The second meeting of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform Coordination Group took place on 18 and 19 October 2018.
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The EIB Copenhagen Conference on the Circular Economy took place on 25 October 2018 to discuss financing the circular economy in biotechnology, urban development and plastics.
The Symbola Foundation, Enel & CSR Europe are organising a conference on “100 Italian Circular Economy Stories” on November 15 in Brussels.
Official launch of the GrandParisCirculaire.org platform on 5 October 2018.
The European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) aims to mobilise as many actors as possible to implement awareness raising actions on waste reduction, product reuse and materials recycling
The underlying idea of the Strategy for the Transition to the Circular Economy in the Municipality of Maribor, as well as the Wcycle project, is its to have an own innovative model as a system for managing all the resources available in the Municipality of Maribor and the wider urban area.
The model is based on the operation of enterprises that are predominantly publicly-owned and already provide public services for residents. They are thus the city’s bottlenecks that until now have not functioned as a connecting link, which is a fundamental principle in the transition from linear to circular economy.
Only close cooperation between public companies, citizens, industry and local self-government can lead to a successful interconnected system that optimises resources and results - economic, environmental and social. This is a long-term project that provides development-oriented efficient management of resource flows in local and regional environments.
The purpose of the Strategy and Wcycle project discussed is cross-sectoral cooperation in handling, processing, re-use and development of resources, which deals with the circular economy in Maribor in seven selected sectors (i.e pillars or circles).
The positive consequences of these practices are the emergence of new business opportunities for the Municipality of Maribor, the people and the economy, the creation of high-quality, mainly green jobs, new added value and a fresh economic boost.
The second meeting of the ECESP Coordination Group was held on 18 and 19 October 2018 in Brussels to discuss the platform's activities, define objectives for the coming year and reflect on its overall implementation.
The first meeting of the ECESP Coordination Group provided a fertile ground for discussion on how the platform will reach its objectives.
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 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.
The Austrian Circular Economy Platform Circular Futures was launched in March 2018 at the House of the European Union in Vienna.
Join leading and learning cities, policy-makers from European and national governments, businesses, research and finance institutions for the 9th edition of the Local Renewables Series in Freiburg and Basel from 24 to 26 October 2018. This ICLEI conference will showcase practical and innovative examples of how to reduce energy and resource use, and make ideal use of energy sources and other resources in the region.
"Circular Futures - Plattform Kreislaufwirtschaft Österreich" is a solution-oriented multistakeholder platform that brings together professionals across relevant industries, the administration, politics, science and civil society in Austria. Circular Futures acts as a think-tank, incubator, and catalyst for projects and initiatives necessary for a successful transition to a circular economy in Austria.
Circular Futures offers:
- A website that serves as a central information and communication platform;
- Knowledge events on the circular economy to inform and mobilise stakeholders;
- Targeted capacity-building for relevant stakeholders through workshops, trainings, and the publication of project information;
- The coordination of local activities and strengthening of regional networks; and
- The involvement of relevant stakeholders in political processes (consultations, strategy/guideline developments, etc.) through information-sharing and mobilization.
Circular Futures AT is a collaboration between the Umweltdachverband and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), the Reuse and Repair Network Austria (RepaNet), and the Verband Abfallberatung Österreich (VABÖ).
SAVE THE DATE: The EEB 2018 Annual Conference will take place on Monday 5 November in Brussels. The website and online registration will be launched later this year. In the meantime, check out the documentation from our 2017 Annual Conference!
The Estonian Ministry of Environment is organising its first conference on the circular economy for entrepreneurs in retail, mining and manufacturing 17-18 September in Tallinn. This conference will showcase innovative activities and circular business models to entrepreneurs, who can also benefit from one-on-one counselling and specialised workshops for free.
The climate conference in Paris has produced a landmark agreement. The emission reduction commitments made by 195 countries are a leap forward, but not yet sufficient to stay on a 2 °C trajectory, let alone a 1.5 °C pathway. Current commitments address only half the gap between business as usual and the 1.5 °C pathway. There is still a reduction of about 15 billion tonnes CO2e needed to reach the 1.5 °C target. Further solutions are therefore needed; solutions that go beyond decarbonising our energy system. This white paper by Ecofys and Circle Economy looks into the contribution a global circular economy could presumably make to bridging the emissions gap.
Since over half of the worldwide greenhouse gas emissions are associated with producing basic materials, there is a clear role for circular economy strategies in reducing this gap. To do this, the circular economy describes a practical and scalable landscape of opportunities by moving towards business models for an economy that is by design regenerative and as waste free as possible. Strategies at the heart of the circular economy include measures to reduce the input of virgin materials, improve the use of existing assets and reduce the output of waste. Circular economy strategies related to materials are: recovery and reuse, lifetime extension, sharing and service models, circular design and digital platforms.
Circular Economy and Employment first summarizes the main definitions and conceptualisations of a circular economy, then clarifies the relationship to related concepts such as green growth and eco-innovation. This report is the outcome of a project estimating the employment effects of a circular economy.
The Circular Economy mainly focuses on savings on the shares of material, labour, energy, and capital embedded in the product. In finite systems it is intended to “design out waste”. An important difference is made between consumables (one or few time usage) and durables (years of usage) products. Material savings can be achieved by already established recycling and remanufacturing activities finally aiming at a “zero waste economy”. More recently, the contribution of green ICT leading to less material inputs (“digital revolution”, e.g. photos are no longer printed but distributed by e-mail or social media), a general greater importance of services, the evolution of the sharing economy (e. g. car sharing) or a higher utilisation rate for products for the circular economy are discussed.
Detailed concepts of green growth from OECD, UNEP, EEA and the Global Green Growth Institute are also considered. Green growth means fostering economic growth and development while ensuring that natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental services on which our well-being relies. Investment and (eco-) innovation activities shall give rise to new, more sustainable sources of growth and development. Moving towards a circular economy may be understood as a tool to achieve a green economy, a circular economy is one of the main elements helping to achieve the greening of an economy.
Britain faces huge economic challenges in its use of labour and scarce natural resources. Although unemployment is now falling, the risk of being out of work is higher in some regions and for some types of occupations. While Britain has significantly increased its resource efficiency in recent years, supply risks in an increasingly competitive global economy mean that we need to get better at using natural resources. A new research study, undertaken jointly by WRAP and the Green Alliance, shows that these challenges are linked: improving our resource efficiency can make a valuable contribution to improving Britain’s labour market situation.
One route to improving resource efficiency is to develop a circular economy. This involves keeping products and resources in use for as long as possible through recovery, reuse, repair, remanufacturing and recycling. In addition to protecting the environment, this potentially offers substantial economic benefits. These include greater economic stability through increased resource security and new business and employment opportunities from an expanding industrial sector. This study focuses on the second aspect and identifies the scope for the growth of the circular economy to offer new jobs.
The study finds that regions where unemployment is higher, such as the North East and the West Midlands, could see the greatest impact on job creation, especially among low to mid-skilled occupations where job losses are projected for the future.
The study finds that if we stay on the current development path for the circular economy in Britain, then by 2030 the sector could:
- require an extra 205,000 jobs;
- reduce unemployment by around 54,000; and
- offset 11% of future losses in skilled employment.
Alternatively, under a transformational scenario where there was a more extensive expansion of circular economy activities, by 2030 the sector could create over half a million jobs, reduce unemployment by over 100,000 and potentially offset around 18% of the expected future losses in skilled employment.
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.
LIPOR's Environmental Education and Intervention Program aims to create an educational offer that encourages citizens to implement good environmental practices and facilitates the acquisition of skills that support civic intervention and a sustainable development.
LIPOR intends to reach 90 000 people with its awareness campaign within its catchment area. This involves delivering about 10 direct environmental awareness actions to the community its environmental education technicians daily.
LIPOR’s annual prevention programme includes several projects and initiatives implemented across all eight municipalities aiming to prevent and reduce food waste.
With the “Embrulha" (Pack It) project LIPOR wants to engage 50 restaurants in Porto Municipality and 10 restaurants in other LIPOR municipalities to recover 6 tonnes of food waste.
The "Dose Certa" (Right Portion) project aims to certify 46 food establishments in total.
The Strategic Plan for Urban Waste 2020 (PERSU 2020) is the reference instrument of the urban waste policy in Portugal.
LIPOR has defined a target of 50 kg per inhabitant a year in 2020 for selective collection as a goal. Several projects that aim to increase multi-material and organic recovery figures are defined in LIPOR's strategic plan.
For landfills, the target is a maximum value of landfill of biodegradable waste deposition of 10%.
One public tender for catering services with fully sustainable and circular criteria.
This short term assignment for Circular Flanders aims to provide an inventory of indicators that are relevant to monitor the transition to a circular economy and to measure the effects of new policy and trends. The inventory of indicators is based on scoreboards and monitoring frameworks developed by the EU and reports by JRC and EEA. This list is supplemented with indicators known by the authors and a literature search, representing a first step towards the development of a circular economy index.
The scope of indicators varies largely, e.g. material flow indicators can focus on global figures, but also on a specific substance content in a component. In this study we distinguish between macro, meso and micro level indicators. An extensive list of indicators discussed in literature and related to the circular economy is developed, of which a selection is discussed more in detail in fact sheets. The fact sheets report different aspects of the indicator: definition and scope, data availability, level of detail, future developments, links to circular economy and the availability of a benchmark (policy targets, …). Indicators related to the circular economy can be classified according to different criteria.
To have a visual overview of some important characteristics of the indicators assessed in this study, they are classified on 3 axes that represent different criteria:
- Micro, meso, macro level
- CE strategies
- Technology versus socio institutional
The study shows that lack of data (from macro to micro) and time and effort constraints (from micro to macro) are key barriers to link indicators on a macro/meso level on the one hand with indicators on a micro level on the other hand. Another observation is that existing indicators focus primarily on physical parameters, like kilograms, that are more technology-related. Indicators focusing on socio-institutional aspects are less well-defined and less frequently included in monitoring frameworks. The same applies for high-level circularity strategies. Very few indicators capture the effect of strategies that relate to smarter product use & manufacture and extending the life span of products. A transition to a circular economy may not be looked at from a material perspective only, but should include also other environmental impacts such as climate change. Indicators monitoring environmental impacts exist already and can easily be combined and integrated in a set of indicators for monitoring the circular economy.
With respect to future monitoring of developments of circularity indicators, several initiatives are ongoing on a European level to define a set of indicators that are useful for monitoring the circular economy, based on existing indicators. In parallel, researchers are working on the definition and methodology development of additional indicators that focus on aspects particular to the circular economy that are not yet captured by existing indicators, like reuse and remanufacturing strategies.
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.
The workbook 'Organising for the Circular Economy - A Workbook for Developing Circular Business Models' supports companies and other organisations that aim to become circular by providing a unique model that highlights the various building blocks of circular business models.
A concrete step-by-step approach allows organisations to work on the development of their own circular business model. To clarify and inspire, a set of infographics displaying the cycles of 30 front-runner organisations from the Netherlands, which already actively incorporate circularity in their business operations, is provided alongside the workbook.
The workbook and infographics can be downloaded free of charge from this website.
The Disruptive Innovation Festival (DIF) is an online platform which aims to shift mindsets and inspire action towards a circular economy. The yearly digital conference, organised by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, invites people to share disruptive ideas and stories on a number of topics and attracts a worldwide audience, sparking critical conversations and participation through a combination of live interviews, films, and podcasts.