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.

Rethinking the Economics of Progress

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.

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! – Seating is Limited!

Join Us for the 3rd Annual SEC!

featuring …


Keynote Presentation:

Our Waste Crisis – What Do We Do Now?

Kish Rajan, Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery

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 someone who knows.

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:
Smart Waste Monitoring Technology

Nik Balachandran, Zabble, Inc.

Major companies and brands are actively seeking ways to reduce waste. Learn how smart monitoring technology helps businesses track their waste, streamline processes, save money and help the environment.

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

Blair Abee – Business Advisor
Contra Costa Small Business Development Center

Susan Psara – Director
Contra Costa Green Business Program

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.


Dave Wolfgram – Amy’s Drive Thru

Amy’s Drive Thru is returning to the roots of American fast food, serving lovingly handcrafted food to nourish hard-working citizens, busy families and road-weary travelers. Coming soon to Walnut Creek (we hope!).

Nik Balachandran – Zabble, Inc.

Zabble’s smart cloud-based mobile waste monitoring technology helps businesses track their waste, streamline processes, save money and help the environment.

Innovation Spotlight

A showcase of cool technologies and creative sustainability solutions.

The Cleaner Contra Costa Challenge is an online sustainable action platform that makes it easy and fun to take sustainable actions by giving individuals and households helpful tips and resources for those actions. The Challenge tracks savings (both in dollars and emissions) and provides users with opportunities to engage with their neighbors and learn more about our community.


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

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SEC Contra Costa is an innovation initiative of
The Praxis Group