Circular Economy SME Engagement Project

THEME: Circular Economy, Tools and Information for SMES

Executive Summary

In an effort to validate the findings of the 2022 Circular Economy Survey Supply Chain Manitoba facilitated an engagement project to gather feedback from small and medium sized enterprises in the province Twenty five organizations were selected to participate based on their involvement in previous engagements A questionnaire was created by developing nine questions based on the key findings from the initial survey The questionnaire was sent to participants along with two pre recorded presentations, providing context on the topic of circular economy and survey results A total of nine responses were gathered The information provided by the participants was analyzed and yielded the following conclusions:

  1. The results of the 2022 Probe Circularity Survey have been validated, as determined by the findings of this engagement.
  2. Participants reported having a low to moderate understanding and awareness of circular economy but are interested and open to learning about potential opportunities in this space.
  3. Half of respondents identified keep products and materials in use as the circularity principle that has the most potential for their business.
  4. The necessary first steps identified by participating SMEs to adopt circularity practices are securing financial resources understanding material, waste, energy, and emission flows building awareness of circularity among team members and setting internal targets and data collection.
  5. Participants identified environmental protection, market access, regulatory pressures, and supply chain stability as significant strategic factors considered for circularity decision making.
  6. The following activities were identified by SMEs as supporting actions needed to assist with adoption of circularity enforcement of regulatory requirements training and awareness inventory of available materials and technologies tools to assess ‘in house’ and supply chain material flows and emissions.
  7. Interviewed participants indicated that the Supply Chain Manitoba circular economy webpage was of benefit and offered suggestions for increased value.

Based on the results of this engagement, Supply Chain Manitoba will be considering the following next steps:

  1. Developing training programs focused on adoption of circular practices throughout supply chain participants, with focus on general awareness and specific regional industry needs.
  2. Developing tools to support organizations, particularly SMEs, to assess their existing circularity status and capacity for adoption.
  3. Initiating and facilitating dedicated circularity networks focused on member and Manitoba industry needs, with focus areas such as regional requirements, material availability, and technology access.
  4. Liaising with other Manitoba sector councils to better understand the circularity potential and needs specific to their sectors, and ensuring those same considerations are incorporated into future Supply Chain Manitoba work where appropriate.
  5. Continuing dialogue and collaboration with Provincial and Federal governments to further develop a framework and supports to assist Manitoba SMEs to succeed in a Circular Economy.