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The city of Leuven, in Flanders, aims to play a leading role in initiating systemic change in cities and society at large.
The Roadmap 2025 · 2035 · 2050, drawn up by Leuven 2030 and numerous experts, serves as a guide to achieving the goal of a climate-neutral city by 2050. In September 2019 a professional team of programme managers started on no less than 13 specific programmes, which will transform this unique plan into concrete actions and impact on the field.
Leuven Circulair finds its place in specific programme #09, outlining key actions for circularity in the city with a strong focus on social, repair, refurbishment, knowledge and expertise from the University of Leuven and local fablabs.
The Netherlands Institute for Circular Construction (Nederlands Instituut voor Circulair Bouwen):
- develops national and international research and innovation projects;
- provides various types of knowledge transfer in these research and innovation projects;
- increases the visibility of innovation and icon projects and
- supports project and construction teams with technical, contractual and financial aspects of a circular construction process.
Its key areas are modular construction, high-quality recycling, circular business models and circular contracting.
PermaFungi is a Brussels-based social cooperative that recycles waste coffee grounds into different upcycled products.
Cities and entrepreneurs are expected to be full of inspiring and sustainable ideas but they often have a lot of questions before they can implement those ideas. How do you set up a product-as-a-service business model? How do I protect my logo? How can you support cititzens initiatives? How can the financiers be involved...
To get an answer to all these and other questions, you can ask experts at CircleAid.be They have all their specific experience with circular economy: in business models, procurement, governance, financing...
These experts are mentors who can guide you through your circular questions. Consultants who want to become part of this database can apply if they have experience or knowledge in Circular Economy.
For the moment this platform is only available in Dutch.
The CIRCO training programme supports creatives and professionals within the manufacturing industry to create circular business.
At its production site in Brussels, BC materials blends and transforms ordinary earth streams - what some consider to be waste - into perfectly circular building materials.
In 2018, the City of Antwerp kick-started the Circular South project. The aim is to encourage more efficient use of energy, water, waste and materials by the citizens of the New South district of Antwerp through an innovative community-driven approach.
Increasingly, circular procurement is seen as one of the ways to promote a circular economy.
This book provides a practical 8-step approach to integrate circular economy principles into a procurement process. Starting with the 'why' of circularity, following steps include internal collaboration, procurement procedures, developing criteria and contract management.
The book is the English translation of the successful Dutch edition 'Circulair inkopen in 8 stappen'.
About Blanks makes sketchbooks and notebooks from old book covers and recycled materials.
Building a circular bicycle infrastructure together: an integral and systematic approach by Circulair Bouwen
Samen werken aan circulaire fietsinfrastructuur. Een integrale en systematische aanpak by Stichting Circulair Bouwen is a report on a 2-year programme carried out with EU funds on building a circular bicycle road infrastructure. Over this period of time, valuable information has been gathered on how to promote and organize circular building efficiently.
To follow up on the programme, a multi-year project will be carried out in cooperation with governments, companies, educational institutions and NGOs, under the lead of the Radboud University Nijmegen, which will include two important policy fields:
- encouraging cycling (low carbon, public health, better access to congested cities, car traffic reduction) and
- the circular construction of bicycle lanes.
Since 2016, the Brussels-Capital Region has set the circular economy as one of its strategic priorities, and is implementing concrete actions to that effect.
Where are we today? Is this just the beginning of a major cultural shift? What are the main challenges ahead? To find out, the authors met numerous actors - public or private - on the ground to better understand the implications of 'circularising' the Brussels Region.
This brochure gives an overview of the promises and limitations for this new economic model with concrete examples, providing inspiration and grounds for further reflection on transitioning to the circular economy.
Eco-vouchers (Ecocheques) are an incentive for Belgian households to purchase eco-friendly goods and services, including second-hand and refurbished ones.
The BlueCity business park is one of Rotterdam's unique landmarks: formerly a water park resort, the complex is now a circular incubator housing over 30 startups experimenting towards a sustainable future.
From shoemaker to wind energy park engineer: 7.5% of all jobs in Belgium are circular. This report presents a baseline measurement of employment in the Belgian circular economy and provides insights into the nature and number of jobs in the country’s circular economy. This includes all jobs contributing to the circular economy through activities in renewable energy, repair and maintenance, recycling, digital technology, design, new business models and collaboration.
Monitoring the employment effects of the circular economy will discern what specific employment opportunities the circular economy has to offer, how these are distributed across society and how we can equip the workforce with the right skills to meet changing demand.
This report, conducted by the King Baudouin Foundation and the Dutch social enterprise Circle Economy, aims to inform governments, employers, social partners and other representatives with a view to pursuing effective and inclusive circular labour policy.
An online monitor, which the partners will update regularly, complements the report.
Vlaanderen Circulair (Circular Flanders) is the hub and inspiration for the Flemish circular economy. It is a partnership of policymakers, companies, civil society, and the knowledge community taking action together. Its six core activities are:
- Networking partners to tackle circular economy challenges
- Creating knowledge with the Circular Economy Policy Research Centre to streamline policy-related research into policy measures for the circular economy in Flanders
- Speeding up innovation and entrepreneurship
- Assisting pioneers
- Connecting local, Flemish, federal and European policymaking
- Embedding circular principles across Flemish civil society
Key to the Circular Flanders approach are several pillars with a great deal of potential, which bridge and bring together different sectors. Currently, these are circular purchasing, circular cities, and running circular businesses.
Through the Brussels Regional Programme for a Circular Economy, the government of the Brussels-Capital Region has defined a framework to encourage the transformation of a linear economy (extract – produce – consume – dispose) into a circular economy (recover – produce – consume – reuse) within Brussels.
The be circular portal is the entry point to the BRPCE, and networks the regional government with businesses and civil society delivering change on the ground, while also providing information to entrepreneurs about the various direct and indirect support programmes available.
Its projects include the Annual General Meeting linking more than 300 Brussels and European participants, and yearly Prizes for Circular Entrepreneurship. In 2017, be circular supported 222 entrepreneurs and financed 139 projects. A year later, the programme had reached nearly 1,300 businesses.
be circular also collects good practices from the Brussels region, with a particular focus on its four priority sectors: construction, logistics, retail and waste management.
To prevent consumers from buying items they use only a few times a year, Usitoo enables customers to rent these instead. The cooperative has a catalogue of hundreds of items that its customers can rent with credit, thus making the possession span of these items much longer.
The textile industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. The Next Closet’s mission is change this and inspire people to invest in quality and reuse what they already have, so second hand can become the number one choice.
Versnellingshuis Nederland Circulair! (Netherlands Circular Accelerator) is a business support network created by VNO-NCW / MKB Nederland, their regional affiliates and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water. Despite much interest in the circular transition, creating a successful enterprise that effectively keeps resources and products in use longer is not that straightforward due to a lack of knowledge and too little collaboration with stakeholders.
The Versnellinshuis helps overcome these challenges by:
- improving the preconditions for circular entrepreneurship through dissemination of financing opportunities, promotion of market incentives and discussion on regulatory barriers at regional, national and European levels
- matchmaking entrepreneurs across regions and value chains to stimulate sustainable solutions.
In addition to hosting a website for circular innovators to connect directly, the Versnellingshuis launches 5 groundbreaking projects and fosters 3 regional collaborations yearly and contributes to a circular transition with the following programmes as well:
- Holland Circular Hotspot: network for international promotion of Dutch CE activities
- VANG: knowledge and best practice exchange for local authority waste managers
- Plastic Pact NL: bringing 75 value chain players together to stimulate less plastic and more recycling.
For a brief overview, view the video below:
Wolkat is an international group of seven innovative textile recycling companies. Wolkat is offering a circular solution for textiles. Collected textile is transformed in-house to new products through sorting, recycling, spinning and weaving. All collected textile is transformed into a final product with hardly any water or any dye, leaving only 4-5 % waste from all textiles.
The Brussels Regional Programme for a Circular Economy is Belgium's capital region strategic effort towards a circular economy. Within this programme, the Brussels construction industry with its 12,000 businesses is a priority sector. As construction and facilities management accounts for 98% of water use, 75% energy demand and 33% of waste in Brussels, there is great potential for a substantial contribution to a circular transition.
This roadmap, developed in partnership with the Environmental Agency through 3 stakeholder workshops, includes three gradual steps towards circular building in Brussels:
- voluntary measures by construction businesses by 2025
- comprehensive regulation for circular public buildings by 2030
- reforming all relevant local planning regulations to include circular principles by 2040
While the latter goal remains to be clearly defined and prepared, the voluntary measures by companies and regulatory update for public buildings have already been transformed into actionable steps, e.g. revising training curricula in vocational and professional schools with a circular mindset or setting up monitoring systems to track the flow of resource and waste from Brussels' largest construction sites.
Super Circular Estate: joining material and social circularity to respond to citizens' new demographics and needs
The Super Circular Estate project addresses the challenge of changing housing needs. The Parkstad Limburg region’s population, is estimated to shrink by 27% in the next 30 years, calling for a radical reorientation in housing facilities. The project aims at demolishing vacant outdated high-rise apartment buildings, and reuse their components to establish new social housing units.
Lena is the first fashion library of the Netherlands, where you can borrow clothing with a subscription, or buy through the try-before-you-buy principle. An endless wardrobe with the benefits of a fast changing wardrobe, placed in a sustainable context.
Cirkelstad is a national platform connecting private entrepreneurs and policy-makers who are delivering the transition to a circular economy in pioneering Dutch cities. By facilitating their networking, the platform enables greater impact by spreading best practice.
In addition to a comprehensive database of good practice, research and policy guidelines to inspire practicioners, the Cirkelstad Academie also provides occassional trainings and provides advisory services to aspiring circular projects in Utrecht and Amsterdam.
To learn more about this hands-on network and connect with the 'spinners' coordinating activities in each city, visit the platform here.