You are here

Study

Circular economy, ecosystems an biodiversity - Towards a joint approach

Circular economy, ecosystems and biodiversity - Towards a joint approach

Circular economy, ecosystems an biodiversity - Towards a joint approach

Type:

Author: 
Amélie Vaz, Head of studies and prospective, INEC
Publication Date: 
09/2021
Country: 
France

Language for original content:

Given the need to take biodiversity more into account in circular economy projects, this study aims to stress the links between the two and to clarify the role played by the circular economy in preserving ecosystems.

Several guiding circular economy principles contribute to reducing the impacts of our activities on ecosystems, such as non-toxicity, optimisation of resource management, promotion of renewable resources and looping of flows. The study also highlights the fact that each lever for implementing the circular economy can and should factor in biodiversity: land-use planning, normative framework, innovation, awareness raising and training, and economic support.

Study on circular economy principles for buildings’ design

Study on circular economy principles for buildings' design: Final Report

EC
Author: 
Deloitte, Building Research Establishment, In Extenso Innovation Croissance, Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (European Commission)
Publication Date: 
07/2021
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

This study aims to assist the European Commission to identify policy options that support the uptake of circular economy principles for buildings’ design in European, national and local policies.

The goal is:

  • to increase the service life of buildings
  • to facilitate the use of secondary materials and
  • to improve resource efficiency across the building life cycle.

The study also provides key insights and recommendations on actions for a roadmap supporting the uptake and implementation of circular economy principles for buildings’ design.

TOP 10 Circular Materials by mass - Market study

Top 10 Circular Materials by mass - Market study

Top 10 Circular Materials by mass

Type:

Author: 
Eveline Lemke, Charlene Nessel
Publication Date: 
06/2021
Country: 
Germany

Language for original content:

Key Area:

Scope:

Every year, about 100 billion tons of material are taken from the planet - but only 10 billion are circularized. The results of the TOP 10 study clearly highlight the differences between the systems: the waste culture and concepts are different in the Global North and the Global South, as are the objectives of the respective legislations.

In the Global North, the goal is to decouple waste generation from consumption. In the Global South, waste increases with per capita income; here, the old consumption patterns and images of the rich Global North are often emulated. 

Scorecards are used in the study to assess individual materials and their circular maturity in the region. The overall score is shown in the summary per material.

Promotion of the circular economy in the Hotel Industry in Cyprus and Greece – Preliminary assessment of the current status of circular economy

Promotion of Circular Economy in the hotel industry in Cyprus and Greece

Hotels4Climate
Author: 
Cyprus Federation of Employers & Industrialists (OEB), Institute of Greek Tourism Confederation (INSETE), Public Policy Consultancy adelphi
Publication Date: 
12/2020
Country: 
Cyprus

Language for original content:

Antri Constantinou Contact details

This report is published by the Cyprus Federation of Employers & Industrialists (OEB), the Institute of Greek Tourism Confederation (INSETE) and the public policy consultancy adelphi (Germany) as part of the European project Hotels4Climate financed by EUKI.

The report aims to assess the current state of circularity in the hotel industry in Cyprus and Greece by conducting national surveys in both countries targeting hotels in order to:

  • identify the priority sectors within the main services offered by hotels, the business challenges and opportunities to move to circular economy,
  • create successful, flexible and resilient circular business models, and
  • identify a number of internal and external barriers that raise obstacles to the transition to circular economy.

Les Partenariats, socle de l'économie circulaire

Partnerships are a cornerstone of successful circular economy initiatives, shows EpE report

Partenariats image
Author: 
Entreprises pour l'Environnement (EpE)
Publication Date: 
06/2021
Country: 
EU, France

Language for original content:

Sector:

The circular economy is an alternative to the dominant economic model, which causes considerable damage to the environment as it is based on the linear use of resources.

The development of the circular economy has been hindered by a number of economic, technological and regulatory constraints.

EpE's natural resources commission has spent three years identifying what makes circular economy initiatives successful. An analysis of 27 circular economy initiatives carried out by companies shows that partnerships are one key to overcoming these constraints. A closer examination of these partnerships sheds light on various forms of governance.

Rewarding recycling: Learnings from the world’s highest-performing deposit return systems

Rewarding recycling

Type:

Author: 
TOMRA
Publication Date: 
02/2021
Country: 
Germany, Other (Norway)

Language for original content:

Scope:

An increasing number of countries consider implementing a deposit return system for single-use beverage containers to address today’s challenges, i.e.:

  1. meeting new waste recovery targets,
  2. ending littering and
  3. moving towards a circular economy.

TOMRA shares lessons learnt from its 45+ years’ experience of innovating and managing deposit return systems globally in a new white paper including:

  • outcomes of effective deposit return systems
  • 4 key principles and 12 elements of high-performing deposit return systems
  • dozens of case studies on real-world implementation of deposit return policy.

The white paper seeks to contribute to an educated discussion on recycling best practice – including what can be learnt from the past and what the future may look like.

Sălacea Romania: Going from 0 to 40% waste recycling rate within 3 months

Case study Salacea

Type:

Author: 
Zero Waste Europe
Publication Date: 
09/2019
Country: 
Romania

Language for original content:

Romania’s recycling rate of 13% is one of the lowest in the EU with most waste going to landfill. The publication explains how the city of Sălacea, in the north-west of Romania, not only managed to quickly rise from almost no waste recycling to 40% in 3 months, but also how the community reduced its overall waste by 55%.

The case study also explains how political will, commitment from local waste operators and involvement of the community were key to the success of the strategy. The municipality introduced door-to-door household separate collection for 5 types of waste (paper and cardboard, plastic and metal, glass, bio-waste, residual waste) and implemented a four-week education programme with citizens before changing the collection infrastructure.

Study on Circular Economy developments in the GCC region and opportunities for collaboration with the European Union

Study on Circular Economy developments in the GCC region and opportunities for collaboration with the European Union

EEAS logo

Type:

Author: 
CEPS: Noriko Fujiwara, Vasileios Rizos, Jorge Núñez Ferrer
Publication Date: 
04/2021
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

This study explores developments in the field of the circular economy in the Arab States of the Gulf region to identify areas where the EU and the GCC countries can strengthen their collaboration. Focusing on two GCC countries with recent policy developments in this area: Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the study first examines the current framework conditions that would shape prospects for a circular economy and then explores emerging business opportunities.

The research concludes that there are three main areas where the EU and GCC countries could further collaborate on the circular economy:

  1. infrastructure development
  2. regulatory enforcement, and
  3. funding mechanisms.

The report was first published on the European External Action Service’s website.

Global Circular Material: The BIG 5 – and their story behind

Global Circular Material: The BIG 5 - and their story behind

Global circular material

Type:

Author: 
Eveline Lemke, Charlene Nessel
Publication Date: 
06/2021
Country: 
Germany

Language for original content:

Key Area:

Scope:

The circular economy offers new answers to the question of how 9 billion people can survive on this planet, accepting that there are planetary boundaries and climate change is ongoing.

The aim of this study is to identify drivers of the big five globally largest material flows by mass - ferrous metals, aluminium, paper, glass, asphalt - from a circular perspective and to understand the story behind them.

The focus is on what the development of the BIG 5 tells us about intentions, because this will also reveal the unintended. 

This study might inspire industrial managers to take the right decision and pave the pathways to a circular society that is just, balances out social and ecological needs and will provide a solid ground for survival of mankind on planet earth.
 

Circular construction and renovation - Actions and recommendations to the Federal government for accelerating the circular economy in construction

Circular construction and renovation

Photo Romnée A.
Author: 
Federal Council for Sustainable Development (FRDO-CFDD)
Publication Date: 
11/2020
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

The final study report on Circular construction and renovation - Actions and recommendations to the Federal government for accelerating the circular economy in construction proposes actions to be taken by Belgium's federal government (and thus the regional levels as well), with a view to accelerating renovation and circular construction with respect to building materials.

More specifically, the study aims to identify relevant instruments, obstacles and measures which are either needed or already underway, and to issue general recommendations for the federal authorities. The study does not address ways to put these measures into effect or possible changes in the instruments.

A circular economy for plastics: Let's turn challenges into opportunities

A circular economy for plastics: Let's turn challenges into opportunities

NL branding

Type:

Author: 
Anna Schwarz, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, Rob de Ruiter, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, Esther Zondervan, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, Freek van Eijk, Holland Circular Hotspot, Lia Huybrechts, Holland Circular Hotspot
Publication Date: 
04/2021
Country: 
Netherlands

Language for original content:

Energy efficient bubbles, solar-powered interceptors, new business and design models, smart collection solutions, high-tech and fully automated sorting practices and chemical recycling technologies: the Dutch initiative provides inspiration and innovation insights linked to a circular economy for global application. Only by international collaboration will we achieve sizeable success as the plastics value chain spans the globe.

With this brochure, Holland Circular Hotspot and TNO bring their insights to the international level and share best practices with the hope that it will inspire everyone around the world to take action and kickstart circular development.

Growth-positive zero-emission pathways to 2050

Sitra studies 185

Type:

Author: 
Paul Drummond, Daniel Scamman, Paul Ekins (UCL), Leonidas Paroussos (E3-Modelling), Ilkka Keppo (UCL and Aalto University)
Publication Date: 
04/2021
Country: 
Finland

Language for original content:

Sitra commissioned this study to investigate whether and under what assumptions and policy measures the decoupling of CO2 emissions from economic growth could occur at a sufficient rate for CO2 emissions to decline to net zero by 2050. The analyses were carried out on a global level.

The results of this study show that deep CO2 emission cuts in line with the 1.5 °C target and positive GDP growth can occur at the same time.

A natural next step would be to analyse in detail the decoupling of other harmful environmental impacts from economic growth. For example, a global shift to more circular business models could reduce CO2 emissions and help cut the use of materials and natural resources while maintaining economic growth.

The winning recipe for a circular economy

Sitra publication

Type:

Author: 
Maria Hughes, Reetta Kohonen, Antti Lehtinen, Anu Mänty and Mika Sulkinoja (Sitra), Lauri Byckling, Nina Ahola, Ella Tolonen, Nicolas Dolce, Miikka Simanainen (Deloitte Finland), Olivier Jan, Pierrick Drapeau, Andreas Mitsios, Khai Linh Lhomme, Laura Plamondon (Deloitte France), Akira Kato, Arisa Fukuoka (Deloitte Japan), Joe Solly, Jillian Rodak, Tamara Luisce (Deloitte Canada)
Publication Date: 
04/2021
Country: 
Finland

Language for original content:

The study The winning recipe for a circular economy by Sitra set out to find diverse circular economy solutions that are viable and scalable, that drive systemic circularity, and that have exceptionally positive environmental and social impacts. Over 200 organisations around the world submitted their solutions for consideration.

The study presents 39 outstanding examples of circular economy solutions that are closing material loops and driving the circular transition while being very relevant to their own environment. These solutions demonstrate the benefits of circular business operations and how different organisations across society can use circular thinking to improve the value of their business and progress towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Analysis of the European Crude Tall Oil Industry

HARRPA logo

Type:

Author: 
Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT
Publication Date: 
01/2018
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Crude Tall Oil (CTO) is obtained from the wood pulping industry. Tall (from the Swedish word for pine) oil soap is collected from paper mills and then acidulated to make crude tall oil which is a mixture of fatty acids, rosin acids and other neutral materials.

CTO is a renewable material with great potential, high added value and extremely low carbon emissions. CTO can be further refined by fractionation, which separates it into tall oil fatty acids, tall oil rosins, distilled tall oil, pitch and heads.

CTO derivatives can be used in several sectors, such as animal feed and asphalt recycling, as well as for paints, lubricants, glues and road marking agents. CTO is not yet a widespread practice and could be further explored in the EU.

Ecolabel potentials of Sharing Economy Services in the Nordics

A Nordic study on the potential of ecolabels for the sharing economy

Nordic co-operation logo

Type:

Author: 
Mathias Vang Vestergaard, Jesper Minor and Dilek Turan, Minor Change Group
Publication Date: 
02/2020
Country: 
Other (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland)

Language for original content:

Key Area:

The Nordic working group on Circular Economy and Nordic Swan Ecolabel have investigated the potential for developing ecolabels for the growing sharing economy. Their findings are set out in a Study into the Potential Framework for Ecolabelling of Sharing Based Services in a Circular Economy Perspective.

The study examines sharing economy sectors and gives some recommendations:

  • a screening model has been developed which indicates which market/business models ecolabels should focus on in future;
  • ecolabels should adopt a medium broad definition of the sharing economy, divided into its three main groups: gig, peer-to-peer and access economy;
  • ecolabels should focus on the transport sector and the entertainment business.

Prevention of plastic waste in production and consumption by multi-actor partnerships

Prevention of plastic waste in production and consumption by multi-actor partnerships

PREVENT Waste Alliance

Type:

Author: 
Henning Wilts, Jennifer Schinkel, Lina Feder
Publication Date: 
03/2020
Country: 
Germany

Language for original content:

The study sheds light on the background of the prevention of plastic waste from packaging and disposable products by explaining the need for action, the environmental impacts and risks to human health.

Experiences of the members of the PREVENT Waste Alliance and their partners in the prevention of plastic waste by multi-actor partnerships are presented by means of 17 best practice examples.

Finally, the study gives recommendations for the reduction of plastic waste and the further work of the PREVENT Waste Alliance. These include success factors for waste prevention, necessary next steps and conclusions regarding the necessary political framework conditions.

Contributions to evaluate design investment in Portuguese agro-food industry

Circular design for circular economy

Composto organico

Type:

Author: 
Filipa Pias
Publication Date: 
05/2017
Country: 
Portugal

Language for original content:

How can design help the circular economy? Design is born from the need to find or adapt solutions to everyday problems.

Design is present throughout the value chain: production, location, distribution, transformation, transport, sales and user experience. Design can minimise the impact on the environment and simultaneously empower people in their habits and environmental preservation. This is done through shapes, materials, production processes, colours, legibility, concept and narratives that value what is systemic.

A design project starts by thinking about what you intend to achieve. A design collaboration (a dynamic of cause and effect) helps identify weaknesses and opportunities when it comes to adopting a circular design to each stage of the process.

Wskaźniki monitorowaniagospodarki o obiegu zamkniętymgospodarki o obiegu zamkniętymgospodarki o obiegu zamkniętym

Indicators for monitoring circular economy in Poland

Author: 
Joanna Kulczycka (editor)
Publication Date: 
10/2020
Country: 
Poland

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences

This is the second book published by the Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

It is a collection of contributions by different authors focusing on a proposal for indicators to monitor circular economy in Poland. A large part of the work consists in explaining that circular economy is more than just waste management.

The publication is in Polish, but abstracts of the different contributions are available in English at the end of the book (from page 203 onwards).

 

Fit for a circular future: Competitiveness & Innovation

White Paper #4 - Fit for a circular future: Competitiveness & Innovation

Fit for a circular future
Author: 
CT BETA, University of Vic – Central University of Catalonia (UVic - UCC), Fondazione Ecosistemi, Italy , Regional Council of Durrës, Albania, University Consortium for Industrial and Managerial Economics (CUEIM), Italy
Publication Date: 
09/2019
Country: 
Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom, Other (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro)

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Mercè Boy Roura

The fourth Thematic Working Group (TWG) set up by Interreg MED's Green Growth community implemented and assessed solutions to promote competitiveness and innovation of Mediterranean SMEs in a circular economy.

The TWG's White Paper addresses the following issues:

  • smart specialisation, public-private partnerships and innovative funding;
  • lack of effective clusters for companies and stakeholders to connect, work together and transfer innovations;
  • limited access of SMEs to tools, services and funds driving innovation;
  • limited consumer awareness and interest in “green” and “circular” products and services.

 

 

Zero Waste: problems become opportunities

Zero waste: problems become opportunities in Waste Prevention & Management - a White Paper by Interreg MED's Green Growth community

Zero Waste
Author: 
CT BETA, University of Vic – Central University of Catalonia, Fondazione Ecosistemi, Regional Council of Durrës, Albania, Dynamic Vision, Greece, University Consortium for Industrial and Managerial Economics (CUEIM), Italy
Publication Date: 
09/2019
Country: 
Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom, Other (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro)

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Mercè Boy Roura

The third of the four Thematic Working Groups created by the Interreg MED's Green Growth community addressed waste reduction, prevention and management.

This White Paper promotes solutions to reduce organic (livestock) and inorganic waste, and maps technologies, systems, and strategies for proper waste management. It illustrates issues - e.g. over-production/application of high-nitrogen slurry and manure and need to treat it, as well as lack of treatment of agrifood waste - and highlights the projects’ contributions to achieve full use of resources through their life cycle to create a circular economy.

Among the results: policy guidelines based on four Struvite Precipitation (SP) plants to stimulate innovation and set up a common legal framework for struvite as fertilizer.

White paper 2: Green smart public services

Promoting Green and Smart Public Services within Mediterranean Municipalities to move towards a Circular Economy: a White Paper by Interreg MED's Green Growth community

Towards Circular Towns and Cities
Author: 
CT BETA, University of Vic – Central University of Catalonia (UVic - UCC) , Fondazione Ecosistemi - Italy, Regional Council of Durrës - Albania, Dynamic Vision - Greece, University Consortium for Industrial and Managerial Economics (CUEIM) - Italy
Publication Date: 
09/2019
Country: 
Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom, Other (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro)

Language for original content:

Key Area:

Contact: 
Mercè Boy Roura

The second of four Thematic Working Groups created by the Interreg MED's Green Growth community was tasked with promoting green public procurement (GPP) by which public authorities seek to procure goods and services with reduced environmental impact throughout their life cycles.

This White Paper provides solutions for GPP and addresses issues linked to the lacking integration of sustainability and circular economy criteria in GPP and the provision of public services. It also highlights the need to develop the capacity of private actors to adopt eco-innovation and green energy in order to participate in green e-tenders.

The main objective is to examine public procurement in the context of long-term impacts, with specific attention paid to the role of public authorities.

Make More With Less: Enhancing Resource Efficiency in the Mediterranean Agro-food Sector and Cities for a Circular Economy

Make More With Less: Enhancing Resource Efficiency in the Mediterranean - a White Paper by Interreg MED's Green Growth community

Make More With Less
Author: 
BETA, University of Vic – Central University of Catalonia (UVic - UCC), Fondazione Ecosistemi, Regional Council of Durrës, Dynamic Vision, University Consortium for Industrial and Managerial Economics (CUEIM)
Publication Date: 
09/2019
Country: 
Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom, Other (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro)

Language for original content:

Key Area:

Contact: 
Mercè Boy Roura

The first of 4 Thematic Working Groups created by the Interreg MED's Green Growth community focused on Sustainable Consumption and Production by enhancing Resource Efficiency in the Mediterranean agrofood sector, as well as in urban areas through the implementation of the Smart City Concept.

The White Paper zooms in on the difficulties that companies face in:

  • measuring their environmental footprint and resource efficiency;
  • the use of low-cost, low-tech, labour-intensive and rudimentarily-equipped greenhouses;
  • the lack of energy efficiency and renovation of EU buildings.

It then presents the projects' solutions and the benefits of resource efficiency for the environment and the economy. The projects were monitored according to the EU CEAP's indicator framework.

Cutting greenhouse gas emissions through circular economy actions in the buildings sector

Briefing

Type:

Author: 
European Environment Agency
Publication Date: 
07/2020
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Key Area:

Scope:

The briefing highlights the key findings of the background report "The Decarbonisation Benefits of Sectoral Circular Economy Actions", produced for the European Environment Agency by Ramboll, Ecologic Institute and Fraunhofer ISI.

The key messages are the following:

  • Greater circularity and more efficient use of materials present new opportunities for further reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • A new methodology can help to identify which circular economy actions in each sector can make the most promising contributions to meeting targets to reduce emissions and to achieving climate neutrality in Europe.
  • In the buildings sector, selected circular economy actions can lead to reductions of up to 61 % in the materials-related greenhouse gases emitted across buildings’ life cycles.

The circular economy: Going digital

European Policy Centre

The European Policy Centre’s (EPC) Task Force called Digital Roadmap to Circular Economy has explored the linkages between digitalisation and circular economy, the opportunities created by data and digitally-enabled solutions, and the challenges associated with harnessing their full potential for the transition to a circular economy.

The project represents a pioneering endeavour in exploring the interconnections between the digital and green transformations and considers the implications for EU policymaking.

The final publication The circular economy: Going digital and its executive summary show that digitalisation can offer enormous possibilities for the transition to a more sustainable, circular economy but it is essential to steer it in the right direction.

INEC publishes a study on identifying major circular economy networks in Europe

Type:

Author: 
Institut National de l'Economie Circulaire, Orée
Publication Date: 
04/2020
Country: 
France

Language for original content:

Circular economy (CE) appears everywhere in Europe to be an adequate response to the challenges of resource scarcity. Driven by the development of the European CE Package, many initiatives to accelerate the transition are emerging, both on governmental and private levels, but they lack coordination.

In the wake of the new Circular Economy Action Plan published by the European Commission in March, the "Institut National de l'Economie Circulaire" (INEC) - member of the ECESP Coordination Group -  and Orée have co-authored a study identifying the major CE networks in Europe in order to strengthen the cooperation needed to achieve CE ambitions. By so doing they have pursued their common aim to develop and disseminate a vision of an inclusive and unifying CE.

Read the full study.

European Parliament Study on Sustainable Consumption and Consumer Protection Legislation

Type:

Author: 
Bert KEIRSBILCK, KU Leuven, Evelyne TERRYN, KU Leuven, Anaïs MICHEL, KU Leuven, Ivano ALOGNA, BIICL
Publication Date: 
04/2020
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies

How can sustainable consumption and longer lifetime of products be promoted through consumer protection legislation?

This in-depth analysis investigates the contribution, or lack of contribution, of the current EU consumer protection legislation to sustainable consumption and longer lifetime of products. In addition, it gives an overview of the most relevant best practices at national and international level and provides recommendations on the future development and possible reforms of European consumer protection legislation with a view to more sustainable consumption and longer lifetime of products.

This study was commissioned by the European Parliament Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO).

Promoting product longevity

Type:

Author: 
J. Scott MARCUS, Bruegel, Georg ZACHMANN, Bruegel, Stephen GARDNER, Bruegel, Simone TAGLIAPIETRA, Bruegel, Elissavet LYKOGIANNI, VVA
Publication Date: 
03/2020
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies

How can the EU product safety and compliance framework help promote product durability and tackle planned obsolescence, foster the production of more sustainable products, and achieve more transparent supply chains for consumers?

Product longevity can play a useful role in achieving the Paris Agreement goals – material efficiency is an important contributor to energy efficiency and is also important in its own right. The product safety and compliance instruments available at European level can contribute to these efforts, if wisely applied.

This study was commissioned by the European Parliament Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO).

Pages