Ocean Sole takes the world's most widely worn shoe, the flip flop, and turns it into art, and the Dutch company Nic&Mic sells it in the Benelux countries. Ocean Sole is Kenya-based and began with the desire to clean up beaches that were heavily polluted with plastic and flip flops. Ocean Sole has grown to employ 90 Kenyans.
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The URBAN WASTE project focuses on urban strategies for waste management in tourist cities. It involved stakeholders from 11 pilot areas and studied the challenges inherent in waste management so that appropriate strategies responding to real-world needs can be devised and implemented.
The Circularity Dataset is an initiative by Luxembourg’s Ministry of the Economy and some international industry leaders. It has now developed the “Product Circularity Data Sheet” (PCDS): a data template for standardising data about the circular aspects of products.
The SAWYER project: identifying skills and safety needs for the furniture sector's circular transition
The SAWYER project aims to facilitate the transition of European furniture companies to a more circular economy. The project ran from February 2020 to March 2021, studying the main legislative and voluntary instruments that can facilitate this transition.
BPost's project aims to replace all water fountains and vending machines for hot and cold drinks and snacks. The company would like to install new machines that are energy-efficient and produce less waste.
The Facility Services Agency drew up an inventory of all the surplus office furniture from the various departments of the Flemish government. This made it much easier to give the chairs, desks and cupboards etc. a second life.
At Zero Waste Europe (ZWE), Larissa Copello is the Consumption and Production Campaigner working on upstream solutions for packaging and single-use plastic products, such as waste-free business models and reuse systems.
Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) is the European network of communities, local leaders, experts and change agents working towards the elimination of waste in our society. ZWE advocates for sustainable systems and the redesign of our relationship with resources to accelerate a just transition towards zero waste for the benefit of people and the planet.
ZWE is also part of Rethink Plastic, an alliance of +10 European NGOs working with European policy-makers to design and deliver policy solutions to tackle plastic pollution, in which Larissa Copello follows policy developments on single-use plastic and packaging.
Guido Lena (Italian – 1965) was Director for Environmental Affairs in UEAPME from 1999 to 2008, when he was appointed Director for Sustainable Development, extending his competences to EU energy and climate change policies. His experience covers the challenges and opportunities of sustainability applied to SMEs. In this role, he has represented his organisation in several consultative committees set up by the EU Commission and worked as both sherpa in high-level groups set up by the EU Commission and as expert for the EESC. Due to the recent name change of his organisation, he has been Sustainable Development Director in SMEunited since November 2018.
SMEunited, formerly known as UEAPME, is the association of crafts and SMEs in Europe with around 70 member organisations from over 30 European countries. SMEunited is a recognised employers’ organisation and European social partner and acts on behalf of crafts and SMEs in European social dialogue and in discussions with the EU institutions. SMEunited represents national cross-sectoral craft and SME federations, European SME branch organisations and associate members. It speaks on behalf of the 24 million SMEs in Europe which employ almost 95 million people. It is a non-profit seeking and non-partisan organisation.
Dr Sarah Miller is Chief Executive of the Rediscovery Centre, Ireland's National Centre for the Circular Economy. Since 2005, Sarah has overseen the development of the centre as an ecological centre of excellence and an innovation hub for the circular economy in Ireland. Sarah has a keen interest in research and holds a PhD in Environmental Science, a Master’s in Business Administration and an Honours Degree in Biotechnology.
Based in Dublin, but operating on a national basis, the Rediscovery Centre is a creative movement connecting people, ideas and resources to support the circular economy and sustainable, low-carbon living. The centre’s work is built around the three key themes of education, demonstration and advocacy. To support the transition to a circular economy in Ireland, the centre provides training, education and events that inspire active participation and citizen engagement.
The visitor centre demonstrates good practice through social enterprise excellence, a reuse retail collective and onsite circular economy programmes and showcases. Working in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency, the centre also runs the national Circular Economy Academy, a free mentoring and support programme to assist social enterprises and community organisations embrace circularity. In collaboration with the Irish government, regional and city authorities, NGOs, academic institutions and corporate partners, the Rediscovery Centre’s education, research and policy team coordinate action-based programmes which drive change and support the circular economy in Ireland.
Alberto Arroyo Schnell is responsible for policy and programmes at the European Regional Office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). He has held leading positions on EU environmental policy for the past 15 years. His current focus is working together with the key sectors related to / impacted by / benefiting from biodiversity and nature, aiming to find ways to achieve the environmental targets jointly and to ensure ownership of these targets by all stakeholders. He is Spanish, with a background in Forestry Engineering.
Agnieszka Sznyk is chair of the Board at INNOWO, the Institute of Innovation and Responsible Development in Warsaw, Poland. She holds a PhD in Life Sciences and is an expert in the fields of sustainable production and consumption, circular economy and healthcare economics. Agnieszka has been connected with nongovernmental organisations for many years, notably as founder and manager of the Polish Circular Hotspot and the international educational campaign Circular Week.
Agnieszka serves as an economy expert at the CE Working Group under the National Smart Specializations (NSS) appointed by the Steering Committee, which consists of representatives of the Ministry of Investment and Economic Development, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education and the Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy in Poland.
She is author of numerous reports including:
- Environmental aspects of eco-design, August 2020
- Development of methodology and indicators for various business sectors with regards to circular economy from the regional perspective, December 2019
- Methodology for matching circular business models to priority sector implementation, December 2019
- Plastics in circular economy, May 2020
INNOWO (the Institute of Innovation and Responsible Development) is a foundation, non-governmental organisation and a THINK-to-DO TANK established to support the development of innovation and implementation of systemic changes for the purpose of sustainable socio-economic progress. The circular economy is the main field of interest and expertise of INNOWO. The organisation supports decision-makers and different stakeholder groups in identifying effective solutions and policy instruments to engage businesses and consumers in achieving a significant and lasting change towards sustainable production and consumption.
ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network of more than 1 750 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development. Active in over 100 countries, ICLEI influences sustainability policy and drives local action for low emission, nature-based, equitable, resilient and circular development.
Mark Hidson joined ICLEI in 2003. He is a member of ICLEI Europe’s Board of Directors and responsible for ICLEI’s sustainable economy and procurement work. For 25 years he has worked for, and on behalf of, local, regional and national governments in project, policy and strategy development on sustainability issues such as smart cities, circular economy, business and city interaction, procurement, climate change and transport.
Freek van Eijk is CEO of Holland Circular Hotspot (HCH), a private-public platform that facilitates the transition to a circular economy at international level by bringing together government authorities, knowledge institutes and especially businesses. HCH supports knowledge exchange with the aim of stimulating entrepreneurship in the field of the circular economy.
Freek van Eijk is also vice-chair of Circular Biobased Delta, an alliance of Dutch provinces, businesses and knowledge centres pioneering a sustainable circular and biobased economy. He is one of the more senior Dutch experts in the field of waste management and the circular economy. He also serves as Managing Director of Acceleratio.
Previously, Freek van Eijk worked for over a decade as Director of strategy and PA at the multinational SUEZ and as a board member of the Dutch Waste Management Association and the Society and Enterprise Foundation and acted as a Sherpa for the EU Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials.
He has a MSc. Eng. (Delft University of Technology).
Agata Meysner is a youth activist and the director of Generation Climate Europe (GCE). She holds an LLB in European Law from Maastricht University and is currently pursuing an MSc in Public Policy from University College London specialising in the circular economy and resource efficiency. Ms Meysner previously worked at the European Environmental Bureau, where she focused on the implementation of the SDGs by and in the EU.
Generation Climate Europe is the largest coalition of youth-led networks at the European level, pushing for stronger action from the EU on climate and environmental issues. GCE brings together 460 national organisations across 47 countries in Europe. It is guided by the voices of 20 million young Europeans. GCE's mission is to create a platform for the youth to advocate for a just and green transition in Europe.
The circular economy is one of the key thematic areas for GCE, encompassing various issues such as textiles, digitalisation, energy and food systems.
EuroCommerce is the principal European organisation representing the retail and wholesale sector. It embraces national associations in 31 countries and 5.4 million companies, both leading global players such as Carrefour, Ikea, Metro and Tesco, and many small businesses. Retail and wholesale provide a link between producers and 500 million European consumers over a billion times a day. It generates 1 in 7 jobs, providing a varied career for 29 million Europeans, many of them young people. It also supports millions of further jobs throughout the supply chain, from small local suppliers to international businesses. EuroCommerce is the recognised European social partner for the retail and wholesale sector.
Isabelle Maurizi is head of Sustainability and Environment at EuroCommerce. She focuses on promoting retailers' and wholesalers' circular economy initiatives such as deploying more sustainable products, ensuring the right waste management infrastructure and empowering consumers.
Mercè Boy Roura is coordinator of the Interreg MED Green Growth community and EU project manager at the BETA Technological Center at the University of Vic – Central University of Catalonia (Spain). She is an environmental scientist with a PhD in Experimental Sciences and Sustainability. She has 10 years' international experience in research and knowledge transfer projects in the field of natural resources and sustainability.
The Interreg MED Green Growth community is a multi-stakeholder network of projects which promotes the green and circular economy in the Mediterranean by enhancing cross-sectoral innovation practices through a regional cooperation approach. Since 2016, the network has consisted of 14 projects connecting 165 partners from 13 countries in the Mediterranean. It structures its work around four focus areas: food systems, eco-innovation, smart cities and waste management. The community supports projects with their communication and capitalisation efforts, thus increasing their impact at policy level and fostering potential transfer and replication of their results in other regions. The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) labelled the Green Growth Community in October 2019, acknowledging its potential to advance cooperation in the transition to a green and circular economy in the Mediterranean region.
Emmanuel Katrakis has served as Secretary General of the European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC) since September 2014. He is responsible for the continuous development of the Confederation which currently represents, through its Member Federations, more than 5 500 companies across Europe recycling various resource streams (household, commercial & industrial waste, WEEE, ELVs, tyres, textiles).
His policies include raising awareness about the instrumental role played by recycling in sustainable development and fostering recycling-friendly policy measures. Mr Katrakis is a regular speaker at international conferences dealing with recycling and a member of various expert groups set up by the European institutions to support the transition to a more circular economy.
Mr Katrakis graduated in European law from the College of Europe and the University of Paris II Pantheon-Assas. EuRIC is the Confederation representing the interests of European recycling industries at EU level.
Through its various branches covering the vast majority of waste streams, EuRIC brings together national recycling/resource management federations and companies from more than 23 European countries which are active locally and globally.
EuRIC represents over:
- 5 500+ companies generating an aggregated annual turnover of about €95 billion, including large companies and SMEs involved in the recycling of and trade in various resource streams;
- 300 000 local jobs which cannot be outsourced to non-EU countries;
- a million tons of waste recycled each year (metals, paper, glass, plastics, WEEE, ELVs, tyres, textiles, etc.).
By turning waste into resources, recycling is the link which reintroduces recycled materials into value chains again and again. Recyclers play a key role in bridging resource efficiency, climate change policy and industrial transition.
Cliona Howie is the head of circular economy development and transition for EIT Climate-KIC. She has been working as an environmental consultant for over 20 years, starting as an expert in Environmental Impact Assessment and over the years working for both the public and private sectors in areas such as conservation, resource efficiency, industrial ecology and symbiosis, environmental certification and management schemes, the REACH regulation and sustainable industry. Cliona has held important roles such as championing sustainable business in SMEs as the Chair of the Environment Sector Group for the European Commission’s Enterprise Europe Network for several years, as well as sitting on a range of committees and working groups for the European Commission to influence policy and EU funding programmes, including the Circular Economy Expert Finance Group.
Currently, Cliona develops large-scale, deep demonstrations on circular economy transition. She works closely with national and regional governments as well as other stakeholders such as business/industry, research organisations and financial bodies to promote political and economic support from the European Union and its Member States to develop policies in favour of a circular economy by fostering the development of national and regional strategies and tools for cooperation. Cliona advocates for a systemic design and approach for a regenerative, low-carbon, circular transition across multiple levers of change.
Cliona holds other important roles for EIT Climate-KIC in the area of the circular economy. She is a member of the DG RTD Circular Economy Expert Finance Group and the EU Sustainable Finance Group as the circular economy expert from Climate-KIC. Furthermore, she has been named circular economy expert for the COTEC Foundation which brings together the top 100 experts in Spain.
She holds an MSc in Environmental Assessment and Management from Oxford Brookes University in the UK and a BSc in Biological Sciences from Clemson University in the United States.
The Conseil Européen de Remanufacture (European Remanufacturing Council) is based in Brussels and represents multiple business sectors and trade associations that extend the life of products through remanufacture and refurbishment. A steering group made up of five member organisations advises on the annual work programme as we aim to increase sales of remanufactured products in Europe from €30 billion to €100 billion by 2030.
David Fitzsimons became Director of the European Remanufacturing Council in January 2017. He represents the Council at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, with whom he led the “BetterThanNew” project. He is currently a member of the UN working group on product life extension; a member of TC 323 for the forthcoming ISO standard (59000 series) for the circular economy; a member of the advising committee for the PLATE conference, and a member of the World Economic Forum Council for advanced manufacturing and production.
He founded the circular economy consulting firm Oakdene Hollins in 1994 and is now director of the management board.
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