Remondis is one of the world's largest recycling, service and water companies with over 30 000 employees and 900 business locations. The Lippe plant in Lünen is one of their largest sustainable projects: it has a surface area of 230 ha and is the largest industrial recycling plant in Europe.
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Nasekomo is a company based in Bulgaria that uses insects (specifically Black Soldier Flies) to produce sustainable insect protein, oils and fertilisers that can be used for feed and in agricultural industries. Nasekomo’s goal is to use – and increase the usage of – these insects as part of a global solution to the issues caused by the exponential consumption of meat.
The Carlsberg Group, in cooperation with innovation experts EcoXpac, packaging company BillerudKorsnäs and post-doctoral researchers from the Technical University of Denmark, have been working on "Green Fibre Bottles" – a "paper bottle" for beer.
Rombat is the largest producer of car batteries in Romania. Since 2005, the company has been collecting vehicle batteries to extract the lead they contain, recycle them and manufacture new batteries. The batteries are processed at the 3.7 ha Rebat facility in Copșa Mică.
The Hungarian fashion brand Sharolta makes upcycled denim clothes and bags in Budapest. They collect jeans at several collection points in the city, and work with companies that can provide them with textile waste.
PDR is a German company with extensive expertise in recycling materials, which has developed a groundbreaking technique to reuse polyurethane (PU) foam cans. In Germany, about 25 million cans are used each year, and a federal legislature has classified used PU foam cans as polluting waste which must be recycled.
Fortunale: thanks to 100% organic wool and natural dyes, these Italian sweaters combine high recyclability with style
Fortunale is entirely eco-friendly, and it is inspired by modern principles of circular economy: a Fortunale sweater is designed, from its origin, to be recycled at the end of its natural use until 80%, because it is made of pure wool, and this precious characteristic allows us to regenerate its fibers into new prime materials.
Nuova Sara oil separator centrifuges apply centrifugal force to separate shavings and metal waste. The de-oiled shavings can be recovered and valorised as secondary raw materials.
PeelPioneers is the first company in the world to use citrus peel to create new raw materials. The peels are left over from making fresh juice, collected from supermarkets and the catering industry.
The City of Turin is financing some circular-economy oriented projects, among them the Balon Marketplace, an e-commerce portal for stakeholders who are active in the antiques, second-hand, vintage and reuse sectors, for a sustainable consumption of goods with a high cultural and heritage value. The portal aims to share ancient and past know-how and skills by promoting handycrafts shops.
The lack of a commonly accepted, inclusive definition of and methodology for measuring circularity are hindering the transition to a more circular economy (CE). These two factors obstruct the development of and access to dedicated or non-dedicated finance, credit risk assessment and the transferability and replicability of projects and investments across regions and jurisdictions.
The Expert Group on Circular Economy Financing proposes a sector agnostic CE categorisation system that defines categories of activities substantially contributing to a CE. A set of minimum criteria must be met for activities to be considered as substantially contributing to a CE. Guidelines with an indicative list of typical investments/projects for each CE category are included.
Many European countries still lack a national strategic roadmap for transposing the European directives at national level.
Some outstanding issues include the need to have clearer operational guidelines for the adoption of circular models and metrics for monitoring the transition towards circular models.
This study has been prepared in collaboration with Enel and with the scientific contribution of Enel Foundation. It unfolds in three main parts:
- State-of-the-art of Circular Economy in the European Union
- An innovative assessment model for socio-economic and environmental benefits of Circular Economy in the EU, with a focus on Italy, Romania, and Spain
- Policy proposals for successfully managing the transition from a linear to a circular world
This research reviews the long history and diversity of circularity thinking to develop a comprehensive timeline, which identifies and conceptually classifies 72 different CE-related concepts from the Global North and South alike (such as industrial ecology, Gandhian and steady-state economics, buen vivir, doughnut economics, degrowth).
In November 2020 the paper was completed with an interactive timeline that helps researchers and practitioners better situate and navigate the concept of circular economy, both in its rich historical origins and in its theoretical diversity. It thus fosters a cross-pollination of concepts and ideas which can help address the complex socio-ecological challenges of the 21st century.
To learn more about this timeline, please click here.
The European Manufacturers of Electrical Machines and Power Electronics are committed to Circular Economy
The European Committee of Manufacturers of Electrical Machines and Power Electronics (CEMEP) supports the development towards a circular economy (CE), thus actively contributing to more sustainable manufacturing and responsible consumption. This industrial sector follows a business-to-business market model, delivering products for a wide number of economic sectors and applications.
Its three main product groups – electric motors, variable speed drives and uninterruptable power systems – show differences and similarities when it comes to material efficiency, hence the need for sector- or product-specific approaches when pursuing CE.
This position paper describes the CE status of the CEMEP industries and the way forward towards more circularity.
This document is the result of the active involvement of the Interreg MED Green Growth community, together with its projects.
To make circular economy (CE) simpler, more efficient and more competitive, it is suggested to take a holistic, integrated and cooperative approach, by considering all phases in which CE is structured, all levels (from local to European) and all stakeholders involved in the implementation of CE models.
The policy recommendations proposed in the document are structured into six main areas:
- Investments and access to finance
- Technological infrastructure
- Labour market and employment
- Awareness and knowledge
- Cooperation among stakeholders and technology transfer
- Cross-cutting issues.
The Capital Region of Denmark is committed to becoming a fossil-free and circular region by 2050. Inter alia, this entails achieving an 80% recycling rate for the region’s waste by 2035, and growing green business activities by 8% by 2025. New forms of cooperation and dialogues between stakeholders are necessary to reach these goals.
Through a three-year public-private partnership, the Region and its partners aim to pave the way for greater collaboration between the waste sector and the business community. Metabolic collaborated with the Region to undertake a material flow analysis and an environmental assessment of the Region’s waste system, and to identify impact hotspots and circular opportunities.
The fourth Thematic Working Group (TWG) set up by Interreg MED's Green Growth community implemented and assessed solutions to promote competitiveness and innovation of Mediterranean SMEs in a circular economy.
The TWG's White Paper addresses the following issues:
- smart specialisation, public-private partnerships and innovative funding;
- lack of effective clusters for companies and stakeholders to connect, work together and transfer innovations;
- limited access of SMEs to tools, services and funds driving innovation;
- limited consumer awareness and interest in “green” and “circular” products and services.
Zero waste: problems become opportunities in Waste Prevention & Management - a White Paper by Interreg MED's Green Growth community
The third of the four Thematic Working Groups created by the Interreg MED's Green Growth community addressed waste reduction, prevention and management.
This White Paper promotes solutions to reduce organic (livestock) and inorganic waste, and maps technologies, systems, and strategies for proper waste management. It illustrates issues - e.g. over-production/application of high-nitrogen slurry and manure and need to treat it, as well as lack of treatment of agrifood waste - and highlights the projects’ contributions to achieve full use of resources through their life cycle to create a circular economy.
Among the results: policy guidelines based on four Struvite Precipitation (SP) plants to stimulate innovation and set up a common legal framework for struvite as fertilizer.
Promoting Green and Smart Public Services within Mediterranean Municipalities to move towards a Circular Economy: a White Paper by Interreg MED's Green Growth community
The second of four Thematic Working Groups created by the Interreg MED's Green Growth community was tasked with promoting green public procurement (GPP) by which public authorities seek to procure goods and services with reduced environmental impact throughout their life cycles.
This White Paper provides solutions for GPP and addresses issues linked to the lacking integration of sustainability and circular economy criteria in GPP and the provision of public services. It also highlights the need to develop the capacity of private actors to adopt eco-innovation and green energy in order to participate in green e-tenders.
The main objective is to examine public procurement in the context of long-term impacts, with specific attention paid to the role of public authorities.
Make More With Less: Enhancing Resource Efficiency in the Mediterranean Agro-food Sector and Cities for a Circular Economy
Make More With Less: Enhancing Resource Efficiency in the Mediterranean - a White Paper by Interreg MED's Green Growth community
The first of 4 Thematic Working Groups created by the Interreg MED's Green Growth community focused on Sustainable Consumption and Production by enhancing Resource Efficiency in the Mediterranean agrofood sector, as well as in urban areas through the implementation of the Smart City Concept.
The White Paper zooms in on the difficulties that companies face in:
- measuring their environmental footprint and resource efficiency;
- the use of low-cost, low-tech, labour-intensive and rudimentarily-equipped greenhouses;
- the lack of energy efficiency and renovation of EU buildings.
It then presents the projects' solutions and the benefits of resource efficiency for the environment and the economy. The projects were monitored according to the EU CEAP's indicator framework.
The Institut Cirkulární Ekonomiky (Institute for Circular Economy) is the Czech Republic’s foremost circular economy non-profit focusing on innovative environmental management. Together with its partners, the Institute works on projects that further the transition from a linear towards a circular system.
These include analytical and educational programmes as well as project management tools for various organisations and individuals, such as:
- Annual Waste as Resource conference for local authorities
- Zajimej.se, the Czech language web portal on circular economy
- Uplatni.se portal connecting companies with students looking for internships and thesis in circular economy
Additionally, the Institute also engages private companies and public sector institutions with research, events, workshops and policy development in the Czech Republic.
The Prague Circular Hub is a joint initiative by the Institut Cirkularni Ekonomiky, Alliance for Renewable Energy and the Brno Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Its vision is to build a cultural and innovation centre which seeks to acquaint the general and professional public with circular economy. With discussions, seminars, conferences, as well as pilot projects aimed at testing new research methods in the field of circular economy, the Prague Circular Hub contributes to the active transformation into a circular system.
While the Hub has already completed a Prague Circular Scan with the support of Circle Economy, it continues to organise regular ‘buzz talks’ and conduct further research to promote the adoption of circular business models in the Czech capital.
Žiedine Ekonomika (Circular Economy) is a Lithuanian association promoting a circular economy. This non-profit organisation networks local, national and European public authorities with companies to help develop circular business models in Lithuania.
In 2018, the Estonian Environmental Management Association established a Circular Economy Forum, which now already counts several companies among its members and receives support from the national Ministry of Environment.
The Circular Economy Forum is an open platform for communication and cooperation to raise business awareness of the circular economy and support wider application of circular business models.
The forum is aimed at companies operating in Estonia that have an interest in applying circular economy principles in practice. Alongside regular events, the forum also publishes good practices from Estonian industry.
To join the forum, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Company name
- Name and contact details of company representative
- What is your interest in circular economy?
The WRAP (Waste and Resource Action Plan) is a UK catalyst active in the space between citizens, government and businesses that focuses on maximising the value of waste by increasing the quantity and quality of materials collected for re-use and recycling. It does so by conducting research, brokering voluntary agreements and implementing campaigns to empower consumer action.
- Barriers to Recycling at Home helped hundreds of local authorities build an evidence base and coherent strategy to get communities engaged and committed to recycling.
- Switched on to value identified £1 billion of unused electronics in UK homes, and demonstrates that extending the life of electrical products could save businesses £400 million a year.
- Reducing Food Waste by Extending Product Life motivated supermarket Tesco to source fresh produce more quickly, helping them to offer their customers products that stay fresh for longer.
- Valuing Our Clothes provided the first comprehensive insight into the financial and environmental impact of clothing. It revealed that UK households own £30 billion worth of unused clothing.
- The Courtauld Commitment 2025 is an ambitious voluntary agreement that brings together a broad range of organisations to make food and drink production and consumption more sustainable. It builds on the success of the Courtauld Commitments 1, 2 and 3 in preventing waste and avoiding carbon emissions.
- The Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) brings together industry, government and the third sector to reduce resource use and improve the sustainability of clothing. The agreement targets every stage of the clothing journey, bringing together retailers, brands, re-use and recycling organisations, charities and NGOs, which collectively make up over 40% of UK clothing sales.
- The UK Plastics Pact aims to create a circular economy for plastics. It brings together businesses from across the entire plastics value chain with UK governments and NGOs to tackle the scourge of plastic waste.
- Love Food Hate Waste in partnership with major UK supermarkets. The campaign gives individuals the information they need to recognise and tackle food waste.
- Love Your Clothes offers practical advice to help people make the most of their clothes, as well as demonstrating the benefits of repairing, re-using and recycling them.
- Recycle Now provides information and advice to help individuals recycle more. It is the national recycling campaign for England, used by over 90% of English local authorities.
Circular Norway is Norway's first and only politically independent, independent member organisation that works nationally to transform a linear to a circular economy. On behalf of its members, the association works politically to strengthen framework conditions and increase the pace of change.
Circular Norway helps its members to make better use of their resources and strengthens their competitiveness in the national and international market. Through practical help, expertise and knowledge networks, it makes the transition to a circular economy both easier and more profitable.
The network published the first comprehensive report on Norway and Circular Economy in April 2019, and has also begun producing visual guides to explain the principles of circular economy for a Norwegian audience. Circular Norway was instrumental in bringing the concept to the forefront of political discussion by hosting a session on circular economy at the August 2019 'arendulska political festival'.
Vlaanderen Circulair (Circular Flanders) is the hub and inspiration for the Flemish circular economy. It is a partnership of policymakers, companies, civil society, and the knowledge community taking action together. Its six core activities are:
- Networking partners to tackle circular economy challenges
- Creating knowledge with the Circular Economy Policy Research Centre to streamline policy-related research into policy measures for the circular economy in Flanders
- Speeding up innovation and entrepreneurship
- Assisting pioneers
- Connecting local, Flemish, federal and European policymaking
- Embedding circular principles across Flemish civil society
Key to the Circular Flanders approach are several pillars with a great deal of potential, which bridge and bring together different sectors. Currently, these are circular purchasing, circular cities, and running circular businesses.
Cradlenet is a multi-stakeholder association founded in 2009 to disseminate the Cradle2Cradle concept across Sweden, which has become the country's foremost circular economy network.
Cradlenet aims to accelerate Sweden's transition to a circular economy among companies, organisations and people in order to provide inspiration and momentum, and knowledge about developments in circular thinking.
With all seminars free of charge, Cradlenet members have access to further networking events and knowledge research.
Cradlenet is a non-profit association operating out of Stockholm, and with local networks in Umeå , Malmö and Gothenburg.
Through the Brussels Regional Programme for a Circular Economy, the government of the Brussels-Capital Region has defined a framework to encourage the transformation of a linear economy (extract – produce – consume – dispose) into a circular economy (recover – produce – consume – reuse) within Brussels.
The be circular portal is the entry point to the BRPCE, and networks the regional government with businesses and civil society delivering change on the ground, while also providing information to entrepreneurs about the various direct and indirect support programmes available.
Its projects include the Annual General Meeting linking more than 300 Brussels and European participants, and yearly Prizes for Circular Entrepreneurship. In 2017, be circular supported 222 entrepreneurs and financed 139 projects. A year later, the programme had reached nearly 1,300 businesses.
be circular also collects good practices from the Brussels region, with a particular focus on its four priority sectors: construction, logistics, retail and waste management.
- l’ADEME Grand Est,
- la Région Grand Est,
- la CCI Grand Est,
- la Chambre Régionale des Métiers et de l'Artisanat Grand Est,
- la Direction Régionale de l'Environnement, de l'Aménagement et du Logement Grand Est,
- l’Agence de l’eau Rhin-Meuse,
- le Centre International de Ressources et d'Innovation pour le Developpement Durable,
- l’Institut National de l'Economie Circulaire
ont créé collectif-grandest.org, la plateforme collaborative de l’économie circulaire des acteurs de la région. Ce portail territorial rassemble les initiatives, les acteurs, les connaissances, les outils, les actualités et les événements de l’économie circulaire.
Espace de valorisation, de partage et de rencontre, il est au service des collectivités locales, des entreprises et des associations du territoire.
In this webinar on 4 December, Tondo and Circularise will discuss the potential of blockchain technology to support the transition to the circular economy.
How can digitalisation boost sustainability? How can we create opportunities for European SMEs and move towards more fairness and sustainability in the digital economy? How can digitalisation empower citizens and local communities, and assist consumers at making more sustainable choices?
The answer to these and many more questions raised at this conference on 25 November is: Go circular!
LAC Days - Webinar: Circular Economy in the Covid-19 era: Challenges and Opportunities will present expertise from Brazil, Chile and Slovenia on circular economy, as well as views and experience of regional and multilateral bodies (EC, UNEP, IRP).
These are unusual times for everyone but this is also a time when innovation is more important than ever! The ISPIM Connects Global Conference will be a celebration of innovation and feature success stories and insights from 21 global regions as we move around the world in 24 hours.
Smart Circular Economy is an international workshop focusing on the role of ICT as an enabler for the circular economy. Accepted and presented papers will appear in the IEEE Xplore library and all major publication indexes (DBLP, Scopus, etc.).
As you already know, because of uncertainties around travelling and attending public events over the following months due to COVID-19, Circular Economy Hotspot Catalonia has been postponed until 2021. However, in Catalonia they are fully committed to maintaining the hotspot momentum and keeping the circular economy community engaged with an online conference on 19 November 2020.
Organised by EIT Climate-KIC and the European Commission’s Executive Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises (EASME), this event will explore how the efficient design and funding of circular economy research & innovation can support nations all over the world with their economic recovery plans.
Join a series of livestream events to understand better how the private sector can help accelerate the world’s transition toward a regenerative and circular economy. The webinar on 16 November 2020 will be on Circular Economy & Emerging Technologies.
This online Policy dialogue on Innovative solutions for a circular economy will explore the role of innovative approaches, notably digital solutions and new technologies, in the transition to a circular economy, including the barriers to their development and scale-up.
European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) encourages people in Europe and elsewhere to raise awareness about sustainable resources and waste management during a single week in November.
Following the adoption of the Taxonomy Regulation, the European Commission has launched a call for applications to select members of the Platform on Sustainable Finance. The deadline is 16 July.
The European Commission's roadmap on the requirements on packaging and packaging waste in the EU is now open for feedback. Dealine 06 August 2020.
Public consultation on boosting the renovation of buildings across the EU launched by the European Commission in order to gather views and input from a broad range of stakeholders, including national, regional and local authorities, businesses, unions, civil society organisations, education organisations, consumer groups, research and innovation organisations, as well as individual citizens.
AIMPLAS - a consortium member of the OCEANETS project - has developed a material that ensures the traceability of fabric made from end-of-life fishing nets. When exposed to infrared radiation, the material changes colour and so helps identify where it came from.
As part of the European Vocational Skills Week, the European Commission's Directorate-General for Employment has launched Excellence Awards to celebrate the good practices and innovative work of Vocational Education and Training providers, trainers, tutors, companies, apprentices, etc.
Take five minutes to answer to few questions on the possible bio-based impact to the circular economy transition and green recovery.
ACR+ has created 3 new working groups on circular economy focusing on governance, procurement, and monitoring. They will bring together front-runners and learners to work on improving local and regional strategies on circular economy and resource efficiency.
LIFE - the European Programme for the Environment and Climate Action - has been financing Eco-Innovation and Circular Economy related projects since its start in 1992. The call for LIFE 2020 proposals is now open, with more than €450 million earmarked for nature conservation, environmental protection and climate action projects.
GRAMOFON, a European project coordinated by the Spanish Plastics Technology Centre AIMPLAS, has ended after 42 months, with very promising results on CO2 capture. New materials for capturing CO2 could be used to reduce industrial emissions and as catalysts.
In April 2020, European Aluminium launched its Circular Aluminium Action Plan, a strategy for achieving aluminium’s full potential for a circular economy by 2030.