Cities and local areas play a major role regionally in promoting the launch and implementation of systemic changes needed for the transition towards a circular economy. The ECESP Leadership Group on Cities and Regions focuses on this approach. In 2021, three meetings and two EU Circular Talks (EUCT) were organised.
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Madeira Circular Platform provides a forum bringing together key actors for the transition to the circular economy (CE), including the civil society, businesses, public administrations and the scientific and academic communities.
Its main objective is to create the communication channels necessary to carry out and promote collaborative action and to support the implementation of the guidelines of the Madeira Circular Agenda, which are much needed to encourage the circular movement.
The Platform is a community of stakeholders in the form of a portal to support the Autonomous Region of Madeira in the transition to the CE and featuring good practices leading to the efficient and sustainable use of resources all along the business value chain.
The Madeira Circular Agenda bolsters the position of the Autonomous Region of Madeira (RAM) as a circular economy hotspot.
It involves civil society and public and private entities in a system that seeks to keep materials in the economy, and to promote efficiency, circularity and sustainability as competitiveness and differentiation factors for the regional economy. The Agenda also aims to ensure that RAM companies act as circular economy leaders in their respective sectors, adopting best practices and creating innovative solutions based on circularity principles, particularly in sectors deemed critical for the region, namely agri-food, construction, tourism, social sector and the sea.
To evaluate the impact of adopting circular economy principles in cities – in terms of emissions, quality of life and resilience – Enel and ARUP, with the scientific support of the Enel Foundation, have collaborated on a research project focusing on four cities: Bogotá, Genoa, Glasgow and Milan, all committed to enhancing the energy transition.
The study concerns three key urban sectors:
- built environment
- energy systems.
It entailed interviews with stakeholders and analyses of existing decarbonisation policies and circular strategies. A reference model was used to help identify the most significant circular actions that could lead to a reduction in GHG emissions in three sectors.
The results could be used as a guide for decision makers.
Agroamb Prodalt SL is a rural SME working in the primary sector. It provides agricultural services for farmers and organic fertilisers from biodegradable waste generated in the primary and agri-food sectors. Its process sanitises biodegradable waste and animal by-products with lime and produces organic fertilisers (turning these waste materials into resources).
Re-think Circular Economy Forum Milan 2022 on 10 and 11 February 2022 is designed to present a vision on macro-trends, possible evolutionary paths, and main projects concerning the Circular Economy both at a national and international level.
Its main purpose is to stimulate the birth and development of innovative and entrepreneurial activities that could have a positive impact on local and national economic systems. Over the two-day forum, corporates, startups, research bodies, and institutional actors will present the projects they are carrying out and supporting at different levels.
How robust is the circular economy in Europe? An ascendency analysis with Eurostat data between 2010 and 2018
The authors of the study apply ascendency analysis (a systematic method based on information theory for quantifying the efficiency and resilience of natural ecosystems) at EU level and discuss the implications for urban waste management systems, taking the Netherlands as an example.
They argue that ecological principles can be useful for developing human-made systems. The system is made sufficiently robust to be able to cope with shocks by including a diverse set of stakeholders who provide:
- resource-use efficiency through specialised know-how in capturing, processing and delivering a range of resources, and
- resilience by generating multiple paths that allow these vital resources to circulate throughout the urban network at different levels and rates.
In Limbo is a platform (digital website and physical warehouse) facilitating the reuse of materials within the social and cultural sectors and schools in Brussels.
It encourages exchange and mutual aid within these sectors, as well as boosting recycling, reducing landfill costs and enabling organisations with limited resources to obtain reusable materials. Following the principles of circularity and sharing, all partners are invited to give and receive materials for free.
In Limbo is open only to registered partners which must be formal or informal non-profit associations or collectives, specifically social, cultural and artistic organisations, schools and temporary projects in Brussels. However, In Limbo accepts donations from all types of organisations.
Watch a video on In Limbo
The transition to a circular economy entails the systemic transformation of entire value chains, covering design, production and consumption. Cities and regions are hubs of innovation and socio-economic transformation, with great potential to lead the transition to a circular economy. However, such a deep transformation often requires supporting mechanisms to make it happen.
ACR+, EIB Advisory Hub, the European Commission, the Government of Navarra, the Interreg MED Green Growth community, EIT Raw Materials, Dublin city, EUCF and the ECESP invite you to attend this #EUCircularTalks to discuss how different supporting initiatives are being used by cities and regions in their transition towards a circular economy. The talk will take place on 13 December at 10:00-11:30 CET.
Ekofungi is a Serbian company that takes a 100% circular approach to mushroom cultivation. It has pioneered a technology for sustainable cultivation of edible mushrooms using recycled cellulose waste. Each year, Ekofungi grows 130 tons of mushrooms which are either sold fresh or dehydrated and mixed with other vegetables.
In 2018 the City of Turku set the following target: becoming carbon neutral by 2029, in time for its 800th anniversary.
Finland's oldest city, Turku is a forerunner in circular innovations in the water, textiles and chemicals sectors, among others. A vibrant community of researchers and business actors, along with numerous public and private initiatives, already contribute to scale up circularity in the Turku region.
The Circular Turku roadmap is about creating the right conditions for a circular transition in the region. The city can support this transition through different levers such as local regulations, urban planning and infrastructure development.
Turku wants to promote a fair and inclusive circular transformation of economic systems that benefits all city residents.
This week is European Week for Waste Reduction! A celebration of community initiatives driving circular economic action.
The European Food Banks Federation (FEBA) works on raising awareness about the problems of food waste and poverty, lifting obstacles to food donation for social purposes, and promoting the circular economy.
This research paper examines the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the functioning of European food banks and how resilient European food banks were in coping with the pandemic in 2020.
The researchers apply a multiple case study to assess how the first year of the pandemic affected European food banks’ operations and the amount of redistributed food. They further investigate innovation practices that have been developed to cope with the new situation, hoping to draw lessons for imminent future waves of the pandemic and other social crises.
Climate KiC has launched two training programmes focusing on the use of Circularity Thinking tools in the manufacturing and food sectors within EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) countries. Registration are open!
A week of meetings and discussion on the economic transition in the Brussels-Capital Region. Come and find out more about the Brussels economy of the future, talk to other economic players and get inspired by innovative initiatives during the events that will take place throughout the week in the four corners of the region.
We need to rethink urban development, production and consumption models so that they respond to environmental and social challenges, both regional and global. The Brussels-Capital Region is beginning its transition to a local, circular, social and democratic economy in line with these overarching principles.
- What actually is the economic transition?
- How can we launch an economic activity that fits in with it?
- What tools is the region putting in place to help businesses?
For one week, renowned speakers and inspiring contributors will take it in turn to present the regional transition and invite Brussels' actors to join the movement!
The benefits of transitioning to a circular economy outweigh the disadvantages. However, more efforts are needed to move from conceptualisation to implementation. The transition requires a political commitment and the right business mindset. It also requires prioritisation and investment in innovation, the utilisation of new technological solutions, and the right set of skills and competences.
So far, there has been very limited focus on what skills and competences are needed for this transition and whether Nordic STEM education provides them. This report introduces the basis for a Circular Economy Competence Framework for STEM specialists, including a set of essential technical and analytical skills for creating circular solutions.
Although there is a well-established body of literature on measuring the circular economy and its implications, most monitoring frameworks focus on measuring materials and waste production. However, the multi-dimensional aspect of the circular economy and the range of objectives underpinning circular economy strategies mean that we need to identify new targets and indicators.
ACR+, Zero Waste Scotland, EEB, ICLEI, EIT Circular Economy Community, Circular Regions and the ECESP invite you to discuss the implications of measuring circular economy actions in cities and regions on 17 November at 10:00 CET.
Circular Threads: the Circular Economy is essential for the successful (r)evolution of the fashion and textile industry
Circular Threads is a down-to-the-ground research aiming to offer a picture of the practices related to sustainability and circularity in the fashion and textile industry in Northern Italy.
This work represents a starting point to concretely foster the transition towards circular production models in the Italian textile industry. Researchers have developed a tripartite approach (desk research, questionnaire and circularity assessment) with different levels of granularity to measure the sustainability and circularity of the companies present in this area.
The report highlights how few companies in the fashion and textile industry are adopting CE practices and strategies, and a clear lack of knowledge-sharing about the opportunities the CE can bring them on a systemic level.
This session, an EU-side event for COP 26, will underscore the need to move from a linear to a circular economic model in order to tackle climate change, and the role which local governments must play. It will present the commitments made under the Circular Cities Declaration, actions undertaken during the More Circularity, Less Carbon campaign and successful cooperation between researchers and local governments from COLOR CIRCLE, as well as good practices from European cities and regions.
The Spanish project APROEMA Conecta aims to encourage the launch of businesses in the environmental sector through circular economy business tables.