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Food, water and nutrients
This report describes innovation competition as a method of tackling major environmental challenges, specifically how to provide food sustainably and resource-efficiently in the future.
Two teams with expertise in plastics, logistics and sustainability developed solutions focused on a more regional food supply enabling us to reduce the amount of plastic, packaging and transport used. The winning submission is a conversion tool describing the principles of sustainable production and consumption of food.
The circular economy and the Covid-19 recovery published by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation shows how policymakers can pave the way towards a low-carbon and prosperous economic recovery. The paper highlights 10 circular investment opportunities across five key sectors:
- the built environment
- plastic packaging
- food and
Addressing the growing calls for a recovery response that is in alignment with other global challenges, these specifically selected opportunities all optimise the use and circulation of assets, materials and nutrients. As governments take the critical action necessary to safeguard national economies and work towards a transformation that is resilient to future global risks, the circular economy has never been more relevant.
The Circular Navarre Catalogue is a booklet showcasing 20 organisations - based on circular business models - in the Navarre region, who are looking for international cooperation.
Mercè Boy Roura is coordinator of the Interreg MED Green Growth community and EU project manager at the BETA Technological Center at the University of Vic – Central University of Catalonia (Spain). She is an environmental scientist with a PhD in Experimental Sciences and Sustainability. She has 10 years' international experience in research and knowledge transfer projects in the field of natural resources and sustainability.
The Interreg MED Green Growth community is a multi-stakeholder network of projects which promotes the green and circular economy in the Mediterranean by enhancing cross-sectoral innovation practices through a regional cooperation approach. Since 2016, the network has consisted of 14 projects connecting 165 partners from 13 countries in the Mediterranean. It structures its work around four focus areas: food systems, eco-innovation, smart cities and waste management. The community supports projects with their communication and capitalisation efforts, thus increasing their impact at policy level and fostering potential transfer and replication of their results in other regions. The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) labelled the Green Growth Community in October 2019, acknowledging its potential to advance cooperation in the transition to a green and circular economy in the Mediterranean region.
Bio-waste – mainly food and garden waste – is a key waste stream with a high potential for contributing to a more circular economy.
This European Environmental Agency Report provides an overview of bio-waste generation, prevention, collection, and treatment in Europe.
Bio-waste accounts for more than 34 % of the municipal solid waste. Many countries in Europe are far from capturing bio-waste's full potential. Food waste accounts for nearly 60 % of all bio-waste from households and similar sources. Preventing it is felt as an ethical responsibility for society.
Composting (with oxygen) and anaerobic digestion (without) are currently the two most widely applied treatment techniques. The latter generates biogas - renewable energy - and tends to deliver higher environmental benefits.
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.
Unverpackt in Kiel opened in February of 2014, becoming Germany’s first packaging-free store. Their goal is to reduce packaging and food waste and at the same time motivate customers to reflect on their own consumer behaviour.
Lowlander is a beer brewery from the Netherlands that is passionate about brewing botanical beer. For the Tree to Table initiative, Lowlander has created a tasty, white IPA beer out of hand-picked needles from Christmas trees.
The EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan: setting the world’s largest single market on a transition towards a circular economy
This case study on the EU's Circular Economy Plan (CEAP) by the Ellen McArthur Foundation reflects back on the steps which the European Commission took to take a lead in circular economy policies globally. From initially aiming at improving resource efficiency, to redefining growth with positive social, environmental, and economic benefits, this case study analyses this policy-making process.
The CEAP was a comprehensive body of legislative and non-legislative actions adopted in 2015, which aimed to transition the European economy from a linear to a circular model. It mapped out 54 actions, as well as four legislative proposals on waste.
By rethinking resource efficiency and material flows, the European Commission has developed a framework to promote systemic change.
Red Alimenta is an organisation of volunteers that collects surplus food and delivers it to people in need. The network of volunteers in different neighbourhoods of the city collects and distributes surplus prepared food from restaurants, schools or hospitals.
The Coordination Group decided, in autumn 2019, to create leadeship groups to hold in-depth discuss and deliver orientations on priority topics.
Food waste generates around 8% of the global greenhouse emissions. In their reflection document, the ECESP leadership group led by Copa-Cogeca discussed ways to reduce food waste and to maximise the circularity of food production.
The travel & tourism industry has touchpoints with most, if not all, key value chains and material flows in society and is therefore very relevant to consider for the circular economy transition.
To guide a sustainable recovery and development of the industry post COVID-19, this publication introduces key circular economy principles and concepts in the context of travel & tourism. This report provides private tourism operators with a robust introduction to circular economy concepts and how these apply to their operations and business transformation.
It also offers guidance to policymakers, regulators, and trade bodies on possible circular economy-inspired policy and business development directions.
The CirQuality OWL project is funded by the EU (ERDF) and the Federal State North-Rhine Westfalia (NRW) with the aim of fostering the circular economy in the area.
Seven regional partners from the different fields (from energy to technologies to food to universities and associations) teamed up to use the circular economy to get the region off the ground in an innovative, crisis-proof, resilient and sustainable way. Together they are jointly striving for the following goals:
- Discover Circular Economy (CE)
- Regional capacity building
- Qualifying stakeholders
- Providing strategic support to stakeholders
- Developing regional identity
- Transfer results
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.
In Joure (NL) the Jacobs Douwe Egberts plant uses spent coffee grounds as a bio-fuel to produce the steam needed for its production process.
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.
The Valumics webinar "Putting solutions on the table", to be held on 16 July, at 15.00-16.30 (CEST), aims at discussing challenges and opportunities to support Europeans to transition towards more sustainable food consumption behaviours.
The European Policy Centre’s (EPC) Task Force called Digital Roadmap to Circular Economy has explored the linkages between digitalisation and circular economy, the opportunities created by data and digitally-enabled solutions, and the challenges associated with harnessing their full potential for the transition to a circular economy.
The project represents a pioneering endeavour in exploring the interconnections between the digital and green transformations and considers the implications for EU policymaking.
The final publication The circular economy: Going digital and its executive summary show that digitalisation can offer enormous possibilities for the transition to a more sustainable, circular economy but it is essential to steer it in the right direction.
Resource Effectiveness and the Circular Economy: how to strengthen Sweden's competitiveness in a future with finite resources
The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) has always been a meeting place for Sweden’s future. It builds bridges between the business community, the public sector, academia and the political sphere.
Its two-year project "Resource Effectiveness and the Circular Economy" was aimed at making Sweden more competitive in a future with finite resources, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, by economising on resources and developing new technologies, services and business models in five areas:
Read the synthesis report, marking the completion of the project, which presents the most important conclusions, recommendations and action plans from the five subprojects.
The Dutch economy is 24.5% circular. Measures in four key sectors can triple the national circularity rate and help the government achieve its ambitions for a fully circular economy by 2050.
On 3 June, Circle Economy launched the Circularity Gap Report for the Netherlands. The report shows that the Netherlands is a circular frontrunner: the country's circularity rate is three times higher than the global rate of 8.6%. Consuming 221 million tonnes of materials each year, the Netherlands retrieves one quarter from non-virgin, secondary sources. However, if the government is to achieve its ambitions of full circularity by 2050, a major overhaul of the national economy, including jobs, will still be necessary.
Holland Circular Hotspot is a private-public platform in which companies, knowledge institutes and local authorities collaborate to promote and support international collaboration and knowledge exchange on Dutch circular economy, and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, a government agency for sustainable, agricultural, innovative and international business development and growth, have come together to share insights, networks and resources to help kickstart circular developments that will boost the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Circular examples from various market segments closely linked to SDGs such as agri-food, manufacturing and the built environment are included in the brochure next to cross-sectoral topics such as consumer goods or plastics.
The CYCLE 2013-2017 interdisciplinary project, supported by the Research Council of Norway, focused on the food supply chain from both agriculture and marine sectors, with the aim to improve utilisation of raw materials in a bio-economical perspective.
Launched in November 2019, Sporos aims to become the first platform for impact investment and collaboration that adds value to SMEs in Greece and Southeastern Europe, on the basis of the Circular Economy.
Sporos utilises mezzanine sustainable financing tools, combined with consultancy services and environmental, social and governance (ESG) and sustainable development goal (SDG) metrics.