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A typology of circular economy discourses: Navigating the diverse visions of a contested paradigm

A typology of circular economy discourses: Navigating the diverse visions of a contested paradigm

Author: 
Martin Calisto Friant, Walter J.V. Vermeulen, Roberta Salomone
Publication Date: 
05/2020
Country: 
Netherlands

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Contact: 
Martin Calisto Friant

This research reviews the long history and diversity of circularity thinking to develop a comprehensive timeline, which identifies and conceptually classifies 72 different CE-related concepts from the Global North and South alike (such as industrial ecology, Gandhian and steady-state economics, buen vivir, doughnut economics, degrowth).

This leads to the development of the first typology of circularity discourses, which classifies circularity visions according to their position on fundamental socio-ecological issues. This research thus seeks to provide a basis for a more inclusive and comprehensive discussion on the topic, which opens the imaginary regarding the many circular futures that can exist allows for a cross-pollination of ideas, policies, strategies, practices and solutions.

The European Manufacturers of Electrical Machines and Power Electronics are committed to Circular Economy

CEMEP
Author: 
CEMEP
Publication Date: 
07/2020
Country: 
Belgium

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Scope:

Contact: 
Jesper Jerlang
Didier Gufflet

The European Committee of Manufacturers of Electrical Machines and Power Electronics (CEMEP) supports the development towards a circular economy (CE), thus actively contributing to more sustainable manufacturing and responsible consumption. This industrial sector follows a business-to-business market model, delivering products for a wide number of economic sectors and applications. 

Its three main product groups – electric motors, variable speed drives and uninterruptable power systems – show differences and similarities when it comes to material efficiency, hence the need for sector- or product-specific approaches when pursuing CE.

This position paper describes the CE status of the CEMEP industries and the way forward towards more circularity.

Make circular economy simpler, more efficient and more competitive

Interreg MED
Author: 
Interreg Med Green Growth Community
Publication Date: 
09/2020
Country: 
EU, Spain

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Contact: 
Patricia Carbonell

This document is the result of the active involvement of the Interreg MED Green Growth community, together with its projects.

To make circular economy (CE) simpler, more efficient and more competitive, it is suggested to take a holistic, integrated and cooperative approach, by considering all phases in which CE is structured, all levels (from local to European) and all stakeholders involved in the implementation of CE models.

The policy recommendations proposed in the document are structured into six main areas:

  1. Investments and access to finance
  2. Technological infrastructure
  3. Labour market and employment
  4. Awareness and knowledge
  5. Cooperation among stakeholders and technology transfer
  6. Cross-cutting issues.

Gate C: Helping businesses capture the value of the circular economy

Gate C

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
France

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Gate C is a French consulting firm helping clients to map the benefits and capture the value of the circular economy.

Report from the Circular Economy Advisory Board to the Danish government

Circular Opportunities in the Danish Waste System

Waste Analysis | Capital Region of Denmark

Type:

Author: 
Thomas Thorin
Publication Date: 
02/2020
Country: 
Netherlands

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Contact: 
Kate Black

The Capital Region of Denmark is committed to becoming a fossil-free and circular region by 2050. Inter alia, this entails achieving an 80% recycling rate for the region’s waste by 2035, and growing green business activities by 8% by 2025. New forms of cooperation and dialogues between stakeholders are necessary to reach these goals.

Through a three-year public-private partnership, the Region and its partners aim to pave the way for greater collaboration between the waste sector and the business community. Metabolic collaborated with the Region to undertake a material flow analysis and an environmental assessment of the Region’s waste system, and to identify impact hotspots and circular opportunities.

Read the executive summary of the waste analysis, or the full Danish report.

DigiCirc - Digital innovations for the Circular Economy

Country: 
Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland

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Contact: 
Mélanie Pellen

The EU-funded DigiCirc project aims at enabling the digitalisation of the Circular Economy by building upon the innovation potential of SMEs. DigiCirc will build and coordinate an innovative network of stakeholders that will set the foundation for an open space for innovation performed through the DigiCirc accelerators.

45 circular innovations, addressing sectoral challenges and generating new value chains, will be selected through open calls in three domains:

  1. circular cities
  2. bioeconomy
  3. blue economy.

Circular Flooring – new products from waste PVC flooring

Circular Flooring - Pioneering Recycling Process for PVC Waste

Circular Flooring focuses on the recovery of the PVC compound from post-consumer PVC floor coverings and the separation of legacy plasticisers in order to create a recycled material for the manufacturing of new PVC floor coverings.

Synergies for Green Growth: a transversal White Paper by the Interreg MED Green Growth Community

Synergies for Green Growth

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom, Other (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro)

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This transversal White Paper by the Interreg MED's Green Growth community displays the horizontal approach towards cooperation on Circular Economy and Green Growth in the Mediterranean as well as challenges, success factors and lessons learned.

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)

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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)

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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.

The Circularity Gap Report, Norway

The Circularity Gap Report, Norway

Cover of the Circularity Gap Report, Norway

The Circularity Gap Report Norway is an in-depth analysis of how Norway consumes raw materials to fuel its societal needs. Currently, 97.6% of materials consumed each year never make it back into the economy.

Norway also has one of the highest per capita consumption rates in the world (44.3 tonnes per person). At 2.4%, its circularity rate is below the global average (8.6%). Each year Norway consumes 235 million tonnes of materials - metals, fossil fuels, biomass and minerals - to meet its internal needs.

However, the report reveals how Norway could see a 20-fold increase in its circularity by restructuring its businesses and industry through 6 key actions in the following fields:

  • construction
  • food
  • energy
  • repair, reuse and recycle
  • transport
  • forestry and wood products.

DigiCirc - Digital innovations for the Circular Economy

The EU-funded DigiCirc project aims at enabling the digitalisation of the Circular Economy by building upon the innovation potential of SMEs. It accelerates innovation by identifying cutting-edge circular economy solutions and by promoting business development and start-up growth.

DigiCirc will build and coordinate an innovative network of stakeholders that will set the foundation for an open space for innovation performed through the DigiCirc accelerators.

45 circular innovations, addressing sectoral challenges and generating new value chain, will be selected through open calls in three domains:

  • Circular cities
  • Bioeconomy
  • Blue economy.

For more information on open calls (the first on Circular cities to be launched in November) and the accelerator programme click here.

The EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan: setting the world’s largest single market on a transition towards a circular economy

EMF
Author: 
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Publication Date: 
06/2020
Country: 
EU, Other (World)

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Scope:

Contact: 
Helena O'Rourke-Potocki

This case study on the EU's Circular Economy Plan (CEAP) by the Ellen McArthur Foundation reflects back on the steps which the European Commission took to take a lead in circular economy policies globally. From initially aiming at improving resource efficiency, to redefining growth with positive social, environmental, and economic benefits, this case study analyses this policy-making process.

The CEAP was a comprehensive body of legislative and non-legislative actions adopted in 2015, which aimed to transition the European economy from a linear to a circular model. It mapped out 54 actions, as well as four legislative proposals on waste.

By rethinking resource efficiency and material flows, the European Commission has developed a framework to promote systemic change.

Nordic Circular Hotspot

Nordic Circular Hotspot logo

The Nordic Circular Hotspot aims to be the leading resource and collaborative learning hub on circular economy in the Nordics.

This Hotspot works to connect stakeholders in the Nordic region, such as local and regional governments, business, communities, knowledge institutions and academia, to (co-)develop and initiate practical circular solutions, business models, projects and initiatives. The aim is to be the go-to place in the region for everything circular in the region to faster accelerate the transition to a circular economy.

WaysTUP!: Transforming urban waste into valuable products

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Country: 
Greece

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Scope:

The WaysTUP! project wishes to demonstrate the establishment of new value chains for urban bio-waste used in the production of high value purpose products, through a multi-stakeholder approach according to circular economy principles.

Donar - Furniture from recycled felt

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Slovenia

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The Donar company was established in 1989 in Slovenia, as demand for office interior development was growing. Starting as a small business, Donar has developed into one of the key players in design furniture with the highest environmental standards.

Incremental Circular Economy as a Serious Sustainability Problem

Business model innovation and the circular economy; what relationship?

© Naturvårdsverket 2019 - Cover photos: Dennis Pamlin

Type:

Author: 
DENNIS PAMLIN , MADELEINE ENARSSON
Publication Date: 
12/2019
Country: 
Sweden

Language for original content:

The relationship between innovating business model and the circular economy is complex and rapidly evolving. So, how can we turn the focus on the circular economy into a driver for global sustainability?

The report titled "Incremental Circular Economy as a Serious Sustainability Problem" aims to understand the relationship between business model innovation and the circular economy.

It also seeks to guide companies, intrapreneurs in companies, and organisations working towards a circular economy. And, finally, it aims to provide a structure to understand very different approaches and their outcomes.

European Investment Bank and national promotional banks launch the Joint Initiative on Circular Economy

© European Investment Bank

Type:

Author: 
European Investment Bank
Publication Date: 
10/2019
Country: 
EU

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Sector:

On average, a European citizen produces half a ton of waste a year. This amounts to 2.5 billion tons yearly for the entire European Union.

The Joint Initiative on Circular Economy (JICE) is a partnership between the EU’s largest national promotional banks and institutions and the European Investment Bank to invest at least €10 billion in the circular economy by 2023.

It provides loans, equity investment, guarantees, innovative financing structures and technical assistance.

The initiative will support projects that prevent and eliminate waste, increase resource efficiency and promote circular business models. Eligible projects can be submitted to the respective JICE partners.

The City of Helsinki’s Roadmap for Circular and Sharing Economy

Circular and sharing economy to help tackle sustainability challenges in Helsinki

Helsinki Circularity Roadmap
Publication Date: 
06/2020
Country: 
Finland

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The roadmap is about promoting circular and sharing economy in the city of Helsinki. The main four focuses are construction, procurements, green waste and sharing economy and business opportunities related to circular economy.

Scope:

Contact: 
Leona Silberstein

The City of Helsinki’s Roadmap for Circular and Sharing Economy is one of the 147 actions in the Carbon-neutral Helsinki 2035 Action Plan.

The roadmap includes the following four focuses:

  1. construction
  2. procurement
  3. green waste and
  4. sharing economy and new business opportunities in the circular economy.

The goals for each focus are set until 2035, with interim goals and supporting practical actions for each one.

Reducing plastic consumption and increasing the use of recycled plastic are among the main topics of the roadmap.

This roadmap is the result of debates in workshops with experts from both inside and outside the City. A team of representatives of the City’s Environmental Services coordinated the work.

European project BIOnTop: Promising results in development of new recyclable and compostable packaging

biontop

European project BIOnTop obtains promising results in development of new recyclable and compostable packaging. In its first year, BIOnTop has achieved good results in its experimental work on copolymers and compounds with customized biodegradability and multifunctional coating solutions with customized properties.

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