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In this section you will find knowledge such as studies, reports, presentations and position papers….. all submitted by stakeholders.

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Tackling root causes - Halting biodiversity loss through the circular economy

Tackling root causes - Halting biodiversity loss through the circular economy

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Author: 
Tim Forslund, Ashley Gorst, Charlie Briggs, Deven Azevedo, Robin Smale
Publication Date: 
05/2022
Country: 
Finland

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Circular economy interventions in four key sectors can halt global biodiversity loss and help the world's biodiversity recover, finds this study.

Tackling root causes - Halting biodiversity loss through the circular economy, written by experts from Sitra and Vivid Economics, is the first to quantify the role a circular economy can play in tackling global biodiversity loss, targeting the four sectors with the largest impacts:

  • food and agriculture
  • construction
  • textiles
  • forest and forestry

Circular interventions in these sectors can halt biodiversity loss even if no other action is taken. And more than that, the study finds that the world’s biodiversity can recover to 2000 levels by 2035, if the circular interventions are implemented.

An International Agreement on Natural Resource Management - An overview of opportunities and challenges

An International Agreement on Natural Resource Management. An overview of the opportunities and challenges

An International Agreement on Natural Resource Management: An overview of the opportunities and challenges

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Author: 
Colette van der Ven, Founder & Director TULIP Consulting
Publication Date: 
02/2022
Country: 
Belgium

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Sector:

Urgent global action is required to address unsustainable material resource use. This report explores the possibility of, and analyses the implications associated with, developing an international agreement on the management of natural resources.

Why an international agreement?

An international agreement could support

  • incentivizing action on a global level
  • generate awareness to tackle the issue of resource management
  • solve the issue of uncoordinated actions at various regional and governance levels.

The report also looks at the extent to which Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), many of them including provisions relevant to developing circular solutions, cover natural resource management and could be leveraged to enhance resource efficiency.

The Circular Economy in Ireland

Ireland

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Author: 
OECD | Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities (CFE)
Publication Date: 
04/2022
Country: 
Ireland

Language for original content:

Ireland is at a turning point for the transition to a circular economy (CE). The 2022 Whole of Government Circular Economy Strategy provides the policy framework for the CE in this country, and the forthcoming Circular Economy Bill is expected to strengthen waste and CE legislation.

Nevertheless, with a circularity material use rate of 2% in 2020, Ireland shows significant scope for progress. This report analyses the state of play and challenges of the circular transition in Ireland and provides policy recommendations for CE policy across levels of government. It is the result of a two-year policy dialogue between the OECD, the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, as well as a broad range of public, private and civil society stakeholders.

New strategies for Smart Integrated Decentralised Energy systems on the way to Circularity

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Author: 
Eva Gladek
Publication Date: 
07/2019
Country: 
Netherlands

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The goal of this study was to investigate the feasibility for Smart Integrated Decentralised Energy (SIDE) systems to contribute to the resilience, flexibility and circularity of the Dutch national power system infrastructure. The energy sector plays a crucial role in tackling the challenge of transitioning into a circular, renewable energy-based economy. For this reason, the Dutch government has decided to quintuple renewable power generation by 2030.

Thanks to recent developments in renewable energy technologies such as batteries, heat pumps and solar panels, but also biodigesters in which organic waste and black water are collected providing an alternative heating source, it is now possible to produce, convert and store energy locally within so-called microgrids.

 

Low-carbon technologies and Russian imports: how far can recycling reduce the EU's raw materials dependency?

Low-carbon technologies and Russian imports: how far can recycling reduce the EU's raw materials dependency?

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Author: 
Vasileios Rizos, Edoardo Righetti
Publication Date: 
04/2022
Country: 
Belgium

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Scope:

Russia is among the larger suppliers of raw materials to the EU. It is the biggest world supplier for palladium, platinum and nickel, and a prominent one for aluminium and copper. The country still holds large untapped reserves of rare-earth elements.

This paper provides an overview of EU import dependency on raw materials and Russia’s share among EU sources of key supplies for low-carbon technologies. It then looks at prospects for meeting future material demands through circularity for three technologies, namely lithium-ion batteries, wind turbines and fuel cell electric vehicles.

The analysis is based on two scenarios with different levels of ambition. They aim to give an indication of the scale of potential benefits that can be achieved through circular approaches.

Research: best criteria for the new EU strategy for sustainable textiles and the Ecodesign directive

Ecodesign criteria for consumer textiles

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Author: 
Edwin Maes, Stijn Devaere & Philippe Colignon (Centexbel), Jasmien Wynants (Flanders DC), Bram Soenen & Nancy Dasilva (FOD), Tom Duhoux & Evelien Dils (VITO), Bruno Eggermont (Fedustria)
Publication Date: 
12/2021
Country: 
Belgium

Language for original content:

Evelyn Lafond Contact details

This research project lists ecodesign criteria for circular fashion and textiles.

It focused on giving consumer textiles a longer lifespan with optimal reuse potential, making disassembly and recovery possible, and exploring upcycling and high-quality recycling. Extending the life of textile products turned out to have the greatest impact in the short term. Quality seems to be the most impactful ecodesign criterion when it comes to improving the sustainability and circularity of consumer textiles as quickly as possible.

The project defined seven product categories, identifying a set of minimum criteria for each. The report looks at existing labels, standards and regulations and the authors hope it will help expand the Ecodesign Directive by adding a textile category.

Towards climate-neutral and circular procurement

Towards climate-neutral and circular procurement

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Author: 
Chandar van der Zande
Publication Date: 
02/2019
Country: 
Netherlands

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Scope:

This report, prepared by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, provides an analysis of the Dutch procurement system.

The Dutch Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) approach embraces six themes, two of which are explored in this study: climate-neutral procurement and circular procurement. Included in these two themes are aspects such as CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the reuse of raw materials at the highest possible level of value. SPP is a highly topical issue for a steadily growing number of organisations in the Netherlands: action plans are being written, requirements and criteria are being formulated, and tools are being produced. Together, these activities are creating growing demand for instruments that evidence the impact of SPP.

The circular economy as EU environmental policy – Changing or maintaining the status quo?

The circular economy as EU environmental policy – Changing or maintaining the status quo?

The circular economy as EU environmental policy – Changing or maintaining the status quo?

Many actors see the EU’s circular economy (CE) as a promising narrative which steps outside dominant end-of-pipe solutions towards an encompassing vision for strategies across the supply chain. However, this study finds that the EU CE Action Plan maintains the status quo narrative instead of suggesting radical changes.

By focusing on stakeholder narratives, this analysis shows that the inertia is primarily due to CE proponents’ self-perception of being in a legitimacy crisis and their strategic arguments that have:

  • concealed social conflict and potential trade-offs
  • strengthened the agency of ‘status quo’ agents
  • excluded alternative voices questioning the proposed CE narrative.

The paper discusses how to develop new environmental narratives outside the status quo.

Barriers and enablers of wood cascading – Lessons for a circular bioeconomy

Barriers and enablers of wood cascading – Lessons for a circular bioeconomy

Barriers and enablers of wood cascading – Lessons for a circular bioeconomy

Longstanding research on wood cascading has identified a variety of factors to enable more efficient, circular use of forest-based products in Europe.

This paper finds that two of the most critical barriers to wood cascading are:

  • Competition between energy and material uses of waste wood in policy, market and infrastructure
  • Inadequate information on and low quality of waste wood, including pollutant content.

It makes the following recommendations for policies and business:

  • Redesign production processes to deal with contamination and increase quality
  • Coordinate energy and waste policies
  • Advance reporting standards about material composition of bioproducts
  • Explore the best forms of involvement, awareness raising, communication and policies.

Three narratives about food waste and their social impact

France's Law Against Food Waste: do new narratives serve social justice?

Three narratives about food waste and their social impact
Author: 
Sina Leipold, Kaja Weldner, Marius Hohl
Publication Date: 
12/2021
Country: 
Germany

Language for original content:

Scope:

France's Law Against Food Waste has become an international model for sustainable food policy. The law is often described as combining economic efficiency with environmental protection and social equity. However, stakeholder narratives cast doubt on whether this French CE law really contributes to social justice in the long run. This discourse analysis shows that:

  • the ban on food waste institutionalised a narrative about food waste that prioritises profit over social equity
  • the traditionally dominant solidarity narrative about food waste has been pushed back by the emerging CE discourse
  • As a consequence of this shift, activities enacted in the name of the CE may counteract social equity goals (for instance by establishing competition with charities).

Full research article

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