PetroEnvironment 2022 Webinar Series

Hosted by:

Webinar 1 of 3

The Circular Economy: Current and Emerging Products

Held on 30 March 2021


This webinar is the first in a three-part series of webinars hosted by the Environment Technology & Management Association (ETMA), leading up to PetroEnvironment 2021 Symposium & Exhibition, being held from 22-24 November. 




The Circular Economy (CE) concept, recently embraced by the Kingdom’s and other G20 leaders, provides guidance on the development, production, use, and re-use of products to meet global sustainability objectives. Steel is a well-established example of a CE product, while used tire-rubber as an additive to asphalt is an emerging CE product, currently undergoing promising field tests in Saudi Arabia. By contrast, most large-scale commercial plastics have difficulties meeting CE criteria. Fundamental challenges for CE products include their chemistry, functionality, energy requirements, logistics, economics, regulations, and market acceptance. Timely application of the CE concept will enable Saudi Arabia’s economy, including its all-important petroleum industry, to diversify into new products with global reach. Such CE products are expected to include new materials (including new plastics) and plant nutrients. Following the overview, the presenters will engage in a brief discussion on CE issues, setting the stage for questions from webinar participants. The event will conclude with the presenters posing key questions for future consideration and action by webinar participants and their organizations.




Dr. Axel Meisen, 

C.M., Ph.D., P.Eng, EurIng., FCAE, FCIC, FIEI

Axel advises boards and senior management in Canada and abroad on strategy development and implementation of major initiatives with long-term time horizons. Examples are projects on The Global North, Bitumen Beyond Combustion (a project focused on non-combustion products from oilsands bitumen), and Solid Waste Management in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia, Canada.


Axel held the inaugural Chair in Foresight at the Alberta Research Council, after serving as president of Memorial University of Newfoundland, president of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and dean of Applied Science and professor of Chemical Engineering at The University of British Columbia. He chairs the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital Research, Innovation and Technology (GRRIT) Advisory Council in Edmonton, Alberta and was recently appointed Interim President of the Fusion Energy Council of Canada.


Axel has Bachelor, Master, and doctorate degrees in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London, the California Institute of Technology, and McGill University, respectively. He was awarded honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Waterloo (Canada) and Universidad de Piura (Peru). In 2008, Axel was appointed to the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest civilian order.

Dr. Forbes McDougall, 

Senior Environmental Consultant, Saudi Aramco

FMcD Picture.jpg

Dr. Forbes McDougall is a sustainability professional with 20+ years’ experience in environmental engineering, circular economy, municipal waste management and life cycle thinking. He recently joined Saudi Aramco as their Global Leader for plastic recycling and waste management and has both strategic and technical responsibility for all Aramco waste generated globally.

He is a Visiting Professor of Practice in the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at Newcastle University in the UK.

He was the Head of Circular Economy at Veolia UK from 2014 until 2019. This central coordinating role was created in 2014 and brought together Veolia’s capability in Strategy, Innovation, Technology, Materials, Water and Energy and worked closely with key business development functions to identify and develop new Circular Economy opportunities for all commercial, industrial and municipal customers.

Prior to joining Veolia, Forbes was the Global Waste Strategy owner for Procter & Gamble, responsible for the management of the waste from 150 sites in over 40 countries. Between 2007 and 2014 he was responsible for increasing diversion from landfill from 56% to 92% globally, delivering more than 70 zero waste to landfill sites and around $20 million in savings and revenue per year from reuse and recycling programs. Before this, he developed a Life Cycle Inventory computer model for Integrated Waste Management systems and has compiled case studies on the potential environmental and economic advantages of using life cycle tools to optimise these integrated waste management systems. He also wrote the 2nd Edition of the book “Integrated Waste Management: A Life Cycle Inventory” (Pub. 2001). This 2nd edition provided a user-friendly computer model (IWM-2) for waste managers. IWM-2 was designed to be an "entry level" LCI model for solid waste, appropriate to anyone starting to apply life cycle thinking to solid waste systems. The book was written for policy-makers in local, national and international government, and for waste managers and professionals in industries concerned with solid waste management. The book has been translated into Spanish, Chinese and Japanese.


Nabil Hijazi,
Director, ETMA

Mr. Hijazi is a Principal Consultant with focus on Circular Economy. He has more than 30 years of experience, significantly with Saudi Aramco, in consulting, project management and business development in the environmental and energy sectors. Nabil has worked with the Alturki environmental consulting firm, AES International Consultants in the capacity of Business Development Director. He has a Master of Engineering Degree in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University and has attended Executive MBA Programs at McGill University.