Achieving Social Justice In a Global Circular Economy

27 October 2022


This is an official side event of the 2022 World Circular Economy Forum.

This session will explore how governments and multilateral organisations can tackle environmental challenges in a way that promotes decent jobs and secure livelihoods for all.

Decision-makers face a choice today. The circular economy will not be socially just by default. A just transition involves tackling environmental challenges in a way that promotes decent jobs and secure livelihoods for all. How governments, employers and workers jointly decide to implement circular economy interventions now will determine outcomes for people in their own countries as well as in others, largely due to the interdependence of value chains in our highly globalised economy. Tackling climate change and transitioning to a circular economy is not something a single country can implement alone. Nor can a circular economy be pursued by any individual country without corresponding social and economic impacts in other parts of the world.

This session will engage a highly relevant panel in the key messages of the latest paper from Circle Economy’s Circular Jobs Initiative, which highlights the role of three key levers to address the oversights and assumptions of prevailing narratives on the circular economy, related to power, trade and technology: Consider people beyond your borders; trade responsibly; and exchange know-how and means. In addressing these, decision-makers in high- and lower-income countries, and multilateral organisations supporting intergovernmental exchange and adherence to labour rights and standards, can design circular economy interventions that are fair and just for all.


  • Casper Edmonds – Head of Unit Extractives, Energy and Manufacturing, Sectoral Policies Department at the International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • Sonia Dias – Global waste specialist at the Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO)
  • Elizabeth Ricketts – Co-founder & Director of the Or Foundation
  • Taco Westerhuis – Coordinator Circular Economy and Raw Materials Policies at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Netherlands
  • Kwaku Mensah – Tailor and upcycler at the Kantamanto market
  • Joel Marsden – Senior Researcher at the Circular Jobs Initiative within Circle Economy
  • Yasmina Lembachar – Researcher, Governments & Institutions at Circle Economy
  • Welcome and introduction
  • The urgent need for social justice with Liz Ricketts
  • Future visions and pathways for action with Joel Marsden
  • Panel discussion: Bridging the gap, from utopia to reality, with Casper Edmonds, Sonia Dias, Taco Westerhuis and Kwaku Mensah. Moderated by Yasmina Lembachar
  • Closing words
Weblink https://www.thegreenforum.org/event/achieving-social-justice-global-circular-economy

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