The 7th European Environmental Evaluators Network Forum addressed the impact of evaluating environment and climate policies, including policies enabling 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.
Samen circulair ontwerpen: circulaire architectuur en bouw
When 68 Dutch architectural firms signed a manifesto for circular construction in 2018, it became apparent that this field is committed and eager to apply circular economy principles in designing and building for sustainable development. Nonetheless there are few available resources on commencing such a process, which is why the BNA (Dutch Association of Architects) commissioned a study on 'Designing Circularity Jointly: Circular Architecture and Construction' in 2018.
The transition to a circular economy is a quest where nobody has the correct and precise information on what inputs are required to reduce carbon emissions, ensure raw materials are processed in a circular loop and the built environment is repurposed at end of life. Designing truly circular buildings requires frameworks and insights. These are summarised in the report's eight key messages:
- circular economy is a shared quest full of complexity, obstacles and uncertainty, which is why openness, trust and courage are crucial;
- architects need more circular assignments to be able to benchmark and share experiences with each other;
- architects should play a greater role in designing buildings that can actually be built, maintained and recycled;
- collaboration across the entire value chain is necessary to map out resource flows and design in a truly circular fashion;
- regulation stimulates either renovation or newbuilds, becoming an obstacle when architects attempt to fuse old structures with new materials, linear raw materials with circular processes, and outdated standards with pioneering ones;
- despite a lot of information being available, architects find it difficult to access sustainable materials that have passed the necessary quality checks;
- the lack of clear guidelines about what is circular in the construction sector limits the adoption of corresponding principles;
- there are no easily accessible and understandable tools to guide practitioners in designing a circular structure.
Composting is the most natural method to create fertilisers, but not many people use it as it's a slow and complex process. To encourage composting, Compastor Technology has bred a genuine composting worm. When this worm is combined with a compost inoculant, green and organic waste is turned into fertiliser quickly and efficiently while using fully natural ingredients.
Pollutec is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018: the trade show has established itself as a true showcase of all the equipment, technologies and services for the environment and energy.
Documento de Posición: La Estrategia Europea sobre los Plásticos y la Propuesta de Directiva relativa a la reducción del impacto ambiental de determinados productos de plástico
Fundación para la Economía Circular (FEC) Position Paper on EU Plastics Initiatives
In this position paper, the Spanish Fondacion para la Economia Circular (Foundation for the Circular Economy), summarises the policy initiatives on plastics published by the European Commission in 2018, which includes both the Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy and the Proposal for a Directive on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment.
Outlining its position, FEC argues that:
- the plastics strategy is based on ambiguous definitions
- rigorous implementation of existing legal obligations in relation to plastics is a priority
- concrete measures reducing single-use plastics require greater precision
- a coherent policy framework for reducing microplastic is also necessary
- uptake & depth of quality standards and technological verification should be improved
- demand-side measures must be developed to stimulate th euptake of recycled plastics
- a New Plastics Economy requires global action & cooperation
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.
On November 21, Romania's Institute for Research in Circular Economy and Environment "Ernest Lupan" is organising a workshop on bio-waste in a circular economy, which aims to engage all relevant and stakeholders at the national level to provide reccomendations on composting policy.
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.
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 second meeting of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform Coordination Group took place on 18 and 19 October 2018.
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.
The three-day event Buildings As Material Banks – a pathway for a circular future (BAMB-CIRCPATH), to be held in Brussels on 5-7 February 2019, will focus on circular economy in the building/construction sector.
NoAW (NoAgriculturalWaste) Knowledge Exchange Stakeholder Platform
The NoAW project is dealing with innovative approaches to turn agricultural waste into ecological and economic assets. The NoAW Knowledge Exchange Stakeholder Platform aims to:
- provide a forum for knowledge, information exchange and discussion with agro-food businesses, farmers, biogas processors, food companies, scientific community, authorities relating to agro-waste management and valorisation issues in the light of their needs and expectations.
- foster an understanding of what is new in agriculture waste management from technical, environmental and business concepts / cross-chain valorisation aspects, including development opportunities and potential applications of innovative bio-processes and bio-products.
- provide guidance to NoAW based on the key activities of the members of the KESP, their needs and problems to ensure that the project activities and outcomes are focused on priority areas and the proposed processes and technologies will meet the expectations of the stakeholders.
The NoAW project is coordinated by INRA (France) and the consortium involves 32 partners from universities, public research organizations and other institutions from a dozen countries.
Austria Glas Agenda 2030 - Future in Glass
Austria Glas Recycling Gmbh is setting the course for the future: the Austria Glas Agenda 2030, which it has developed together with stakeholders, experts and scholars, defines the orientation of the glass recycling system according to the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The Austria Glass Agenda 2030 is pioneering work setting new impulses for the implementation of the SDGs. As one of the first companies in Austria, Austria Glas Recycling Gmbh is facing the challenge to implement the SDGs in all its business processes. The Austria Glas Agenda 2030 is the basis for future project developments of the glass recycling system.
In addition, the Austria Glas Agenda 2030 should serve as a role model for other sectors and inspire them to take action for the SDGs.
Official launch of the GrandParisCirculaire.org platform on 5 October 2018.