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Circular Economy in the Furniture Sector: Overview of Current Challenges and Competence Needs

Circular Economy in the Furniture Sector: Overview of Current Challenges and Competence Needs

Circular Economy in the Furniture Sector: Overview of Current Challenges and Competence Needs

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Author: 
Ecores, University of Vaasa, CETEM - Technological Centre of Furniture and Wood, AMUEBLA - Innovative business association of furniture manufacturers and related in the Murcia Region, CENFIM - Home & Contract furnishings cluster, KIT - karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Publication Date: 
09/2018
Country: 
Spain

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Contact: 
Juan Jose Ortega (Amuebla) | Erwan Mouazan

The report ‘Circular Economy in the Furniture Sector: Overview of Current Challenges and Competence Needs’, provides an overview on how the circular economy is currently being implemented within the furniture sector.

By focusing on existing practices, challenges and opportunities at the micro-level, the main objective of this report is to identify the necessary skills and competences needed to support the transformation of furniture companies towards a circular economy.

Project partners identified 25 furniture companies active in the circular economy throughout Europe.

Interviews, held between March and May 2018 in Belgium, Finland, Germany, Spain, France, The Netherlands, Italy and Sweden, yielded insights on the necessary skills and competences needed to develop circular business models relevant for the furniture industry.

Finally, 10 examples of circular furniture cases are presented in the report. Examples show companies from different EU countries that have implemented different actions to work towards the circularity of the company, as well as specific examples of furniture products that are sustainable.

Market study on date marking and other information provided on food labels and food waste prevention

Market study on date marking and other information provided on food labels and food waste prevention

Best before - illustration

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Author: 
European Commission
Publication Date: 
01/2018
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Sante Food Waste

As part of the Circular Economy Action Plan, the Commission is examining ways to improve the use of date marking by actors in the food chain and its understanding by consumers, in particular "best before" labelling. Better understanding and use of date marking on food, i.e. "use by" and "best before" dates, by all actors concerned, can prevent and reduce food waste in the EU.

In order to help inform its work on date marking, the Commission launched a study to map how date marking is used in the market by food business operators and control authorities.

The market study found wide variation in date marking practices within product categories surveyed in the EU. The legibility of date marks was judged to be poor for 11% of products sampled. The study highlights the role that strengthened cooperation and innovation in the food supply chain can play in preventing food waste and finds that additional guidance may be needed to facilitate food redistribution past the "best before" date.

Based on the study's findings, the authors conclude that avoidable food waste linked to date marking is likely to be reduced where:

  • a date mark is present, its meaning is clear and it is legible;
  • consumers have a good understanding of the meaning of date marking (and the difference between "use by" as an indicator of safety and "best before" as an indicator of quality); 
  • "use by" dates are used only where there is a safety-based rationale for doing so, consistent with the Regulation on Food Information to Consumers
  • the product life stated on the packaging is consistent with the findings of safety and quality tests, and is not shortened unnecessarily by other considerations, such as product marketing;
  • storage and open life guidance are consistent with the findings of safety and quality tests;
  • there is a level of consistency in storage of food at retail and guidance for consumers regarding the temperatures at which products should be stored in the home.

EU guidelines on food donation

Food donation
Author: 
European Commission
Publication Date: 
10/2017
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Sante Food Waste

As part of the Circular Economy Action Plan, the Commission has adopted EU food donation guidelines in order to facilitate the recovery and redistribution of safe, edible food to those in need.

Developed in consultation with the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste, the EU food donation guidelines seek to:

  • facilitate compliance of providers and recipients of surplus food with relevant requirements laid down in the EU regulatory framework (e.g. food safety, food hygiene, traceability, liability, VAT, etc.);
  • promote common interpretation by regulatory authorities in the EU Member States of EU rules applying to the redistribution of surplus food.

2nd meeting of the Coordination Group of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform

Start/End date: 
18/10/2018 to 19/10/2018
Country: 
Belgium
City: 
Brussels

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Coordination Group activity type:

Abstract: 

The second meeting of the ECESP Coordination Group was held on 18 and 19 October 2018 in Brussels to discuss the platform's activities, define objectives for the coming year and reflect on its overall implementation.

Prospects for electric vehicle batteries in a circular economy

Prospects for electric vehicle batteries in a circular economy

Charging plug of an electric vehicle

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Author: 
Eleanor Drabik, Vasileios Rizos
Publication Date: 
07/2018
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Vasileios Rizos

Electric vehicles are a key technology to decarbonise the road transport sector and their use is expected to increase, thereby increasing demand for lithium-ion batteries. This makes developing a full value chain for batteries in Europe a priority, particularly the recycling of lithium-ion batteries where Europe is at an advantage as a market leader.

What will happen to this huge number of batteries at their end-of-life and how the valuable materials within each battery can be recovered and recycled are important questions for EU policymakers, as is information on the impacts of developing a lithium-ion battery recycling industry within the EU.

As part of the wider CIRCULAR IMPACTS project, which looks at the economic, employment and societal impacts of shifting towards a circular economy, this case study examines the impacts of managing electric-vehicle lithium-ion batteries reaching their end-of-life in the years to come. It concludes that increasing the collection and recycling efficiency rates of electric vehicle batteries in the EU can mitigate dependence on imported materials and help to retain the value of recovered materials in the EU economy. Further potential benefits include job creation in the lithium-ion recycling sector, while recycling certain materials, as opposed to extracting the raw material, may mitigate CO2 emissions.

Beyond the CE package: Maintaining momentum on resource efficiency

Beyond the Circular Economy package

Aldershot group report image

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Author: 
Aldersgate Group
Publication Date: 
12/2017
Country: 
United Kingdom

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Despite resource efficiency improving 41% between 2000 and 2016,with  the Circular Economy Package and the initiatives set out in the accompanying Action Plan nearing completion, the EU institutions must acknowledge that the move to a more resource efficient or “circular” economy will take time. To invest in new business models, more resource-efficient processes and new supply chains for good quality secondary materials, businesses need the assurance that the resource efficiency agenda will remain a priority for the EU in the long term.

This briefing sets out a range of policy recommendations that the Aldersgate Group believe EU institutions should continue to pursue beyond completion of the Circular Economy Package to scale up business action on resource efficiency. These recommendations are based on business case studies, including some developed as part of the EU LIFE+ funded REBus project, which began in 2013 and on which the Aldersgate Group is a partner. By the end of 2016, pilots taking part in the REBus project (many of which involved SMEs), had already delivered a financial benefit of €5.62m, material savings in excess of 62,000 tonnes and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of just under 2,000 tonnes. These benefits have continued to grow since.

Recommendations based on the report's findings include:

  1. Pursuing work to include resource efficiency design criteria in product standards by delivering on the commitment to publish an updated Ecodesign Working Plan once a year and rapidly broadening the range of products subject to resource efficiency design criteria;
  2. Promote business innovation on resource efficiency, through continued financial support for business trials and broadening the sectors that receive technical support through the Commission’s Innovation Deals;
  3. Expand the use of circular economy criteria in the public procurement of a broadening range of products and encourage their application across EU Member States and EU institutions;
  4. Encourage Member States to develop pricing mechanisms that support material re-use where it is environmentally effective to do so; and
  5. Ensure a consistent implementation of the Circular Economy Package in different Member States. This is especially important in terms of the improved definitions of “waste” currently being negotiated by all three EU institutions, which must ensure that materials are no longer classified as “waste” when they can be re-used safely.

Regulatory barriers for the circular economy

Regulatory Barriers for CE cover page

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Author: 
Technopolis Group, Fraunhofer ISI, Wuppertal Institute, thinkstep
Publication Date: 
11/2016
Country: 
Germany

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This report, commissioned by DG GROW and prepard by Technopolis and Franhofer ISI, identified major obstacles of regulatory nature or gaps within the existing legal framework where significant unlocked opportunities remain. The study includes an in-depth analysis of the identified obstacles and possible solutions through specific cases.

The analysis of specific regulatory barriers includes the full product lifecycle and focuses on the interfaces between different steps of the value chain (extraction/production, production/production internal loops, production/use, collection, waste-management/recycling/production). Barriers can be categorised within these 3 themes:

  • Several case studies identified regulatory barriers often related to lacking legislation that would allow the collection and pre-treatment of homogenous waste streams.
  • The second type of barrier refers to legislation that hinders the use of recycled materials in production processes
  • The third type of barrier is related to the lack of concrete and enforceable product requirements.

The analysis also highlights a variety of different generic types of barriers: in many cases waste legislation focuses on quantities (weight based collection or recycling targets) and not so much on the qualities of recycled materials. Inconsistencies between existing regulations, e.g. related to REACH or End-of-Waste criteria, have also been mentioned in a variety of case studies.

The study concludes that in general, high-quality recycling is definitely not prevented by regulatory obstacles, but by lacking or unclear legislation. Prime examples are End-of-Waste criteria or quality standards for secondary raw materials that create legal uncertainties for the industry that make it rational to continue to focus on primary raw material input.

The circular economy and the bioeconomy — Partners in sustainability

The circular economy and the bioeconomy — Partners in sustainability

EEA circular and bioeconomy report cover page

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Author: 
European Environmental Agency
Publication Date: 
08/2018
Country: 
Denmark

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'The circular economy and the bioeconomy — Partners in sustainability' is the third EEA report on the circular economy. It aims to support the framing, implementation and evaluation of European circular economy policy from an environmental perspective. It shows that the two policy agendas have similar objectives and areas of intervention, including food waste, biomass and bio-based products, and that they would benefit from stronger links, particularly in product and infrastructure design, and collaboration throughout the value chain.

The increasing demand for food, feed, biomaterials and bioenergy resources could worsen the over-exploitation of natural resources. By extending the lifetime of products and recycling materials, a circular, bio-economy approach can help retain material value and functionality for longer time as well as avoid unrecycled biowaste.

Promising innovations and strategies for circular biomass use include biorefinery, 3D printing with bioplastics, multi-purpose crops, better use of residues and food waste, and biowaste treatment. Consumers can also contribute by eating less animal-based protein, preventing food waste and separating biowaste from other waste streams.

Implementing the circular and bio-economy in tandem, by applying specific design principles within a systemic approach, would improve resource efficiency and reduce environmental pressures.

 

22 Oct 2018
EU bioeconomy logo

The emerging bioeconomy is moving from a research niche to market norm and Europe needs to maintain its current global leadership. The update of the EU Bioeconomy Strategy is a major European Commission wide policy initiative which will be presented and discussed during the Bioeconomy Conference on October 22, in Brussels.

Circular Economy opportunities in the furniture sector

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Author: 
EEB, Eunomia
Publication Date: 
09/2017
Country: 
Belgium

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Contact: 
Stephane Arditi

This EEB and Eunomia report estimates the material consumption and CO2 emissions of the furniture sector at EU level and suggests some circular scenarios and policy options to grasp improvement opportunities.

Around a quarter of the world’s furniture is manufactured within the European Union – representing a €84 billion market that equates to an EU28 consumption of ~10.5 million tonnes of furniture per annum while employing approximately 1 million European workers and consisting of, predominantly, SMEs.

Businesses and consumers discard 10 million tonnes of furniture in EU Member States each year, the majority of which is destined for either landfill or incineration. There is minimal activity in higher-value circular resource flows, with remanufacturing accounting for less than 2% of the EU manufacturing turnover. In terms of furniture in particular, whilst reuse is common this tends to be on a small scale and with local social goals in mind.

Barriers to a circular furniture sector range from low quality materials, limited logistical infrastructure, poor demand for recycled materials to a wider range identified through the course of this research, informed through stakeholder consultation and literature review.

A move towards circular economy models within the European furniture sector would benefit from a variety of complimentary policy instruments to deal with market failures on the supply side (i.e. ensuring return of items and creating durable, refurbished and remanufactured items) and the demand side (creating demand for these products). The report concludes by estimating the impacts on additional tonnes reused & recycled, net carbon reduction and job creation these policy options might have separately. 

Various policy instruments thus have the potential to help overcoming the main barriers, with a need to address both supply side and demand side issues to provide both the market push and pull required. The logic suggests that a mandatory but simple Extended Producer Responsibility system, with gradually increasing targets for ‘preparing for reuse’ and separate recycling targets, would provide the most certainty in terms of positive outcomes.

 

 

Klättermusen makes outdoor clothing and backpacks from recycled polyamide and polyester

klateermusen recycled polyamide backpack

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Country: 
Sweden

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Klättermusen is a Swedish outdoor clothing company producing waterproof jackets, pants and backpacks made at least partly from recycled polyamide. The polyamide is created from post-industrial waste including packaging materials from factories, old carpets as well as discarded industrial fishing nets.

ECOALF makes swimwear and jackets from PET and recycled polyester

Ecoalf

ECOALF is a Spanish fashion company with a sustainable profile. ECOALF makes swimwear from 100 % recycled fabrics made from PET and recycled polyester.

Breaking the Barriers to the Circular Economy

Deloitte UU white paper title page

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Author: 
Deloitte, Utrecht University
Publication Date: 
10/2017
Country: 
Netherlands

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Contact: 
Julian Kirchherr

The Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, the Netherlands and Deloitte have jointly carried out research on barriers to the Circular Economy (CE) in the European Union. For this research, a survey with 153 businesses, 55 government officials and expert interviews with forty-seven thought leaders on the circular economy from businesses, governments, academia and NGOs have been carried out. Two types of barriers emerged as main barriers.

Firstly, there are the cultural barriers of lacking consumer interest and awareness as well as a hesitant company culture. This finding is at odds with claims that the circular economy concept is hyped; rather, the concept may be a niche discussion among sustainable development professionals.

Secondly, market barriers emerged as a core category of barriers, particularly low virgin material prices and high upfront investments costs for circular business models.

Government intervention might be needed to overcome the market barriers which then may also help to overcome cultural barriers. Cultural barriers do also need to be overcome by circular start-ups. And, even though there is still no circular startup that has made global headlines, this may change soon.

Indicators for a Circular Economy

Indicators for a Circular Economy - Cover

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Author: 
Vercalsteren An, Christis Maarten, Van Hoof Veronique
Publication Date: 
06/2018
Country: 
Belgium

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Contact: 
An Vercalsteren

This short term assignment for Circular Flanders aims to provide an inventory of indicators that are relevant to monitor the transition to a circular economy and to measure the effects of new policy and trends. The inventory of indicators is based on scoreboards and monitoring frameworks developed by the EU and reports by JRC and EEA. This list is supplemented with indicators known by the authors and a literature search, representing a first step towards the development of a circular economy index.

The scope of indicators varies largely, e.g. material flow indicators can focus on global figures, but also on a specific substance content in a component. In this study we distinguish between macro, meso and micro level indicators. An extensive list of indicators discussed in literature and related to the circular economy is developed, of which a selection is discussed more in detail in fact sheets. The fact sheets report different aspects of the indicator: definition and scope, data availability, level of detail, future developments, links to circular economy and the availability of a benchmark (policy targets, …). Indicators related to the circular economy can be classified according to different criteria.

To have a visual overview of some important characteristics of the indicators assessed in this study, they are classified on 3 axes that represent different criteria:

  1. Micro, meso, macro level
  2. CE strategies
  3. Technology versus socio institutional

The study shows that lack of data (from macro to micro) and time and effort constraints (from micro to macro) are key barriers to link indicators on a macro/meso level on the one hand with indicators on a micro level on the other hand. Another observation is that existing indicators focus primarily on physical parameters, like kilograms, that are more technology-related. Indicators focusing on socio-institutional aspects are less well-defined and less frequently included in monitoring frameworks. The same applies for high-level circularity strategies. Very few indicators capture the effect of strategies that relate to smarter product use & manufacture and extending the life span of products. A transition to a circular economy may not be looked at from a material perspective only, but should include also other environmental impacts such as climate change. Indicators monitoring environmental impacts exist already and can easily be combined and integrated in a set of indicators for monitoring the circular economy.

With respect to future monitoring of developments of circularity indicators, several initiatives are ongoing on a European level to define a set of indicators that are useful for monitoring the circular economy, based on existing indicators. In parallel, researchers are working on the definition and methodology development of additional indicators that focus on aspects particular to the circular economy that are not yet captured by existing indicators, like reuse and remanufacturing strategies.

Moving in circles: Logistics as key enabler for a circular economy

Moving in circles: Logistics as key enabler for a circular economy

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Author: 
Verena Fennemann, Christian Hohaus, Jan-Philip Kopka
Publication Date: 
07/2018
Country: 
Germany

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The principle of Circular Economy is to keep raw materials within the economic cycle as long as possible while generating the lowest possible amount of waste and emission. To do so, end-of-life products and materials must be kept at the highest possible level of value creation according to their original use. Adapted logistical concepts to coordinate both material and information flows - in addition to innovative business models and new approaches to product design for recycling - are necessary to realise circularity in the economy.

The megatrend of digitalisation, especially through Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things, offers solutions that have not yet been applied extensively. Possible disadvantages of rebound effects due to Circular Economy and increased demand for resources caused by the deployment of digital technologies must also be taken into consideration. Due to its strong integration into the processes of production, there is scope for digitised management of resource and waste logistics to make a substantial contribution to a sustainable economy

The white paper discusses the various dimension of logistics that support the Circular Economy transition by reflecting upon the following trends: atomisation of shipments, information logistics and data sovereignty, new manufacturing technologies, autonomous systems in Industry 4.0 and Social Networked Industry. Uses cases are developed for each of these trends, whose respective impacts on respectively producers, consumers, recycling businesses and the environment are also analysed.

Further scenario analysis for both a gradual and radical transition to Circular Economy shows the differing impact these trends might have in varying intensity on manufacturing, logistics and recycling. The white paper concludes that logistics is crucial in all levels of the transition to a circular economy, as it forms the core of transporting goods, transferring information in self-organising supply chain networks and developing new business models. 

The circular economy: New or Refurbished as CE 3.0?

The circular economy: New or Refurbished as CE 3.0?

Author: 
Denise Reike, Walter J.V. Vermeulen, Sjors Witjes
Publication Date: 
08/2018
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Denise Reike

Over the last decade, the concept of the circular economy has regained attention, especially related to efforts to achieve a more sustainable society. The ‘revival’ of the circular economy has been accompanied by controversy and confusion across different actors in science and practice. With this article the authors attempt at contributing to advanced clarity in the field and providing a heuristic that is useful in practice. Initially, they take a focus on the historical development of the concept of circular economy and value retention options for products and materials aiming for increased circularity.

The authors propose to distinguish three phases in the evolution of the circular economy and argue that the concept – in its dominant framing – is not as new as frequently claimed. Having established this background knowledge, they give insights into ‘how far we are’ globally, with respect to the implementation of circularity, arguing that high levels of circularity have already been reached in different parts of the globe with regard to longer loop value retention options, such as energy recovery and recycling. Subsequently, the authors show that the confusion surrounding the circular economy is more far reaching. They summarize the divergent perspectives on retention options and unite the most common views using a 10R typology.

From their analyses, the authors conclude that policymakers and businesses should focus their efforts on realization of the more desirable, shorter loop retention options, like remanufacturing, refurbishing and repurposing – yet with a view on feasibility and overall system effects. Scholars, on the other hand, should assist the parties contributing to an increased circular economy in practice by taking up a more active role in attaining consensus in conceptualizing the circular economy.

Impacts of the circular economy policies on labour market

Impacts of circular economy policies on the labour market

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Author: 
ICF, Trinomics, Cambridge Econometrics
Publication Date: 
05/2018
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Juan Perez Lorenzo

How does a transition to a more circular economy affect jobs and skills demand in Europe?

This report looked at trends of circular economy activities across different sectors and quantified these activities as modelling inputs to provide employment changes for different sectors. The analysis also provides estimates of the occupational shifts and skills requirements that a shift to a more circular economy could entail.

The aim of this report is to develop an understanding of how a transition towards a more circular and resource efficient economy in Europe will affect labour markets across the Member States. Our analysis is the most comprehensive quantification of the EU jobs impacts from the circular economy to date. By using a fully integrated energy-environment-economy model (E3ME), our analysis considers both direct job losses and job creations that result from a shift to a more circular economy. It also captures indirect, induced and rebound impacts from interactions between sectors, Member States, and between economic, environment, material, energy and labour market indicators.

Our findings suggest that the EU is on the right track by making the circular economy a policy priority as circular economy policies will contribute to reducing negative environmental impacts, while simultaneously contributing to higher employment levels. By moving towards a more circular economy, GDP in the EU increases by almost 0.5% by 2030 compared to the baseline case. The net increase in jobs is approximately 700,000 compared to the baseline through additional labour demand from recycling plants, repair services and rebounds in consumer demand from savings generated through collaborative actions Although the magnitude of job creation is driven by our assumption of the rate of circular economy uptake in the scenarios, our analysis confirms that it is possible to become more resource efficient and increase employment at the same time.

Die Oekonomischen auswirkungen einer Verbesserung des Deutschen Gewaehrleistungsrechts

Study on the economic impact of extending warranty rights in Europe

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Author: 
Kilian Bizer, Martin Fuehr, Till Proeger
Publication Date: 
09/2016
Country: 
Germany

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Contact: 
Otmar Lell

The study analysed the economic effects of the transposition of Directive 1999/44/EC concerning warranty rights, which had to be transposed into national law by January 2002. A number of publications had suggested that strengthening warranty rights for consumer goods as foreseen in the directive could increase the price level of these goods, possibly resulting in a reduced purchases. The study addressed both questions by analysing data from several EU countries. The first question was addressed by analysing inflation rates of general prices and of prices for the consumer goods affected by the directive in the time period 1998 until 2002. The second question was analysed by looking at the share of consumers who used online consumer-to-consumer markets, which were not covered by the warranty rights foreseen in the directive.

The comparison of inflation rates for consumer goods showed that inflation rates for consumer goods were below the general inflation rate between 1998 and 2004. Therefore, between 1998 and 2004 prices for the different groups of consumer goods covered by the directive did not increase but actually appear to have decreased slightly. This effect has been found for all countries analysed with no significant differences between countries transposing the minimum standards and those that went beyond. The second part of the analysis addressed the question if a developed market for online consumer-to-consumer selling of goods exists, for which the new seller's warranties weren't valid. In case of price increases for business-to-consumer markets – which have not been found in the first part of the analysis – part of the transactions could be transferred to these markets. The analysis showed that the vast majority of consumers in Western European countries used the internet regularly to purchase goods, including the online-platform Ebay. In case of increasing prices for consumer goods because of strengthened warranty rights, part of the transactions would move to online consumer-to-consumer markets rather than resulting in an overall decline of consumer goods purchases. The general conclusion was that over the analysed time period no negative impact of strengthened warranty rights on the price level of consumer goods could be found.

ESPON - Possible European Territorial Futures - Vol. D - Place Based Circular Economy

Cover page ESPON Futures Circular Economy

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Author: 
Kai Böhme, Frank Holstein, Nathalie Wergles (Spatial Foresight), Andreu Ulied, Oriol BIosca, Laura Nogera, Marite Guevara, Dubravka Kruljac (Mcrit)t, Klaus Spiekermann, Lina Kluge (Spiekermann & Wegener Urban and Regional Research), Carlo Sessa, Riccardo Enei, Stefano Faberi (Isinnova)
Publication Date: 
02/2018
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Kai Böhme (Spatial Foresight)
Marjan van Herwijne (ESPON)

What would the European territory look like in 2030, if Europe had completed a transition to a place based circular economy?

The fourth volume of the ' Possible European Territorial Futures' Final report, Volume D, focuses on the impact that a place based circular economy will have on territorial development in EU and provides background information and nuanced considerations concerning the territorial foresight for a place based circular economy. It is part of a larger ESPON study on territorial foresight, aiming to better understand the implications of either development trends or ideas for a wanted or unwanted future. Europe’s territorial structure under a place based circular economy will differ from the one we know today. This economy will imply dramatic changes for all parts of Europe and will also affect urbanisation and territorial balance. At a European level, the differences between strong socio-economic areas and the lagging regions may reduce under a place based circular economy. The study illustrates the potential for small and medium-sized towns, as well as the challenges for sparsely populated areas and inner-peripheries. It also highlights the importance of networks in driving innovations in a circular economy and leading areas in the sharing economy. Furthermore, the study shows areas which could expect particular transition challenges in consumer behaviour (including tourists) and changing manufacturing structures.

 

Waste prevention in Europe - policies, status and trends in reuse in 2017

Waste prevention in Europe - policies, status and trends in reuse in 2017

Cover EEA report 4 2018

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Author: 
Henning Wilts, Bettina Bahn-Walkowiak, Ybele Hoogeveen
Publication Date: 
06/2018
Country: 
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, EU, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom

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Contact: 
Ybele Hoogeveen

This is the fourth EEA report in a series of annual reviews of waste prevention programmes in Europe as stipulated in the European Union (EU) Waste Framework Directive.

This review focuses on reuse and covers 33 national and regional waste prevention programmes that had been adopted by the end of 2017.

Article 11 of the Waste Framework Directive states that Member States should take appropriate measures to promote reuse and preparing for reuse such as encouraging the establishment and support of reuse and repair networks. The report describes how reuse is addressed in the waste prevention programmes and provides data on the status of and trends in reuse systems in Europe. Chapter 1 introduces the concept of waste prevention in a circular economy and describes the policy background. It explains the review's approach and defines key terms used. Chapter 2 investigates the existing waste prevention programmes, looking at their scope and reuse objectives, measures and indicators, as well as the sectors and stakeholders addressed. Chapter 3 examines the status of and potential for reuse for key product groups (i.e. textiles, electrical and electronic equipment, furniture, vehicles, and buildings and building components). Chapter 4 concludes with key findings and prospects for reuse in the context of the circular economy agenda.

The circular economy – a powerful force for climate mitigation

The circular economy – a powerful force for climate mitigation

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Author: 
Material Economics
Publication Date: 
06/2018
Country: 
Finland

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Contact: 
Sitra

This report investigates how a more circular economy can contribute to cutting CO2 emissions. It explores a broad range of opportunities for the four largest materials in terms of emissions (steel, plastics, aluminium, and cement) and two large use segments for these materials (passenger cars and buildings). The key conclusion is that a more circular economy can make deep cuts to emissions from heavy industry: in an ambitious scenario, as much as 296 million tons CO2 per year in the EU by 2050, out of 530 Mt in total – and some 3.6 billion tonnes per year globally. Making better use of the materials that already exist in the economy thus can take EU industry halfway towards net-zero emissions. Moreover, doing so often is economically attractive. Initiatives for a more circular economy therefore deserve a central place in EU climate and industrial policy.

Public Procurement for a Circular Economy

Public Procurement for a Circular Economy

Circular Procurement brochure

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Author: 
ICLEI
Publication Date: 
10/2017
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Ashleigh McLennan

In order to support public purchasers to leverage support for a transition to a circular economy, in October 2017 the European Commission published 'Public Procurement for a Circular Economy'. This brochure contains a range of good practice case studies as well as guidance on integrating circular economy principles into procurement.

How the Circular Economy can benefit from the Digital Revolution

How the circular economy can benefit from the digital revolution

How the Circular Economy can benefit from the Digital Revolution

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Author: 
Romain Pardo
Publication Date: 
04/2018
Country: 
Belgium

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Contact: 
Rebecca Castermans

In a circular economy, materials are more durable and easier to repair, reuse and recycle while waste is turned into a resource. In addition, processes from production to waste management become more resource efficient. Innovative business models enable companies to create value by selling services rather than products. Digital technologies will be pivotal in bringing about this systemic change. The European Union has to make the most of digital solutions for the benefit of a circular economy. This requires addressing the barriers to their uptake, enabling the free flow of data across borders, fostering trust in the data economy, and maximising synergies between the digital and circular economy agendas.

KATCH_e: Knowledge Alliance on Product-Service Development towards Circular Economy and Sustainability in Higher Education

KATCH_e: Knowledge Alliance on Product-Service Development towards Circular Economy and Sustainability in Higher Education

KATCH_e: Knowledge Alliance on Product-Service Development towards Circular Economy and Sustainability in Higher Education
Brochure
Author: 
Irina Celades
Publication Date: 
09/2017
Country: 
Portugal

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Scope:

Contact: 
Cristina Sousa Rocha

The Knowledge Alliance on Product-Service Development towards Circular Economy and Sustainability in Higher Education (KATCH_e) is a 3-year EU funded project that was launched in January 2017. KATCH_e brings together 11 partners from four EU countries to address the challenge of reinforcing the skills and competences in the field of product-service development for the circular economy and sustainability in the construction and furniture sectors. It develops training materials targeting universities, researchers, practitioners and businesses for the development of sustainable product-services. The main results of KATCH_e are:

  • KATCH_e Curriculum;
  • KATCH_e Course with 10 Modules;
  • MOOC;
  • KATCH_e Tools;
  • Innovative product ad product-service concepts;
  • Business strategies towards circular economy;
  • Didactic recommendations for learning approaches on circular economy.

The Role of Business in the Circular Economy: Markets, Processes and Enabling Policies

The role of business in the circular economy: Markets, processes and enabling policies

The circular economy is attracting significant interest worldwide, as evidenced by the numerous government strategies, business commitments and partnerships devoted to its development. At the EU level, the Action Plan for the Circular Economy and several other policy documents have demonstrated a strong commitment to move towards a low-carbon and circular economy. While the calls for a new economic model grow louder, it is clear that the transformation of markets and industries on a large scale will not be an easy achievement. It will require well-designed and ambitious policies to foster the transition as well as new business models. Against this background, CEPS brought together executives from major multinational companies as well as representatives of business associations, non-governmental organisations and research institutes to form a Task Force charged with tackling the immense challenges associated with the circular economy. This report is the outcome of their deliberations. It analyses the key obstacles that need to be addressed, explores numerous policy areas at the EU and national level where support can act as a catalyst for market transformation, and puts forward actionable policy recommendations.

Toxics in Carpets in the European Union

Swept under the rug: new report reveals toxics in European carpets threatening health, environment and circular economy

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Author: 
Jessica Onyshko, Rob Hewlett
Publication Date: 
03/2018
Country: 
United Kingdom

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Contact: 
Genon Jensen

Toxic substances linked to a range of adverse health impacts can be present in carpets sold in the European Union, the European Public Health Alliance and the Health and Environment Alliance warned today following a new study by Anthesis. The study identifies over 59 hazardous substances found in carpets sold in the EU, including endocrine disruptors and carcinogens, linked to serious health conditions such as cancers, learning disabilities and fertility problems.

Ladeja Godina Košir

Ladeja Godina Kosir

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Country: 
Slovenia
About this contact: 

Ladeja Godina Košir is recognised as the regional "engine of circular economy". She is the founder and executive director of the Circular Change platform, finalist of The Circular Leadership Award 2018 and Chair of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform. Ladeja has more than 20 years’ experience in communications on economic and societal transformation across the Adriatic region, empowering a new narrative of circular culture.

Circular Change is a private non-profit organisation serving as the entry point for circular economy projects across Europe. Instrumental in the stakeholder-led drafting of the Roadmap towards the Circular Economy for Slovenia, adopted by Slovenia's government in May 2018, the platform also serves as Slovenian Circular Hotspot within the Circular Hotspot Network. Overall the platform advocates for a stronger link between design and circular economy as the key to creating products that are useful, efficient, repairable and beautiful.

Circular economy Logistics: für eine Kreislaufwirtschaft 4.0

Circular economy Logistics: für eine Kreislaufwirtschaft 4.0

Circular economy Logistics: für eine Kreislaufwirtschaft 4.0
Author: 
Verena Fennemann, Fraunhofer IML, Christian Hohaus, Fraunhofer IML, Jan-Philip Kopka, Fraunhofer IML
Publication Date: 
10/2017
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Verena Fennemann

This White Paper deals with the role of logistics in the Circular Economy as well as trends and developments in logistics which will enable the transformation of economy towards the Circular Economy.

Cement, concrete & the circular economy

Cement, concrete & the circular economy

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Author: 
CEMBUREAU
Publication Date: 
09/2016
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Nikos Nikolakakos

The following publication provides an overview of why the cement and concrete industry is central to the circular economy and what can be done to leverage the opportunities.

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