Embracing Circular Economics
as a Business and Economic Strategy

One Planet Living Principles

One Planet Living

Sustainability is no longer simply a topic of conversation or political debate, it’s an imperative … and the path to Sustainability offers tremendous opportunities for creativity and innovation.

The Sustainable Enterprise Conference is Contra Costa’s annual gathering of business owners, entrepreneurs, civic leaders, educators and activists who are dedicated to the principles of Sustainability and One Planet Living.

Speakers and panelists address critical issues, showcase successful business models and present opportunities for creating a vibrant and truly sustainable economy.

What is a circular economy?

It’s quite clear that we have a waste crisis in our county and our nation – and it’s getting worse every day. The primary cause of this crisis is the fundamental way our economy is structured … make, use, dispose. Fortunately, the traditional linear economy is not the only model.

A “circular economy” is an alternative to a traditional linear economy in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them while in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life.

Similarly, a “performance economy” describes a business model in which manufacturers retain control over products throughout their life cycles and handle their maintenance and recovery, rather than saddling customers with those responsibilities. From leasing carpet (Interface) and tires (Michelin) to redesigning products for ease of repair and resource retrieval (Steelcase), companies have begun to embrace the key principles of circularity and sustainability and have committed resources and personnel to making changes.

How can we apply circular economic principles to our local economies? Let’s find out!

Register Here, Register Now!

Join Us for the 3rd Annual SEC!

featuring …


Keynote Presentation:

Circular Economics –
Strategies for a Creating a Truly Sustainable Economy

with Special Guest Presenter …

Woodrow W. Clark, II, MA3 , PhD
Research Professor in Economics
at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio Business School
and Qualitative Economist and Managing Director
for Clark Strategic Partners

Circular economics is becoming a driving force in Corporate America. Major companies and brands are actively seeking ways to reduce waste and remove toxins while also finding new ways to become integral members of their communities. Learn more about circular economics and how we can apply circular economic principles to create a vibrant and sustainable economy in Contra Costa County.

Dr. Clark has over 25 years of direct experience in environmental solutions, ranging from building complexes to water, waste, renewable energy, and transportation. He educates private and public companies, non-profits as well as global leaders on how to solve the problems of climate change through the creation of sustainable infrastructures and agile energy systems. Dr. Clark works to achieve carbon neutral communities through the mitigation of climate change as the goal in implementing the “Green Industrial Revolution.”

The Business of Sustainability:
Sustainability and Risk Management

Ed Morales, Senior Vice President
Marsh Risk & Insurance Service

Running a sustainable business takes time, effort and resources, that’s true. But practicing sustainability can also be a key component of an organization’s risk management plan. Learn how sustainable business practices can lower risks while potentially improving the bottom line.

Sustainable Infrastructure:
Our Waste Crisis – Now What?

[Representatives from regional recycling facilities – TBD]

China and East Asian countries are refusing to take our recyclable waste. What happens when our recycling centers have to pay to dispose of plastic, paper, etc.? More than just increasing our monthly garbage bills, this crisis creates real challenges in how to manage the thousands of pounds of refuse that we discard each day. Are there creative solutions? Are there opportunities for business? Let’s find out from the people who know.

Public Policy:
Rethinking Disposable Plastics

Samantha Sommer, ReThink Disposable

Carlyn Obringer, Mayor, City of Concord

There’s increasing interest in reducing plastic waste by banning single-use plastic items such as straws, utensils and to-go boxes. Several cities (e.g. Berkeley) recently enacted restrictive legislation. How do these bans on plastic work? What are the impacts on restaurants and other businesses? We will take a detailed look at this trend and its implications for Contra Costa and local businesses.

County Sustainability Report – 2019

Jody LondonSustainability Coordinator for Contra Costa County

The Sustainability Commission, convened in 2017, provides advice to County staff and the Board on successful implementation of the Climate Action Plan, advise the Board on opportunities to realize equity and fairness across the diverse communities of Contra Costa in sustainability programs, and provides suggestions on how to engage County residents and businesses on sustainability issues.

Jody will give us an update about the Commission’s work and her own efforts toward achieving the County’s sustainability and greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.

Sustainable Business Showcase:
Meet the Innovators, Pioneers & Leaders

Oscar Dominguez – Director
Contra Costa Small Business Development Center

Susan Psara – Director
Contra Costa Green Business Program

[2-3 featured companies TBD]

Who are the innovators in sustainable business practices, products and services in Contra Costa? Oscar and Susan will present several inspiring business owners to look at what it takes to be a pioneer in Sustainability and still make a buck.

Innovation Spotlight

A showcase of cool technologies and creative sustainability solutions.


Join us for a networking reception featuring a selection of handcrafted beers from Calicraft Brewing Company in Walnut Creek.

 Venue Sponsor
 Venture Sponsors
Employment Training Panel
Sponsored by …Your Business Logo Here – Be a Sponsor!


SEC Contra Costa is an innovation initiative of
The Praxis Group