carbon-Neutral Circular Economy.

WCEF2017 identified key elements of a circular economy and showcased solutions from around the world. The second WCEF meeting, held in the city of Yokohama in Japan, presented a vision for a circular future and encouraged wold’s leading economies to take steps towards it. Hosted by Finland, WCEF2019 had a strong emphasis on scaling up the circular economy through impactful investments and progressive governance while ensuring a fair and just transition.

The pandemic delayed the Canada’s opportunity to host the fourth WCEF in 2020. However, as the governments around the world are developing measures and strategies to stimulate their economies and create jobs, sustainability-related sectors can be regarded as a driver for this shift if we do not want to lose our focus on transitioning to a sustainable future and meeting climate change targets. WCEFonline2020 can be a platform to discuss and advocate this approach.