As the Horizon 2020 research programme becomes Horizon Europe, what better time to witness how great ideas turned into real projects? LOOPS will be the opportunity to show the resulting cutting-edge research, and the change it can bring to our communities. The 22 April episode will focus on smart and circular composite materials.
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Cement, Steel, Chemicals
The EU Ecolabel is the official European Union label for environmental excellence.
It is awarded to sustainably-designed products, thereby encouraging innovation, and contributing to the EU’s goal of climate neutrality by 2050 and to the circular economy.
Industry can use the EU Ecolabel to offer consumers an eco-friendly alternative to conventional products and help them lower their daily environmental impact.
Ambitious criteria have been set, focusing on the main environmental impacts generated over the lifecycle of these products. This ensures that EU Ecolabel hard covering products are among the best on the market in terms of environmental performance.
Access the full list of EU Ecolabel criteria for hard coverings products here.
CICERONE is a group of European programme owners, researchers and businesses seeking to build a platform for an efficient circular economy. Its report Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) on Circular Economy aims to help owners and funders of European circular economy programmes adopt a systemic approach to circular economy transition.
The SRIA was developed based on eight priority themes (biomass and biotechnologies, chemicals, construction and demolition, food, plastic, raw materials, waste and water) and builds on four societal areas that face sustainability challenges (urban areas, industrial systems, value chains and territory and sea) to identify priority areas to tackle EU region-wide issues and facilitate the circular economy transition.
It is possible to make products safer and more sustainable by assessing their performance at the design stage of product development, according to the EEA. This approach would reduce risks from chemical pollution and support Europe’s transition to a circular and low-carbon economy.
The virtual event Industrial symbiosis as an opportunity for carbon neutrality on 23 February (9:00-13:00 CET) will launch the CircLean network as a concrete opportunity to tap into the potential of industrial symbiosis (IS) for European businesses. This pilot initiative, led by DG GROW, aims to increase the availability and quality of information about the impacts and benefits of IS in the EU.
The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) is Europe’s largest network of environmental NGOs working for a better future where people and nature thrive together.
Recovery from the Covid-19 crisis presents an important and unique opportunity for the EU to accelerate its transition towards a climate-neutral and circular economy. While there is little dispute about the opportunities offered by the funds available for the low-carbon and circular economy, the longer-term impact on Europe’s decarbonisation trajectory will depend on the choices made in the National Recovery and Resilience Plans and on how the overall policy framework is adapted.
After describing the EU recovery plan, this paper discusses various policy instruments – both new and existing – to create demand for circular materials and lower-carbon products, illustrated by examples of four resource and carbon-intensive sectors, namely construction, steel, textiles and plastics.
Guidelines on Pre- and Co-processing of Waste in Cement Production – Use of waste as alternative fuel and raw material
Different types of waste have been successfully co-processed as alternative fuels and raw materials (AFR) in cement kilns in Europe, Japan, USA, Canada and Australia since the beginning of the 1980s.
In 2006, the first edition of the GTZ-Holcim Guidelines on Co-processing Waste Materials in Cement Production was published (GIZ-Holcim, 2006), aiming to gather the lessons of these experiences and offer it particularly to low and middle income countries as an option to improve approaches to waste management. Since then, waste management has earned a much more prominent place on the political agenda.
This revised edition of the guidelines updates technical, institutional, legal and social aspects of the original document as well as incorporate new ideas and information.
PU foam pressurised containers are used to fill gaps and to insulate and install window and door frames so as to make buildings airtight. OCF (one-component foam) producers have invested in a recycling company which recycles the metals in the packaging material, the reactive residual polyurethane prepolymer and the propellant.
The University of Malta has developed a patented process that recycles limestone and concrete construction and demolition waste into masonry products. These have superior mechanical properties compared to natural limestone products.
Pantheon Performance Foundation is organising a series of webinars to take place on 15, 16 and 17 December 2020 from 3 to 4.30 p.m. (CET), focusing on policy, technology and practice in the field of reducing CO2 emissions from concrete manufacturing and use. It aims to draw up a manual of sustainable materials for CO2 neutral constructions.
Concular disrupts the construction industry by developing a circular process for material flow. The system is based on an AI-driven platform that matches buyers’ demand for construction material with suppliers’ circular materials.
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.
ZERO BRINE proposes a circular economy approach to reduce the negative impacts of brine from process industries and create economic value from the reuse of its constituents, such as sodium chloride, magnesium, calcium, sulphates, sodium bicarbonate, heat and fresh water.
Want to discover the latest on industrial symbiosis and the future of sustainable industrial practices? Join this event on 27 October to learn about experiences and case studies regarding successful implementation of industrial symbiosis, find out about tools and gain access to guidelines to kick-start resource efficiency in your own industry.
VICAT produces materials for the construction sector (cement, concrete, aggregates) and believes that the act of building should no longer be disconnected from deconstruction. VICAT has therefore rethought its production systems to include circular economy loops focused on the recovery of local construction & demolition waste.
The Sustainable products initiative, which will revise the Ecodesign Directive and propose additional legislative measures as appropriate, aims to make products placed on the EU market more sustainable. You are welcome to give your feedback on it until 2 November 2020.
The briefing highlights the key findings of the background report "The Decarbonisation Benefits of Sectoral Circular Economy Actions", produced for the European Environment Agency by Ramboll, Ecologic Institute and Fraunhofer ISI.
The key messages are the following:
- Greater circularity and more efficient use of materials present new opportunities for further reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- A new methodology can help to identify which circular economy actions in each sector can make the most promising contributions to meeting targets to reduce emissions and to achieving climate neutrality in Europe.
- In the buildings sector, selected circular economy actions can lead to reductions of up to 61 % in the materials-related greenhouse gases emitted across buildings’ life cycles.
The European Association of Chemical Distributors (Fecc) acknowledges the Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) and supports the initiative for a more sustainable approach by ensuring that used resources are kept in the EU economy for as long as possible.
However, on behalf of the European chemical distribution sector, particularly the numerous SMEs it represents, Fecc would like to raise the following points:
- increasing recycled content in products while ensuring their performance and safety is paramount
- stakeholders from across the board – private companies, academia, and public bodies – can all benefit from circularity in the distribution sector
- promoting circular public procurement to empower consumers and public buyers is necessary and must be supported post-COVID-19.
In 2019 the European Commission set out a policy guideline to address global environmental challenges and circularity. EURATEX and its members welcome the ambition of the EU Institutions to change the old way and commit to engage with all relevant parties to deliver and implement a new Textile Strategy to boost the circular economy and be fit for the present and future generations.
This strategy by EURATEX is a starting point, with insights into solutions based on a 14-month consultation with members, involving over 100 companies and key stakeholders, focused on applied circular practices and future opportunities. It prioritises removing barriers to a large-scale uptake of circular economy in textiles, sets out 12 key points and puts forward 38 proposals.