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Destination: a circular tourism economy

Destination: a circular tourism economy

Destination: a circular tourism economy handbook cover

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Author: 
Centre for Regional & Tourism Research (CRT)
Publication Date: 
08/2018
Country: 
Denmark

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Destination: a circular tourism economy aims to increase the innovativeness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the tourism sector by supporting the integration of circular economy elements into their services, products and business models. This handbook is the result of work carried out in the Interreg South Baltic innovation project, CIRTOINNO.

In addition to providing an overall understanding of the concept of circular economy and the specificities of tourism and the South Baltic partner regions, the CIRTOINNO handbook investigates and discusses the opportunities and barriers for tourism SMEs to adopt circular economy principles, and identifies best practices. Focusing on Hotels, Restaurants and Spas, the handbook provides overall recommendations to:

  • implement monitoring systems and strategies to reduce energy and water use
  • build relationships with suppliers to rethink material flows
  • train staff to improve resource use and reduce spillage

Circular Economy Finance Guidelines

CE Finance

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Author: 
ABN AMRO, ING, RABOBANK
Publication Date: 
07/2018
Country: 
Netherlands

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ABN AMRO, ING and Rabobank, all members of the FinanCE working group alongside FGGM and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, have published the first publicly available finance guidelines for the circular economy in July 2018 as input to the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

These guidelines aim to promote and develop the role finance can play in the transition, beginning with a definition of the circular economy and circular economy finance. These banks perceive the latter as being "any type of instrument where the investments will be exclusively applied to finance or re-finance, in part or in full, new and/or existing eligible companies or projects in the circular economy". The guidelines themselves have four core components:

  1. Use of investments
  2. Process for Project Evaluation and Selection
  3. Management of Investments
  4. Reporting

By making these guidelines publicly available, these three Dutch banks are encouraging other financial institutions to follow suit and stimulating the development of a common understanding of the circular economy in the European financial sector.

100 Italian Circular Economy Stories

100 Italian Circular Economy Stories

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Author: 
Enel, Symbola
Publication Date: 
03/2018
Country: 
Italy

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Contact: 
CircularEconomy@ENEL

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
  • Agri-food
  • 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"

Behavioural Study on Consumers’ Engagement in the Circular Economy

Behavioural Study on Consumers’ Engagement in the Circular Economy

Infographic explaining aims of behavourial study

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Author: 
LE Europe, VVA, Ipsos, ConPolicy, Trinomics
Publication Date: 
10/2018
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Jeroen van laer

To obtain empirical policy-relevant insights to assist with the implementation of the EU Circular Economy Action Plan, the European Commission requested a behavourial study that aimed to:

  1. identify barriers and trade-offs faced by consumers when deciding whether to engage in the CE, in  particular whether to purchase a more or a less durable good, whether to have a good repaired, or to discard it and buy a replacement;
  2. establish the relative importance of economic, social and psychological factors that govern the extent to  which  consumers engage in the CE, especially purchasing durable products and seeking to repair products instead of disposing of them; and
  3. propose policy tools to enable and encourage consumers to engage in CE practices related to durability and reparability.

The study focused on five products: vacuum cleaners, televisions, dishwashers, smartphones and clothes. The methodology encompasses a systematic literature review, 50 stakeholder interviews, consumer focus groups, an online consumer survey with 12,064 participants, and a behavourial experiment with 6,042 participants. Whereas the survey collected information on consumers' perception of and experiences with circular practices, the financially incentivised experiments included a repairing and purchasing task.

Findings include a general willingness to engage but little practical action to date. Consumers appear to be hampered by insufficiently developed markets for repair, reuse and refurbish in addition to a lack of information regarding product durability and repairability. Such information appeared seminal in shifting purchasing decisions towards sustainable products in the behavourial experiment, highlighting great potential to bridge the gap between theoretical and practical engagement. This experiment also uncovered substantial consistency between a self-reported circular mindset and corresponding behaviour.

As product size and price increases, consumers also appear to have greater interest in repairability and durability. Whereas repairability is linked to spare parts, durability appears to follow from perceived product quality. Overall this study concludes that the price-quality ratio, followed by convenience, is the most important driver and simultaneously barrier for consumer engagement in the circular economy. Building on these finidngs, the study makes 5 recommendations for policy action to enhance consumer engagement in the circular economy:

  • boost CE engagement by increasing awareness of the circular economy;
  • make repairing products easier;
  • create financial incentives for repairability and durability;
  • make information on durability and repairability available at point of sale;
  • strengthen legislation requiring the provision of accurate information to consumers.

Austria Glas Agenda 2030 - Future in Glass

Austria Glas Agenda 2030
Author: 
Austria Glas Recycling GmbH
Publication Date: 
10/2017
Country: 
Austria

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Contact: 
Marina Luggauer

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.

Circular Economy in the Furniture Sector: Overview of Current Challenges and Competence Needs

Circular Economy in the Furniture Sector: Overview of Current Challenges and Competence Needs

Circular Economy in the Furniture Sector: Overview of Current Challenges and Competence Needs

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Author: 
Ecores, University of Vaasa, CETEM - Technological Centre of Furniture and Wood, AMUEBLA - Innovative business association of furniture manufacturers and related in the Murcia Region, CENFIM - Home & Contract furnishings cluster, KIT - karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Publication Date: 
09/2018
Country: 
Spain

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Contact: 
Juan Jose Ortega (Amuebla) | Erwan Mouazan

The report ‘Circular Economy in the Furniture Sector: Overview of Current Challenges and Competence Needs’, provides an overview on how the circular economy is currently being implemented within the furniture sector.

By focusing on existing practices, challenges and opportunities at the micro-level, the main objective of this report is to identify the necessary skills and competences needed to support the transformation of furniture companies towards a circular economy.

Project partners identified 25 furniture companies active in the circular economy throughout Europe.

Interviews, held between March and May 2018 in Belgium, Finland, Germany, Spain, France, The Netherlands, Italy and Sweden, yielded insights on the necessary skills and competences needed to develop circular business models relevant for the furniture industry.

Finally, 10 examples of circular furniture cases are presented in the report. Examples show companies from different EU countries that have implemented different actions to work towards the circularity of the company, as well as specific examples of furniture products that are sustainable.

Beyond the CE package: Maintaining momentum on resource efficiency

Beyond the Circular Economy package

Aldershot group report image

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Author: 
Aldersgate Group
Publication Date: 
12/2017
Country: 
United Kingdom

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Despite resource efficiency improving 41% between 2000 and 2016,with  the Circular Economy Package and the initiatives set out in the accompanying Action Plan nearing completion, the EU institutions must acknowledge that the move to a more resource efficient or “circular” economy will take time. To invest in new business models, more resource-efficient processes and new supply chains for good quality secondary materials, businesses need the assurance that the resource efficiency agenda will remain a priority for the EU in the long term.

This briefing sets out a range of policy recommendations that the Aldersgate Group believe EU institutions should continue to pursue beyond completion of the Circular Economy Package to scale up business action on resource efficiency. These recommendations are based on business case studies, including some developed as part of the EU LIFE+ funded REBus project, which began in 2013 and on which the Aldersgate Group is a partner. By the end of 2016, pilots taking part in the REBus project (many of which involved SMEs), had already delivered a financial benefit of €5.62m, material savings in excess of 62,000 tonnes and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of just under 2,000 tonnes. These benefits have continued to grow since.

Recommendations based on the report's findings include:

  1. Pursuing work to include resource efficiency design criteria in product standards by delivering on the commitment to publish an updated Ecodesign Working Plan once a year and rapidly broadening the range of products subject to resource efficiency design criteria;
  2. Promote business innovation on resource efficiency, through continued financial support for business trials and broadening the sectors that receive technical support through the Commission’s Innovation Deals;
  3. Expand the use of circular economy criteria in the public procurement of a broadening range of products and encourage their application across EU Member States and EU institutions;
  4. Encourage Member States to develop pricing mechanisms that support material re-use where it is environmentally effective to do so; and
  5. Ensure a consistent implementation of the Circular Economy Package in different Member States. This is especially important in terms of the improved definitions of “waste” currently being negotiated by all three EU institutions, which must ensure that materials are no longer classified as “waste” when they can be re-used safely.

Circular City Governance: An explorative research study into current barriers and governance practices in circular city transitions across Europe

Circular City Governance

Circular City Governance cover page

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Author: 
Jan Jonker, Naomi Montenegro Navarro
Publication Date: 
11/2017
Country: 
Luxembourg

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Contact: 
Jan Jonker

Circular City Governance - An explorative research study presents the results of an empirical research study into current barriers and governance practices in circular city transitions across Europe carried out by a team from the Radboud University Nijmegen School of Management (NL). The research activities ran from October to December 2017. The main objective of the study was to support the European Investment Bank (EIB) and other members of the Urban Agenda Partnership on Circular Economy involved in the working group on “Circular City Governance” (CCG) with the identification, analysis and elaboration of actions in support of Circular Governance in Cities, particularly through better knowledge and better funding. At the time this report was completed, the UAPCE’s Action Plan had been recently published for public consultation.

The research study follows an empirical approach primarily focussed on the identification of (i) the most common barriers and challenges that are encountered by cities seeking to promote the circular economy, and (ii) the most important governance interventions cities have taken to initiate and advance in the transition to a circular city. This information was drawn from the analysis of selected case studies of circular economy projects in urban environments, various publicly available circular economy strategies, plans prepared by cities and interviews with experts and officials of front-runner cities that have embraced the CE agenda across Europe. The results of this research study should contribute towarads improving the general knowledge basis on the promotion of the CE in cities by presenting the experiences and main lessons learnt by cities at the forefront of the CE agenda.

Circular Economy in Cities: Evolving the model for a sustainable urban future

Circular Economy in Cities

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Author: 
World Economic Forum
Publication Date: 
03/2018
Country: 
Switzerland

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The World Economic Forum’s Future of Urban Development and Services Initiative has released its new White Paper on the Circular Economy in Cities: evolving the model for a sustainable urban future.

This White Paper traces the conceptual underpinnings of the Circular Economy, and explains why cities are key to accelerating the transition away from the traditional ‘take-make-dispose’ model. It draws on examples from cities around the world in areas that include: channelling used building materials to new building sites, water harvesting and reuse, reducing energy use, electronic waste, healthcare and procurement. It explains the opportunities in the Circular Economy for all stakeholders and the ways in which they can work together at city level.

Regulatory barriers for the circular economy

Regulatory Barriers for CE cover page

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Author: 
Technopolis Group, Fraunhofer ISI, Wuppertal Institute, thinkstep
Publication Date: 
11/2016
Country: 
Germany

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This report, commissioned by DG GROW and prepard by Technopolis and Franhofer ISI, identified major obstacles of regulatory nature or gaps within the existing legal framework where significant unlocked opportunities remain. The study includes an in-depth analysis of the identified obstacles and possible solutions through specific cases.

The analysis of specific regulatory barriers includes the full product lifecycle and focuses on the interfaces between different steps of the value chain (extraction/production, production/production internal loops, production/use, collection, waste-management/recycling/production). Barriers can be categorised within these 3 themes:

  • Several case studies identified regulatory barriers often related to lacking legislation that would allow the collection and pre-treatment of homogenous waste streams.
  • The second type of barrier refers to legislation that hinders the use of recycled materials in production processes
  • The third type of barrier is related to the lack of concrete and enforceable product requirements.

The analysis also highlights a variety of different generic types of barriers: in many cases waste legislation focuses on quantities (weight based collection or recycling targets) and not so much on the qualities of recycled materials. Inconsistencies between existing regulations, e.g. related to REACH or End-of-Waste criteria, have also been mentioned in a variety of case studies.

The study concludes that in general, high-quality recycling is definitely not prevented by regulatory obstacles, but by lacking or unclear legislation. Prime examples are End-of-Waste criteria or quality standards for secondary raw materials that create legal uncertainties for the industry that make it rational to continue to focus on primary raw material input.

Models of circular business ecosystem for textiles

Model of circular business ecosystem for textiles

Diagram of circular business ecosystem for textiles

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Author: 
Paula Fontell, Pirjo Heikkila
Publication Date: 
11/2017
Country: 
Finland

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Contact: 
Paula Fontell

The Relooping Fashion Initiative (2015-2017) was aimed at piloting and modelling the circular business ecosystem for textiles. This report covers the business ecosystem modelling work and introduces the project team’s crystallized vision of a higher-level system that enables the textiles industry to operate according to the basic principles of a circular economy. 

The focus of the report is on explaining the principles of a circular economy in the context of textiles, and drawing a picture of the key material flows and types of actors along the value cycles from end-user back to end-user. The overall goal is to maintain the value of materials as high as possible, with minimum environmental impact. The different circular business models for textiles are introduced along the value cycles. The report covers 1) repair and maintenance, 2) re-use as product, 3) re-use as material, and 4) recycling-related activities, and business models for post-consumer/user textiles along the entire value chain.

All these processes need to work seamlessly together for the circular business ecosystem to function effectively. New recycling technologies are crucial to solving the global textile waste problem, and to be able to replace some of the virgin materials such as cotton with recycled textile materials. The report also discusses the topic of shared value creation in the circular economy context.

The circular economy and the bioeconomy — Partners in sustainability

The circular economy and the bioeconomy — Partners in sustainability

EEA circular and bioeconomy report cover page

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Author: 
European Environmental Agency
Publication Date: 
08/2018
Country: 
Denmark

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'The circular economy and the bioeconomy — Partners in sustainability' is the third EEA report on the circular economy. It aims to support the framing, implementation and evaluation of European circular economy policy from an environmental perspective. It shows that the two policy agendas have similar objectives and areas of intervention, including food waste, biomass and bio-based products, and that they would benefit from stronger links, particularly in product and infrastructure design, and collaboration throughout the value chain.

The increasing demand for food, feed, biomaterials and bioenergy resources could worsen the over-exploitation of natural resources. By extending the lifetime of products and recycling materials, a circular, bio-economy approach can help retain material value and functionality for longer time as well as avoid unrecycled biowaste.

Promising innovations and strategies for circular biomass use include biorefinery, 3D printing with bioplastics, multi-purpose crops, better use of residues and food waste, and biowaste treatment. Consumers can also contribute by eating less animal-based protein, preventing food waste and separating biowaste from other waste streams.

Implementing the circular and bio-economy in tandem, by applying specific design principles within a systemic approach, would improve resource efficiency and reduce environmental pressures.

 

Circular Economy opportunities in the furniture sector

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Author: 
EEB, Eunomia
Publication Date: 
09/2017
Country: 
Belgium

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Contact: 
Stephane Arditi

This EEB and Eunomia report estimates the material consumption and CO2 emissions of the furniture sector at EU level and suggests some circular scenarios and policy options to grasp improvement opportunities.

Around a quarter of the world’s furniture is manufactured within the European Union – representing a €84 billion market that equates to an EU28 consumption of ~10.5 million tonnes of furniture per annum while employing approximately 1 million European workers and consisting of, predominantly, SMEs.

Businesses and consumers discard 10 million tonnes of furniture in EU Member States each year, the majority of which is destined for either landfill or incineration. There is minimal activity in higher-value circular resource flows, with remanufacturing accounting for less than 2% of the EU manufacturing turnover. In terms of furniture in particular, whilst reuse is common this tends to be on a small scale and with local social goals in mind.

Barriers to a circular furniture sector range from low quality materials, limited logistical infrastructure, poor demand for recycled materials to a wider range identified through the course of this research, informed through stakeholder consultation and literature review.

A move towards circular economy models within the European furniture sector would benefit from a variety of complimentary policy instruments to deal with market failures on the supply side (i.e. ensuring return of items and creating durable, refurbished and remanufactured items) and the demand side (creating demand for these products). The report concludes by estimating the impacts on additional tonnes reused & recycled, net carbon reduction and job creation these policy options might have separately. 

Various policy instruments thus have the potential to help overcoming the main barriers, with a need to address both supply side and demand side issues to provide both the market push and pull required. The logic suggests that a mandatory but simple Extended Producer Responsibility system, with gradually increasing targets for ‘preparing for reuse’ and separate recycling targets, would provide the most certainty in terms of positive outcomes.

 

 

Implementing Circular Economy globally makes Paris targets achievable

Implementing Circular Economy globally makes Paris targets achievable

Paris targets achievable title page

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Author: 
ECOFYS, Circle Economy
Publication Date: 
06/2016
Country: 
Netherlands

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Contact: 
Cornelis Blok
Preeti Srivastav

The climate conference in Paris has produced a landmark agreement. The emission reduction commitments made by 195 countries are a leap forward, but not yet sufficient to stay on a 2 °C trajectory, let alone a 1.5 °C pathway. Current commitments address only half the gap between business as usual and the 1.5 °C pathway. There is still a reduction of about 15 billion tonnes CO2e needed to reach the 1.5 °C target. Further solutions are therefore needed; solutions that go beyond decarbonising our energy system. This white paper by Ecofys and Circle Economy looks into the contribution a global circular economy could presumably make to bridging the emissions gap.

Since over half of the worldwide greenhouse gas emissions are associated with producing basic materials, there is a clear role for circular economy strategies in reducing this gap. To do this, the circular economy describes a practical and scalable landscape of opportunities by moving towards business models for an economy that is by design regenerative and as waste free as possible. Strategies at the heart of the circular economy include measures to reduce the input of virgin materials, improve the use of existing assets and reduce the output of waste. Circular economy strategies related to materials are: recovery and reuse, lifetime extension, sharing and service models, circular design and digital platforms.

Employment and the circular economy: Job creation in a more resource efficient Britain

Employment and the circular economy: Job creation in a more resource efficient Britain

Britain employment in CE report title page

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Author: 
WRAP, Green Alliance
Publication Date: 
12/2015
Country: 
United Kingdom

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Britain faces huge economic challenges in its use of labour and scarce natural resources. Although unemployment is now falling, the risk of being out of work is higher in some regions and for some types of occupations. While Britain has significantly increased its resource efficiency in recent years, supply risks in an increasingly competitive global economy mean that we need to get better at using natural resources. A new research study, undertaken jointly by WRAP and the Green Alliance, shows that these challenges are linked: improving our resource efficiency can make a valuable contribution to improving Britain’s labour market situation.

One route to improving resource efficiency is to develop a circular economy. This involves keeping products and resources in use for as long as possible through recovery, reuse, repair, remanufacturing and recycling. In addition to protecting the environment, this potentially offers substantial economic benefits. These include greater economic stability through increased resource security and new business and employment opportunities from an expanding industrial sector. This study focuses on the second aspect and identifies the scope for the growth of the circular economy to offer new jobs.

The study finds that regions where unemployment is higher, such as the North East and the West Midlands, could see the greatest impact on job creation, especially among low to mid-skilled occupations where job losses are projected for the future.

The study finds that if we stay on the current development path for the circular economy in Britain, then by 2030 the sector could:

  • require an extra 205,000 jobs;
  • reduce unemployment by around 54,000; and
  • offset 11% of future losses in skilled employment.

Alternatively, under a transformational scenario where there was a more extensive expansion of circular economy activities, by 2030 the sector could create over half a million jobs, reduce unemployment by over 100,000 and potentially offset around 18% of the expected future losses in skilled employment.

Circular Jobs: Understanding Employment in the Circular Economy in the Netherlands

Circular Jobs: Understanding employment in the Circular Economy in the Netherlands

circular jobs title page

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Author: 
Circle Economy, EHero
Publication Date: 
03/2017
Country: 
Netherlands

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Contact: 
Harald Friedl

To ensure that policymakers and governments know how and where to implement the circular economy effectively, there is a great need for practical tools to measure it.

Aimed at defining, identifying and quantifying employment opportunities that are needed in the circular economy, Circle Economy and the Erasmus Research Institute for Happiness Economics (Ehero) have developed a standardised and replicable methodology that measures circular employment in cities around the world. This opens up the possibility of monitoring circular employment and therefore empowers cities and governments to effectively invest in the jobs of the future.

The initial findings of this joint research show that 8.1% of all jobs in the Netherlands are currently circular. Once identified, the circular jobs were categorised according to the seven key elements of the circular economy, showing that a large majority are focused on ‘incorporating digital technology’ and ‘preserving and extending what’s already made’. In the past fifteen years, activities that involve ‘repair & maintenance‘ have remained stable in numbers, with the ‘incorporation of digital technologies’ becoming an up and coming job provider. This points to the importance of knowledge-intensive industries and innovation within the Dutch economy.  

Breaking the Barriers to the Circular Economy

Deloitte UU white paper title page

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Author: 
Deloitte, Utrecht University
Publication Date: 
10/2017
Country: 
Netherlands

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Contact: 
Julian Kirchherr

The Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, the Netherlands and Deloitte have jointly carried out research on barriers to the Circular Economy (CE) in the European Union. For this research, a survey with 153 businesses, 55 government officials and expert interviews with forty-seven thought leaders on the circular economy from businesses, governments, academia and NGOs have been carried out. Two types of barriers emerged as main barriers.

Firstly, there are the cultural barriers of lacking consumer interest and awareness as well as a hesitant company culture. This finding is at odds with claims that the circular economy concept is hyped; rather, the concept may be a niche discussion among sustainable development professionals.

Secondly, market barriers emerged as a core category of barriers, particularly low virgin material prices and high upfront investments costs for circular business models.

Government intervention might be needed to overcome the market barriers which then may also help to overcome cultural barriers. Cultural barriers do also need to be overcome by circular start-ups. And, even though there is still no circular startup that has made global headlines, this may change soon.

Indicators for a Circular Economy

Indicators for a Circular Economy - Cover

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Author: 
Vercalsteren An, Christis Maarten, Van Hoof Veronique
Publication Date: 
06/2018
Country: 
Belgium

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Contact: 
An Vercalsteren

This short term assignment for Circular Flanders aims to provide an inventory of indicators that are relevant to monitor the transition to a circular economy and to measure the effects of new policy and trends. The inventory of indicators is based on scoreboards and monitoring frameworks developed by the EU and reports by JRC and EEA. This list is supplemented with indicators known by the authors and a literature search, representing a first step towards the development of a circular economy index.

The scope of indicators varies largely, e.g. material flow indicators can focus on global figures, but also on a specific substance content in a component. In this study we distinguish between macro, meso and micro level indicators. An extensive list of indicators discussed in literature and related to the circular economy is developed, of which a selection is discussed more in detail in fact sheets. The fact sheets report different aspects of the indicator: definition and scope, data availability, level of detail, future developments, links to circular economy and the availability of a benchmark (policy targets, …). Indicators related to the circular economy can be classified according to different criteria.

To have a visual overview of some important characteristics of the indicators assessed in this study, they are classified on 3 axes that represent different criteria:

  1. Micro, meso, macro level
  2. CE strategies
  3. Technology versus socio institutional

The study shows that lack of data (from macro to micro) and time and effort constraints (from micro to macro) are key barriers to link indicators on a macro/meso level on the one hand with indicators on a micro level on the other hand. Another observation is that existing indicators focus primarily on physical parameters, like kilograms, that are more technology-related. Indicators focusing on socio-institutional aspects are less well-defined and less frequently included in monitoring frameworks. The same applies for high-level circularity strategies. Very few indicators capture the effect of strategies that relate to smarter product use & manufacture and extending the life span of products. A transition to a circular economy may not be looked at from a material perspective only, but should include also other environmental impacts such as climate change. Indicators monitoring environmental impacts exist already and can easily be combined and integrated in a set of indicators for monitoring the circular economy.

With respect to future monitoring of developments of circularity indicators, several initiatives are ongoing on a European level to define a set of indicators that are useful for monitoring the circular economy, based on existing indicators. In parallel, researchers are working on the definition and methodology development of additional indicators that focus on aspects particular to the circular economy that are not yet captured by existing indicators, like reuse and remanufacturing strategies.

Circular Economy: what we WANT to know and CAN measure

title page of pbl report on measuring circular economy

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Author: 
Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, Statistics Netherlands, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment
Publication Date: 
01/2018
Country: 
Netherlands

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Contact: 
Jose Potting

The Dutch Government has outlined its plans for the transition to a circular economy in the government-wide circular economy policy programme, entitled ‘A circular economy in the Netherlands by 2050’. A monitoring system is required to determine whether this transition is progressing as planned, a proposal for which is made in this report. This monitoring system will document ‘what we want to know, and what we can already measure’ (the latter being the baseline assessment).

In the monitoring system, a distinction is made between the desired effects and the transition process that needs to take place to bring about these effects. The most important desired effect of the transition to a circular economy is a reduced consumption of natural resources. This will result in fewer environmental effects (e.g. due to greenhouse gas emissions) and reduce our dependence on natural resource imports, and therefore increase resources supply security. Reducing natural resource consumption requires circularity strategies, for example by extending the lifetime of products and product components, such as for smartphones, or through encouraging the sharing of certain products, such as cars. This will call for efforts to ensure that such circularity strategies are adopted, for example by encouraging cooperation between product chain partners, removing regulatory barriers and designing circular products. This is a complex and, initially, slow process. Furthermore, it will take a while before the effects can be seen. Monitoring of both the transition process and its effects, therefore, is relevant.

In this report, we propose indicators for monitoring both the transition process and the effects achieved. We are already able to monitor the effects to some extent, in particular the effects of natural resource consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and waste and waste treatment. These effects are being monitored for the Netherlands as a whole and for the five priority themes of the government-wide programme: biomass and food, plastics, manufacturing, construction, and consumer goods. Transition teams have been appointed for each priority theme and have each drawn up a transition agenda (published at the same time as this report).

Not all the indicators proposed in the monitoring system can currently be measured; this applies in particular to those relating to the transition process. The monitoring system described in this report should therefore be regarded as a growth model. The aim is to develop the monitoring system further in the coming years, together with other knowledge institutes and partners involved in the five transition agendas.

Moving in circles: Logistics as key enabler for a circular economy

Moving in circles: Logistics as key enabler for a circular economy

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Author: 
Verena Fennemann, Christian Hohaus, Jan-Philip Kopka
Publication Date: 
07/2018
Country: 
Germany

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The principle of Circular Economy is to keep raw materials within the economic cycle as long as possible while generating the lowest possible amount of waste and emission. To do so, end-of-life products and materials must be kept at the highest possible level of value creation according to their original use. Adapted logistical concepts to coordinate both material and information flows - in addition to innovative business models and new approaches to product design for recycling - are necessary to realise circularity in the economy.

The megatrend of digitalisation, especially through Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things, offers solutions that have not yet been applied extensively. Possible disadvantages of rebound effects due to Circular Economy and increased demand for resources caused by the deployment of digital technologies must also be taken into consideration. Due to its strong integration into the processes of production, there is scope for digitised management of resource and waste logistics to make a substantial contribution to a sustainable economy

The white paper discusses the various dimension of logistics that support the Circular Economy transition by reflecting upon the following trends: atomisation of shipments, information logistics and data sovereignty, new manufacturing technologies, autonomous systems in Industry 4.0 and Social Networked Industry. Uses cases are developed for each of these trends, whose respective impacts on respectively producers, consumers, recycling businesses and the environment are also analysed.

Further scenario analysis for both a gradual and radical transition to Circular Economy shows the differing impact these trends might have in varying intensity on manufacturing, logistics and recycling. The white paper concludes that logistics is crucial in all levels of the transition to a circular economy, as it forms the core of transporting goods, transferring information in self-organising supply chain networks and developing new business models. 

Social Circular Economy: Opportunities for People, Planet and Profit

Social Circular Economy Report cover

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Author: 
Social Circular Economy, Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, The Frank Jackson Foundation
Publication Date: 
07/2018
Country: 
United Kingdom

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Is the current circular economy paradigm enough? Will it get us to a fairer society and flourishing planet? Will it allow us to meet the UN's Sustainable Development Goals? Perhaps not. There could be a different way: by combining social enterprise and circular economy (= social circular economy), to deliver benefits to people, planet and profit.

​The Social Circular Economy report provides insights from our engagement with 30+ organisations from around the world that are using the value creating approaches of the circular economy to deliver environmental, societal and economic benefits. From a recycling hub supporting a disability rehabilitation centre to corporate uniform repurposing with women's collectives, there are organisations innovating business models and processes to do business better and help meet UN Sustainable Development Goals. This report covers:

  • What is the social circular economy?
  • What are the themes across social circular enterprises?
  • What are examples of these organisations?
  • How can you or your organisation participate?

Impacts of the circular economy policies on labour market

Impacts of circular economy policies on the labour market

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Author: 
ICF, Trinomics, Cambridge Econometrics
Publication Date: 
05/2018
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Juan Perez Lorenzo

How does a transition to a more circular economy affect jobs and skills demand in Europe?

This report looked at trends of circular economy activities across different sectors and quantified these activities as modelling inputs to provide employment changes for different sectors. The analysis also provides estimates of the occupational shifts and skills requirements that a shift to a more circular economy could entail.

The aim of this report is to develop an understanding of how a transition towards a more circular and resource efficient economy in Europe will affect labour markets across the Member States. Our analysis is the most comprehensive quantification of the EU jobs impacts from the circular economy to date. By using a fully integrated energy-environment-economy model (E3ME), our analysis considers both direct job losses and job creations that result from a shift to a more circular economy. It also captures indirect, induced and rebound impacts from interactions between sectors, Member States, and between economic, environment, material, energy and labour market indicators.

Our findings suggest that the EU is on the right track by making the circular economy a policy priority as circular economy policies will contribute to reducing negative environmental impacts, while simultaneously contributing to higher employment levels. By moving towards a more circular economy, GDP in the EU increases by almost 0.5% by 2030 compared to the baseline case. The net increase in jobs is approximately 700,000 compared to the baseline through additional labour demand from recycling plants, repair services and rebounds in consumer demand from savings generated through collaborative actions Although the magnitude of job creation is driven by our assumption of the rate of circular economy uptake in the scenarios, our analysis confirms that it is possible to become more resource efficient and increase employment at the same time.

Financement de l’économie circulaire

FDEC title page

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Author: 
Service public fédéral Economie, P.M.E., Classes moyennes et Energie
Publication Date: 
06/2018
Country: 
Belgium

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Contact: 
Sophie Cheron

Ce document est une synthèse des échanges qui ont eu lieu lors du séminaire « Financement de l’économie circulaire » organisé par le SPF Economie le 6 juin 2017 et réunissant les différents intervenants du secteur public et bancaire ainsi que des entrepreneurs de l’économie circulaire.

Il présente brièvement le concept de l’économie circulaire avant de développer les solutions de financement public et privé. Il souligne également les difficultés de financement auxquelles les entreprises et les banques sont confrontées.

Enfin, en comparant les initiatives belges en matière d’économie circulaire avec celles des pays voisins, ce document montre le rôle que la Belgique joue en Europe dans l’émergence de ce nouveau système économique. Différents points d’attention sont repris sous une rubrique « recommandations » à la fin du document.

Ook verkrijgbaar in het Nederlands.

 

Cerrar el círculo: el business case de la economía circular

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Author: 
Elena Ruiz , Paula Ruiz
Publication Date: 
07/2018
Country: 
Spain

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Contact: 
Elena Ruiz
Paula Ruiz

"Cerrar el círculo: el business case de la economía circular" (Closing the loop: the business case for a circular economy) is a report authored in 2018 by Foretica, which shows the latest trends in circular economy, a practical roadmap to guide companies towards a circular mindset as well as best practices from 9 companies that are leading the transition towards a circular economy in Spain.

Forética is a multi-stakeholder non-profit organisation working to promoting ethical and socially responsible policies at the core of institutional and corporate values. In 2017, Foretica launched the Circular Economy Action Group with 9 leading companies: Ecoembes, Endesa, Naturgy, IKEA Ibérica, ING, LafargeHolcim, Nestlé, OHL and Unilever.

Guia sobre Economia Circular i Verda al món local

Guide to Circular and Green Economy in the local world: How to get into action and tools for local entities

Guide to Circular and Green Economy in the local world: How to get into action and tools for local entities.

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Author: 
Xarxa de Ciutats i Pobles cap a la Sostenibilitat (Network for Cities and Towns towards Sustainability in Catalonia (Spain))
Publication Date: 
06/2018
Country: 
Spain

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The "Guide to Circular and Green Economy in the local world" was published as part of the 2016-2019 Business and Green Economy Economy Plan for Local authorities promoted by the Network of Cities and Peoples towards Sustainability. This guide is based on the experience of its authors as well as municipalities participating in the Workshops organised as part of the same Plan collaboration of the Generalitat of Catalonia. The respective contributions of the Business and Green Economy Plan working group channel important challenges and successes in promoting the circular economy by local authorites throughout this document.

The aim of the guide is to disseminate the circular economy concept and provide acitonable suggestions to local authorities (politicians, civil servants) in order to promote circular economy at different levels of governance, where the scope is both mainstreaming within public administration as well as private sector buy-in.

The guide first presents the concept of circular economy, strategies for implementation and the local authorities can play in this transition. The second part presents the steps a local entity can follow to define a strategy to boost the circular and green economy in its area. The guide also includes a workbook that with tools and materials to put into practice such a strategy and facilitate the transition to a circular economy.

Waste prevention in Europe - policies, status and trends in reuse in 2017

Waste prevention in Europe - policies, status and trends in reuse in 2017

Cover EEA report 4 2018

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Author: 
Henning Wilts, Bettina Bahn-Walkowiak, Ybele Hoogeveen
Publication Date: 
06/2018
Country: 
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, EU, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom

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Contact: 
Ybele Hoogeveen

This is the fourth EEA report in a series of annual reviews of waste prevention programmes in Europe as stipulated in the European Union (EU) Waste Framework Directive.

This review focuses on reuse and covers 33 national and regional waste prevention programmes that had been adopted by the end of 2017.

Article 11 of the Waste Framework Directive states that Member States should take appropriate measures to promote reuse and preparing for reuse such as encouraging the establishment and support of reuse and repair networks. The report describes how reuse is addressed in the waste prevention programmes and provides data on the status of and trends in reuse systems in Europe. Chapter 1 introduces the concept of waste prevention in a circular economy and describes the policy background. It explains the review's approach and defines key terms used. Chapter 2 investigates the existing waste prevention programmes, looking at their scope and reuse objectives, measures and indicators, as well as the sectors and stakeholders addressed. Chapter 3 examines the status of and potential for reuse for key product groups (i.e. textiles, electrical and electronic equipment, furniture, vehicles, and buildings and building components). Chapter 4 concludes with key findings and prospects for reuse in the context of the circular economy agenda.

The circular economy – a powerful force for climate mitigation

The circular economy – a powerful force for climate mitigation

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

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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

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

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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

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

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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.

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