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Knowledge

In this section you will find existing studies and reports published in relation to the circular economy.

Studies, academic papers, business reports… are submitted by stakeholders, industry or authors. To propose your own publication, fill in our online specific form.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 33

The circular economy – a powerful force for climate mitigation

The circular economy – a powerful force for climate mitigation

Type:

Author: 
Material Economics
Publication Date: 
06/2018
Country: 
Finland

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Sitra

This report investigates how a more circular economy can contribute to cutting CO2 emissions. It explores a broad range of opportunities for the four largest materials in terms of emissions (steel, plastics, aluminium, and cement) and two large use segments for these materials (passenger cars and buildings).

The key conclusion is that a more circular economy can make deep cuts to emissions from heavy industry: in an ambitious scenario, as much as 296 million tons CO2 per year in the EU by 2050, out of 530 Mt in total – and some 3.6 billion tonnes per year globally. Making better use of the materials that already exist in the economy thus can take EU industry halfway towards net-zero emissions. Moreover, doing so often is economically attractive. Initiatives for a more circular economy therefore deserve a central place in EU climate and industrial policy.

Linear Risks

Linear Risks Report

Type:

Author: 
Shyaam Ramkumar , Frido Kraanen, Rik Plomp , Brendan Edgerton , Arnoud Walrecht , Ines Baer, Peter Hirsch
Publication Date: 
05/2018
Country: 
Switzerland

Language for original content:

Sector:

Contact: 
WBCSD

Society and businesses are becoming increasingly aware that the resources needed for products are not infinite. There is growing pressure on the availability of resources due to a variety of factors including the expected increase in global consumption of goods spurred by a growing global middle class.

The report aims to introduce the various business risks of common ‘linear economy’ business practices and start a dialogue with the financial and business community about their implications. Building on this report, there is an objective to explore further directions to better understand and model them. Hopefuly, these risks will one day become an integral part of investment decisions to ensure better investment decisions that achieve long-term stability and growth.

CEN Guidelines for integrated circular economy strategies at local and regional level

CEN Guidelines for integrated circular economy strategies at local and regional level

CEN Guidelines for integrated circular economy strategies at local and regional level

Type:

Author: 
ACR+ (Jean-Pierre Hannequart, Philippe Micheaux Naudet)
Publication Date: 
05/2015
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Philippe Micheaux Naudet (ACR+)

The present guidelines have been developed by ACR+ in the framework of its Circular Europe Network initiative (CEN: www.circular-europe-network.eu).

It aims at explaining the potential role of local and regional authorities, and at developing guidelines to help them draw up integrated and efficient circular economy plans. Even though acknowledging the broader concept, these guidelines focus mainly on materials, considering that it is difficult for local and regional authorities to encompass all topics at once and since material resources represent the core element of circular economy.

The guidelines clarify the circular economy concept from a local or regional authority's perspective (Part 1) and propose key steps and elements to include in a local or regional circular economy strategy (Part 2).

The present document should serve as a set of first guidelines in the subject, particularly for the members of the Circular Europe Network, and is intended to be completed with examples of best practices to set such strategies, as well as concrete cases of circular economy.

The document is also available in Catalan, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. For more information, please click here.

The Macroeconomics of the Circular Economy Transition

 The Macroeconomics of the Circular Economy Transition

Type:

Author: 
Andrew McCarthy, Rob Dellink, Ruben Bibas
Publication Date: 
04/2018
Country: 
Other (International organisation)

Language for original content:

Contact: 
OECD Library

This paper reviews the existing literature on modelling the macroeconomic consequences of the transition to a circular economy. It provides insights into the current state of the art on modelling policies to improve resource efficiency and the transition to a circular economy by examining 24 modelling-based assessments of a circular economy transition. Four key conclusions emerge from this literature. First, most models find that a transition to a more circular economy – with an associated reduction in resource extraction and waste generation – could have an insignificant or even positive impact on aggregate macroeconomic outcomes. Second, all models highlight the potential re-allocation effects – both between sectors and regions – that the introduction of circular economy enabling policies could have. Third, certain types of macroeconomic model are more appropriate for assessing the transition than others, notably due to their accounting of interactions between sectors and macroeconomic feedbacks. Fourth, of the assumptions that are fed into these models – those concerning future rates of productivity growth, the substitutability between different material types, and future consumption patterns – are key determinants of model outcomes. 

Renewable Materials for a Low-Carbon and Circular Future

Renewable Materials for a Low-Carbon and Circular Future

Type:

Author: 
Essity, IKEA, Royal DSM and Tetra Pak
Publication Date: 
04/2018
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Key Area:

Contact: 
Stella Chavin
CE100

Achieving the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement climate targets will hinge upon the global transition to a low-carbon circular economy. Replacing finite and fossil-based materials with responsibly managed renewable materials could decrease carbon emissions whilst reducing dependency on finite resources.

However, the role that renewable materials can play in the circular economy is often under-rated, and, so far, most of the conversation has focussed on biodegradability, instead of the role they could play in reuse, remanufacturing, and recycling streams. The aim of the Collaborative Project was to start a conversation on the role of renewables in the circular economy, and in order to do this, set out the opportunities and challenges that companies face when using/shifting to renewable materials today and propose a shared vision for the future.

Public Procurement for a Circular Economy

Public Procurement for a Circular Economy

Circular Procurement brochure

Type:

Author: 
ICLEI
Publication Date: 
10/2017
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Ashleigh McLennan

In order to support public purchasers to leverage support for a transition to a circular economy, in October 2017 the European Commission published 'Public Procurement for a Circular Economy'. This brochure contains a range of good practice case studies as well as guidance on integrating circular economy principles into procurement.

Money Makes The World Go Round

Money Makes The World Go Round

Type:

Author: 
Frido Kraanen Director Cooperative and CSR, PGGM, Chair of the FinanCE working group
Publication Date: 
03/2016
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Contact: 
CE100

This report is the result of a collaborative project which was carried out by members of the Circular Economy 100, a program curated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The participants aimed to: (1) understand the implications of a circular economy on the business and financing models of companies; (2) determine how a transition to a circular economy can be supported and accelerated by the financial system; and (3) co-develop and share communication strategies and tools to make the transition clear and tangible to our colleagues, clients, and academics.

Circular Business Models for the Built Environment

Circular Business Models for the Built Environment

Type:

Author: 
Guglielmo Carra, Arup, Nitesh Magdani, BAM
Publication Date: 
03/2017
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Key Area:

To support the transition to the circular economy, governance, regulations and business models will play a crucial role. More importantly, circular business models (CBMs) would allow the retention of an asset at its highest value over time and support enhancement of natural capital. Different CBMs will be required at different stages of a lifecycle of an asset and may work independently or collaboratively. Successful implementation of these business models will require action from designers, suppliers, service providers, contractors and end-of-life companies by sharing materials, systems, energy, as well as information and services.

Keeping Customer Connections

Keeping Customer Connections

Type:

Author: 
Anna Vinogradova, Walmart, David Rakowski, PA Consulting
Publication Date: 
03/2018
Country: 
United Kingdom

Language for original content:

Key Area:

Sector:

Contact: 
Stella Chavin

The circular economy offers a new way of looking at the relationships between markets, customers and our use of resources. It uses innovative new business models and designs, disruptive technologies and reverse logistics to transform the current ‘take, make, dispose’ economic model. Circular initiatives work to three principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use and regenerating natural systems. 

Highlighting that many retailers are already tapping into circular economy thinking, this report is the output of a Collaborative Project carried out by Arizona State University, Cranfield University, eBay, Kingfisher, PA Consulting, Philips, Stuffstr and Wrap to identify new ways of working to generate value, discover new business opportunities and reduce resource costs - strategies which fundamentally change the relationship these retailers have with customers.

Expectations of sustainability pioneers towards the government as facilitator for sustainable procurement

Expectations of sustainability pioneers towards the government as facilitator for sustainable procurement

KU Leuven logo

Type:

Author: 
Hannes Van Gansen
Publication Date: 
02/2018
Country: 
Belgium

Language for original content:

Key Area:

Contact: 
Hannes Van Gansen

Nowadays, companies start considering sustainability aspects whenever purchasing products/ services due to the increased awareness by government and stakeholders. Therefore, suppliers in the supply chain are being pressured to improve their sustainable performances. This research examines the expectations of sustainability pioneers towards the government as facilitator for sustainable procurement. A multiple case study research explores the perception of nine sustainability pioneers through the analyses of multiple data sources, including observations, documents and interviews. The results show best practices in relation to the companies’ sustainable procurement process. This includes collaboration with multiple stakeholders and the use of various systems to control supply chain risks. Next, the study discovers several challenges related to the procurement process. The results show the government has a significant impact in improving sustainable procurement through three practises: sustainable public procurement, voluntary incentives and mandatory incentives. The sustainability pioneers expect strong policies for future directives and alignment within governmental actions. This study concludes that sustainability pioneers demand more actions by the government. The government should exhibit total commitment and pursue a leading role towards sustainable procurement.

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