This report investigates how a more circular economy can contribute to cutting CO2 emissions. It explores a broad range of opportunities for the four largest materials in terms of emissions (steel, plastics, aluminium, and cement) and two large use segments for these materials (passenger cars and buildings). The key conclusion is that a more circular economy can make deep cuts to emissions from heavy industry: in an ambitious scenario, as much as 296 million tons CO2 per year in the EU by 2050, out of 530 Mt in total – and some 3.6 billion tonnes per year globally. Making better use of the materials that already exist in the economy thus can take EU industry halfway towards net-zero emissions. Moreover, doing so often is economically attractive. Initiatives for a more circular economy therefore deserve a central place in EU climate and industrial policy.
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Mining, metals and minerals
WASCON is the reference international conference on the use of alternative materials in construction.
The German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) is the German and international knowledge platform for sustainable building, counting more than 1,200 members.
The CircE Project (European regions toward Circular Economy) involves 8 partners both at regional and local scale and representatives of different European social and economic scenarios. The project aims at strengthening the diffusion of Circular Economy in Europe, consistently with the European Commission’s Circular Economy Package (2015). In particular the project aims at helping the partners involved to increase the capability of their policy instruments to steer economy towards a circular model. The project carries out this task by aiming at modifying or readdressing the selected policy instruments through an exchange of knowledge/experiences among Partners, through a continuous involvement of Stakeholders and through a deeper analysis of economic system.
Tthis event will discuss the key barriers to the market transformation and the policy mix needed to remove these barriers and accelerate a large scale adoption of circular economy business models, technologies and practices.
The circular economy is attracting significant interest worldwide, as evidenced by the numerous government strategies, business commitments and partnerships devoted to its development. At the EU level, the Action Plan for the Circular Economy and several other policy documents have demonstrated a strong commitment to move towards a low-carbon and circular economy. While the calls for a new economic model grow louder, it is clear that the transformation of markets and industries on a large scale will not be an easy achievement. It will require well-designed and ambitious policies to foster the transition as well as new business models. Against this background, CEPS brought together executives from major multinational companies as well as representatives of business associations, non-governmental organisations and research institutes to form a Task Force charged with tackling the immense challenges associated with the circular economy. This report is the outcome of their deliberations. It analyses the key obstacles that need to be addressed, explores numerous policy areas at the EU and national level where support can act as a catalyst for market transformation, and puts forward actionable policy recommendations.
The FISSAC project involves stakeholders at all levels of the construction and demolition value chain to develop a methodology and software platform, to facilitate information exchange, that can support industrial symbiosis networks and replicate pilot schemes at local and regional levels.
Information sharing, transparency and collaboration have been widely recognised as essential catalysts for a circular economy. To use one company’s ‘waste’ as ‘food’ for another, stakeholders need to access the right information at the right time. Often, however, information sharing risks a stakeholder’s competitive advantage. Circularise develops an open communications protocol using blockchain technology.
Founded in 2015, the Circular Economy Coalition for Europe is a platform of scientists and universities in the fields of resource management, waste management and anthropogenic metabolism. In their endeavour to support the transformation of the EU to an effective and efficient circular economy, the experts provide European Institutions, national decision makers, businesses, and the interested public by providing facts and data, based on scientific methods and evidence.
Laura Cutaia, researcher at ENEA is an Environmental Engineer (1996) with a PhD in raw materials engineering (2002). Her main research topics are:
- Industrial ecology and Symbiosis,
- Technology for raw and secondary materials treatment,
- Resources management,
- Life Cycle Assessment,
- Environmental Certification,
- End of life management.
Laura Cutaia is the Responsible of Laboratory for Valorization of Resources at ENEA , where she is working on circular economy and resource efficiency, industrial ecology and symbiosis, LCA, environmental certification schemes, REACH regulation and sustainable industrial areas (more information).
Laura Cutaia is also the President of SUN - Symbiosis Users Network (Italian network for industrial symbiosis) and the President of UNI CT 057 on Circular Economy that is working with ISO TC 323 on circular economy. UNI is the Italian competent body for standardization.
As an adviser for environmental and climate policy, Leon de Graaf particularly follows policies related to the circular economy, trade and climate, low-emission mobility, implementation of the Paris climate agreement (COP21) and the European emission trading system (EU ETS). He is also deputy manager of BusinessEurope's corporate Advisory and Support Group (ASGroup). Prior to joining BusinessEurope, Leon worked at the research consultancy Ecorys, focusing on renewable energy and international development issues, at DG COMP on energy and environmental subsidies in Europe, and at the Dutch Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) on indirect ETS costs for energy-intensive industries. Leon has a MSc in environmental economics and climate change from the London School of Economics, and a BSc in business economics from the University of Groningen.
Following the successful completion of the European Remanufacturing Network project funded through Horizon 2020, the Conseil Européen de Remanufacture was launched in January 2017. It has members such as IBM, Lexmark, SKF, Panalpina, syncreon, Autocraft and others who pay annual membership subscriptions to develop, promote and exchange good practise between the many sectors in which remanufacturing occurs.
Circular Glasgow, hosted by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, will connect with companies across the city helping them to open up new revenue streams, increase competitive advantage and realise financial savings using a range of practical tools.
Advanced Dry Recovery (ADR) technology upgrades fine non-ferrous metals from municipal waste-to-energy ash
The Inashco ash recycling consists of an on-site concentrator (ADR) and a centralized upgrading facility. The ADR together with conventional Eddy Current Separators, produce a fine non-ferrous concentrate and a clean marketable mineral aggregate. The non-ferrous concentrate is transported to the Inashco proprietary upgrading facility. At the upgrading facility the concentrate is upgraded into high valuable heavy and light non-ferrous metal scrap products.
The “Every Can Counts” programme aims to improve recycling by enabling and encouraging people to recycle drinks cans used outside the home (e.g. workplaces, festivals, tourist locations, etc.).
Secondary raw materials have a place of their own in the economy, but sourcing them or selling them can prove difficult in the absence of a structured market. MarketPlaceHub offers great visibility and search options for those economic operators needing easier market identification.
Aurubis, an expert in multi-metal recycling, and Grillo-Werke, specialised in zinc and sulphur products, cooperate to make a perfect closed loop for non ferrous trace elements.
Residual zinc from copper production is used by Grillo-Werke as a secondary raw material for zinc sulfate. Residues from this production - including copper, tin and lead - are then fed back to Aurubis for more copper and other non-ferrous production, ensuring that no trace element is lost in the process.
Marketplace Hub maps raw materials markets and industrial synergy networks worldwide by both their locations and what material they trade. It aims to aid interested businesses to find where they could source or sell their materials secondary raw materials.
Best practices, policies, and lessons learned are also included in the interactive web-based platform.