What goes around, comes around – The Circular Economy

What goes around, comes around –

The Circular Economy

Thursday 11th September 2014



Steve Wallace, Director, Aldersgate Group

Matthew Polaine, Lead Researcher of the Circular Economy, BT

Rudi Daelmans, Director of Sustainability, Desso Group


steve-wallaceRudi Daelmans BW




Dr Steve Wallace is an independent environmental consultant and a director of the Aldersgate Group.  In this role he leads the AG’s participation in a major collaborative EU funded research project into Resource Efficient Business Models (REBUS).

He has managed a wide range of technical and policy issues related to climate change, waste and contaminated land both through internal advice and influencing evolving policy at UK and EU level.  Steve has chaired various task forces and industry associations in pursuit of creating a more sustainable future.

Steve’s corporate roles have included being Head of Climate Change and Environment at National Grid, where key responsibilities included development of sustainable environmental policies, strategies and operating models and including climate change across National Grid operations in the US and UK.  He has also managed large contaminated land and brownfield development portfolios (in excess of 1000 operational and surplus sites) and was instrumental in changing the industry from one based on dig and dump to a more sustainable technology basis.

Matthew Polaine is the Lead Researcher for Circular Economy at British Telecommunications’ global innovation and development centre, Adastral Park in the UK. His R&D supports BT’s Better Future programme through physical product development in BT’s retail products, phasing in circular economy principles across supplier procurement, manufacturing, product materials, packaging, corporate materials’ flows, waste handling procurement and product refurbishment.

His industrial design and joint patents have featured in Tomorrow’s World, BBC2, NEC Motor Show, the Eurofighter, BT optic fibre conduit and manifold products.

He is a Fellow of The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce.

Click here to see a short video which introduces some of BT’s work regarding the circular economy.

Rudi Daelmans is the head of sustainability at Desso, the European carpet and sports pitches company. In this role, since 2007, he has been tasked with helping to develop Desso’s Cradle to Cradle® strategy and vision, and to implement the many changes across production, supply chain, management, sales and marketing.

As an advocate of Cradle to Cradle® and the Circular Economy, as well as an expert on its implementation, Rudi has been asked to advise externally on the development of Cradle to Cradle® Certification. Most recently, this has been with the newly created, independent Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute based in the US. Rudi is involved in several project groups developing tools to accelerate the circular economy. Currently, he also involved in project Mainstream, a collaboration between the EMF and the WEF.

Rudi started at Desso in 1985 working in production; after this, he moved on to R&D and project management, covering cost savings, process optimization, Six Sigma, and health, safety and the environment.


The roundtable format has changed slightly. Roundtables will now be on different topics at each NWSBQ. These topics will be decided by the guest speakers and will be directly related to the talks they will have given earlier in the evening.


  • Where are the opportunities for better regulation to encourage/enable the circular economy?
  • What competencies are needed for redesigning how we make things for a circular economy?
  • How will the circular economy change business’s relationship with the customer?
  • Which is more important, design or recovery?
  • How would you describe the circular economy to a Financial Director – is it an environmental or a commercial agenda?