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Digital tools for circularity in the construction sector Tags Created by Category

Quantifying building material stock to accelerate the circular economy

To accelerate the circular economy in the built environment TNO has developed a construction and demolition waste model (BOB model), which estimates the building material stock in the Netherlands for regions on various scales. The model combines publicly available data on surface area with building profiles that were constructed by TNO. Future demand and demolition are based on forecasts of EIB (Economic Institute of the Build environment in the Netherlands). The model provides insights into the estimated supply and demand of building materials for a certain region over a certain time. Next to this supply and demand output several circular scenarios for the available building materials (e.g. reusing the structure of buildings or modular building) can be compared. This comparison can be based on estimates of for example related logistical costs (both environmental and economic) and required storage surface area. Furthermore, the tool can help defining realistic targets on the circular economy for governments on multiple scales. At this moment TNO is looking at how the BOB model can be scaled internationally and used within countries were such initiatives do not exist yet. In a Climate KIC project we have partnered up with VITO who has also developed several innovative techniques related to optimal building material management, e.g. based on remote sensing techniques. In addition, they developed the City Portal Tool that helps estimate optimal renovation strategies for buildings. Together we hope to support countries across Europe to move towards more circularity within the construction sector. We are very interested in getting in contact with European parties interested in developing similar models.

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nmontenegronavarro
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How circular is your business? Tags Created by Category

Getting businesses and especially SMEs to make their production processes and outputs more resource-efficient often starts with a general "audit" exercise answering the basic question: "how circular is my business?".

Several tools are available for businesses to make their assessment, depending on their needs.

Here are some example:

Do their methodologies differ? Are they helpful for businesses? Which other reporting/audit mechanisms are out there for businesses to use?

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Fabien Porcher
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A very basic tool that also introduces the circular economy concept rather well is this toolkit developed by an MSc cohort at U Cambridge's Institute for Manufacturing.

Otherwise the Ellen MacArthur Foundation also provides a more extensive and in-depth guide to assessing circularity for businesses through its Circular Indicators Project. This consists of the Material Circularity Indicator, measuring how restorative the material flows of a product or company are, and complementary indicators that allow additional impacts and risks to be taken into account.

For an overview of circular audit in business, the WBCSD has recently published a comprehensive landscape analysis of circular metrics in business as of May 2018.

Please take a look at the new Circularity Check of Ecopreneur, MVO Nederland and WeSustain at https://ecopreneur.eu/circularity-check-landing-page/ 

It is a free online tool for determining how circular your product or service is. A pilot unti March 2019, feedback welcome! 

Circular Public Procurement – Opportunities for Innovation Tags Created by Category

Public procurers have a lot of policy aims to consider – should it be lowest price, most economically advantageous, use life-cycle costing, etc.  There is an argument that government's should put their (tax-payers) money where their mouth is, and start using government expenditure as a way to support policy aims such as the circular economy.  But, often the markets themselves aren't ready for the change – why should they be, when they're profiting from the status quo? 

So, we have a "chicken and egg" scenario – governments support policies such as green, social and circular procurement, and policy-makers and other stakeholders call for government procurers to toe the line, but if a product or service isn't available on the market, then how can this be done?  Should this be the time for the growth of competitive dialogues and innovation partnerships?  Will they work, or are the procedures just too complex for success?

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Moderator
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What do you think of the recent FR announcement about a plastic recycled-rate related taxation? Tags Created by Category

Over the summer, France (Minister Brune Poirson) announced its intention to launch a new taxation system favouring plastics products with higher rates of recycled material, by offering them a new competitive advantage.

France has unfortunately been lagging behind with its rate for recycling plastics (roughly 20% versus an EU average of 40%), so the challenge is real. Is taxation the way forward? Can industry take this opportunity to adopt creative approaches in stimulating collection and higher recycling rates? 

What are your views? Do you feel this approach has enough merits that it should be expanded on a broader scale?

 

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The French announcement of their intention to launch a new taxation system favouring plastics products with higher rates of recycled material, by offering them a new competitive advantage, is a welcome initiative to create price incentives for circular products and services. In the view of Ecopreneur and its 3000 company partners, mostly SMEs, price incentives are crucial to create demand for circular products and services. The current lack of demand is one of the main hurdles for companies to shift from linear to circular business models. The price difference between linear and circular needs to be large enough to nudge consumers towards the circular product. The impact can be huge. N.B. We do advocate to align national price incentive policies in order to create an EU level playing field. 
Other measures we advocate are the creation of a circular hub in every member state, a massive free training program on circular procurement for companies and municipalities, increased access to finance (e.g. via the EEB and national banks) for SMEs working on circularity, a tax shift from labour to resources, VAT differentiation on the basis of circularity, improvement and expanstion of extended producer responsibility (EPR), and extension of the Ecodesign Directive to resource efficiency for all end products.