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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 93

Circular Fashion Advocacy

circular fashion advocacy

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Author: 
Arthur ten Wolde
Publication Date: 
03/2019
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Arthur ten Wolde

According to Ecopreneur's proposal, the recommendations for advocacy messages and actions listed in this report should be used by the EU and other key stakeholders to develop a collaborative strategy and plan up to 2030 that supports a circular fashion economy.

In addition, philanthropic funders should connect and build the advocacy capacity of non-profit organisations that support the circular economy and a circular fashion sector. This is particularly important given the strong influence of lobbyists advocating for the ‘linear’ status quo.

A key message would be to urge the EU to move first to create a circular fashion economy, because it provides a huge economic opportunity, both for Europe and for producing countries; globally, overall annual benefits are estimated by Eurochambres to amount to € 161 billion.

For the fashion industry to realise the economic, social and environmental benefits of a circular economy, immediate action and longterm commitment towards advocacy are needed.

Slovenian companies and a circular economy: Slovenian Business Observatory 2017

Slovenian companies and the circular economy

Slovenian entrepreneur observatory

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Author: 
Karin Širec, Barbara Bradač Hojnik, Matjaž Denac, Dijana Močnik
Publication Date: 
03/2018
Country: 
Slovenia

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Contact: 
Barbara Bradač Hojnik

Since 2000, the “Slovenian Entrepreneurship Observatory” publishes a report annually providing analysis of the situation of Slovenian companies and insight into Slovenian entrepreneurship. In 2018 this report had a thematic focus on the circular economy (CE), with the authors centring in on the drivers and barriers to SMEs integrating CE into business practice.

This report first provides a theoretical framework for the CE, which aims to raise awareness and facilitate information exchange between companies and individuals looking to spread circular innovation. Simultaneously this report also provides an overview of the barriers companies face in transitioning towards circularity, which include a lack of comparable indicators to benchmark and track progress; cost of eco-design; administrative burden; access to finance and a lack of awareness about the concept itself: in 2017, a survey of businesses indicated only 32% had some understanding of what a circular economy is. This survey also revealed businesses perceive economic, environmental and regulatory opportunities as the main drivers towards circularity.

The report concludes with practical aspects of CE implementation at the level of enterprises, presenting a case study which highlights the situation and the possible use of eco-design in Slovenian SMEs operating in the construction sector and conclusions with recommended steps to overcome the barriers identified.

Scaling the Circular Built Environment: pathways for business and government

scaling the circular built environment cover page

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Author: 
WBCSD, Circle Economy
Publication Date: 
12/2018
Country: 
Switzerland

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Contact: 
Brendon Edgerton
Harald Friedl

The circular economy has great potential to help meet global sustainability targets and the Paris Agreement's goals in particular. The built environment, consuming almost half of the world's resources extracted every year and responsible for a massive environmental footprint, is a fundamental sector in the circular transition.

Moving towards a circular built environment involves a shift in roles and business models for stakeholders active in this sector. However, barriers related to culture, regulations, market, technology and education are slowing down the transition.

The private and public sector need to create a level playing field in order for circular materials, products and services to become the new normal in the built environment. This requires bold leadership from both companies and policy-makers who have to transform the market (e.g. by introducing new valuation methods) and implement long-term policies that encourage the scaling of circular solutions (e.g. through circular procurement). Standardization, new forms of collaboration and co-creation processes are essential elements in the transition. Digital innovation, education and information sharing can further drive the change in mindset and culture that is needed to turn the circular built environment into reality.

Deposit-refund systems in Europe for one-way beverage packaging

Deposit-refund systems for one-way beverage packaging

ACR+ DRS report cover

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Author: 
Bilyana Spasova
Publication Date: 
03/2019
Country: 
Spain

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Contact: 
Philippe Micheaux-Naudet

Within the discussion on possible instruments that policy-makers can use to achieve waste collection targets and implement the 2015 Circular Economy Action Plan, deposit-refund systems (DRS) are often cited as a promising & useful policy tool. Such DRS ask consumers to pay an additional visible amount of money – a “deposit” – on top of the product price and then refund this money back if the consumer brings back the product (or its empty packaging) to an approved collection point.

In this report, ACR+ explored DRS experiences across ten European countries: Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. Relying on available facts and data, the report presents an informative overview of existing examples and approaches in Europe for one-way beverage packaging. This analysis concludes that the launch timing in relation to other waste management systems and the positive participation of producers are both decisive in determining the success of the system.

To learn more about the hands-on implementation of DRS in Europe, read the full report here.

Economía Circular y Empleabilidad de los Jóvenes en la Comunidad de Madrid

Circular Economy and Youth Employability in the Comunidad de Madrid
Author: 
Eva Ramón, Franco Llobera, Manuel Redondo
Publication Date: 
04/2018
Country: 
Spain

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Contact: 
Eva Ramón

The Centro de Documentación Europea de la Universidad Francisco de Vitoria (European Documentation Centre, UFV) has completed a project titled Economía Circular y Empleabilidad de los Jóvenes en la Comunidad de Madrid (Circular Economy and Employability of Young People in the Autonomous Region of Madrid).

The outcomes include a report on communicating the circular economy through the lens of employment opportunities circular business models provide for young people. The project has also created a guide on communicating the circular economy to students, which introduces the subject, presents the 7R model and shows how innovative companies provide opportunities for employment in circular business.

2018_Wat_Sci_Tech_Incover_final publicado

Start-up of a microalgae-based treatment system within the biorefinery concept: from wastewater to bioproducts

Author: 
Enrica Uggetti, Joan García, Juan Antonio Álvarez and María Jesús García-Galán
Publication Date: 
12/2018
Country: 
United Kingdom

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Contact: 
Juan Antonio Alvarez Rodriguez

Within the European project INCOVER, an experimental plant uses low-energy photobioreactors to cultivate micro-algae and transform wastewater into bioproducts.

This article describes this new experimental plant and the start-up stage, starting from the new design of three semi-closed horizontal photobioreactors with low energy requirements, for microalgae cultivation (30 m3 total), using agricultural runoff and urban wastewater as feedstock.

The inflow nutrients concentration is adjusted to select cyanobacteria, microalgae able to accumulate polyhydroxybutyrates, which can be used for bioplastics production. Part of the harvested biomass is used as substrate for anaerobic co-digestion (AcoD) with secondary sludge to obtain biogas. This biogas is then cleaned in an absorption column to reach methane concentration up to 99%. The digestate from the AcoD is further processed in sludge wetlands for stabilization and biofertilizer production.

On the other hand, treated water undergoes ultrafiltration and disinfection through a solar-driven process, then it is pumped through absorption materials to recover nutrients, and eventually applied in an agricultural field to grow energy crops by means of a smart irrigation system. This plant presents a sustainable approach for wastewater management, which can be seen as a resource recovery process, more than a waste treatment.

Circular Economy - Future of the Development of Slovakia

Circular Economy - Future of the Development of Slovakia

CIRCULAR ECONOMY - FUTURE OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF SLOVAKIA

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Author: 
Slovak Environment Agency
Publication Date: 
02/2019
Country: 
Slovak Republic

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Contact: 
Tatiana Guštafíková

The publication presents a state-of-play for Slovakia's circular economy transition and introduces its circular economy policies. It also contains interviews with representatives of the Slovak State administration, NGO representatives and scientists, as well as examples of good practices from municipalities, businesses, and NGOs.

Good practices in separate collection, sorting and recycling of steel for packaging

Good practices in separate collection, sorting and recycling of steel for packaging

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Author: 
APEAL
Publication Date: 
06/2018
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Steve Claus

With an average of 79.5% recycled across Europe in 2016, steel for packaging is already the most recycled packaging material in Europe.

This report compiles examples of good practices from countries across the EU showcasing the varied projects, systems and processes by which steel for packaging is recycled, bringing significant reduction in emissions, resource and energy use.

Steel, a permanent material that can be infinitely recycled to make high quality products, can be easily sorted from the waste stream owing to its magnetic properties which make it the most economical packaging material to collect, sort and recycle over and over again.

Good practices in separate collection, sorting and recycling of steel for packaging contribute to improving its recycling rate, but can also serve as a guide for any stakeholder interested in improving these essential steps in a circular perspective.

Enablers and Barriers to a Circular Economy

Enablers and Barriers to a Circular Economy

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Author: 
R2Pi Project
Publication Date: 
09/2018
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Raymond Slaughter

The report provides a simple, yet rich overview of the barriers and enablers of circular economy business models as identifed by stakeholders, drawing upon a range of interviews, workshops and events, and a survey conducted with representatives of the European business sector.

Within businesses, stakeholders have identified high-level commitment accompanied by long-term perspectives, the personal drive and attitudes of staff, as well as the promise of enhanced competitiveness as key in supporting the transition towards circularity. Yet, from an internal company perspective, a number of factors were highlighted as getting in the way of the transition. Difficulties in financing new business models, taxation systems, resistance to change and the perceived lack of consumer demand are key examples of obstacles that hamper the circular transformation.

Importantly, stakeholders have provided interesting insights into possible solutions and recommendations able to overcome the challenges posed by circular economy barriers: tax incentives, the development of wealth-measurement systems other than GDP, material passports and quality standards, to name a few. Future solutions should also focus on ensuring safe areas for innovation out of tendering calls, green public procurement and increased financial support.

 

Two years later: the EU Circular Economy Package

IW Report
Author: 
Dr. Adriana Neligan
Publication Date: 
04/2018
Country: 
Germany

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Contact: 
Dr. Adriana Neligan

The EU Circular Economy Package pushes forward the concepts of ‘recycle, repair and re-use’, as well as waste avoidance. To comply with the Package many EU countries will need a completely new waste treatment system, and many companies will need to re-think some established business models.

Two years after adopting the Circular Economy Package, the EU institutions have finally agreed on a new EU waste regulation. The paper entitled Two years later: the EU Circular Economy Package evaluates recent EU policy moves and decisions. It also analyses the status quo of Germany's circular economy efforts and compares them to those of other EU member states. Finally, some of the risks and opportunities for companies are outlined.

This paper is an update of a previously published policy paper by Dr. Adriana Neligan (2016), which discussed the Package after it was presented in late 2016.

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