The term "eco-innovation" basically boils down to innovation. What does eco-innovation really mean? And what is the link between eco-innovation and a more circular economy, particularly in the Mediterranean region?
A wide range of initiatives and programmes point towards innovation being key to enabling green growth. Eco-innovation and the circular economy: are they two sides of the same coin?
It is becoming clearer - and more urgent - every day that we need to abandon the linear economy. The climate emergency together with the economic crisis that the region is experiencing makes a transition based on eco-innovation a priority for a more sustainable future for the Mediterranean.
ACR+ has run a survey targeting municipal and local authorities (and their waste operators) to understand and assess the impact of the COVID-19 on their waste systems, in particular regarding the services provided, the quantities collected, the health and safety measures, as well as the finances and communication to users.
The report presents the main information and trends coming out of this survey. It also provides an overview of the measures taken by local authorities to tackle the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown measures.
Local data were collected to analyse the impact of municipal waste generation and sorting performances. Several illustrations of good practices addressing key challenges are also highlighted.
Energy efficient bubbles, solar-powered interceptors, new business and design models, smart collection solutions, high-tech and fully automated sorting practices and chemical recycling technologies: the Dutch initiative provides inspiration and innovation insights linked to a circular economy for global application. Only by international collaboration will we achieve sizeable success as the plastics value chain spans the globe.
With this brochure, Holland Circular Hotspot and TNO bring their insights to the international level and share best practices with the hope that it will inspire everyone around the world to take action and kickstart circular development.
Sitra commissioned this study to investigate whether and under what assumptions and policy measures the decoupling of CO2 emissions from economic growth could occur at a sufficient rate for CO2 emissions to decline to net zero by 2050. The analyses were carried out on a global level.
The results of this study show that deep CO2 emission cuts in line with the 1.5 °C target and positive GDP growth can occur at the same time.
A natural next step would be to analyse in detail the decoupling of other harmful environmental impacts from economic growth. For example, a global shift to more circular business models could reduce CO2 emissions and help cut the use of materials and natural resources while maintaining economic growth.
The study The winning recipe for a circular economy by Sitra set out to find diverse circular economy solutions that are viable and scalable, that drive systemic circularity, and that have exceptionally positive environmental and social impacts. Over 200 organisations around the world submitted their solutions for consideration.
The study presents 39 outstanding examples of circular economy solutions that are closing material loops and driving the circular transition while being very relevant to their own environment. These solutions demonstrate the benefits of circular business operations and how different organisations across society can use circular thinking to improve the value of their business and progress towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
RREUSE welcomes the European Commission’s proposal to develop a favourable policy environment for social economy actors, calling for an ambitious Social Economy Action Plan (SEAP) that would provide a policy toolbox enabling a green, fair and circular transition in the post-COVID economic recovery. In order to establish a sustainable EU socio-economic environment and maximise the SEAP’s potential, RREUSE seeks to put forward the following recommendations on four priority areas:
Mainstream the social economy within circular policies and beyond
Recognise the real value of social enterprises active in the circular economy
Improve access to funding for social enterprises
Acknowledge social enterprises’ role in (up)skilling to meet changing market needs.
As governments and industries around the globe move towards a circular economy, it is key to align ambitions and collaborate effectively. The five goals provide a blueprint for cooperation and the private and public sectors need to pull together to achieve them. The goals acknowledge that the relevant policies are interconnected, which will help avoid creating a patchwork of solutions.
Kari Herlevi is a circular economy multitalent. He is currently leading the circular economy area at Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund. There, he is focusing on the transition to a fair and competitive economy that tackles the root causes of biodiversity loss, climate change and overconsumption of resources, by facilitating the development and scaling up of the best circular solutions from Finland and the world. Previously, he worked at Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, where he was responsible for the Green Growth and Vigo accelerator programmes. Kari also worked in the Tekes Silicon Valley office for a few years, and is particularly interested in new ideas and fast-growing firms in the circular economy, not least on the African continent.
Ladeja Godina Košir, Founder and Executive Director of Circular Change, is an internationally renowned expert on the circular economy, speaker, (co)author of several CE reports and articles, and co-creator of international circular economy events. Ladeja was the finalist for the Circular Leadership Award 2018 (Davos WEF) and named in "The #EUwomen4future campaign” featuring extraordinary women active in research, innovation, education, culture and sport by Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth in 2020. She is recognised as the regional "engine of circular economy transition". She is co-author of the first Roadmap towards the Circular Economy and creator and team leader of the annual international Circular Change Conference. Ladeja has consulted on the national circular economy roadmapping process based on stakeholder engagement for several countries and cities (Serbia, Montenegro, Norway, Israel, Chile, etc.).
Ladeja has several international roles: chair of the coordination group of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP) in Brussels (2018/20), visiting professor at Doshisha University in Kyoto and co-leader of the Research Group Circular Economy Systems at the Bertalanfy Center for the Study of Systems Science (BCSSS) in Vienna.
Ladeja takes a transdisciplinary systemic approach and holistic view as an entrepreneur, communications professional, speaker, moderator, lecturer, mentor and passionate connector. She is empowering a new narrative and circular culture. She bridges the bioeconomy and the circular economy; one of the EU projects to which she contributes is Effective (Horizon 2020 & BBI JU), a multi-company collaboration to produce more sustainable, bio-based fibres and plastics for large consumer products using renewable feedstocks and innovative technologies. She also chairs the expert group for the BIOeast Foresight Exercise 2050. Ladeja works with governments, city authorities, companies, NGOs, media and universities, empowering true collaboration to enable circular change.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is a UK charity which aims to speed up the transition to the circular economy. Since it was set up, the charity has emerged as a global thought leader, putting the circular economy on the agenda of decision makers across business, government and academia.
Carsten Wachholz joined the Foundation in 2020 after spending two years working for the European Investment Bank on Corporate Responsibility and another four years working for the European Environmental Bureau on the first EU Circular Economy Action Plan. Carsten leads the Foundation's newly established Brussels-based team supporting the development of circular economy policies at EU and international level (e.g. G20, OECD), in close collaboration with the Foundation's systemic initiatives on plastics, fashion and food.
The Association of Cities and Regions for sustainable Resource management is an international network of cities and regions sharing the aim of promoting a sustainable resource management, through prevention at source, reuse and recycling, and accelerating the transition towards a circular economy on their territories and beyond. The network currently counts about 100 members, mainly local and regional authorities as well as national networks of local authorities representing around 1100 municipalities. ACR+ is directly represented in 23 countries of the European Union, and the network can also rely on members in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine and Jordan
Francesco LEMBO is Managing Director at ACR+, overseeing programs and projects, and ensuring that strategic plans and realistic objectives are in place and monitored. His key duties include fundraising, marketing, community and stakeholders’ outreach. He has over ten years of experience in supporting public administrations, SMEs, employers' associations, NGOs and universities in the design and management of international programs on lifelong learning and sustainable development. He has been advocating for the active involvement of citizens in the development of local and EU policies and the dissemination of inclusive educational models, also designing training programs focused on sustainable development and social inclusion. He wrote about inclusive pedagogy and recognition of prior learnings, and circular economy education. He has a Bachelor in contemporary history, and then followed MA studies in Lifelong Learning Sciences.
The circular economy is about designing out waste, but what about the emissions resulting from the manufacture and use of products and services?
Switching to a circular economy could help reduce carbon emissions and avoid climate breakdown. To stabilise global temperatures, businesses and governments must reach net zero emissions. This means that they need to implement measures first to reduce emissions as far as humanly possible and then to remove all artificial greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere.
In May and June, the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP) and Normative will be holding a two-part #EUCircularTalks to discuss the role of carbon emissions in closing the loops in a circular economy and discuss the role played by EU policies and legislation in reducing carbon emissions.
This #EUCircularTalk on Measuring Circularity on 17 May 2022 aims to reach out to and hold an interactive dialogue with stakeholders outside the leadership group. This session will address the link between ISO work on international circular economy standards and circular procurement practices.
The national Norwegian GPP audit will be presented as an example of measuring green public procurement efforts and their impact.
The circular economy has the potential to tackle the main drivers of biodiversity loss, including land-use change, climate change, overexploitation, and pollution, by transforming how we produce, consume and manage materials. During this official side-event on 24 March 2022 at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity negotiations, the role that a circular economy can play in the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework through supporting sustainable use of biodiversity will be explored.
The Green Growth Community (GGC) is organising a new online edition of a communication training on 22 February. This session will help participants communicate their projects or initiatives in the field of sustainability and circular economy more effectivelly.
The Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP 2.0) brings opportunities for businesses. It encourages new business models which generate substantial material savings throughout value chains, making them more resilient and fostering industrial symbiosis. Innovative environmental technologies play a substantial role in helping companies make their business models and value chains inclusive and circular faster and more efficiently.
The EU policies and initiatives under the CEAP (such as the Green Claims Initiative, the Sustainable Products Initiative and the revision of the Ecodesign Directive) supported by sectoral policies also give businesses incentives to look for better alternatives. The webinar on 17 February aims to present the Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) scheme and discuss its contribution to linking the circular transformation of industrial ecosystems with the innovation ecosystem and CEAP objectives.
The Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa’s Department of the Environment and Hydraulic Works is organising the IV International Circular Economy Meeting. The event will take place in hybrid form on 2 February 2022. The meeting can be followed online, and international, national and local experts will analyse the state of play of the circular economy. They will also take a closer look at some very interesting subjects, including the new plastics economy, bioeconomy and innovation in the business world.
The transition to a circular economy entails the systemic transformation of entire value chains, covering design, production and consumption. Cities and regions are hubs of innovation and socio-economic transformation, with great potential to lead the transition to a circular economy. However, such a deep transformation often requires supporting mechanisms to make it happen.
ACR+, EIB Advisory Hub, the European Commission, the Government of Navarra, the Interreg MED Green Growth community, EIT Raw Materials, Dublin city, EUCF and the ECESP invite you to attend this #EUCircularTalks to discuss how different supporting initiatives are being used by cities and regions in their transition towards a circular economy. The talk will take place on 13 December at 10:00-11:30 CET.
The event "Circular Economy - Governance and Scale: Europe & Latin America and the Caribbean in conversation about circular transition", co-organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, the EU-LAC Foundation, Exchange 4 Brasil, Circular Change and the Brazilian Center for International Relations takes place on 22 and 23 November 2021. It offers a platform for business leaders from selected sectors to share their experience and expertise as well as engage in the dialogue about openings for new circular partnerships.
While the circular economy is widely discussed, there are still numerous challenges to ensure that the current innovations and models can be upscaled and mainstreamed. Closing the loops will require substantial investments, a total shift in how we do business and consume, and many policy enablers.
Where should we set the priorities to close these loops? How can standardisation support circular design without hampering innovation? What are the essential criteria to be developed for improving the design of our products without other environmental trade-offs?
EuroCommerce, EIT Community Circular Economy and the ECESP invite you to actively engage with stakeholders in discussing the fundamental principles and circular design as drivers for the uptake of the circular economy on 29 November, at 11:30 CET.
A webinar series connecting the dots between EU decision-makers and recyclers. It will provide an opportunity to discuss the building blocks required to speed up the transition towards a more circular economy and achieve Europe's climate neutral agenda.
Recyclers’ Talks #6 will focus on the challenges and opportunities for the automotive value chain.
From goods as simple as office supplies to services as complex as energy systems – everything has to go through procurement. Green Public Procurement is not only closely tied to key EU Green Deal targets, but also to the indispensable principle of a just and inclusive transition to the Circular Economy.
Together with its research partner TNO Netherlands, the European Sustainable Business Federation - Ecopreneur.eu - invites companies to take part in a consortium of green SMEs to respond to future calls from the new HORIZON EU research and innovation programme, which runs from 2021 until 2027 and has a budget of around EUR 95,5 billion.
The 5th Circular Change Conference, one of key European meeting points of circular economy changemakers, was transformed this year into a “virtual roadshow” consisting of 5 events based on 5 partnerships
Members of the Coordination group are selected through an open call for expression of interest for a 2.5-year mandate. The second call took place over summer 2020 and the renewed Coordination group was selected in early November 2020. The first meeting of the newly-selected ECESP Coordination Group took place on 18 November in an online format.
The Consumer Insight Action Panel is a two-year initiative jointly set up by the CSCP and Sitra as part of their contribution to the ECESP. Its objective is to translate consumer needs and behavioural knowledge into impact-oriented activities, initiatives and recommendations to support policy makers, business and civil society in enabling consumer-relevant circular economy strategies.