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Partnership between Glasgow and London launched to help the UK achieve ambitious year of climate change

12 February 2020

In a bid to achieve their cities’ climate change targets, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce (GCOC) and London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) are teaming up to develop and promote initiatives which will help businesses across the UK future-proof their operations by using circular economy principles.

Circular Glasgow, an initiative of GCOC, and LWARB have agreed a knowledge transfer partnership and will share best practice, learnings and case studies of projects from businesses across both cities in a bid to encourage others to improve their circularity.

As part of the UK’s ‘Year of Climate Action’, announced by the Prime Minister at the launch of COP26 last week, the partnership will also help businesses to connect with other organisations and grow their networks, while raising awareness of the work being done in both cities to position Glasgow and London as two of the world’s leading circular cities.

With Glasgow set to host COP26 in November 2020, progress being made by cities to achieve the climate change targets set out by the Mayor of London, Scottish and UK Parliaments will be under greater scrutiny. Glasgow City Council has recently announced plans to become net zero by 2030; and London has a target to be zero carbon by 2050.

A circular economy is designed to keep products and materials circulating within the economy at their highest value for as long as possible.

Circular Glasgow and Circular London have spent the last few years working to help businesses realise the sustainable economic opportunities of the circular economy whilst also reducing their environmental impact.

Success stories from Glasgow include compost made from waste coffee and the development of a circular economy project integrated into education; while in London a number of innovations have proved the commercial viability of circular products and services, including Biohm – pioneering the use of organic materials in the construction industry – and Notpla, creating edible and biodegradable packaging for liquids.

The linking of the two initiatives will act as a catalyst for change, with activity in Glasgow and London set to amplify the efforts of businesses already adopting circular principles, encourage new businesses to get involved, stimulate new ideas and business models, and grow networks to stimulate business opportunities between the cities.

Alison McRae, Senior Director at Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said:

The partnership between Circular Glasgow and Circular London is a fantastic step forward as we look towards achieving the ambitious targets set out for cities across the UK. We believe that adopting the principles of the circular economy is one of the biggest means of stopping the temperature rising by more than 1.5 degrees. The partnership will continue to build confidence within the business community surrounding circular business models, with a network of advice, ideas and support available on both ends. Developing further relationships with London-based organisations will bring innovative ideas to Glasgow and vice versa, inspiring new business models which will future proof organisations as we shift towards a more sustainable economy. This will help to enable our city to grow with a competitive advantage.

Wayne Hubbard, Chief Executive of LWARB, said:

This partnership is a building block in the UK’s ability to accelerate the transition to a circular economy, as it provides our two cities with the opportunity to share ideas and developments which really work. The circular economy provides us with tools and practices that can tackle consumption-based emissions and help us contribute to keeping climate change to safe levels. Collaboration can help accelerate action; and this partnership between London and Glasgow will provide a blueprint and a foundation on which other cities can build.


Issued by BIG Partnership on behalf Circular Glasgow. For further information please contact Megan Amner on or 0141 333 9585.

Notes to editors
Circular Glasgow is an initiative of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce. The project was set up with a vision for Glasgow to be positioned as one of the world’s first circular cities, planning and implanting a strategy to encourage the city and its businesses to work towards greater circularity. Circular Glasgow also delivers a business engagement programme in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland, Glasgow City Council and Circle Economy

Circular London is a programme run by LWARB as part of its remit to improve waste and resource management in the capital. Circular London works with businesses – from large corporates to SMEs and innovative start-ups – to reduce waste and thereby consumption-based emissions through the implementation and promotion of circular business models. Their goal is to create the conditions for the city to thrive by accelerating the transition to a circular economy in London, as part of which the team runs a world-leading small business advisory programme.

The London Waste and Recycling Board is a partnership of the Mayor of London and the London boroughs to improve waste and resource management. The city’s economic and environmental future depends on a transition to a low-carbon circular economy, and LWARB works to ensure that London’s businesses, local government and communities thrive by helping them make the very best use of resources and materials.

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