The 7th European Environmental Evaluators Network Forum addressed the impact of evaluating environment and climate policies, including policies enabling the circular economy.
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The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the initiative "Towards an EU Product Policy Framework contributing to the Circular Economy".
By experimenting with recycled water bottles as material for internal components, Océ discovered the drivers and barriers to using recycled plastic in manufacturing
In designing the varioPrint 135, Océ partnered with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and Philips to experiment with the use of recycled plastic in the production of industrial printers. Building on Océ's adoption of longevity and reuse principles in design, the company has made a further step towards circular economy and succeeded in developing an internal component that contains at least 30% post-consumer recycled polycarbonate from used 5 gallon water bottles.
On December 18, the European Commission will host a conference on Level(s), its new sustainable building reporting framework which aims to provide the insights that will shape future building sector policy.
Destination: a circular tourism economy
Destination: a circular tourism economy aims to increase the innovativeness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the tourism sector by supporting the integration of circular economy elements into their services, products and business models. This handbook is the result of work carried out in the Interreg South Baltic innovation project, CIRTOINNO.
In addition to providing an overall understanding of the concept of circular economy and the specificities of tourism and the South Baltic partner regions, the CIRTOINNO handbook investigates and discusses the opportunities and barriers for tourism SMEs to adopt circular economy principles, and identifies best practices. Focusing on Hotels, Restaurants and Spas, the handbook provides overall recommendations to:
- implement monitoring systems and strategies to reduce energy and water use
- build relationships with suppliers to rethink material flows
- train staff to improve resource use and reduce spillage
Orange Fiber has closed the loop for oranges by patenting a technique to squeeze orange peel and citrus waste into cellulose fibre. With growing demand for sustainable fashion, the company is well placed to commence production in 2019, having already prototyped a collection with Salvatore Ferragamo and won the Global Change Awars
On 23 May 2019 EUsalt will organise an interactive open conference on "Circularity with a pinch of salt" as part of its three-day general assembly.
The contribution of the Digital Industry to repair, remanufacturing and refurbishment in a Circular Economy
The contribution of the Digital Industry to repair, remanufacturing and refurbishment in a Circular Economy
In "The contribution of the Digital Industry to repair, remanufacturing and refurbishment in a Circular Economy”, DIGITALEUROPE describes longstanding business practices in the ICT sector which represent, next to waste collection and treatment facilities, the circular economy backbone of the ICT industry in Europe.
With roughly 28,000 tons of IT equipment and spare parts being shipped cross-border annually in Europe, the ICT sector is adopting circular business practices such as designing for longevity, durability and reliability, stimulating reuse, and facilitating refurbishment. There is significant market opportunity for circular economy in the ICT sector: in 2015, the business of refurbishing IT equipment already accounted for €3.1 billion in annual turnover across 2,500+ European firms.
Alongside a series of case studies on best practice such as Nokia's Global Asset Recovery & Remarketing Services, DIGITALEUROPE outlines the following position on legislating circular economy for ICT:
- reuse, repair and refurbishment should not be addressed under waste legislation
- recognise authorised repair networks and protect IP rights
- consult stakeholders when legislating ecodesign to ensure feasibility
- ensure requirements for spare parts continue to exist
- keep the two-year guarantee and revise consumer protection without increasing refunds / replacements
- remove administrative burden for and regulatory barriers to shipping products for repair, reuse and refurbishment
The Pura Production Group is clearly commited to sustainable production and follows up on this commitment by achieving the maximum attainable sustainability factor with its cleaning products. Pura's flagship Blue Right line for hotels and offices is a circular economy front runner: the floor, interior, sanitary and kitchen cleaners are produced without hazardous chemicals, sold in portion-controlled compostable packaging and lead to zero waste after use.
The 4th International Conference on New Business Models will be hosted and supported by the Chair for Corporate Sustainability, ESCP Europe Berlin, in July 2019.
Remanpath is a workshop that aims to support SMEs in the building industry towards setting up remanufacturing activities in their own business.
Composting is the most natural method to create fertilisers, but not many people use it as it's a slow and complex process. To encourage composting, Compastor Technology has bred a genuine composting worm. When this worm is combined with a compost inoculant, green and organic waste is turned into fertiliser quickly and efficiently while using fully natural ingredients.
Documento de Posición: La Estrategia Europea sobre los Plásticos y la Propuesta de Directiva relativa a la reducción del impacto ambiental de determinados productos de plástico
Fundación para la Economía Circular (FEC) Position Paper on EU Plastics Initiatives
In this position paper, the Spanish Fondacion para la Economia Circular (Foundation for the Circular Economy), summarises the policy initiatives on plastics published by the European Commission in 2018, which includes both the Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy and the Proposal for a Directive on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment.
Outlining its position, FEC argues that:
- the plastics strategy is based on ambiguous definitions
- rigorous implementation of existing legal obligations in relation to plastics is a priority
- concrete measures reducing single-use plastics require greater precision
- a coherent policy framework for reducing microplastic is also necessary
- uptake & depth of quality standards and technological verification should be improved
- demand-side measures must be developed to stimulate th euptake of recycled plastics
- a New Plastics Economy requires global action & cooperation
Circular Economy Industry Platform
What is the Circular Economy Industry Platform about?
Circulary is a web tool managed by BusinessEurope and its national members that contributes to the EU’s agenda on circular economy.
It continuously brings new examples of innovative ways in which industry, SMEs and other business add to the circular economy in Europe, and features over 150 prime examples of industrial best practice in circular economy as of November 2018. At the same time, it highlights the regulatory and non-regulatory challenges these businesses still face to upscale their current initiatives or to start new ones. As such the platform is a unique bottom-up business-led hub of knowledge and expertise.
Why should your company engage?
- To showcase what your company is already doing on circular economy. By showing the extent to which business is already engaged into this transformation process, you will help make EU policy fit-for-purpose.
- To raise your concerns on barriers and obstacles. The analysis of common trends in barriers and obstacles that you and other companies face to become circular will help draw the attention of policymakers.
- To make your voice heard on upcoming EU policy initiatives. By gathering your “on the ground” practical experiences, BusinessEurope will be in a stronger position to advocate the business voice towards European institutions.
- To develop your network. The platform is a unique way for you to connect to other companies on circular economy, either by being contacted by others because of your expertise or by being able to see what is happening elsewhere.
- To access the EU / Brussels debate on circular economy. Based on what we receive from you and others, BusinessEurope intends as much as possible to organise events, consultations and promotion of the platform and its participating community.
Les indicateurs de l'économie circulaire pour les entreprises
Selon le Programme des Nations Unies pour l’Environnement, la consommation globale de ressources pourrait plus que doubler entre 2015 et 2050, mettant sous très forte pression les capacités planétaires. L’économie circulaire serait susceptible d’être une des réponses à l’épuisement des ressources et aux pressions sur l’environnement – pollution, destruction de la biodiversité.
Les entreprises sont de plus en plus nombreuses à explorer de nouveaux modèles d’affaires intégrant les principes de l’économie circulaire. Or, pour piloter leurs démarches et leurs stratégies, elles ont un besoin croissant d’indicateurs pour mesurer leur degré de circularité et ses effets sur l’environnement.
SYAT 2018 - "Ship & Yacht Advanced Technology"- will take place in Grado (Italy) on 22 and 23 November 2018. EESC member Antonello Pezzini will participate in the workshop devoted to Circular economy.
For more information and registration click here.
Circular Economy Finance Guidelines
ABN AMRO, ING and Rabobank, all members of the FinanCE working group alongside FGGM and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, have published the first publicly available finance guidelines for the circular economy in July 2018 as input to the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.
These guidelines aim to promote and develop the role finance can play in the transition, beginning with a definition of the circular economy and circular economy finance. These banks perceive the latter as being "any type of instrument where the investments will be exclusively applied to finance or re-finance, in part or in full, new and/or existing eligible companies or projects in the circular economy". The guidelines themselves have four core components:
- Use of investments
- Process for Project Evaluation and Selection
- Management of Investments
By making these guidelines publicly available, these three Dutch banks are encouraging other financial institutions to follow suit and stimulating the development of a common understanding of the circular economy in the European financial sector.
On December 4, MEP Igor Šoltes will host a seminar on the inherent benefits of using public procurement to achieve sustainable development in the European Parliament.
Copa and Cogeca, Europe's leading interest group for farmers, is organising a workshop in Brussels to present best practice in combating food loss and food waste from across EU farms and cooperatives, with participation of EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis.
The Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform annual conference will take place on 6 and 7 March 2019.
The SCREEN Final Conference was held in Rome on 18 and 19 October 2018, during the two-day Forum CompraVerde (BuyGreen), in order to present the results of the SCREEN project.
Shiro Alga Carta paper, patented by Favini in the ’90s, is the pioneer in their upcycling ecological paper range. It uses algae from the Venice lagoon, whose proliferation would put at risk the lagoon’s fragile ecosystem.
Crush, launched in 2012, is the second product in Favini's upcycling ecological paper range. Its production uses the equivalent of 15% of virgin pulp paper in by-products from food industry.
WIPAG recycles post-industrial and post-consumer plastic waste from several industries with its main focus on automotive parts. Both composite separation and de-coating process allow for end products with excellent performances.
The BioRegions Forum 2018 will take place in Barcelona on 13 November 2018.
EIB Guide to Circular Economy
The EIB has already supported the transition to a circular economy with over €2.1 bn in project financing, including the first of a kind Aanekoski bio-pulp mill in Finland, the largest circular investment to date in Europe. An overview of such projects, alongside the bank's perception of the drivers to a circular economy (resource opportunities, technological development and the emerging socio-economic paradigm of sustainable development), corresponding opportunities and potential business models (circular design, value recovery, optimal use & circular support) is provided in this guide.
As the circular economy can actively contirbute to reducing carbon emissions and reaching wider environmental protection goals, the EIB is keen to finance projects contributing to this transition through a range of financing products, including EFSI and InnovFin for higher risk innovations. When doing so, it makes use of specific criteria to assess whether project are truly circular and attempts to categorise them within one of the aforementioned business models. During project assessment, further eligibility criteria are applied depending on the type of business model. These criteria, and more information about the bank's perception of circular economy strategies and project types, is provided in the guide's annexes.
Behavioural Study on Consumers’ Engagement in the Circular Economy
To obtain empirical policy-relevant insights to assist with the implementation of the EU Circular Economy Action Plan, the European Commission requested a behavourial study that aimed to:
- identify barriers and trade-offs faced by consumers when deciding whether to engage in the CE, in particular whether to purchase a more or a less durable good, whether to have a good repaired, or to discard it and buy a replacement;
- establish the relative importance of economic, social and psychological factors that govern the extent to which consumers engage in the CE, especially purchasing durable products and seeking to repair products instead of disposing of them; and
- propose policy tools to enable and encourage consumers to engage in CE practices related to durability and reparability.
The study focused on five products: vacuum cleaners, televisions, dishwashers, smartphones and clothes. The methodology encompasses a systematic literature review, 50 stakeholder interviews, consumer focus groups, an online consumer survey with 12,064 participants, and a behavourial experiment with 6,042 participants. Whereas the survey collected information on consumers' perception of and experiences with circular practices, the financially incentivised experiments included a repairing and purchasing task.
Findings include a general willingness to engage but little practical action to date. Consumers appear to be hampered by insufficiently developed markets for repair, reuse and refurbish in addition to a lack of information regarding product durability and repairability. Such information appeared seminal in shifting purchasing decisions towards sustainable products in the behavourial experiment, highlighting great potential to bridge the gap between theoretical and practical engagement. This experiment also uncovered substantial consistency between a self-reported circular mindset and corresponding behaviour.
As product size and price increases, consumers also appear to have greater interest in repairability and durability. Whereas repairability is linked to spare parts, durability appears to follow from perceived product quality. Overall this study concludes that the price-quality ratio, followed by convenience, is the most important driver and simultaneously barrier for consumer engagement in the circular economy. Building on these finidngs, the study makes 5 recommendations for policy action to enhance consumer engagement in the circular economy:
- boost CE engagement by increasing awareness of the circular economy;
- make repairing products easier;
- create financial incentives for repairability and durability;
- make information on durability and repairability available at point of sale;
- strengthen legislation requiring the provision of accurate information to consumers.
The Consumer Insights into the Circular Economy event took place on 25 October 2018 in Brussels.