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Opportunity for Swansea Businesses to Drive Innovation through ‘Circular Economy’ Thinking


With a recent report from The Circular Economy Foundation in conjunction with Deloitte* suggesting that awareness of the Circular Economy entered the mainstream in 2023, businesses across the Swansea Bay Region are being urged to take up the opportunity to put their organisations on a more sustainable footing by joining a fully-funded CEIC programme delivered in conjunction with the University of Swansea.

Following seven highly-successful programmes delivered for the public and third-sectors, the six-month CEIC programme has been opened up to commercial businesses for the first time this month. The new programmes support organisations across Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Carmarthenshire to innovate, improve service levels, reduce operational costs, work towards Net Zero goals and meet their obligations under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

CEIC programme director Gary Walpole, said: 

“The Circularity Gap Report (2024) highlighted that, while awareness of Circular Economy principles is becoming more widely understood, businesses around the world are falling short when it comes to taking action.

“However, with clear Net Zero deadlines now in sight, and organisations interdependent when it comes to managing their CO2 emissions, we started the year with a clear goal to help Welsh businesses become more innovative and sustainable through the application of circular economy principles.

“Our experience shows that bringing together organisations of all sizes, from all sectors, creates a fertile environment for innovation, with organisations learning from each other to identify areas of mutual interest, exchange ideas and develop new partnerships.

“This in turn leads to greater efficiencies, improved service levels and even the creation of new value streams within an organsiation.

“The fully-funded CEIC programme brings together businesses across the region to share tools, techniques and best practices; working together to identify practical solutions to clean growth challenges, rethink resource management and contribute to the Welsh Government’s Net Zero Wales ambitions.”

Swansea-based Wool Insulation Wales took part in a previous CEIC cohort, during which an opportunity arose to collaborate with Camarthenshire County Council to insulate its buildings. This included the main Chamber at County Hall, where wool has been used to trap heat above hte chamber, reducing the need for radiators and making the Chamber a more comfortable environment.

Mair Jones, co-founding director of Wool Insulation Wales, which is based in Swansea, said:

“In Wales, we produce over 6 million kilos of wool every year and by using it in the construction sector, we will be using large volumes of Welsh wool and helping decarbonize the indoor built environment with a product that is natural, sustainable and renewable. The Carmarthenshire project was an exciting one to be part of, sourcing 100% Welsh wool from the Carmarthenshire countryside as a natural, sustainable and renewable insulator. Additionally, we can guarantee that the premium for Welsh Wool goes directly back to the farmers through our traceabiliyty scheme, ensuring a fair return fro this natural product.”

The new programme, which is funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, begins on 22 February. Organisations can apply via or register for one of CEIC’s free online Insight sessions to find out more.

Business News Wales