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.
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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when architects attempt to fuse old structures with new materials, linear raw materials with circular processes, and outdated standards with pioneering ones;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.
Remanpath is a workshop that aims to support SMEs in the building industry towards setting up remanufacturing activities in their own business.
Deliver'19 will inspire its visitors with its Urban Mining Collective's showcase of circular methods and products.
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.
Elak is a family-run electronics store in Brussels which has adopted a circular approach to its e-commerce activities from the onset.
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.
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.
Commown is a French cooperative that offers 'Hardware as as Service (HaaS)' for Fairphones and personal computers.
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.
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.
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:
- 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
- earmarking existing funds to implement the aforementioned interventions and fund demonstration projects
- further enhancing knowledge, understanding, education, awareness and communication
- 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.
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 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
- 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 is a growing chain of seven big box re-use stores, selling all possible furniture, household items and craft supplies in the Helsinki area.
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 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.
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.
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.
The Symbola Foundation, Enel & CSR Europe are organising a conference on “100 Italian Circular Economy Stories” on November 15 in Brussels.
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, 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.
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.
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.
ShareWear, a part of the Swedish Democreativity initiative, was launched to inspire a sustainable way to be fashionable. A ready-to-share collection with Swedish fashion items allowed consumers to borrow unique clothing - but only if they shared it forward.
To ensure that policymakers and governments know how and where to implement the circular economy effectively, there is a great need for practical tools to measure it.
Aimed at defining, identifying and quantifying employment opportunities that are needed in the circular economy, Circle Economy and the Erasmus Research Institute for Happiness Economics (Ehero) have developed a standardised and replicable methodology that measures circular employment in cities around the world. This opens up the possibility of monitoring circular employment and therefore empowers cities and governments to effectively invest in the jobs of the future.
The initial findings of this joint research show that 8.1% of all jobs in the Netherlands are currently circular. Once identified, the circular jobs were categorised according to the seven key elements of the circular economy, showing that a large majority are focused on ‘incorporating digital technology’ and ‘preserving and extending what’s already made’. In the past fifteen years, activities that involve ‘repair & maintenance‘ have remained stable in numbers, with the ‘incorporation of digital technologies’ becoming an up and coming job provider. This points to the importance of knowledge-intensive industries and innovation within the Dutch economy.
Luxembourg's new National Waste and Resource Management Plan includes measures and guidelines for the implementation of the amended Waste Management Act of March 21, 2012. It analyzes the situation regarding waste management and lists measures that will be taken to ensure the re-use, recycling, recovery and disposal of waste in the most environmentally friendly conditions while remaining in line with the national and European legislative context. The prevention program is integrated in the text of the national plan and introduces a whole-system approach for waste prevention.
The overall objective of the NWRMP is to protect the environment, cultural property and human health by preventing and reducing the harmful effects of waste. In addition, waste management has long-term goals, including conservation of resources, climate protection and impacts for future generations.
This plan represents a considerable step in the transition towards a circular economy, and builds on the principles of a sober and responsible consumption of natural resources, the optimisation of product life cycles, opportunities for re-use or failing that, waste recycling.
The NWRMP, among others, includes the following ambitious targets for 2022:
- reducing food waste by 50%;
- 65% collection rate of electric and electronic waste;
- less than 10% of all municipal waste going to landfill.
The plan was also drafted in consultation with stakeholders and citizens over a 3-year period. This included thematic workshops on municipal waste, food waste, construction & demolition waste and treatment plant waste. The plan also received input through the May 2017 'National Waste Day' and further public consultations in Spring 2018. Its implementation willl be overseen by the Ministry for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure's environmental agency for the period 2018 - 2022.
The Dutch Government has outlined its plans for the transition to a circular economy in the government-wide circular economy policy programme, entitled ‘A circular economy in the Netherlands by 2050’. A monitoring system is required to determine whether this transition is progressing as planned, a proposal for which is made in this report. This monitoring system will document ‘what we want to know, and what we can already measure’ (the latter being the baseline assessment).
In the monitoring system, a distinction is made between the desired effects and the transition process that needs to take place to bring about these effects. The most important desired effect of the transition to a circular economy is a reduced consumption of natural resources. This will result in fewer environmental effects (e.g. due to greenhouse gas emissions) and reduce our dependence on natural resource imports, and therefore increase resources supply security. Reducing natural resource consumption requires circularity strategies, for example by extending the lifetime of products and product components, such as for smartphones, or through encouraging the sharing of certain products, such as cars. This will call for efforts to ensure that such circularity strategies are adopted, for example by encouraging cooperation between product chain partners, removing regulatory barriers and designing circular products. This is a complex and, initially, slow process. Furthermore, it will take a while before the effects can be seen. Monitoring of both the transition process and its effects, therefore, is relevant.
In this report, we propose indicators for monitoring both the transition process and the effects achieved. We are already able to monitor the effects to some extent, in particular the effects of natural resource consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and waste and waste treatment. These effects are being monitored for the Netherlands as a whole and for the five priority themes of the government-wide programme: biomass and food, plastics, manufacturing, construction, and consumer goods. Transition teams have been appointed for each priority theme and have each drawn up a transition agenda (published at the same time as this report).
Not all the indicators proposed in the monitoring system can currently be measured; this applies in particular to those relating to the transition process. The monitoring system described in this report should therefore be regarded as a growth model. The aim is to develop the monitoring system further in the coming years, together with other knowledge institutes and partners involved in the five transition agendas.
"Cerrar el círculo: el business case de la economía circular" (Closing the loop: the business case for a circular economy) is a report authored in 2018 by Foretica, which shows the latest trends in circular economy, a practical roadmap to guide companies towards a circular mindset as well as best practices from 9 companies that are leading the transition towards a circular economy in Spain.
Forética is a multi-stakeholder non-profit organisation working to promoting ethical and socially responsible policies at the core of institutional and corporate values. In 2017, Foretica launched the Circular Economy Action Group with 9 leading companies: Ecoembes, Endesa, Naturgy, IKEA Ibérica, ING, LafargeHolcim, Nestlé, OHL and Unilever.
The transition towards a circular economy is a key project of the ecological and social transition. The linear model — producing, consuming, discarding — is inevitably leading us towards the depletion of the planet's resources.
We must move towards a different type of economy, where we consume in moderation, where products have a longer lifetime, where we limit waste, and where we are able to transform waste into new resources.
This transition is a genuine societal project whose aim is to move away from the throw-away society. It invites us to change the way we lead our lives and to invent new and more sustainable production and consumption methods. The French roadmap includes four key priority areas: better production, better consumption, better waste management, and engaging all stakeholders.