EVENT POSTPONED! On 10 September 2020 CEPS was willing to organise a webinar on the circular economy - a key feature of the European Green Deal - as a concept that offers potential for economic growth at EU level decoupled from resource use, which is particularly important in these times of unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Innovation and investment
The relationship between innovating business model and the circular economy is complex and rapidly evolving. So, how can we turn the focus on the circular economy into a driver for global sustainability?
The report titled "Incremental Circular Economy as a Serious Sustainability Problem" aims to understand the relationship between business model innovation and the circular economy.
It also seeks to guide companies, intrapreneurs in companies, and organisations working towards a circular economy. And, finally, it aims to provide a structure to understand very different approaches and their outcomes.
European Investment Bank and national promotional banks launch the Joint Initiative on Circular Economy
On average, a European citizen produces half a ton of waste a year. This amounts to 2.5 billion tons yearly for the entire European Union.
The Joint Initiative on Circular Economy (JICE) is a partnership between the EU’s largest national promotional banks and institutions and the European Investment Bank to invest at least €10 billion in the circular economy by 2023.
It provides loans, equity investment, guarantees, innovative financing structures and technical assistance.
The initiative will support projects that prevent and eliminate waste, increase resource efficiency and promote circular business models. Eligible projects can be submitted to the respective JICE partners.
European project BIOnTop: Promising results in development of new recyclable and compostable packaging
European project BIOnTop obtains promising results in development of new recyclable and compostable packaging. In its first year, BIOnTop has achieved good results in its experimental work on copolymers and compounds with customized biodegradability and multifunctional coating solutions with customized properties.
The post-COVID-19 recovery plan should be extensive, as the effects of the pandemic on people and economy have, in many cases, been devastating. The recovery plan must also fully support the green transition to guarantee resilience over the long term.
The circular economy has the potential to raise EU GDP by billions of euros, and create around 700,000 extra jobs by 2030. With this in mind, the economic approach should be an integral part of that recovery. It is one of the messages of a new EUROCITIES policy statement on the EU Circular Economy Action Plan that sets out how cities, as significant engines for economic growth, can drive the circular economy to unlock economic, environmental and social benefits.
The aim of Poland's Roadmap towards the Transition to the Circular Economy (CE), which was adopted in 2019, is twofold: first, to identify cross-cutting measures capable of having the broadest possible impact in Poland, both socially and economically; and second, to prioritise areas that will enable Poland to take advantage of its current opportunities, and to deal with existing or future challenges.
The Roadmap focusses on 5 areas in particular:
- Sustainable industrial production
- Sustainable consumption
- New business models
- implementation, monitoring and financing of CE.
The Roadmap includes a set of tools, which are not purely legislative, to create the conditions for a new economic model in Poland.
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.
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.
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.
Aragón Circular is an economic strategy that aims to boost the circular economy in the entire region of Aragon. Its objective is to create a political, economic, and social framework that will allow Aragon to move towards an innovative circular economy. Furthermore, this strategy will generate high-quality employment and provide the backbone for the territory.
This retrospective report is a review of the plans set out by Circular Flanders in the Kick-off Statement.
The most important finding? A good deal more was accomplished than initially anticipated. For example, the opportunity to launch three Open Calls, permitting the funding of over 130 innovative circular economy projects. The Green Deal on Circular Construction was also an unprecedented opportunity, as was the complementary reinforcement of the OVAM team of experts in ecodesign and area-specific operations, allowing the scope to expand.
This retrospective report is an interactive PDF. External links to downloads or online resources have been embedded on each project page for easy accessibility.
This report assesses the Aviation sector value chain in the context of Circular Economy principles.
It offers an overview of the aircraft lifecycle, new supplier-consumer programmes already initiated by the industry and a proposal for the reconversion towards a more circular business model.
The assessment of the value chain was carried out according to the Circular Economy perspective (Redesign, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle).
This report advises the companies involvled in the EACP-EUROSME project, as an instrument to start the implementation process towards a Circular Economy business and as research for further financial support for project funding.
The WCYCLE Maribor project provides for an innovative urban circular economy system, offering a new business and economic model for the city in the field of efficient resource management.
At the intersection of science, design, and waste management, PuriFungi develops natural cleaning systems. PuriFungi's new product is an ashtray made of mycelium and cigarette butts.
Votechnik has created a unique state-of-the-art recycling technology, the ALR 4000 machine, which safely removes hazardous waste materials from LCD flatscreen panels and monitors through a fully automated process.
Nutripeople, a Murcian start-up producing superfoods for the developing world, actively engages Spain's agri-food industry to sell its vegetable surplus as a resource to produce superfood pouches, which are then distributed in areas afflicted by famine.
Waste and pollution from the production of textiles and clothing have become critical global issues. This report launched by Ecopreneur.eu and the European Sustainable Business Federation calls for decisive policy measures based on 5 pillars:
- Innovation policies: funding research programmes, investment tax deduction, support for technological development and SMEs.
- Economic incentives: procurement, extended producer responsibility, VAT, tax shift.
- Regulation: common regulatory framework for transparency and traceability, circular design, improved end-of-waste status.
- Trade policies: facilitating export of reusable textile waste and avoiding negative social impacts in producing countries.
- Voluntary actions: covenants, commitments and standards to engage stakeholders.
WREP (Waste REcycling Project) 2018 was a pilot project by the Italian PVC forum designed to improve the collection and recycling of polyvynil chloride in Venice. This pilot forms part of a wider, 3-year project to increase recycling of post-use PVC, and focused on the demolition and recycling sectors in particular.
Futur-E: 23 Italian thermoelectric power plants will get a new life, in consultation with local stakeholders and communities
Enel is a prominent energy actor in Italy. As a result of its investment in renewable energy, 23 obsolete thermoelectric power plants and one mining area are to be decommissioned.
The Futur-E project aims to reconvert these outdated plants into local facilities satisfying criteria of innovation, social, environmental and economic sustainability.
The EU-funded SwitchMed Programme supports and connects stakeholders to scale-up social and eco-innovations in the Mediterranean. It promotes inclusive growth, job creation and sustainable development by supporting policy makers, eco-innovative small and medium sized enterprises, industries, start-ups and entrepreneurs in the Southern Mediterranean countries.
Recycling plastic parts from scrapped end-of-life vehicles (ELV) in the Basque Country to obtain high-added-value granules.