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Municipality-led circular economy case studies

Publication Cover

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Author: 
Charlotte Breen, C40 Cities, Peter Vangsbo, EIT Climate-KIC
Publication Date: 
12/2018
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Peter Vangsbo

This publication, managed and delivered by C40 Cities, provides 40 thorough examples of practical circular economic initiatives from cities around the world, for inspiration and replications by other cities.

The Climate-KIC Circular Cities project is investigating how city governments can be transformational change agents and creators of smart and sustainable neighbourhoods.

The results are expected to improve how cities manage building, construction and utility waste and, through productively utilizing household and industrial waste streams, can increase the growing perception that what was once viewed as waste can now be viewed as resource streams.

Creating a Digital Roadmap for a Circular Economy

Creating a Digital Roadmap for a Circular Economy

EPC publication

The EU faces multiple challenges (climate crisis, environmental disasters, a lack of competitiveness, falling behind in the digital race, etc.) that it will need to address if it is to ensure long-term sustainable prosperity for European citizens. At the same time, there are two ongoing transitions – the creation of a circular economy and the digital transformation – that could provide the means to address these challenges, if they are managed well.

As the EU and national policymakers are making significant efforts to promote a circular economy on the one hand and a digital economy on the other, Annika Hedberg and Stefan Šipka, together with Johan Bjerkem, argue that it is time to align the agendas as a means to achieve greater sustainability and competitiveness.

This publication:

  • demonstrates what digitalisation means in the context of a circular economy;
  • considers what a greater focus on sustainability would mean for the digital transition;
  • examines the role of the EU policy framework, tools and initiatives in steering a (digital) transition towards a (digital) circular economy and makes recommendations for EU institutions for the next five year.

It suggests that the EU must:

  • think systemically, define a vision and act;
  • provide an adequate governance framework and economic incentives for a (digital) transition to a (digital) circular economy;
  • encourage collaboration across European society and economy as well as globally, and empower its citizens to contribute to the transition.

This Discussion Paper builds on the findings of the EPC’s "Digital Roadmap for a Circular Economy" project of 2017-19 and paves the way for a more extensive final study, scheduled to be published in the late autumn of 2019.

The project has been supported by Aalto University and the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) (members of Helsinki EU Office), Central Denmark region, Climate-KIC, the Estonian Ministry of the Environment, Estonian Environment Investment Centre, HP, Orgalim, the province of Limburg, UL, Fondazione Cariplo and Cariplo Factory.

Adhesives industry: water-soluble adhesives facilitate return and reuse bottle schemes and end-of-life recycling

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Country: 
Germany

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Türmerleim is a company that produces adhesives, including for reusable bottles. Its adhesives have a high level of alkaline solubility, making them easy to remove and so promoting the reuse and recycling of bottles.

Circular Construction in Practice

circular_construction_in_practice

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Author: 
Hubert Bukowski, Wioletta Fabrycka
Publication Date: 
06/2019
Country: 
Poland

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Hubert Bukowski

The report of the Institute of Innovation and Responsible Development, is the result of a collaboration between the representatives of the organizations participating in the "Circular construction in practice" debates under the Polish Circular Hotspot. It presents an analysis of the implementation of the circular model in the construction sector.

First, it identifies the causes of the current state of play, which have elevated the built environment to the top spot among the largest polluters of the natural environment.

Second, it analyses the basic barriers on the way to circular construction.

Third, it presents specific ways to reduce these barriers, with a view to making sustainable construction a reality.

Fourth, special attention is paid to specific, innovative technologies to improve resource efficiency and, as a result, improve the economic, environmental and social impact of the construction sector.

Sharing platform Werflink enables construction companies in Belgium to reduce waste by re-using materials

Werflink - Sharing Platform Construction companies in Belgium

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Country: 
Belgium

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Werflink is an online sharing platform on which construction sites and companies and can share equipment, materials, resources, freight space and facilities. The platform has been set up in collaboration with the Flemish Construction Confederation, construction company BESIX, Circular Flanders and FLOOW2, to create a more circular construction sector.

Denmark learns from Belgium on how to create repair and reuse networks

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Country: 
Belgium

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On 24-25 September 2018, the Danish inter-municipal waste management company AVV, which serves two Danish municipalities, visited the City of Brussels and its surroundings as part of a study visit on setting up effective repair and reuse systems. The visit was carried out within the framework of the TAIEX Peer-2-Peer EU Programme and with the support of Municipal Waste Europe and Bruxelles Environment.

Austria Circularity Gap Report

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Author: 
Circle Economy, ARA
Publication Date: 
06/2019
Country: 
Austria

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On 19 June 2019, Altstoff Recycling Austria (ARA) and Circle Economy released the Circularity Gap Report Austria, the first measure of circularity for a nation state.

Experts and peer reviewers included CEC4Europe, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism, the Federal Environment Agency, the Federation of Austrian Industries, the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, TU Vienna, the INZIN Institute and the City of Vienna. This landmark report paves the way for nations to lead the transition from a linear economy of Take-Make-Waste to a circular economy.
 
The analysis, commissioned by ARA, found a circularity rate for Austria of 9.7%, ahead of the figure of 9.1% in Circle Economy’s Global Circularity Gap report published in January 2019.

The Austria report will enable political and business leaders to identify and monitor the best interventions to boost the circularity rate, the proportion of materials that are recycled, re-used and re-manufactured in the Austrian economy.

This report is the first of its kind, where the circularity of a country is assessed combining different approaches. The relevance of the outcomes therefore goes beyond providing an action agenda for Austria alone.
 

The Danube goes Circular - Transnational Strategy to Accelerate Transition Towards a Circular Economy in the Danube Region

The Danube goes Circular - Transnational Strategy to Accelerate Transition Towards a Circular Economy in the Danube Region

Publication Date: 
05/2019
Country: 
Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Other (Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina)

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Strategy level:

Contact: 
contact

One of the Interreg DTP MOVECO (Mobilizing Institutional Learning for Better Exploitation of Research and Innovation for the Circular Economy) project results is the Transnational Strategy to accelerate transition towards a circular economy in the Danube region.

Be transnational – reducing disparities within the Danube Region can only happen through cooperation, capacity building and knowledge exchange across borders. This holds also true for the implementation of the circular economy to make the Danube Region, as a resource poor region, less dependent on imported primary resources.

MOVECO identified key challenges with regard to the transition towards a circular economy and offers recommendations for progress. The strategy further provides the reader with many good practice examples and possibilities to raise awareness for circular economy.

Regular updates on the MOVECO project can be found on this page.

Waste Management in Europe. Good Jobs in the Circular Economy?

Waste Management in Europe. Good Jobs in the Circular Economy?

Good CE jobs

Type:

Author: 
Vera Weghmann
Publication Date: 
01/2017
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Guillaume Durivaux

The report was commissioned by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) to inform a workshop on "the future of the waste sector in Europe: challenges and opportunities for workers" held on 7th December 2017 in Brussels.

The report deals with the following questions:

  • What are the EU policies towards waste management?
  • What are the implications of the circular economy for the waste management sector?
  • What is the public/private provision in waste management in Europe?
  • Which multinational companies dominate the sector?
  • What are the current collective bargaining arrangements?
  • What are the opportunities and obstacles for organising waste management workers in Europe?

The report focuses on:

  • Improving the health and safety of workers
  • Ensuring quality jobs and decent pay and conditions
  • Fighting against social dumping
  • Improving the quality of jobs through up-skilling.

Circular Economy in Cities - Factsheets - Urban Products System Summary

Circular economy in cities - Products factsheets

Circular Economy In Cities_Factsheets_Products

These factsheets outline circular economy opportunities to design out urban waste and pollution, ensure products and materials maintain their value, and regenerate the natural systems in our cities.

Easy-to-reference, the factsheets are a collation of research and case examples that answer some of the most prevalent questions around what circular economy can bring to cities:

  • Why is change in cities needed?
  • What circular economy opportunities address key urban system issues?
  • What can urban policymakers do to harness circular economy opportunities?
  • What are the potential economic, social, and environmental benefits of these opportunities?

The whole collection of factsheets, by system and phase, is available on the Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation website.
 

Circular Economy in Cities - Factsheets - Urban Mobility System Summary

Circular economy in cities - Mobility factsheets

Circular Economy In Cities_Factsheets_Mobility

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Author: 
Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Arup
Publication Date: 
03/2019
Country: 
United Kingdom

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These factsheets outline circular economy opportunities to design out urban waste and pollution, ensure products and materials maintain their value, and regenerate the natural systems in our cities.

Easy-to-reference, the factsheets are a collation of research and case examples that answer some of the most prevalent questions around what circular economy can bring to cities:

  • Why is change in cities needed?
  • What circular economy opportunities address key urban system issues?
  • What can urban policymakers do to harness circular economy opportunities?
  • What are the potential economic, social, and environmental benefits of these opportunities?

The whole collection of factsheets, by system and phase, is available on the Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation website.
 

Circular Economy in Cities - Factsheets - Urban Building System Summary

Circular economy in cities - Buildings factsheets

Circular Economy In Cities_Factsheets_Buildings

Type:

Author: 
Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Arup
Publication Date: 
03/2019
Country: 
United Kingdom

Language for original content:

Scope:

These factsheets outline circular economy opportunities to design out urban waste and pollution, ensure products and materials maintain their value, and regenerate the natural systems in our cities.

Easy-to-reference, the factsheets are a collation of research and case examples that answer some of the most prevalent questions around what circular economy can bring to cities:

  • Why is change in cities needed?
  • What circular economy opportunities address key urban system issues?
  • What can urban policymakers do to harness circular economy opportunities?
  • What are the potential economic, social, and environmental benefits of these opportunities?

The whole collection of factsheets, by system and phase, is available on the Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation website.
 

The European Machine Tool Industry and the Circular Economy

The European Machine Tool Sector and the Circular Economy

CECIMO Circular Economy Report

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Author: 
CECIMO - The European Association of the Machine Tool Industry and related Manufacturing Technologies
Publication Date: 
04/2019
Country: 
Belgium

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Contact: 
Maitane Olabarria

CECIMO has published a report underlining how the shift towards a circular economy calls for a prominent role of manufacturing. Within it, the machine tool sector plays a crucial role. Machine tools already have multiple lifetimes and embrace some key principles of the circular economy. But there is always room for improvement.

The sector can invest in advanced manufacturing technologies, but also build upon the existing good practices. This would lead to improved productivity and resource efficiency, and consumers enjoying products that last longer and use less energy.

The report also makes recommendations to the industry and policy makers.

Circular Fashion Advocacy - A Strategy towards a Circular Fashion Industry in Europe

Circular Economy Advocacy - A Strategy towards a Circular Fashion Industry in Europe

Circular Fashion Advocacy

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Author: 
Arthur ten Wolde, Polina Korneeva
Publication Date: 
03/2019
Country: 
Belgium

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Contact: 
Arthur ten Wolde

 

Waste and pollution from the production of textiles and clothing have become critical global issues. With only one percent of fibres being recycled, the current ‘linear’ model is outdated and unsustainable. There is an urgent need for a strategy to transform industry into a circular model.

A new report launched by Ecopreneur.eu, the European Sustainable Business Federation, calls for decisive policy measures to create an enabling framework. With a foreword from Janez Potočnik.

According to the report, a set of policy instruments to accelerate and mainstream a European circular fashion economy should be based on the following five pillars:

  • Innovation policies – research programmes with subsidies, investment tax deduction, and support for technological development, innovation and small and medium-sized enterprises.
  • Economic incentives – procurement, extended producer responsibility, VAT, and a tax shift to drive market demand for circular products and services.
  • Regulation – establishing and enforcing a common regulatory framework for transparency and traceability, circular design and improved end-of-waste status across the EU.
  • Trade policies – facilitating export of semi-finished products and sorted, reusable textile waste to producing countries, and avoiding negative social impacts in producing countries.
  • Voluntary actions – covenants, commitments and standards are encouraged to engage stakeholders, with legislation standing by in case of lacking results.

Circular Prague

Type:

Roadmap
Author: 
Circle Economy, INCIEN
Publication Date: 
06/2019
Country: 
Czech Republic

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Annerieke Douma
Vojtech Vosecky

The Circular Prague report is a visual roadmap that identifies the strategies that are best positioned to kick-start the Czech capital’s transition towards a circular economy.

The report marks the culmination of Prague’s Circle City Scan; a 12-month collaborative innovation process involving local government, research organisations and businesses. The ‘Scan’ process analysed both the economic and political landscape of the city, as well as uncovering the resource ‘metabolism’ of the city, in order to identify areas of the city with the greatest impact, benefits and momentum to kick-start the circular transition.

The collaborative Circle City Scan process has highlighted the potential to promote circular lifestyles in ReUse Hubs using public procurement, to boost the construction through circular procurement, and  to use the city’s food waste as biomethane to power the city’s waste collection fleet.

To capitalise on the growing circular momentum, this report provides tangible steps to take these projects from concept to reality, and kickstart Prague’s circular transition.

The Fair Plastic Alliance: give plastic a second life - and people a better one

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Country: 
Italy, Other (Nigeria, South Africa)

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The Fair Plastic Alliance believes that plastic waste management based on a not-for-private-profit business model is a powerful solution to generate a positive impact on the environment and on the society as a whole, in both developed and developing countries. It is a multi-stakeholder network spreading social responsibility in plastic waste management, especially in low-income areas and adverse contexts, to achieve social as well as environmental sustainability.

Circular Economy in the Textile Sector

CE Textile

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Author: 
Morton Hemkhaus; Dr. Jürgen Hannak; Peter Malodobry; Tim Janßen;
Publication Date: 
01/2019
Country: 
Germany

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Contact: 
Franzisca Markschläger

The concept of circular economy is becoming increasingly important in the textile industry. This study examines options for establishing closed fibre cycles in the clothing and fashion industry. It provides a detailed background analysis on fibre cycles in Europe and Germany, describes the biggest drivers and obstacles and evaluates selected technologies for textile fibre recycling.

The analysis is based on an in-depth literature review, paired with findings from a focus group session conducted as part of the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) International Congress 2018. In addition, more than 20 experts working in the textile sector shared their candid views for the analysis.

The study was commissioned by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Putting theory into practice: Circular Economy Business Models in the EU

Putting theory into practice: Circular Economy Business Models in the EU

CE Business Models in the EU
Author: 
Interreg Europe
Publication Date: 
03/2019
Country: 
EU

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The policy brief discusses Circular Economy Business Models (CBM), gives several examples and considers the challenges and solutions facing policymakers. It makes a number of recommendations to regions to speed up the development of CBMs ‒ something this brief argues regions are in a good position to do ‒ and shares several good practices from Interreg Europe projects. It should be read in conjunction with the Interreg webinar on CBMs webinar on Circular Economy Business Models. It also briefly sketches EU policies in this area and offers some practical funding and networking tips.

The Circular Service Platform

Circular Service Platform
Author: 
Elisa Achterberg (Sustainable Finance Lab, Circle Economy)
Publication Date: 
04/2019
Country: 
Netherlands

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In a circular economy, assets are no longer sold. Rather, the assets are collectively maintained by a network of stakeholders involved in the ongoing functioning of the assets - the circular service (CISE) network. This shifts the responsibility for the functioning of an asset from the end-user to the network, thus stimulating the re-design of business processes to optimize the life-cycle performance of the asset.

A CISE network however requires unprecedented levels of cooperation and coordination between participants, leading to high administrative costs and the need for trust and transparency in the network. CISE networks are a totally different way of doing business, requiring different financial, legal and governance structures. Would it be possible for assets to be owned and procured by a network that creates value from them? Could this, simultaneously, reduce administrative costs? Could cashflows generated by the asset be redistributed to the network, leveraging the sharing of risks and returns?

VertECO: a vertical ecosystem for indoor and outdoor greywater treatment

vertECO

VertECO consists of a vertical ecosystem (vertical constructed wetland) treating greywater from handwash basins, showers, and laundries.

Lopyanko's project: from bombix mori to raw silk... and much more

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Country: 
Bulgaria

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Lopyanko's Agri_Gaya'18 project aims at developing sustainable and circular exploitation of the bombix mori (silkworm) in Northern Bulgaria. Besides the production of organic silk and other valuable byproducts, the project establishes protective forest belts of mulberry trees, an agroforestry model particularly well-suited to the Danube Region.

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