Business Discovery Tours

Day 3: Thurs, 1 November

Discovery Tours will take place from approximately 9am to 4pm, with buses returning delegates to the main conference venue (SEC) for the final conference session and Taste Festival.

Delegates will spend the day visiting one sector and talking with businesses in the designated sectors below. Specific visit locations and businesses will be announced soon. When you register, you will be asked to choose ONE sector so we can arrange transportation accordingly.

Click here to view the full 3-day Hotspot programme.

Please note: this programme is still being finalised so some details/timings may change slightly.


in partnership with the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC)

Maximising value from ‘bio’ resources is identified as a priority area with the greatest opportunity to deliver economic, environmental and social benefits for Scotland in the Scottish Government’s circular economy strategy, Making Things Last. It is estimated an additional £500–£800million could be generated for Scotland’s economy by using food and drink by-products alone. The tour includes a wide range of businesses and will have an inherently Scottish flavour with a focus on our most iconic drink, whisky—featuring businesses developed from whisky by-products. Also on the agenda, we will see how successful partnership working with the biotechnology innovation centre, IBioIC, is helping to embed circular economy principles within the sector. Visits and talks will include the following businesses:

Circular Economy in the Community

in partnership with Revolve, Scotland’s national quality standard for re-use organisations (delivered by Zero Waste Scotland)

TOUR FULL, REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED FOR THIS TOUR. Recognising the role that communities play in changing people’s behaviour towards a lifestyle which aligns with circular economy principles is fundamental to making a circular future a reality. The circular economy is a socially transformative movement which requires communities to be inspired, educated and empowered to change. In this visit stream, learn more about the importance of people in enabling a circular economy and how particular community based projects in Scotland are making the change. You will visit social enterprises also hear about Scotland’s national standard for second-hand businesses, Revolve, and how this helps some of the businesses featured. Visits and talks will include the following businesses:


in partnership with Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC)

Construction waste accounts for 44% of all waste arisings in Scotland and has been identified as a priority sector for circular economy growth—from the point of architectural design through to material selection and then the construction phase itself.  Select our construction visit stream to see how we are engaging the Scottish construction sector. You will visit the newly opened Construction Scotland Innovation Factory—a test-bed for novel circular building techniques—and hear from a range of businesses taking innovative circular action.  Visits and talks will include the following businesses:

Food and Drink

in partnership with Scotland Food and Drink

Food and drink is an important sector for Scotland’s circular economy strategy, and Scotland has an ambitious target to reduce food waste by 33% by 2025. Our approach is about working with suppliers to keep ingredients fresher for longer; manufacturers to retain and maximise the value of materials that go into producing food and drink; and with consumers to prevent food waste, via our dedicated campaign Love Food, Hate Waste (Scotland).  You’ll hear from key partners and a range of businesses working to embed circular solutions into the practices of this iconic Scottish sector.

Visits and talks will include the following businesses:


in partnership with Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS, Scottish Enterprise)

TOUR FULL, REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED FOR THIS TOUR.  As a country, Scotland has a strong history of manufacturing innovation (the steam engine, television, telephone, ATMs) and we are proving to be inventive again when it comes to the circular economy. Our manufacturing discovery tour will show delegates how our mission to make things last is happening across the Scottish manufacturing landscape with visits to relevant businesses operating circular approaches. Visits and talks will include the following businesses:

Plastics solutions

in partnership with Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

TOUR FULL, REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED FOR THIS TOUR. The BBC’s recent documentary series, Blue Planet II, evoked a particularly emotional response in Scotland—a largely coastal nation—starting a movement to stop single-use plastics.  Our national commitments to tackle this range from banning plastic-stemmed cotton buds and personal care products containing micro-beads, as well as introducing a national deposit return scheme for drinks containers. 

By joining this discovery tour, you will see how Scotland is working towards innovative plastics solutions through developing circular businesses. You will hear from businesses offering innovative alternatives to single-use plastic items.  In addition, you will visit the Scottish Plastic Recycling Centre of Excellence at Impact Solutions and hear about Project Beacon, a global-first partnership project to open an Advanced Plastics Reprocessing Facility in 2019. This innovative project is made possible thanks to Zero Waste Scotland’s Circular Economy Investment Fund (which itself is funded by the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund). Visits and talks will include the following businesses:

Zero Waste Scotland
Circular Glasgow