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The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has set out five universal circular economy policy goals that provide a framework for national governments, cities and businesses to create a transition that fosters innovation and decouples growth from finite resource consumption and environmental degradation.
As part of its work on the environmental footprint, the European Commission organised a webinar for SMEs on 10 December 2020 providing an introduction to the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) method.
The event focussed on the following questions:
- What is a PEF study?
- How can such a study be undertaken?
- What are the benefits for SMEs?
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is composed of both government and civil society organisations. With over 1400 member organisations, it is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it. The European Regional Office in Brussels represents IUCN at EU level and works with Member States to help deliver EU goals.
IUCN has been focusing on the circular economy (CE) debate for some years now, including addressing marine pollution issues (e.g. plastics).
IUCN brings knowledge, expertise and convening power on biodiversity and nature-based solutions to the CE debate, aiming to establish the link between both environmental priorities: conservation of nature and transition from a linear to a circular model.
Oltrecafé is the first company to produce Italian pellets from coffee grounds. This kind of pellet generates more heat than wood and helps meet the strong demand in Italy for pellets meeting the criteria for sustainable heating. The company's method reduces waste production and increases recycling, while also producing clean and sustainable energy through a renewable resource.
As part of its work on the Environmental Footprint, the European Commission is organising a webinar for SMEs on 10 December. This webinar will provide an introduction to the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) method, answering questions such as: What is a PEF study? How can such a study be undertaken? What are the benefits for SMEs?
The Lavandula project focuses on using agro-food by-products to produce active ingredients used in cosmetics.
The EU Circular Talks is a new exchange concept of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform. It aims to encourage stakeholders to interact and discuss the circular economy topics on the Platform. The workshop aims to debate the role of the circular economy for the retail and wholesale sectors, particularly in the context of their recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
Alberto Arroyo Schnell is responsible for policy and programmes at the European Regional Office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). He has held leading positions on EU environmental policy for the past 15 years. His current focus is working together with the key sectors related to / impacted by / benefiting from biodiversity and nature, aiming to find ways to achieve the environmental targets jointly and to ensure ownership of these targets by all stakeholders. He is Spanish, with a background in Forestry Engineering.
The 2020 edition of EU Green Week 2020, focussing on nature and biodiversity, is taking place from 19 to 22 October 2020 in an entirely virtual format. Join exciting virtual discussions on how protecting and restoring nature can stimulate recovery and create jobs, helping us to build more resilient and healthier societies.
Are you a programme owner or a policy maker keen to advance the transition to a circular economy? Join CICERONE in building a circular economy joint programming platform to enable more cooperation!
The lack of a commonly accepted, inclusive definition of and methodology for measuring circularity hinder the transition to a more circular economy (CE). These two factors obstruct the development of and access to dedicated or non-dedicated finance, credit risk assessment and the transferability and replicability of projects and investments across regions and jurisdictions.
The Expert Group on Circular Economy Financing proposes a sector agnostic CE categorisation system that defines categories of activities substantially contributing to a CE. Guidelines with an indicative list of typical investments/projects for each CE category are included.
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.
This document is the result of the active involvement of the Interreg MED Green Growth community, together with its projects.
To make circular economy (CE) simpler, more efficient and more competitive, it is suggested to take a holistic, integrated and cooperative approach, by considering all phases in which CE is structured, all levels (from local to European) and all stakeholders involved in the implementation of CE models.
The policy recommendations proposed in the document are structured into six main areas:
- Investments and access to finance
- Technological infrastructure
- Labour market and employment
- Awareness and knowledge
- Cooperation among stakeholders and technology transfer
- Cross-cutting issues.
The European Commission has launched the public consultation on the green claims initiative. It will be open until 3 December 2020.
The EU-funded DigiCirc project aims at enabling the digitalisation of the Circular Economy by building upon the innovation potential of SMEs. It accelerates innovation by identifying cutting-edge circular economy solutions and by promoting business development and start-up growth.
DigiCirc will build and coordinate an innovative network of stakeholders that will set the foundation for an open space for innovation performed through the DigiCirc accelerators.
45 circular innovations, addressing sectoral challenges and generating new value chain, will be selected through open calls in three domains:
- Circular cities
- Blue economy.
For more information on open calls (the first on Circular cities to be launched in November) and the accelerator programme click here.
The Coordination Group decided, in Autumn 2019, to create leadeship groups to hold in-depth discuss and deliver orientations on priority topics.
The leadership group on cities and regions focused specifically on the territorial approach to the transition to circular economy at local and regional level.
The Life Cycle Innovation Conference (LCIC 2020) takes a systems perspective when discussing sustainable innovation. It will look at both, innovative approaches and methods to address sustainability challenges as well as innovative products and services that will help the transition towards a more sustainable world.
The Environmental Protection Agency has launched a challenge called 'Innovating a Circular Economy for soft plastic in Ireland' under Enterprise Ireland’s Small Business Innovation Research programme. The challenge focuses on reducing/eliminating soft plastic waste generated through the provision of school meals in Ireland.
Nordic Innovation launches a series of workshops, free of charge, to develop collaborative pilots across industry ecosystems, that can be scaled to successful transition towards a circular economy, critical for innovation and economic growth around the Nordics.
The Alliance for Flame Retardant Free Furniture position paper - Unwanted toxic flame retardants preventing circularity and increasing fire toxicity
The Alliance for Flame Retardant Free Furniture states its position: Unwanted toxic flame retardants prevent circularity and increase fire toxicity
The Alliance for Flame Retardant Free Furniture welcomes the new Circular Economy Action Plan and calls on EU institutions to address the unnecessary use of chemicals preventing circularity and the achievement of climate goals, such as toxic flame retardants in furniture, which endanger people’s and firefighters’ health as they migrate out of products and can lead to increased fire toxicity.
The use of such retardants is a historical, hazardous and ineffective practice which is not proven to reduce the number of fires. It is at odds with circularity objectives and their presence in furniture runs counter to the ambition to introduce and increase circularity.
Ensuring fire safety is a must, but it needs to be done in ways that are not hazardous.