Social business meets circular economy!

Berlin • 8. November 2019

Social business meets circular economy!

As part of the Global Social Business Summit, we met with stakeholders from the microfinance and social corporate world. Together with the Yunus Environment Hub, we organized this exchange in workshop format, bringing together around 100 participants to the first Social Business Environment Forum.

In the morning, Patrick Hasenkamp, Vice-President of VKU (the Association of Communal Companies in Germany), ​​presented the common goal of all PREVENT members to the participants of the summit: the establishment of a functioning waste management and circular economy to reduce the amount of waste entering into the environment in developing and emerging countries. He emphasized that to this end, municipal companies have played an important role in Germany and that social enterprises can be important drivers. He called for joint action. Nobel laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus vividly described the positive environmental effects of the Grameen Bank, stressing that each individual’s actions can drive change.

Subsequently, Parliamentary State Secretary Norbert Barthle opened the Environmental Forum. He outlined the potentials of the circular economy for environmental and resource protection and a sustainable economy and presented the BMZ “Action Program for the Circular Economy”. He also gave an overview of the BMZ involvement abroad, e.g. in Ghana and Egypt, and of the PREVENT activities.

For the rest of the day, participants divided into four interactive working groups. The workshops focused on the development of innovative business models for a functioning circular economy. These were the topics:

Prevention of plastic waste (from packaging)
Use of secondary plastic materials
E-Waste refurbishment
Including the informal sector in waste collection (within an EPR scheme)
The working groups were led by PREVENT representatives: Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, Grüner Punkt, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy and the AfB Group.

Finally, the ideas for promising business models were presented in plenary and the attendees agreed to a further exchange between PREVENT members and the social business world.

For more information, visit the website of the Global Social Business Summit:

GSBS-The Gathering 2019

Photo: GIZ | Steffen Blume Opening at Global Environmental Social Business Forum (from left to right: VKU Vice-President Patrick Hasenkamp, Parliamentary State Secretary Norbert Barthle, Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, and Director for Circular Economy and Project Leader at The Grameen Creative Lab Christina Jäger)