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Unlocking circular business: A framework of barriers and drivers

Unlocking circular business: A framework of barriers and drivers

Author: 
Nina Tura, Jyri Hanski, Tuomas Ahola, Matias Stahle, Sini Piiparinen, Pasi Valkokari
Publication Date: 
03/2019
Country: 
Finland

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Circular economy increasingly attracts the interest of business, policy makers and academia in the search for answers to sustainability challenges. While earlier studies have presented drivers that support the introduction of new business concepts for circular economy, as well as barriers that hinder the rate of innovation in the field, no systematic categorizations of such factors have been brought forward.

Drawing on current literature, a framework of drivers and barriers is introduced, including seven distinct areas: environmental, economic, social, political and institutional, technological and informational, supply chain, and organizational factors. The appearance and content of these areas in practice have been examined in four case organizations by conducting thirty-six qualitative, semi-structured interviews. Empirical illustrations of the potential barriers and drivers provide managerial implications for better execution of circular business.

A long-term strategy for a European circular economy – setting the course for success

A long-term strategy for a European circular economy – setting the course for success

think 2030 circular economy cover page

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Author: 
Romain Pardo, Jean-Pierre Schweitzer
Publication Date: 
11/2018
Country: 
EU

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The concept of circular economy is gaining traction. This has led to various policy actions throughout the life cycle of a product ranging from measures on eco-design to recycling targets. Despite the progressive incorporation of the circular economy in industrial and innovation policies, the EU and Member States policies have a strong focus on increasing recycling rates, reducing landfilling and creating markets for secondary raw materials. On their own these measures are insufficient to result in a paradigm shift in resource use and current targets inadequate to provide a clear direction of travel.

Within the framework of THINK 2030, an IEEP project to support a science-based agenda for European environmental policy beyond 2020, the authors set out what policy actions the EU and Member States can and should take in the coming decade to achieve a circular shift in Europe.

Barriers & Drivers towards a Circular Economy

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Author: 
Freek van Eijk
Publication Date: 
03/2016
Country: 
Netherlands

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Contact: 
Freek van Eijk

The Barriers & Drivers to a Circular Economy report provides a review of pre-Circular Economy Action Plan studies on green growth, and showed that "a Circular Economy demands a system change with parallel actions along the value chain rather than a purely sector and/or product focused approach".

While many strategies by national and regional governments have been launched since the report's publication in 2015, its succinct overview of the issues impeding a circular transition remains useful for policy researchers. Many barriers, especially with consumer acceptance or price incentives of recylced materials, persist till today.

The Circular Economy - Challenges, Opportunities and Pathways for European Businesses

The Circular Economy - Challenges, Opportunities and Pathways for European Businesses

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Author: 
Valerio Burlizzi
Publication Date: 
01/2019
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Valerio Burlizzi

The Challenges, Opportunities and Pathways for European Business in Circular Economy report is a EUROCHAMBRES initiative launched in order to better understand if and how the circular economy will benefit European businesses, and to delineate a successful transition. This will be the basis for a policy strategy to contribute to an enriching debate on future legislative proposals at European level.

This report is a comprehensive meta-analysis of the most up-to-date quantitative studies on the circular economy, and elaborates on nine industrial sectors (agriculture, construction, mobility, hospitality and food services, metal manufacturing, electronics, textile, food & drink manufacturing, and plastics) including case studies. Bearing in mind the future of European manufacturing industries and businesses, the paper focuses on European trends derived from available data regarding investment costs, cost savings, and investment opportunities.

30 Jul 2019
kustaa saksi archipelago europa building circular economy

During its Presidency of the Council of the European Union in late 2019, Finland will highlight the EU’s role in leading the transition to a climate neutral Europe with a versatile selection of Finnish artists’ work and a number of exhibitions that will give the public a new view on sustainable development and the circular economy.

Policy Hub on Circular Economy in Apparel and Footwear

Circularity is a necessary solution to minimise the use of finite resources, but it requires a unified approach. The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) and the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) have launched a Policy Hub on Circular Economy to ensure collaboration among industry partners.

Together these organisations will kick-off the development of an impactful and effective policy framework. The C&A Foundation will fund the project throughout 2020. 

The Hub seeks to promote and demonstrate the value of a European policy framework that accelerates circular economy in the apparel, footwear, and textile industry. The Policy Hub will collaborate with a range of initiatives and stakeholders to support the industry in closing the loop of their business practices.

Conference on the Circular Economy and Rational Use of Raw Materials

Start/End date: 
01/07/2018 to 05/07/2020
Country: 
Poland
City: 
Racławice

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Coordination Group activity type:

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Following successful 2017 and 2018 editions, both in Krakow, MEERI-PAS and the WRMC organised a 3rd edition of this conference in Racławice from 2 to 3 July 2019 for more than 200 participants.

04 Oct 2019

Join Kyiv's European Circular Economy Forum on 4 October 2019, organised with support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

03 Jun 2020 to 05 Jun 2020

The third Dresden Nexus Conference will take place on 3-5 June 2020 with the theme "Circular Economy in a Sustainable Society"

Designing plastics circulation

Designing plastics circulation - electrical and electronic products

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Author: 
Nordic Council of Ministers
Publication Date: 
08/2019
Country: 
Denmark, Finland, Sweden

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Today, most electrical/electronic equipment (EEE) is not designed for recycling, let alone for circulation. Plastics in these products account for 20% of material use, and through better design, significant environmental and financial savings could be made. Technological solutions and circular design opportunities already exist, but they have not yet been implemented. Some challenges, such as ease of disassembly, could be resolved through better communication and by sharing learnings across the value chain. Instead of WEEE, we should focus on developing CEEE: Circular Electrical and Electronic Equipment. The case examples of this report show how different stages of the lifecycle can be designed so that circular plastic becomes possible and makes business sense. It is time to take a leap in material flow management and scale up these circular solutions across the industry.

Circular Conversations

Circular Conversations is a digital parlour created to host an open and critical exchange of ideas on what the next society and economy should look like and how to get there.

By initiating conversations with people of different perspectives, ideas and ideologies, disciplines and backgrounds, this decentralized and independent platform shares theories and practices able to shape the direction and design of the next economy.

To read more conversations like the interview with Rieta Aliredjo, 2019 circular economy stakeholder conference keynote speaker, on empowering kids to be circular starts, visit the blog here.

29 Oct 2019
Materials - value chains for circular economy: metal, wood, plastic and concrete
CEN and CENELEC members, together with their industry partners, invite you to a one-day stakeholder workshop in Brussels on 29 October 2019 to address the challenges linked to the circularity of material-use at every phase of the value chain, and to both discuss and identify specific standardization gaps for metal, wood, plastic and concrete circularity.
5 Aug 2019
citeo logo

Citeo Circular Challenge is a programme to detect innovation, essentially in the paper and packaging sectors, which has supported over 700 projects across the entire circular value chain in 2016. Submit your project until 15 September 2019, and win up to €40,000 in grant funding and business services.

20 Sep 2019 to 22 Sep 2019
fixfest2019

In 2017, Fixfest brought together over 200 volunteer repairers and tinkerers, activists, policy-makers, thinkers, and companies from all over the world in the name of taking greater care of the things we own – and better products.

06 Nov 2019 to 07 Nov 2019
urbanrec logo

Event type:

City: 
Brussels
Country: 
Belgium

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Discover the final results of the three-year long URBANREC project by joining project partners on 6 November in Brussels for a morning session of policy dialogue in the European Parliament.

23 Sep 2019
sustaiinable business models for the circular economy logo

On 23 September 2019, the Slovene Business & Research Association will organise a conference in Brussels to present and share best practices in business-research collaboration for bio-circular business models.

Karun upcycles harmful waste into high quality sunglasses

Karun sunglasses and fishing nets

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Country: 
Italy, Sweden, Other (Chile)

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Karün is a Swedish-Chilean company producing sunglass frames entirely from discarded fishing nets and jeans, collected in Patagonia.

09 Dec 2019 to 13 Dec 2019

The SSCPR platform will be hosting 'Turning visionary approaches into planning policies and tools' , a research and policy conference, from 9-13 December 2019 in Bolzano (Italy), with a focus on circular economy in the track on New value propositions in times of urban innovation ecosystems and sharing economies.

For Better Not Worse: Applying Ecodesign Principles to Plastics in the Circular Economy

For Better Not Worse: Applying Ecodesign Principles to Plastics in the Circular Economy

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Author: 
Chloé Fayole, Doreen Fedrigo, Ioana Popescu
Publication Date: 
06/2019
Country: 
Belgium

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Contact: 
Doreen Fedrigo

This report examines the actual implementation of existing measures and potentially relevant new approaches for deepening the application of ecodesign principles for plastic materials and products containing plastic.

It looks at a number of sectors which rely heavily on plastic, including packaging, construction, electronics, automotive, furniture and textiles. The study assesses a wide range of criteria and tools available in horizontal and product regulations, as well as so-called soft tools such as standards, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes and the EU Ecolabel.

The report also looks at the potential of these tools for driving circularity and opportunities for extending promising solutions to other sectors.

Statement from the Architects' Council of Europe - Designing Buildings for Circular Economy

Author: 
Architects' Council of Europe (ACE)
Publication Date: 
06/2019
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Pierre Obajtek

On the occasion of the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF), held on 4-5 June 2019 in Helsinki, the Architects' Council of Europe (ACE) published a Statement highlighting the importance of design to achieve more circularity in the construction and building sector, as well the solutions that architecture can bring.

Like many other sectors, the construction and building sectors operate largely within a linear economy model of “take, make and waste”. Yet, there is growing awareness of the finite nature of natural resources and fragility of our environment, and thereby of the urgent need to develop more sustainable and regenerative economic models.

Architecture has a crucial role to play here as many decisions taken during the design phase have long-lasting consequences on the environmental performance of a building. Developing circular economy principles in the built environment is fundamentally about changing the way we design our buildings to ensure that they can be operated, maintained, repaired, re-used or adapted to new needs, while optimising resource value and generating as little waste as possible. If high-quality architecture can create significant value, conversely, ill-conceived buildings can cause considerable waste and costs, both in the short term as well as for future generations.

Designing and building in a circular manner requires acknowledging that a building is above all a support for life. Beyond optimising the use of resources for their own sake, it is essential to seek to preserve and enhance the economic, social, environmental and cultural value that a place embodies for end-users, so that it can be used for the longest possible time.

The Statement presents different architectural solutions promoting circularity, focusing on preserving and enhancing the value of resources. It also puts forward some policy recommendations to support the architectural approach to circularity.

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