Newsletter August 2022

Mass timber street front in Austin

There’s a flurry of invitations to conferences and webinars this Autumn. It’s good to see, as long as they share valuable information and don’t become echo-chambers of what we already know. I’m long enough in the game to be able to judge the quality of a webinar by the speaker list. I’ve been to a few good ones in the past but some organisers just trot out the same ‘safe’ voices time and time again, still talking about the ‘why’ and not the ‘how’. Here’s my tips on making the most of your precious time this conference season;

  • Is the line up a repeat of last year? Is there anyone new or fresh on the line up? Is it all just the standard fare or well worn faces.
  • Are the speakers a mix of micro and macro? Policy and legislation information is important, but so too are business people walking the walk.
  • Looking up the LinkedIn page or twitter account of main speakers you don’t know. Are their posts interesting or useful? If not move on.
  • Even if the line up isn’t inspired it might still be worth attending.  Will you make good connections by attending in person? If so prioritise the breaks over the presentations.
  • Maximise your time and attend the conference virtually and organise to do something manually else while listening to it; sweeping up leaves, cutting the grass, tidying that office
  • Watch the conference recording on 1.5 – 2 the playback speed. It’s amazing how much information you can absorb by speeding people up!


A funded Masters on New Circular Economy Business Models in the Wood Construction Sector in Ireland, based in Galway, is open for applicants until 12 noon, Monday 12th September.

IGBC are running a series of lunchtime talks on creating a circular economy in construction Sept 14th – 2nd of Nov

Worrying collapse of bridge made from glulam in Norway

Under new regulations, China’s steel industry will be required to reach peak CO2 emissions by 2025, which is huge given that China produces more than half of the world’s steel, and over 60% of the industry’s global carbon emissions.

Here are 8 ways cities can access sustainable wood

A mass-timber skyscraper in Milwaukee was recently certified as the world’s tallest timber building

Herzog & de Meuron reveals mass-timber design in existing Austin street front (see top image)

German steel producer Salzgitter has committed $723 million to the first stage of decarbonizing its business by 2033, making it the largest investment in green steel to date.

First Plan It is a UK based platform to support the building of sustainable structures and includes a directory of vetted materials and products

CIRCULÉIRE has just made the Circular Construction & Built Environment Good Practice Sectoral Guide publicly available

IGBC have kicked off a collaborative initiative to enable action on commercial sector renovation. #ENACT, a 3-year, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) funded initiative, is working to create capacity and appetite to help the commercial sector in breaking those barriers and reaching targets.

Ten principles for designing cool spaces for hot weather


How the Marine Institute in Galway slashed their waste from 4,00kg to 130kg 

Retail & Rental

Charity marketplace Thriftify raises €1.6m as it plans UK expansion

Apple is criticised over its repair policy, which requires proprietary tools that only Apple is able to sell

Tesco end trial of reusable packaging with Loop

Flecto is a Lisbon based platform that assists company in tracking their rental goods


A new All Ireland B Corp boot camp has just launched, with the first session free

New rules on corporate sustainability reporting gets provisional political agreement between the Council and the European Parliament

The depressing round-up of failed environmental pledges by companies. Don’t get included on this list!


A new water management system in Intel in Dublin, will ensure that the company returns more water to the environment than in consumes by 2030.

Irish water are running Water Conservation Clinics in tandem with their recently released Water Stewardship and Sustainability in Construction Sector guide for the construction industry

Fog collectors are providing trees with water in Spain

Food & Farming

Evercase uses electricity & magnetic fields to freeze food without ice crystals, thereby protecting texture and flavour

Wikifarmers is an online market place and educational hub for farmers

ECLO in Belgium raised €4.7 million to create a circular mushroom substrate factory

The transition to peat-free mushroom production


Drift has developed a boat that creates green hydrogen as it sails

Researchers make jet fuel from CO2, captured from the air, water and solar energy

France becomes the first country to ban ads for fossil fuels


The EPA in Ireland are running a Circular Economy Conference on Sept 22nd

Public consultation on eco-design for sustainable products is due in Ireland 13th September!

Food for Thought

Very thought provoking article about the need for sustainable design to be sexy not sacrificial by the designer Brue Mau


If you’d like to discuss how any of these developments will impact your business feel free to get in touch via our contact page.


Published by Elaine Butler

I am a circular design consultant helping manfacturers prepare for the circular economy