The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the initiative "Towards an EU Product Policy Framework contributing to the Circular Economy".
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Providing those in need with the food we waste - Food Waste Cluj is leading the pack on socio-circular innovation in Romania
Food Waste Combat Cluj is one of the first multi-stakeholder initiatives combating food loss and food waste in Romania. Working in partnership, local environmental associations and municipal authorities have been able to set up an infrastructure that collects excess food from the food and drinks industry and transports this to social NGOs helping out people in need.
Destination: a circular tourism economy
Destination: a circular tourism economy aims to increase the innovativeness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the tourism sector by supporting the integration of circular economy elements into their services, products and business models. This handbook is the result of work carried out in the Interreg South Baltic innovation project, CIRTOINNO.
In addition to providing an overall understanding of the concept of circular economy and the specificities of tourism and the South Baltic partner regions, the CIRTOINNO handbook investigates and discusses the opportunities and barriers for tourism SMEs to adopt circular economy principles, and identifies best practices. Focusing on Hotels, Restaurants and Spas, the handbook provides overall recommendations to:
- implement monitoring systems and strategies to reduce energy and water use
- build relationships with suppliers to rethink material flows
- train staff to improve resource use and reduce spillage
The contribution of the Digital Industry to repair, remanufacturing and refurbishment in a Circular Economy
The contribution of the Digital Industry to repair, remanufacturing and refurbishment in a Circular Economy
In "The contribution of the Digital Industry to repair, remanufacturing and refurbishment in a Circular Economy”, DIGITALEUROPE describes longstanding business practices in the ICT sector which represent, next to waste collection and treatment facilities, the circular economy backbone of the ICT industry in Europe.
With roughly 28,000 tons of IT equipment and spare parts being shipped cross-border annually in Europe, the ICT sector is adopting circular business practices such as designing for longevity, durability and reliability, stimulating reuse, and facilitating refurbishment. There is significant market opportunity for circular economy in the ICT sector: in 2015, the business of refurbishing IT equipment already accounted for €3.1 billion in annual turnover across 2,500+ European firms.
Alongside a series of case studies on best practice such as Nokia's Global Asset Recovery & Remarketing Services, DIGITALEUROPE outlines the following position on legislating circular economy for ICT:
- reuse, repair and refurbishment should not be addressed under waste legislation
- recognise authorised repair networks and protect IP rights
- consult stakeholders when legislating ecodesign to ensure feasibility
- ensure requirements for spare parts continue to exist
- keep the two-year guarantee and revise consumer protection without increasing refunds / replacements
- remove administrative burden for and regulatory barriers to shipping products for repair, reuse and refurbishment
The 4th International Conference on New Business Models will be hosted and supported by the Chair for Corporate Sustainability, ESCP Europe Berlin, in July 2019.
Elak is a family-run electronics store in Brussels which has adopted a circular approach to its e-commerce activities from the onset.
Circular Economy Industry Platform
What is the Circular Economy Industry Platform about?
Circulary is a web tool managed by BusinessEurope and its national members that contributes to the EU’s agenda on circular economy.
It continuously brings new examples of innovative ways in which industry, SMEs and other business add to the circular economy in Europe, and features over 150 prime examples of industrial best practice in circular economy as of November 2018. At the same time, it highlights the regulatory and non-regulatory challenges these businesses still face to upscale their current initiatives or to start new ones. As such the platform is a unique bottom-up business-led hub of knowledge and expertise.
Why should your company engage?
- To showcase what your company is already doing on circular economy. By showing the extent to which business is already engaged into this transformation process, you will help make EU policy fit-for-purpose.
- To raise your concerns on barriers and obstacles. The analysis of common trends in barriers and obstacles that you and other companies face to become circular will help draw the attention of policymakers.
- To make your voice heard on upcoming EU policy initiatives. By gathering your “on the ground” practical experiences, BusinessEurope will be in a stronger position to advocate the business voice towards European institutions.
- To develop your network. The platform is a unique way for you to connect to other companies on circular economy, either by being contacted by others because of your expertise or by being able to see what is happening elsewhere.
- To access the EU / Brussels debate on circular economy. Based on what we receive from you and others, BusinessEurope intends as much as possible to organise events, consultations and promotion of the platform and its participating community.
Commown is a French cooperative that offers 'Hardware as as Service (HaaS)' for Fairphones and personal computers.
On December 4, MEP Igor Šoltes will host a seminar on the inherent benefits of using public procurement to achieve sustainable development in the European Parliament.
National Action Plan on Circular Economy
Greece's Governmental Economic Policy Council ensorsed a National Action Plan on Circular Economy in early 2018 to set the country on a path towards the long-term adoption of circular economy principles. This further supports Greece's economic strategy in its key quest to “Green” the economy in a way that creates jobs, especially for women and youth, and supports long-term equitable and inclusive growth based on resource efficiency, promotion of SMEs, innovation and investment in new technologies, and strengthening of the “social economy” potential. The long-term (2030) goals of the National Action Plan on Circular Economy can be summarised as follows:
- moving up the waste hierarchy by focusing on preventing waste and improving recycling
- supporting circular entrepreneurship by promoting “industrial symbiosis” and business clusters
- supporting circular consumption patterns of re-using, re-storing and re-pairing rather than buying new products, especially for electrical and electronic devices
- enhancing multi-stakeholder partnerships across industry, academia, and civil society
- monitoring progress towards a circular economic model through SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) indicators.
Priority actions for 2018 include:
- lifting barriers to a circular economy through 10+ regulatory and legislative interventions, e.g. integrating circular economy considerations and criteria in the Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Impact Assessment requirements for sites and projects as well as in the environmental permitting process or elaborating new legal definitions for wastes, by-products and re-fuse materials after first use intended for re-use, declassification of waste and quality standards for secondary raw materials
- earmarking existing funds to implement the aforementioned interventions and fund demonstration projects
- further enhancing knowledge, understanding, education, awareness and communication
- improving governance structures by setting up an inter-ministerial Executive Secretariat for the Circular Economy to oversee implementation and related Observatory to monitor progress
Prior to this, Greece has already adopted a new Law on Recycling in November 2017 to fully align existing waste legislation with circular economy principles and taken effective measures to reduce the consumtion of single-use plastic bags with a ministerial decision in August 2017 that introduced merchant responsibility and set fees for consumers. With these measures and the actions set out in the National Circular Economy Action Plan, Greece aims to achieve the following by 2020:
- achieve a radical reduction of the per capita produced waste
- increase reuse and recycling of wastes, with a separate collection of recyclable waste and of bio-waste, to reach 50% of total municipal solid waste produced from a 25% where it stands today
- reach a 74% recovery and less than 30% disposal of total municipal solid waste produced from the current 82% disposal
- create around 15,900 new jobs and the increase of the annual turnover of the waste management related businesses.
On the 3rd of December 2018, the Italian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ICESP) will hold its first annual conference. The platform's activities to date will be presented and its future development will be discussed.
100 Italian Circular Economy Stories
100 Italian circular economy stories compiles successful innovations from companies, research institutes and non-profits across 11 sectors throughout Italy. Their stories show the transition towards a circular economy is gaining traction on the ground as a sustainable alternative to the incumbent methods of production.
A circular economy will not happen through policy alone: it requires companies, start-ups, foundations, research centres, universities, consortia and associations to apply the principles of a circular economy to practice. This book features 100 such examples from Italy, including Aquafil's regenerated nylon yarn and Favini's non-virgin papers. The whole collection of stories ranges from across the following 11 sectors:
- Clothing and accessories
- Furniture / Construction
- Industrial automation and other Manufacturing
- Chemistry and Pharmaceutics
- Research & Development
- Electrics and Electronics
- New Materials and Resources
- Enablers and Platforms
- Promotion and Dissemination
These 100 stories clearly demonstrate that change is underway by showing how Italian products are brought to market using increasingly integrated technologies and supply chains which exchange materials and energy. The diffusion of such circular processes will enable more and more companies to free themselves from using costly virgin resources, gradually rendering the whole economy more sustainable.
For reference with the Italian circular economy strategy, please check the 2017 white paper "Towards a model of circular economy in Italy"
Kierratyskeskus is a growing chain of seven big box re-use stores, selling all possible furniture, household items and craft supplies in the Helsinki area.
The Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform annual conference will take place on 6 and 7 March 2019.
The SCREEN Final Conference was held in Rome on 18 and 19 October 2018, during the two-day Forum CompraVerde (BuyGreen), in order to present the results of the SCREEN project.
The Open Eyes Economy Summit is an international congress devoted to economy based on social values
The BioRegions Forum 2018 will take place in Barcelona on 13 November 2018.
Pajjat-Hame roadmap towards a circular economy
A circular economy is a strategic priorirty for Finland's Päijät-Häme region, which is reflected in its RIS3 orientation and in Lahti's (the region's main city) development strategy. Whereas Finland's national framework for a circular economy provides an outlines for this transition, the Päijät-Häme regional roadmap, a joint strategy for nine municipalities, implemeents the national aims with actions at the regional level.
The roadmap was launched in October 2017 as part of Päijät-Häme's regional economic strategy for 2018–2021. The drafting process was coordinated by the Lahti University of Applied Sciences, in close cooperation with the regional council and local stakeholders such as regional and municipal authorities, academia, a regional development corporation, as well as public and private companies.
Päijät-Häme's roadmap has five main themes, with regional goals and actions set for each. The overarching themes are:
- Closed loops of technical streams to create added value
- Sustainable business from bio-circular economy
- Towards energy self-sufficiency by sustainable transport and energy solutions
- Shared economy generates new consumption models and business opportunities
- Piloting and demonstrating innovative circular economy solutions
Because input was sought from across the region through workshops and discussions, a stakeholder consultation and further informal contacts, the regional council created substantial enthusiasm and buy-in throughout the area, thus creating a foundation for successful implementation. The roadmap is a living document, with annual updates scheduled to identify new opportunities and involve new actors.
EIB Guide to Circular Economy
The EIB has already supported the transition to a circular economy with over €2.1 bn in project financing, including the first of a kind Aanekoski bio-pulp mill in Finland, the largest circular investment to date in Europe. An overview of such projects, alongside the bank's perception of the drivers to a circular economy (resource opportunities, technological development and the emerging socio-economic paradigm of sustainable development), corresponding opportunities and potential business models (circular design, value recovery, optimal use & circular support) is provided in this guide.
As the circular economy can actively contirbute to reducing carbon emissions and reaching wider environmental protection goals, the EIB is keen to finance projects contributing to this transition through a range of financing products, including EFSI and InnovFin for higher risk innovations. When doing so, it makes use of specific criteria to assess whether project are truly circular and attempts to categorise them within one of the aforementioned business models. During project assessment, further eligibility criteria are applied depending on the type of business model. These criteria, and more information about the bank's perception of circular economy strategies and project types, is provided in the guide's annexes.
Behavioural Study on Consumers’ Engagement in the Circular Economy
To obtain empirical policy-relevant insights to assist with the implementation of the EU Circular Economy Action Plan, the European Commission requested a behavourial study that aimed to:
- identify barriers and trade-offs faced by consumers when deciding whether to engage in the CE, in particular whether to purchase a more or a less durable good, whether to have a good repaired, or to discard it and buy a replacement;
- establish the relative importance of economic, social and psychological factors that govern the extent to which consumers engage in the CE, especially purchasing durable products and seeking to repair products instead of disposing of them; and
- propose policy tools to enable and encourage consumers to engage in CE practices related to durability and reparability.
The study focused on five products: vacuum cleaners, televisions, dishwashers, smartphones and clothes. The methodology encompasses a systematic literature review, 50 stakeholder interviews, consumer focus groups, an online consumer survey with 12,064 participants, and a behavourial experiment with 6,042 participants. Whereas the survey collected information on consumers' perception of and experiences with circular practices, the financially incentivised experiments included a repairing and purchasing task.
Findings include a general willingness to engage but little practical action to date. Consumers appear to be hampered by insufficiently developed markets for repair, reuse and refurbish in addition to a lack of information regarding product durability and repairability. Such information appeared seminal in shifting purchasing decisions towards sustainable products in the behavourial experiment, highlighting great potential to bridge the gap between theoretical and practical engagement. This experiment also uncovered substantial consistency between a self-reported circular mindset and corresponding behaviour.
As product size and price increases, consumers also appear to have greater interest in repairability and durability. Whereas repairability is linked to spare parts, durability appears to follow from perceived product quality. Overall this study concludes that the price-quality ratio, followed by convenience, is the most important driver and simultaneously barrier for consumer engagement in the circular economy. Building on these finidngs, the study makes 5 recommendations for policy action to enhance consumer engagement in the circular economy:
- boost CE engagement by increasing awareness of the circular economy;
- make repairing products easier;
- create financial incentives for repairability and durability;
- make information on durability and repairability available at point of sale;
- strengthen legislation requiring the provision of accurate information to consumers.
The Consumer Insights into the Circular Economy event took place on 25 October 2018 in Brussels.
The Be Circular Annual Meeting took place on 24 October 2018
The World Circular Economy Forum 2018 took place in Yokohama, Japan, from 22 to 24 October. ECESP was represented by Ladeja Godina Košir, coordination group member for Circular Change.
The updated bioeconomy strategy for Europe was launched on Monday 22 October as part of an event held under the Austrian Presidency.
The second meeting of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform Coordination Group took place on 18 and 19 October 2018.
The Symbola Foundation, Enel & CSR Europe are organising a conference on “100 Italian Circular Economy Stories” on November 15 in Brussels.
World Food Day is a day of action dedicated to tackling global hunger.
SwitchMed Connect is a gathering of Mediterranean stakeholders to build synergies, exchange knowledge, and scale up eco and social innovations. Leading start-ups and entrepreneurs, industry agents, initiatives, change agents, policy and financial institutions working on applications of productive, circular and sharing economies in the Mediterranean will come together in Barcelona.