Legno Urbano is an innovative project developed in Italy to promote wood recovery from trees which are felled in urban areas because of their age, their instability or spatial planning needs.
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Agriculture, fertilisers and forestry
The academic paper "Analysing European Union circular economy policies: words versus actions" comprehensively reviews and analyses the EU’s circular economy (CE) policies. Results show a dichotomy between words and actions, with a discourse that is rather holistic, while policies focus on “end of pipe solutions”.
To address these limitations, the paper proposes a set of 32 science-based policy recommendations which can help strengthen circular economy policies both within and outside the EU. This research thus brings key insights for practitioners and academics seeking to better understand the EU’s CE policies and how to improve circular economy implementation at both national and international level.
See here for more results, insights and recommendations.
This Life DOP project operated in partnership with the Italian dairy company Consorzio Latterie Virgilio uses livestock waste in anaerobic digestion plants to produce renewable energy and renewable fertilisers (solid digestate) which are then exported to non-livestock areas.
The Lavandula project focuses on using agro-food by-products to produce active ingredients used in cosmetics.
In order to create a new commercial use for raw wool, the Italian association Post Industriale Ruralità has developed a form of vertical hydroponic cultivation using wool instead of soil.
Giving value to waste as a precious renewable resource: for the first time, agri-food waste can be exploited to create photovoltaic cells that produce sustainable electricity. From the residues derived from winemaking (normally disposed of without any other use), researchers can extract natural dyes that capture solar energy, transforming them into a regenerated green resource.
Circular Czechia 2 - A circular economy as an opportunity for successful innovations of Czech firms
This report follows on from the publication Circular Czechia from July 2018, exploring the circular economy in the Czech Republic.
The report explains how innovation has developed in this field since 2018, and aims to be an inspiration for firms, organisations and authorities on how to implement circular principles. It sets out a wide selection of good practices from the Czech Republic, and includes the retail, wastewater treatment, transport, construction and furniture sectors.
How can design help the circular economy? Design is born from the need to find or adapt solutions to everyday problems.
Design is present throughout the value chain: production, location, distribution, transformation, transport, sales and user experience. Design can minimise the impact on the environment and simultaneously empower people in their habits and environmental preservation. This is done through shapes, materials, production processes, colours, legibility, concept and narratives that value what is systemic.
A design project starts by thinking about what you intend to achieve. A design collaboration (a dynamic of cause and effect) helps identify weaknesses and opportunities when it comes to adopting a circular design to each stage of the process.
A “Bach Forest” for the climate! To offset the CO2 footprint of the Bachfest, which every year draws Bach friends from all over the world to Leipzig (DE), organisers aim to plant 72 acres of mixed forest on a former opencast mining site over the next few years.
Always wondered how the circular economy could help your city/region in its energy transition? This FEDARENE webinar on The energy dimension of the circular economy is for you!
InnovaWood speaks for research, innovation and education in the field of wood science and technology. It is a European network of 60 organisations in 28 countries, including research institutes, universities, VET actors and regional cluster organisations throughout the value chain from forestry and wood processing to construction, furniture and the circular economy.
The network promotes greater impact from innovative uses of wood, Europe’s chief and abundant renewable raw material, through dedicated communication. It supports project consortia and collaborative initiatives, forging links with other industry sectors and promoting crosscutting RTDI cooperation. Collectively, its members are involved in at least 1 500 national and 250 international projects.
Saccharides are a valuable and readily available source of renewable carbon. There are unique opportunities to produce renewable intermediate chemicals and polymers from regionally available agricultural products and imported feedstock in the period up to 2050.
Industry in the Chemport region (Northern Netherlands) has several options to further reduce CO2 emissions, including recycling or circular chemistry and shifting towards bio-based feedstock, acting as a catalyzer for other industries.
Important focus areas of the saccharide roadmap are:
- developing technologies/markets
- strengthening/expanding feedstock production
- developing incentives/regulations
- further developing an integrated approach, cooperating and improving the knowledge base.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia has developed a Roadmap for the circular economy in Serbia, a document that aims to bring together, connect and promote all those actors whose knowledge, innovativeness and creativity can contribute to a faster transition to the circular economy.
The roadmap seeks to encourage the private sector to use circular business models and to motivate industry to create new jobs, as well as to inspire a shift in business operations through the introduction of innovative and sustainable solutions. The roadmap has been developed by the Circular Economy Platform for Sustainable Development in Serbia project, which was initiated and implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
Alberto Arroyo Schnell is responsible for policy and programmes at the European Regional Office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). He has held leading positions on EU environmental policy for the past 15 years. His current focus is working together with the key sectors related to / impacted by / benefiting from biodiversity and nature, aiming to find ways to achieve the environmental targets jointly and to ensure ownership of these targets by all stakeholders. He is Spanish, with a background in Forestry Engineering.
The European Commission has decided to launch a €1 billion call for research and innovation projects that respond to the climate crisis and help protect Europe’s unique ecosystems and biodiversity. The Horizon 2020-funded European Green Deal Call is open for registration. It will spur Europe’s recovery from the coronavirus crisis by turning green challenges into innovation opportunities.
The EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste publishes a monthly newsletter to help Platform members stay connected, inform all interested stakeholders about Platform members’ activities and inspire further action in food loss and waste prevention.
The Belgian company Fertikal specialises in the production of organic fertilizers from recycled secondary materials. These recycled resources are collected in a radius of 150 km around the production facility and include chicken manure, struvite, digestates from bio-gas plants, composts, by-products from sugar beet and bio-diesel industry, etc.
Zero waste: problems become opportunities in Waste Prevention & Management - a White Paper by Interreg MED's Green Growth community
The third of the four Thematic Working Groups created by the Interreg MED's Green Growth community addressed waste reduction, prevention and management.
This White Paper promotes solutions to reduce organic (livestock) and inorganic waste, and maps technologies, systems, and strategies for proper waste management. It illustrates issues - e.g. over-production/application of high-nitrogen slurry and manure and need to treat it, as well as lack of treatment of agrifood waste - and highlights the projects’ contributions to achieve full use of resources through their life cycle to create a circular economy.
Among the results: policy guidelines based on four Struvite Precipitation (SP) plants to stimulate innovation and set up a common legal framework for struvite as fertilizer.
Make More With Less: Enhancing Resource Efficiency in the Mediterranean Agro-food Sector and Cities for a Circular Economy
Make More With Less: Enhancing Resource Efficiency in the Mediterranean - a White Paper by Interreg MED's Green Growth community
The first of 4 Thematic Working Groups created by the Interreg MED's Green Growth community focused on Sustainable Consumption and Production by enhancing Resource Efficiency in the Mediterranean agrofood sector, as well as in urban areas through the implementation of the Smart City Concept.
The White Paper zooms in on the difficulties that companies face in:
- measuring their environmental footprint and resource efficiency;
- the use of low-cost, low-tech, labour-intensive and rudimentarily-equipped greenhouses;
- the lack of energy efficiency and renovation of EU buildings.
It then presents the projects' solutions and the benefits of resource efficiency for the environment and the economy. The projects were monitored according to the EU CEAP's indicator framework.
Re-think - Circular Economy Forum is an international event that brings together various actors operating at different levels in the Circular Economy fields who present a medium and long term vision on Circular Economy topics. The event will be online for the audience while the speakers and the main stakeholders will attend the event physically
Innovative plastic materials, natural additives and novel irrigation technologies will improve the performance of Mediterranean greenhouses
The AZMUD Project proposes innovations which will help reduce the consumption of water, energy, nutrients and pesticides, and promote the use of waste water in greenhouse cultivations.
FoodDrinkEurope - an organisation representing Europe's food and drinks industry - has designed a website explaining what the industry is currently doing to enhance a resource-efficient circular economy.
Entitled Ingredients for a Circular Economy, the website specifically looks at the areas of farming, manufacturing, sustainable packaging and consumers, providing numerous examples of how the European food and drinks industry is helping to promote circular economy. The website also sets out policy recommendations for how to unlock further sustainable growth and innovation for a resource-efficient circular economy in the food and drinks industry.
Enrich manufactures organic compost in an open windrow system using source segregated green waste such as garden clippings and landscaping materials.
Best practices on industrial symbiosis in Italy and the contribution of regional policies as a strategic lever
In 2016, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) set up a Symbiosis Users Network (SUN) to boost industrial symbiosis in Italy. The network promotes circular economy models through industrial symbiosis by focusing on operational issues.
SUN's 2019 conference was devoted to Good practices of industrial symbiosis in Italy and the contribution of regional policies as a strategic lever. The event, co-organised by SUN, Ecomondo and ENEA was held in Rimini (IT) on 7 November 2019 at Ecomondo - a leading event in Europe for new circular economy models.
Reports on ENEA-promoted conferences on industrial symbiosis are available here.