The European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns, organised by ICLEI Europe, will open its doors for the 9th time from 30 September - 2 October 2020 in Mannheim, Germany.
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Innovation and investments
Unlocking circular business: A framework of barriers and drivers
Circular economy increasingly attracts the interest of business, policy makers and academia in the search for answers to sustainability challenges. While earlier studies have presented drivers that support the introduction of new business concepts for circular economy, as well as barriers that hinder the rate of innovation in the field, no systematic categorizations of such factors have been brought forward.
Drawing on current literature, a framework of drivers and barriers is introduced, including seven distinct areas: environmental, economic, social, political and institutional, technological and informational, supply chain, and organizational factors. The appearance and content of these areas in practice have been examined in four case organizations by conducting thirty-six qualitative, semi-structured interviews. Empirical illustrations of the potential barriers and drivers provide managerial implications for better execution of circular business.
The circular economy: reconciling economic growth with the environment
The transition to a more circular economy is underway. But what can be done to speed it up? This report, authored by Institut Montaigne, recommends five principles that must drive circular economy policy:
- focus on innovation
- adopt a comprehensive, global approach
- take into account differences between sectors and enhance public / private cooperation
- measure progress
- reach out beyond developed countries.
A long-term strategy for a European circular economy – setting the course for success
The concept of circular economy is gaining traction. This has led to various policy actions throughout the life cycle of a product ranging from measures on eco-design to recycling targets. Despite the progressive incorporation of the circular economy in industrial and innovation policies, the EU and Member States policies have a strong focus on increasing recycling rates, reducing landfilling and creating markets for secondary raw materials. On their own these measures are insufficient to result in a paradigm shift in resource use and current targets inadequate to provide a clear direction of travel.
Within the framework of THINK 2030, an IEEP project to support a science-based agenda for European environmental policy beyond 2020, the authors set out what policy actions the EU and Member States can and should take in the coming decade to achieve a circular shift in Europe.
Barriers & Drivers towards a Circular Economy
The Barriers & Drivers to a Circular Economy report provides a review of pre-Circular Economy Action Plan studies on green growth, and showed that "a Circular Economy demands a system change with parallel actions along the value chain rather than a purely sector and/or product focused approach".
While many strategies by national and regional governments have been launched since the report's publication in 2015, its succinct overview of the issues impeding a circular transition remains useful for policy researchers. Many barriers, especially with consumer acceptance or price incentives of recylced materials, persist till today.
The 5th International Conference on Final Sinks will be held in Vienna from 8 to 11 December 2019
Join the 5th New Business Models conference in Nijmegen on 1 to 2 July 2020
The Circular Economy - Challenges, Opportunities and Pathways for European Businesses
The Challenges, Opportunities and Pathways for European Business in Circular Economy report is a EUROCHAMBRES initiative launched in order to better understand if and how the circular economy will benefit European businesses, and to delineate a successful transition. This will be the basis for a policy strategy to contribute to an enriching debate on future legislative proposals at European level.
This report is a comprehensive meta-analysis of the most up-to-date quantitative studies on the circular economy, and elaborates on nine industrial sectors (agriculture, construction, mobility, hospitality and food services, metal manufacturing, electronics, textile, food & drink manufacturing, and plastics) including case studies. Bearing in mind the future of European manufacturing industries and businesses, the paper focuses on European trends derived from available data regarding investment costs, cost savings, and investment opportunities.
During its Presidency of the Council of the European Union in late 2019, Finland will highlight the EU’s role in leading the transition to a climate neutral Europe with a versatile selection of Finnish artists’ work and a number of exhibitions that will give the public a new view on sustainable development and the circular economy.
Circular Economy Transition
Circular Economy Transition aims to accelerate the transition of Switzerland to a Circular Economy. The programme operates in 5 Swiss cities: Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne and Zurich.
In close collaboration with all Impact Hubs throughout Switzerland, sanu durabilitas and support of the MAVA foundation, this initiative will contribute to drive the new paradigm for the future of business, policy making and society through 4 main pillars:
- project & startup incubator
- community events
- business lab for corporates & SMEs
- research & policy recommendations
Policy Hub on Circular Economy in Apparel and Footwear
Circularity is a necessary solution to minimise the use of finite resources, but it requires a unified approach. The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) and the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) have launched a Policy Hub on Circular Economy to ensure collaboration among industry partners.
Together these organisations will kick-off the development of an impactful and effective policy framework. The C&A Foundation will fund the project throughout 2020.
The Hub seeks to promote and demonstrate the value of a European policy framework that accelerates circular economy in the apparel, footwear, and textile industry. The Policy Hub will collaborate with a range of initiatives and stakeholders to support the industry in closing the loop of their business practices.
Join Kyiv's European Circular Economy Forum on 4 October 2019, organised with support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Designing plastics circulation - electrical and electronic products
Today, most electrical/electronic equipment (EEE) is not designed for recycling, let alone for circulation. Plastics in these products account for 20% of material use, and through better design, significant environmental and financial savings could be made. Technological solutions and circular design opportunities already exist, but they have not yet been implemented. Some challenges, such as ease of disassembly, could be resolved through better communication and by sharing learnings across the value chain. Instead of WEEE, we should focus on developing CEEE: Circular Electrical and Electronic Equipment. The case examples of this report show how different stages of the lifecycle can be designed so that circular plastic becomes possible and makes business sense. It is time to take a leap in material flow management and scale up these circular solutions across the industry.
Circular Conversations is a digital parlour created to host an open and critical exchange of ideas on what the next society and economy should look like and how to get there.
By initiating conversations with people of different perspectives, ideas and ideologies, disciplines and backgrounds, this decentralized and independent platform shares theories and practices able to shape the direction and design of the next economy.
To read more conversations like the interview with Rieta Aliredjo, 2019 circular economy stakeholder conference keynote speaker, on empowering kids to be circular starts, visit the blog here.
Brussels construction industry roadmap towards a circular economy
The Brussels Regional Programme for a Circular Economy is Belgium's capital region strategic effort towards a circular economy. Within this programme, the Brussels construction industry with its 12,000 businesses is a priority sector. As construction and facilities management accounts for 98% of water use, 75% energy demand and 33% of waste in Brussels, there is great potential for a substantial contribution to a circular transition.
This roadmap, developed in partnership with the Environmental Agency through 3 stakeholder workshops, includes three gradual steps towards circular building in Brussels:
- voluntary measures by construction businesses by 2025
- comprehensive regulation for circular public buildings by 2030
- reforming all relevant local planning regulations to include circular principles by 2040
While the latter goal remains to be clearly defined and prepared, the voluntary measures by companies and regulatory update for public buildings have already been transformed into actionable steps, e.g. revising training curricula in vocational and professional schools with a circular mindset or setting up monitoring systems to track the flow of resource and waste from Brussels' largest construction sites.
The EU’s largest National Promotional Banks and Institutions and the European Investment Bank launch a EUR 10 billion initiative to accelerate the transition to a sustainable and circular economy
Circular Economy Guidebook for Cities
In recent months there has been circular economy-related activity in cities as diverse as Maribor in Slovenia, Peterborough in the UK and Abuja in Nigeria. There is as much traction on the topic of CE in major cities of China, India, South Africa, Rwanda as there is the Netherlands and the UK. Is there no silver bullet for a city to become circular? No two cities are the same, so it is important to understand what that city’s unique selling point is and exactly what it wants to make circular.
In this guidebook, the CSCP classifies cities into four broad categories: a legacy city or a pioneering city in a developed or an emerging economy. Based on this classification, a number of examples from cities across the continents this guidebook documents the journey towards becoming more circular, and provides suggestions for cities seeking to make the shift.
The role of municipal policy in the Circular Economy: Investment, Jobs and Social Capital
Local government programmes that encourage and support circular economy practices, such as repair, recycling and circular design activities help attract new investment, create jobs and result in tangible socio-economic benefits for the city and its people, reveals the report: The Role of Municipal Policy in the Circular Economy: Investment, Jobs and Social Capital in Circular Cities.
The report explores the connection between municipalities pursuing circular economy policy and investments in circular business that create jobs. In order to maximise circularity's benefits for society, municipalities can employ a series of regulatory, economic and soft instruments that include strategies, targets, loans and subsidies, which are all also conducive to generating employment.
Citeo Circular Challenge is a programme to detect innovation, essentially in the paper and packaging sectors, which has supported over 700 projects across the entire circular value chain in 2016. Submit your project until 15 September 2019, and win up to €40,000 in grant funding and business services.
Discover the final results of the three-year long URBANREC project by joining project partners on 6 November in Brussels for a morning session of policy dialogue in the European Parliament.
M-LS by O.C.O Technology: a carbon-negative limestone aggregate created with residues from waste to energy residue
The company O.C.O Technology Limited recycles a hazardous by-product of waste incineration in order to produce a carbon-negative material for the construction industry.
Circular Baltic 2030: circular economy in the Baltic sea region and beyond
Circular Baltic 2030 - Circular economy in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) is a report produced by the Swedish independent think-tank Global Utmaning.
It is a collection of circular economy best practices supporting the implementation of the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and covering the EU Member States of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden as well as the partner countries Norway and Russia. The report also showcases a number of circular economy best practices from around the world.