You are here

Consumption

Policy enablers to accelerate the circular economy: Scaling up actions across regions and stakeholders

wbsd report infographic

Type:

Author: 
World Business Council for Sustainable Development
Publication Date: 
09/2019
Country: 
EU
International

Language for original content:

Over the past couple of years, as companies start to understand the opportunities that lie under the concept of circular economy, the circularity conversation has gained significant momentum. At the same time, national and regional governments are developing frameworks and regulations to promote the circular economy.

Effective policymaking is crucial to accelerate and scale up circular actions in the economy. It supports businesses in overcoming hurdles by stimulating innovative projects and long-term investments in circularity, facilitating collaboration and partnerships, and producing tangible results.

Learning from successful policies can help inform future policies to promote wider actions in other sectors and regions over time.

By highlighting some representative pioneers in circular economy policy, exploring key enablers from these policies, describing how other regions could replicate these enablers and providing recommendations, this publication aims to provide insights from the policy perspective and to feed into the ongoing development of other initiatives and policies related to the circular economy globally.

Destination climate neutrality: a five year policy blueprint for Europe

destination climate neutrality
Author: 
EEB, IDDRI, CLIMACT
Publication Date: 
09/2019
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Scope:

Destination Climate Neutrality brings together leading recommendations of think tanks, scientists, thought leaders and NGOs to offer a policy blueprint for how best to propel Europe towards net zero carbon emissions in the coming five years of the Von der Leyen term. It offers sector-by-sector analysis, targets and initiatives in the fields of governance, finance, industry, energy, transport, the circular economy, agriculture and employment.

On circular economy, the report identifies challenges in:

  • a lack of EU targets for waste prevention, reuse, repair and refurbishment
  • no monitoring framework for material flows
  • contamination of materials by hazardous ingredients
  • high demand for biomass

The authors identify opportunities in job creation, cleaner supply chains and product policies.

BlueCity revitalises abandoned Rotterdam water park into circular laboratory

BlueCity, Rotterdam

The BlueCity business park is one of Rotterdam's unique landmarks: formerly a water park resort, the complex is now a circular incubator housing over 30 startups experimenting towards a sustainable future.

"+Ricicli +Viaggi" makes it possible to pay for metro rides with plastic bottles

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Italy

Language for original content:

Scope:

The Roman public transport provider, Atac, has launched +Ricicli +Viaggi (the more you recycle, the more you travel), a pilot scheme in which riders can pay for travel with PET plastic bottles.

Circular jobs in Belgium - A baseline analysis of employment in the circular economy in Belgium

Circular jobs in Belgium - A baseline analysis of employment in the circular economy in Belgium

KBF infogrpahic on circular jobs in Belgium

Type:

Author: 
Circle Economy, King Baudoin Foundation, Inoopa
Publication Date: 
09/2019
Country: 
Belgium

Language for original content:

Scope:

Contact: 
Anneke Ernon

From shoemaker to wind energy park engineer: 7.5% of all jobs in Belgium are circular. This report presents a baseline measurement of employment in the Belgian circular economy and provides insights into the nature and number of jobs in the country’s circular economy. This includes all jobs contributing to the circular economy through activities in renewable energy, repair and maintenance, recycling, digital technology, design, new business models and collaboration.

Monitoring the employment effects of the circular economy will discern what specific employment opportunities the circular economy has to offer, how these are distributed across society and how we can equip the workforce with the right skills to meet changing demand.

This report, conducted by the King Baudouin Foundation and the Dutch social enterprise Circle Economy, aims to inform governments, employers, social partners and other representatives with a view to pursuing effective and inclusive circular labour policy.

An online monitor, which the partners will update regularly, complements the report.

26 Sep 2019

About 50 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions are related to materials and the manufacturing of products. Strong Circular Economy policies are therefore needed to meet the climate goals. Ecopreneur.eu has worked out far-reaching proposals as input for the EU Green Deal.

01 Oct 2019
circle economy product as a service infographic

News type:

Country: 
EU, Netherlands

Scope:

Circle Economy launched a tool to close the knowledge gap between entrepreneurs and financiers: the Product-as-a-Service Question Kit helps overcome this barrier by leading both parties through a series of questions they need to ask themselves before starting their conversation.

20 Sep 2019
circular jobs in belgium cover page

From shoemaker to wind energy park engineer: 7.5% of all jobs in Belgium are circular, shows new analysis by the King Baudouin Foundation and Circle Economy. The baseline measurement of employment in the Belgian circular economy provides insights into the nature and number of jobs in the country’s circular economy.

20 Sep 2019
circular plastics alliance declaration

On 20 September 2019, more than 100 public and private partners covering the whole plastics value chain signed the declaration of the Circular Plastics Alliance, which promotes voluntary actions for a well-functioning EU market in recycled plastics.

24 Sep 2019
completing the picture report logo

As global leaders gather in New York for Climate Week NYC in September 2019, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has issued a new paper, in cooperation with Material Economics, revealing the need for a fundamental shift in the global approach to tackling climate change. As set out in Completing the Picture: How the Circular Economy tackles Climate Change, moving to renewables can only address 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve UN climate goals, the paper highlights the urgent need to tackle the remaining 45%.

Completing the Picture: How the Circular Economy Tackles Climate Change

Completing the Picture: How the Circular Economy Tackles Climate Change

Type:

Author: 
Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Material Economics
Publication Date: 
09/2019
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Scope:

Renewable energy is not enough. There needs to be a fundamental shift in the global approach to tackling climate change and the circular economy can play an essential role.

Completing the Picture: How the Circular Economy Tackles Climate Changea paper published by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, tells us:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions are not dropping quickly enough to achieve climate targets and switching to renewable energy can only cut them by 55%
  • The remaining 45% of emissions come from how we make and use products, and how we produce food

Whilst the circular economy is underpinned by renewable energy, the paper concentrates on five key areas (cement, plastics, steel, aluminium, and food) to illustrate how designing out waste, keeping materials in use, and regenerating farmland can reduce these emissions.

24 Sep 2019
Circular Week 2019

Circular economy, the new concept for attaining sustainable consumption and production, will not be implemented without multisectoral and international cooperation. INNOWO, Circular Change, INCIEN Czechia, and INCIEN Slovakia are launching the International Circular Week this year to promote circular economy across countries. This International Circular Week will take place from 7 to 13 October 2019, and aims to engage all circular stakeholders in central Europe and beyond.

Elephant in the Boardroom: Why Unchecked Consumption is Not an Option in Tomorrow’s Markets

Elephant in the Boardroom: Why Unchecked Consumption is Not an Option in Tomorrow’s Markets

wri report logo
Author: 
Samantha Putt del Pino, Eliot Metzger, Deborah Drew, Kevin Moss
Publication Date: 
03/2017
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

The Elephant in the Boardroom: Why Unchecked Consumption is Not an Option in Tomorrow’s Markets is a working paper from the World Resources Institute that can guide discussion within companies about an uncomfortable truth: many of today’s business models are not fit for tomorrow’s resource-strained world.

Normalizing the conversation will set the groundwork for the pursuit of new business models that allow growth within the planet’s limits and generate stakeholder value in new and exciting ways.

Exploring and evaluating Business Showcases from the Circular Economy Industry Platform

Exploring and evaluating business showcases from the circular economy industry platform

Type:

Author: 
Lukas Stumpf
Publication Date: 
11/2018
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Scope:

This research, part of the CEC4Europe factbook on the circular economy published in September 2018, evaluates 131 projects from the Circular Economy Industry Platform (CEIP) regarding their contribution to circular economy from both a scientific and political perspective.

Content analysis was applied to derive qualitative and quantitative information from company statements on the platform. This was supplemented by qualitative, semi-structured interviews with company representatives on selected projects. Results showed a diverse approach to circularity across the sample projects, thereby partly expanding the sectoral focus of the circular economy package.

Eco-design, eco-innovation and business models acted as strong enablers for circular actions in the sample, reflecting respective EU policies.

At the same time, sample projects heavily relied on recycling while missing out on potentially more efficient circular principles such as reduction or reuse.

High diversity in criteria was found regarding the evaluation of overall environmental impacts, with some projects using purely qualitative assessment methods, while other projects presented elaborate quantitative environmental evaluations, including significant positive impact potential. Regulatory challenges were specifically reported regarding the introduction of sound circularity quotas and targets, regarding definitional ambiguities, as well as regarding issues around unknown material compositions that currently impede recirculation.

New Plastics Economy 2019 Global Commitment Report

New Plastics Economy Global Commitment June 2019 Report logo

Type:

Author: 
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Publication Date: 
06/2019
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Scope:

The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment unites businesses, governments, and other organisations behind a common vision and targets to address plastic waste and pollution at its source. It is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with the UN Environment Program. Launched in October 2018, the Global Commitment already unites more than 400 organisations in its common vision of a circular economy for plastics, keeping plastics in the economy and out of the ocean. Signatories include:

  • close to 200 businesses that are part of the plastic packaging value chain, jointly representing over 20 % of all plastic packaging used globally, including many of the world’s leading consumer packaged goods companies, retailers, and plastic packaging producers
  • 16 governments across five continents and across national, regional, and city level
  • 26 financial institutions with a combined USD 4.2 trillion worth of assets under management and 6 investors in total committing to invest about USD 275 million
  • leading institutions such as WWF, the World Economic Forum, the Consumer Goods Forum, and IUCN
  • more than 50 academics, universities, and other educational or research organisations including MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, Michigan State University, and University College London.

All 400+ organisations have endorsed one common vision of a circular economy for plastics, in which plastics never become waste. As this June 2019 report shows, the number of business signatories has grown from over 100 to nearly 200 in the seven months since the launch.

Rapporto sull'Economia Circolare in Italia 2019

rapporto sull economia circolare 2019

Type:

Author: 
ENEA, Circular Economy Network
Publication Date: 
04/2019
Country: 
Italy

Language for original content:

Scope:

In March 2019, the Italian Circular Economy Network hosted a national conference on the circular economy, where it presented this Report on the Italian circular economy in 2019. Based on the methodology used, comparing the 5 most important European economies, Italy is the top performer in terms of circular economy implementation, ahead of the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain (in this order). While Italy’s position has remained unchanged compared to the previous year, there are some small signs of a slowdown which must be taken into account.

The report makes the following 10 proposals for a circular economy in Italy:

  • Spread and enrich circular vision, knowledge, research and good practices
  • Implement a national strategy and action plan
  • Improve the use of economic instruments
  • Promote a regenerative bio-economy
  • Integrate circular principles in public procurement
  • Promote city initiatives
  • Ensure rapid and effective implementation of the 2018 EU waste framework legislation
  • Rapidly activate an effective end of waste (EoW) regulation
  • Ensure the necessary business support infrastructure
  • Extend circular principles to e-commerce

Inštitút cirkulárnej ekonomiky

slovak institute for circular economy logo

The Inštitút cirkulárnej ekonomiky (Institute for Circular Economy) is Slovakia’s circular economy network, connecting public actors and private to accelerate the transition to a circular economy in Slovakia.

The Institute regularly publishes overviews of the circular economy in Slovakia, and supports municipalities with improving waste management locally, while also developing circular business models with companies. One such innovative programme specifically targets festival organisers, helping them reduce waste at large scale events.

Institut Cirkulární Ekonomiky

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.

Cirkularni Hub Praha

prague circular hub logo

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

ziedine ekonomika logo

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.

Ringmajanduse Forum

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 ekja@ekja.ee with the following information:

  • Company name
  • Name and contact details of company representative
  • What is your interest in circular economy?

Circular Hungary Program

circular hungary program logo

The Hungarian Foundation for Circular Economy established a Circular Hungary Program in 2018, the objective of which is to promote the acceleration to a circular economy transition in Hungary. The program aims to identify obstacles and gaps as well as improve the conditions and environment at technological, regulatory, market, consumer behaviour and financing levels for circular products, practices and projects. This is a business-led initiative, with more than 12 corporations already signed up to take part.

Companies, organisations, institutions and local governments can join the Circular Hungary Program. More information and membership conditions can be found here (in Hungarian)

Waste and Resources Action Plan

wrap logo

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.

Research

  • 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.

Voluntary Commitments

  • 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.

Consumer campaigns

  • 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

circular norway logo

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

vlaanderen circulair

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. 

Pages