On 17 and 18 March 2020 the Circular Materials Conference invites you to reimagine materials with the help of emerging technologies and novel collaborations to create a circular future together.
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No time to waste: Unlocking the circular potential of the Baltic Sea Region
The "No time to waste: unlocking the circular potential of the Baltic Sea Region" report, prepared by Politiyka Insight for the 10th annual forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) attempts to review the state of circular economy in that region, while assessing the challenges and opportunities connected with a circular transition. The report also looks into the future by trying to identify key trends that will impact the BSR countries until 2030, and on that basis project the future development of the circular economy, along with alternative scenarios.
The report shows that as of 2019 only Finland and Germany have adopted a circular economy strategy, while Poland, Estonia and Sweden are drafting one. On the other hand, there are circular economy projects active or planned in all countries neighbouring the Baltic sea, except for Lithuania and Latvia. According to its baseline scenario, "the transition to a circular economy will only happen partially. Cooperation between the BSR countries will remain on a roughly the same level, with EU policy as the main unifying factor. The most significant changes will be visible in the production sector".
Brussels construction industry roadmap towards a circular economy
The Brussels Regional Programme for a Circular Economy is Belgium's capital region strategic effort towards a circular economy. Within this programme, the Brussels construction industry with its 12,000 businesses is a priority sector. As construction and facilities management accounts for 98% of water use, 75% energy demand and 33% of waste in Brussels, there is great potential for a substantial contribution to a circular transition.
This roadmap, developed in partnership with the Environmental Agency through 3 stakeholder workshops, includes three gradual steps towards circular building in Brussels:
- voluntary measures by construction businesses by 2025
- comprehensive regulation for circular public buildings by 2030
- reforming all relevant local planning regulations to include circular principles by 2040
While the latter goal remains to be clearly defined and prepared, the voluntary measures by companies and regulatory update for public buildings have already been transformed into actionable steps, e.g. revising training curricula in vocational and professional schools with a circular mindset or setting up monitoring systems to track the flow of resource and waste from Brussels' largest construction sites.
With FarmacoAmico, CiboAmico and Cambia il Finale, the HERA has moved beyond its core business to actively prevent medicines, food and bulky goods from becoming waste.
The Urban Agenda Partnership on Circular Economy has identified several barriers and bottlenecks regarding the use of secondary raw materials (recycling) or products (re-use) originating from waste streams and has now commissioned a basic assessment of the current legislative framework, the implementation and application of that framework, and the definitions of waste in the context of a circular economy.
Are you an urban waste manager or regulator? Share your experiences and best practice to provide valuable feedback on implementing waste legislation and contribute to recommendations seeking to improve this framework.
REDEL is an energy provider in Italy. Its activities comprises decommissioning outdated energy installations (de-risking), generating a vast amount of discarded power cables. The PVC Upcycling project aims to initiate a circular model for reclaiming resources by:
- de-manufacturing: recovering the PVC of electric cables coming from decommissioned energy plants;
- re-manufacturing: recycling of the same PVC in products with low environmental impact.
Along with PVC, copper and aluminium are also reclaimed and turned into metal granules for new production purposes.
The interactive workshop Squaring-up for a circular economy – Let’s make a change happen! will discuss how all members of society can contribute to achieving a prosperous and sustainable economy.
The ICLEI Europe Brussels Office organises the 29th Breakfast at Sustainability's entitled Fostering the circular food economy through stronger rural-urban linkages.
Use of recycled plastic material (rPM) in North West Europe is homogeneously low. In packaging and building, the highest plastic-consuming sectors, only 8% of plastic employed is recyclate (Plastics Europe 2016). This is often due to the lack of information on purity and composition of recycled plastics. The Interreg NWE research project Di-Plast develops digital technology to enable complete documentation and quality assurance of recycled plastic material flows.
African Circular Economy Network - Connecting Europe to 'Circular Africa'
The African Circular Economy Network (ACEN) is a registered Non-Profit Organisation in South Africa (195-590 NPO).
Its vision is to build a restorative African economy that generates well-being and prosperity inclusive of all its people, through new forms of economic production and consumption which maintain and regenerate its environmental resources.
The research activities of the ACEN will investigate issues, document findings relevant for the African context and its needs. Researchers will be drawn from ACEN members, academics and other stakeholder partners across Africa, but also Europe, Asia or America, where needed.
Training and Awareness
The priority of ACEN is to raise awareness and undertake training amongst key sectors of the African economy: public (government, educational institutions), private (corporates & SMEs), and civil society (non-governmental organisations) to promote the concept, benefits, principles and practice of the Circular Economy.
Networking and Events
ACEN believes that solutions to current challenges require inter-disciplinary skills, multiple stakeholder involvement and regional, African as well as international partnerships. It therefore aims to create platforms where specialists can collaborate to exchange ideas, experiences and solutions. ACEN has hosted several stakeholder engagements to date to enable a global reach. Members from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (UK), Pavia University (Italy), the South African/European Union Partnership (South Africa), the World Economic Forum (Switzerland) and Green Alliance (UK), to name a few, have joined the discussion.
ACEN currently disseminates and shares knowledge about the circular economy through LinkedIn and Facebook, and in the future, will also use other online channels to develop a strong base of knowledge and information and extend its reach throughout South Africa and Africa.
The network is active in over 24 countries. In 2017 it co-organised the first Circular Economy Conference in Africa with the European Union and the South African Government (World Economic Forum Africa, Durban). It is engaged with the EU to discuss approaches on ways to be inspired by the African continent and enable more circular strategies (less negative impact), and with training, research and knowledge sharing with corporate and universities.
AquaponieBxl is introducing aquaponics across Brussels by building urban farms where vegetables grow on water using fish waste as fertiliser.
In view of the environmental, economic and social challenges facing our current society, the Walloon Brabant region is determined to offer a space for balanced discussions, guidelines and for helping make the right decisions, to be taken today to preserve the generations of tomorrow. In order to encourage exemplary initiatives, raise awareness and encourage people to adopt good practices, Walloon Brabant organises Trophées Incidences 2019 for businesses, farmers, associations, individuals and public services.
The event will tackle the question of how to translate circular economy principles into day-to-day relations with suppliers and businesses.
A workshop aimed at presenting how to finance circular business projects.
You are cordially invited to the "Let it Slow" Christmas market in Brussels 14-15 December 2018.
The SCREEN Final Conference was held in Rome on 18 and 19 October 2018, during the two-day Forum CompraVerde (BuyGreen), in order to present the results of the SCREEN project.
The BioRegions Forum 2018 will take place in Barcelona on 13 November 2018.
Päijät-Häme roadmap towards a circular economy
A circular economy is a strategic priorirty for Finland's Päijät-Häme region, which is reflected in its RIS3 orientation and in Lahti's (the region's main city) development strategy. Whereas Finland's national framework for a circular economy provides an outlines for this transition, the Päijät-Häme regional roadmap, a joint strategy for nine municipalities, implemeents the national aims with actions at the regional level.
The roadmap was launched in October 2017 as part of Päijät-Häme's regional economic strategy for 2018–2021. The drafting process was coordinated by the Lahti University of Applied Sciences, in close cooperation with the regional council and local stakeholders such as regional and municipal authorities, academia, a regional development corporation, as well as public and private companies.
Päijät-Häme's roadmap has five main themes, with regional goals and actions set for each. The overarching themes are:
- Closed loops of technical streams to create added value
- Sustainable business from bio-circular economy
- Towards energy self-sufficiency by sustainable transport and energy solutions
- Shared economy generates new consumption models and business opportunities
- Piloting and demonstrating innovative circular economy solutions
Because input was sought from across the region through workshops and discussions, a stakeholder consultation and further informal contacts, the regional council created substantial enthusiasm and buy-in throughout the area, thus creating a foundation for successful implementation. The roadmap is a living document, with annual updates scheduled to identify new opportunities and involve new actors.
EIB Guide to Circular Economy
The EIB has already supported the transition to a circular economy with over €2.1 bn in project financing, including the first of a kind Aanekoski bio-pulp mill in Finland, the largest circular investment to date in Europe. An overview of such projects, alongside the bank's perception of the drivers to a circular economy (resource opportunities, technological development and the emerging socio-economic paradigm of sustainable development), corresponding opportunities and potential business models (circular design, value recovery, optimal use & circular support) is provided in this guide.
As the circular economy can actively contirbute to reducing carbon emissions and reaching wider environmental protection goals, the EIB is keen to finance projects contributing to this transition through a range of financing products, including EFSI and InnovFin for higher risk innovations. When doing so, it makes use of specific criteria to assess whether project are truly circular and attempts to categorise them within one of the aforementioned business models. During project assessment, further eligibility criteria are applied depending on the type of business model. These criteria, and more information about the bank's perception of circular economy strategies and project types, is provided in the guide's annexes.
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.
The Be Circular Annual Meeting took place on 24 October 2018