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Orange Fiber squeezes orange peel into versatile, biodegradable textile

orange fiber image

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Country: 
Italy

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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

Pura's Blue Right: cleaning with purely circular products

PURA

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Country: 
Netherlands

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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. 

Samen circulair ontwerpen: circulaire architectuur en bouw

Samen circulair ontwerpen: circulaire architectuur en bouw

bna report logo

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Author: 
One Future Play
Publication Date: 
09/2018
Country: 
Netherlands

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When 68 Dutch architectural firms signed a manifesto for circular construction in 2018, it became apparent that this field is committed and eager to apply circular economy principles in designing and building for sustainable development. Nonetheless there are few available resources on commencing such a process, which is why the BNA (Dutch Association of Architects) commissioned a study on 'Designing Circularity Jointly: Circular Architecture and Construction' in 2018.

The transition to a circular economy is a quest where nobody has the correct and precise information on what inputs are required to reduce carbon emissions, ensure raw materials are processed in a circular loop and the built environment is repurposed at end of life. Designing truly circular buildings requires frameworks and insights. These are summarised in the report's eight key messages:

  • circular economy is a shared quest full of complexity, obstacles and uncertainty, which is why openness, trust and courage are crucial;
  • architects need more circular assignments to be able to benchmark and share experiences with each other;
  • architects should play a greater role in designing buildings that can actually be built, maintained and recycled;
  • collaboration across the entire value chain is necessary to map out resource flows and design in a truly circular fashion;
  • regulation stimulates either renovation or newbuilds, becoming an obstacle when architects attempt to fuse old structures with new materials, linear raw materials with circular processes, and outdated standards with pioneering ones;
  • despite a lot of information being available, architects find it difficult to access sustainable materials that have passed the necessary quality checks;
  • the lack of clear guidelines about what is circular in the construction sector limits the adoption of corresponding principles;
  • there are no easily accessible and understandable tools to guide practitioners in designing a circular structure.

Compastor Technology: composting in a different way

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Country: 
Hungary

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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.

28 Nov 2018

Pollutec is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018: the trade show has established itself as a true showcase of all the equipment, technologies and services for the environment and energy.

Les indicateurs de l'économie circulaire pour les entreprises

Les indicateurs de l'économie circulaire pour les entreprises

Les indicateurs de l'économie circulaire pour les entreprises

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Study
Author: 
Emmanuelle Moesch et Carlota Vicente (INEC), David Laurent (EpE)
Publication Date: 
11/2018
Country: 
France
France

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French

Sector:

All sectors

Scope:

EU

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.

Pour les orienter, les membres d’Entreprises pour l’Environnement (EpE) et de l’Institut National de l’Economie Circulaire (INEC) ont réalisé cette publication commune.

04 Dec 2018
scaling up green innovations event invite

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.

21 Nov 2018

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City: 
Bucharest
Country: 
Romania

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On November 21, Romania's Institute for Research in Circular Economy and Environment "Ernest Lupan" is organising a workshop on bio-waste in a circular economy, which aims to engage all relevant and stakeholders at the national level to provide reccomendations on composting policy.

Transition to a circular economy model for sustainable production and consumption patterns

National Action Plan on Circular Economy

Publication Date: 
02/2018
Country: 
Greece

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Strategy level:

Contact: 
Vasileios Liogkas

Greece's Governmental Economic Policy Council ensorsed a National Action Plan on Circular Economy in early 2018 to set the country on a path towards the long-term adoption of circular economy principles. This further supports Greece's economic strategy in its key quest to “Green” the economy in a way that creates jobs, especially for women and youth, and supports long-term equitable and inclusive growth based on resource efficiency, promotion of SMEs, innovation and investment in new technologies, and strengthening of the “social economy” potential. The long-term (2030) goals of the National Action Plan on Circular Economy can be summarised as follows:

  • moving up the waste hierarchy by focusing on preventing waste and improving recycling
  • supporting circular entrepreneurship by promoting “industrial symbiosis” and business clusters
  • supporting circular consumption patterns of re-using, re-storing and re-pairing rather than buying new products, especially for electrical and electronic devices
  • enhancing multi-stakeholder partnerships across industry, academia, and civil society
  • monitoring progress towards a circular economic model through SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) indicators.

Priority actions for 2018 include:

  1. lifting barriers to a circular economy through 10+ regulatory and legislative interventions, e.g. integrating circular economy considerations and criteria in the Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Impact Assessment requirements for sites and projects as well as in the environmental permitting process or  elaborating new legal definitions for wastes, by-products and re-fuse materials after first use intended for re-use, declassification of waste and quality standards for secondary raw materials
  2. earmarking existing funds to implement the aforementioned interventions and fund demonstration projects
  3. further enhancing knowledge, understanding, education, awareness and communication
  4. improving governance structures by setting up an inter-ministerial Executive Secretariat for the Circular Economy to oversee implementation and related Observatory to monitor progress

Prior to this, Greece has already adopted a new Law on Recycling in November 2017 to fully align existing waste legislation with circular economy principles and taken effective measures to reduce the consumtion of single-use plastic bags with a ministerial decision in August 2017 that introduced merchant responsibility and set fees for consumers. With these measures and the actions set out in the National Circular Economy Action Plan, Greece aims to achieve the following by 2020:

  • achieve a radical reduction of the per capita produced waste
  • increase reuse and recycling of wastes, with a separate collection of recyclable waste and of bio-waste, to reach 50% of total municipal solid waste produced from a 25% where it stands today
  • reach a 74% recovery and less than 30% disposal of total municipal solid waste produced from the current 82% disposal
  • create around 15,900 new jobs and the increase of the annual turnover of the waste management related businesses.
03 Dec 2018
Italian Circular Economy Stakeholders' Platform

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City: 
Rome
Country: 
Italy

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On the 3rd of December 2018, the Italian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ICESP) will hold its first annual conference. The platform's activities to date will be presented and its future development will be discussed.

100 Italian Circular Economy Stories

100 Italian Circular Economy Stories

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Author: 
Enel, Symbola
Publication Date: 
03/2018
Country: 
Italy

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Contact: 
CircularEconomy@ENEL

100 Italian circular economy stories compiles successful innovations from companies, research institutes and non-profits across 11 sectors throughout Italy. Their stories show the transition towards a circular economy is gaining traction on the ground as a sustainable alternative to the incumbent methods of production.

A circular economy will not happen through policy alone: it requires companies, start-ups, foundations, research centres, universities, consortia and associations to apply the principles of a circular economy to practice. This book features 100 such examples from Italy, including Aquafil's regenerated nylon yarn and Favini's non-virgin papers. The whole collection of stories ranges from across the following 11 sectors:

  • Clothing and accessories
  • Agri-food
  • Furniture / Construction
  • Industrial automation and other Manufacturing
  • Chemistry and Pharmaceutics
  • Research & Development
  • Electrics and Electronics
  • New Materials and Resources
  • Enablers and Platforms
  • Promotion and Dissemination

​​These 100 stories clearly demonstrate that change is underway by showing how Italian products are brought to market using increasingly integrated technologies and supply chains which exchange materials and energy. The diffusion of such circular processes will enable more and more companies to free themselves from using costly virgin resources, gradually rendering the whole economy more sustainable.

For reference with the Italian circular economy strategy, please check the 2017 white paper "Towards a model of circular economy in Italy"

Kierratyskeskus: a growing chain of big box re-use stores across Helsinki

Kierrätyskeskus store

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Country: 
Finland

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Kierratyskeskus is a growing chain of seven big box re-use stores, selling all possible furniture, household items and craft supplies in the Helsinki area.

Automotive industry: plastic recyclates offering prime-like performances in new parts

Automotive plastic parts: recycled material performs at over 80% of prime

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Germany

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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 EIB Circular Economy Guide

EIB Guide to Circular Economy

The EIB Circular Economy Guide
Author: 
European Investment Bank
Publication Date: 
10/2018
Country: 
Luxembourg

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The EIB Circular Economy Guide guide explains why and how the circular transition can be achieved.
Contact: 
CircularEconomy@EIB

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.

06 Dec 2018 to 07 Dec 2018
Boosting Circularity among SMEs

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City: 
Brussels
Country: 
Belgium

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In December 2018 DG ENV is organising a two-day workshop aimed at SMEs and regional authorities to join forces, boost the transition and bridge the gap in achieving a circular economy.

Ballymun's boiler house is now a 3D textbook on reuse

Rediscovery Centre

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Country: 
Ireland

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When Dublin's Ballymun suburb was scheduled for regeneration, a local environmental project redeveloped the neighbourhood's heating plant into a 3D textbook on repair, reuse and refurbish. The Rediscovery Centre, housed in the old boiler house, is now a cutting-edge creative space connecting people, resources and ideas that includes four social enterprises.

Austria Glas Agenda 2030 - Future in Glass

Austria Glas Agenda 2030
Author: 
Austria Glas Recycling GmbH
Publication Date: 
10/2017
Country: 
Austria

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Contact: 
Marina Luggauer

Austria Glas Recycling Gmbh is setting the course for the future: the Austria Glas Agenda 2030, which it has developed together with stakeholders, experts and scholars, defines the orientation of the glass recycling system according to the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The Austria Glass Agenda 2030 is pioneering work setting new impulses for the implementation of the SDGs. As one of the first companies in Austria, Austria Glas Recycling Gmbh is facing the challenge to implement the SDGs in all its business processes. The Austria Glas Agenda 2030 is the basis for future project developments of the glass recycling system.

In addition, the Austria Glas Agenda 2030 should serve as a role model for other sectors and inspire them to take action for the SDGs.

The Luxembourg EcoInnovation Cluster - Promoting circular economy

Luxembourg Ecoinnovation webpage
Country: 
Luxembourg

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The Luxembourg EcoInnovation Cluster, managed by Luxinnovation, the National Agency for Innovation and Research, is an active network that brings together and supports various players of the clean technologies sector with the ultimate goal of turning the concept of circular economy into a reality in Luxembourg. The cluster's objectives are the following:

  • diversify the activities of the Luxembourg companies thus allowing them to gain and to develop new capabilities in the clean technologies field;
  • contribute to the development of new environmental solutions in the field of eco-technologies and sustainable construction;
  • raise public awareness to the uptake of “green technologies”;
  • build public-private partnerships in order to develop new collaborative projects of common interest;
  • encourage networking between public and private actors at the national and international level.

The cluster provides the following services:

  • access to practical and technical information related to specific questions on eco-innovation;
  • advice on national and European funding opportunities for clean technologies;
  • value-added information on emerging technologies and markets.

Luxembourg Wood Cluster

Luxembourg Wood Cluster

The Luxembourg Wood Cluster was set up in 2016 as a platform for exchange between all players in the wood sector, spanning from wood production to the end consumers of wood products. Its structure is managed by Luxinnovation, the National Agency for Innovation and Research.

As a meeting point for innovative, public and private organisations in the region – companies as well as research centres – the Wood Cluster brings together know-how and facilitates the sharing of experience in Luxembourg and beyond. Optimising the market release and the use of wood resources in order to lengthen their life cycles, and creating and enhancing regional wood product chains are among its objectives.

Its underlying logic is that of improving the recovery of this sustainable material par excellence at local and regional level. To this end, the Cluster:

  • promotes the wood sector as a whole,
  • organises networking events for its members ("Meet a member"),
  • organises conferences and thematic visits, 
  • manages technical working groups around the themes of wood production, processing and use,
  • looks for innovative projects and new technologies at national and international level, 
  • identifies and manages strategic flagship projects, and
  • supports sectoral SMEs and start-ups.

Luxembourg as a knowledge capital and testing ground for the circular economy

Luxembourg as a knowledge capital and testing ground for the circular economy

Lux CE report cover page

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Author: 
EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung GmbH, Returnity Partners
Publication Date: 
12/2015
Country: 
Luxembourg

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Contact: 
Paul Rasque
Ministry of Economics

The circular economy is more than a potential model for Luxembourg; it is an economic imperative. Due to its history of exhausting resources then finding substitutes, Luxembourg is already a testing ground for circularity methods. For example its steel, aluminum, glass, and other industries are expert at re-using secondary raw materials. The re-use of those materials is core to their economic survival. It is a competitive necessity to sharpen their capacities in those areas.

Because Luxembourg’s exemplary European society is based on equity, cultural tolerance, economic stability, responsive government and manageable size, the country is a powerful proving ground for circularity. Its heritage of quality and its service-based economy allow leveraging of skills to take advantage of the embedded growth potential. The likely benefits for Luxembourg are considerable. The starting position is excellent. The capabilities and motivation seem to be in place. It is now only a question of providing a nucleus and initial catalyst to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy at scale. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Ministry of the Economy in particular have powerful roles to play as catalysts for circularity.

In the present situation where knowledge of circular economy potential is low but know-how for supporting technology and services is high, the government has a special brief opportunity to seize the initiative by delivering powerful messages about circularity through initiating and coordinating actions, as well as supporting those with a solid foundation of education, training and national co-branding. By leveraging those mechanisms the government will provide the enabling framework for its stakeholders to implement a circular economy with innovative lighthouse initiatives.

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