Driving Public Policy to create a Circular Economy in the EU and North America


A Green business perspective

Side Event on World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) organised by the ASBC and Ecopreneur.eu

29 September 2020, 16:30 – 17:45 (UTC+3)

Public policy is key in creating large scale change towards a circular economy. In this session we will explore how shifts in business practices, new innovations and catalyzing our power as businesses can help shape policy change at the USA/EU, (member) state and local level. What are the public policy opportunities to incentivize a circular economy, the reduction of waste, and encourage the use of reusable, post-consumer and biodegradable materials?  What campaigns are presently underway and are different businesses doing to support these efforts? And, how can we work collaboratively to influence the change we need?  Join us for an interactive dialogue with business leaders about what green businesses are already doing and what more can be done to accelerate the shift. 

  • Explaining the role of business in influencing policy, including examples
  • Policy measures already being taken in the EU and the USA
  • What are the principles that can guide our efforts
  • How to ensure green recovery from Covid-19
  • Sharing information on the business campaigns to tackle the waste from packaging
  • Who are the legislative allies?
  • What are the opportunities for engagement


Reinhard Schneider, CEO of Werner & Mertz

Thomas Oppel, Executive VP, American Sustainable Business Council

Arthur ten Wolde, Executive Director of Ecopreneur.eu

Martin Wolf, Director, Sustainability & Authenticity, Seventh Generation

David Levine, President & Co-founder, American Sustainable Business Council (host and moderator)


16:30 Opening by David Levine

16:35 Driving Public Policy to create a Circular Economy in North America, by Thomas Oppel

16:40 Driving Public Policy to create a Circular Economy in the EU, by Arthur ten Wolde

16:45 The EU Green Deal and Circular Economy Action Plan – by Sirpa Pitikainen – tbc

16:50 Best practice from USA company – tbc

16:55 Closing the loop for detergents – best practice from Werner & Mertz, by Reinhard Schneider – tbc

17:00 Panel debate responding to questions from the audience – led by Devid Levine

17:40 Closing words

17:45 End of Side Event


Arthur ten Wolde is the executive director of Ecopreneur.eu, the European Sustainable Business Federation of which UnternehmensGrün is a founding member. Ecopreneur represents about 3000 businesses in six member states, mostly SMEs, which strive to deliver sustainable products and services. Arthur is internationally recognized as a circular economy expert, motivational speaker and (co-)author of several reports and numerous articles in magazines. In addition, he is a member of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform Coordination Group (ECESP-CG), the EU policy expert for MVO Nederland, Trainer Circular Design for CIRCO and Head and Owner of Circular Future. Arthur worked earlier for various employers including the Dutch Industry Confederation VNO-NCW. He has a Ph.D. in experimental physics and is certified polymer technologist.

Arthur’s profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/arthurtenwolde/   Ecopreneur: www.ecopreneur.eu

David Levine is the co-founder and president of the American Sustainable Business Council. He has worked as a social entrepreneur for over 30 years focusing on the development of whole systems solutions for a more sustainable society through building strategic partnerships and broad stakeholders initiatives. Previously, he was the founding director of Continuing Education & Public Programs at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. From 1984–1997, David was founder and executive director of the Learning Alliance, an independent popular education organization. David is also a principal partner at Miracle Springs Farm, a goat dairy and family farm in the Hudson Valley.

Thomas Oppel, Executive Vice President, ASBC; Former Chief of Staff, Secretary of the U.S. Navy, has more than three decades of experience in management, communications, policy and political campaigns.

From 2009 to 2017, he served as Chief of Staff to the 75th Secretary of the United States Navy, Ray Mabus, responsible for overseeing the development, execution and communication of the Secretary’s policies, goals and objectives. After leaving Navy, Mr. Oppel relaunched his own strategy and communications firm, O2 Strategies, and co-founded Mabus Group, a strategic advisory firm focused on resiliency.