2016 Conference

The Circular Economy:

From Concept to a Business Reality

Hosted by:
The Wharton Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL)

9th Annual Conference

Wednesday, April 27, 2016
8:30 am – 2:30 pm

Jon M. Huntsman Hall, 8th Floor
The Wharton School
University of Pennsylvania
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA


The concept of a circular economy is incredibly logical and equally appealing.  However, the reality of executing the concepts at a business level pose many real challenges.  If business is going to transform itself from the old world of a linear economy into the new world of a circular economy, many obstacles need to be overcome.

Join IGEL as we present some to the “real world” successes of organizations that have begun to make the transition to this new world and learn the path that organizations can take toward this necessary transformation.


Click to view the presentation slides from our 2016 Conference presenters.

The Wharton IGEL Blog features recent posts on the circular economy.

Click to view the 2016 Conference photo gallery.



The Circular Economy: From Concept to a Business Reality

Wednesday, April 27, 2016
8:30 – 9:00 Registration & Breakfast
9:00 – 9:15 Welcome Remarks & Conference Introduction: 

Eric Orts, Faculty Director of Wharton IGEL

Gary Survis, Senior IGEL Fellow & Conference Moderator

9:15 – 9:45 Opening Keynote:  

Allen Hershkowitz, President, Green Sports Alliance

9:45 – 10:00 Questions from the Audience
10:00 – 11:00 Panel One – Sustainable Development: The Role of Circular Supply Chains

Moderator:  John Giordano, Assistant Commissioner, Air Quality, Energy and Sustainability, NJ Department of Environmental Protection


Helga Vanthournout, Senior Expert, McKinsey & Company

Patrick Cairo, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, SUEZ

Kristine Kalaijian, Director, Environmental Compliance and Sustainability, Philips

11:00 – 11:15 Questions & Audience Participation
11:15 – 11:25 Networking Break
11:25 – 11:40 Morning Keynote: The Ultimate Circular Economy: Capturing and Using CO2?

Bernard DavidChairman and CEO, CO2 Sciences, Inc.

11:40 – 12:40 Panel Two:  The Circular Economy begins with Product Design 

Moderator:  Gary Survis, Senior IGEL Fellow & Conference Moderator


Eunice Heath, Global Director, Sustainable Products Marketing and Strategy, The Dow Chemical Company

Scott Cassel, CEO, Product Stewardship Institute

12:40 – 12:45 Questions & Audience Participation
12:45 – 1:15 Closing Keynote:

Kim Rumph, President, CHEP North America

1:15 – 1:30 Wrap Up & Questions
1:30 – 2:30 Networking Lunch