The 7th European Environmental Evaluators Network Forum addressed the impact of evaluating environment and climate policies, including policies enabling the circular economy.
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Destination: a circular tourism economy
Destination: a circular tourism economy aims to increase the innovativeness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the tourism sector by supporting the integration of circular economy elements into their services, products and business models. This handbook is the result of work carried out in the Interreg South Baltic innovation project, CIRTOINNO.
In addition to providing an overall understanding of the concept of circular economy and the specificities of tourism and the South Baltic partner regions, the CIRTOINNO handbook investigates and discusses the opportunities and barriers for tourism SMEs to adopt circular economy principles, and identifies best practices. Focusing on Hotels, Restaurants and Spas, the handbook provides overall recommendations to:
- implement monitoring systems and strategies to reduce energy and water use
- build relationships with suppliers to rethink material flows
- train staff to improve resource use and reduce spillage
Orange Fiber has closed the loop for oranges by patenting a technique to squeeze orange peel and citrus waste into cellulose fibre. With growing demand for sustainable fashion, the company is well placed to commence production in 2019, having already prototyped a collection with Salvatore Ferragamo and won the Global Change Awars
The Pura Production Group is clearly commited to sustainable production and follows up on this commitment by achieving the maximum attainable sustainability factor with its cleaning products. Pura's flagship Blue Right line for hotels and offices is a circular economy front runner: the floor, interior, sanitary and kitchen cleaners are produced without hazardous chemicals, sold in portion-controlled compostable packaging and lead to zero waste after use.
The 4th International Conference on New Business Models will be hosted and supported by the Chair for Corporate Sustainability, ESCP Europe Berlin, in July 2019.
The event will tackle the question of how to translate circular economy principles into day-to-day relations with suppliers and businesses.
A workshop aimed at presenting how to finance circular business projects.
Pollutec is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018: the trade show has established itself as a true showcase of all the equipment, technologies and services for the environment and energy.
Circular Economy Finance Guidelines
ABN AMRO, ING and Rabobank, all members of the FinanCE working group alongside FGGM and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, have published the first publicly available finance guidelines for the circular economy in July 2018 as input to the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.
These guidelines aim to promote and develop the role finance can play in the transition, beginning with a definition of the circular economy and circular economy finance. These banks perceive the latter as being "any type of instrument where the investments will be exclusively applied to finance or re-finance, in part or in full, new and/or existing eligible companies or projects in the circular economy". The guidelines themselves have four core components:
- Use of investments
- Process for Project Evaluation and Selection
- Management of Investments
By making these guidelines publicly available, these three Dutch banks are encouraging other financial institutions to follow suit and stimulating the development of a common understanding of the circular economy in the European financial sector.
On December 4, MEP Igor Šoltes will host a seminar on the inherent benefits of using public procurement to achieve sustainable development in the European Parliament.
Launch of TCO Certified, generation 8
The BioRegions Forum 2018 will take place in Barcelona on 13 November 2018.
World Food Day is a day of action dedicated to tackling global hunger.
The three-day event Buildings As Material Banks – a pathway for a circular future (BAMB-CIRCPATH), to be held in Brussels on 5-7 February 2019, will focus on circular economy in the building/construction sector.
Austria Glas Agenda 2030 - Future in Glass
Austria Glas Recycling Gmbh is setting the course for the future: the Austria Glas Agenda 2030, which it has developed together with stakeholders, experts and scholars, defines the orientation of the glass recycling system according to the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The Austria Glass Agenda 2030 is pioneering work setting new impulses for the implementation of the SDGs. As one of the first companies in Austria, Austria Glas Recycling Gmbh is facing the challenge to implement the SDGs in all its business processes. The Austria Glas Agenda 2030 is the basis for future project developments of the glass recycling system.
In addition, the Austria Glas Agenda 2030 should serve as a role model for other sectors and inspire them to take action for the SDGs.
Panel discussions around tools and methodologies to assess the impact of marine litter and to address the issue of circular economy and sustainable tourism in islands.
Tarkett, a world-wide leader of innovative flooring and sports surface solutions, has introduced a take-back Restart® program in Europe and North America to collect flooring, which then is sorted and selected as a source of quality raw materials to be used in Tarkett's own production process.
Luxembourg Wood Cluster
The Luxembourg Wood Cluster was set up in 2016 as a platform for exchange between all players in the wood sector, spanning from wood production to the end consumers of wood products. Its structure is managed by Luxinnovation, the National Agency for Innovation and Research.
As a meeting point for innovative, public and private organisations in the region – companies as well as research centres – the Wood Cluster brings together know-how and facilitates the sharing of experience in Luxembourg and beyond. Optimising the market release and the use of wood resources in order to lengthen their life cycles, and creating and enhancing regional wood product chains are among its objectives.
Its underlying logic is that of improving the recovery of this sustainable material par excellence at local and regional level. To this end, the Cluster:
- promotes the wood sector as a whole,
- organises networking events for its members ("Meet a member"),
- organises conferences and thematic visits,
- manages technical working groups around the themes of wood production, processing and use,
- looks for innovative projects and new technologies at national and international level,
- identifies and manages strategic flagship projects, and
- supports sectoral SMEs and start-ups.
In October 2015 the Luxembourg government named the municipality of Wiltz a Circular Economy Hotspot. In February 2018 Wiltz renewed its political commitment with a Circular Economy Charter signed by its municipal council, by which it committed itself to mainstreaming circular economy in its future project and activities in order to improve its global footprint on the Ardennes region and to take on its responsibilities towards future generations of citizens.
SuperDrecksKëscht® promotes the creation of an environment-friendly society that protects its energy and resources, as part of the Luxembourg waste management strategy.
The Climate Pact, which was set up by Luxembourg's Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure in order to enable municipalities wishing to actively tackle climate change to request State support by signing an engagement charter, now includes measures on circular economy.
Luxembourg as a knowledge capital and testing ground for the circular economy
The circular economy is more than a potential model for Luxembourg; it is an economic imperative. Due to its history of exhausting resources then finding substitutes, Luxembourg is already a testing ground for circularity methods. For example its steel, aluminum, glass, and other industries are expert at re-using secondary raw materials. The re-use of those materials is core to their economic survival. It is a competitive necessity to sharpen their capacities in those areas.
Because Luxembourg’s exemplary European society is based on equity, cultural tolerance, economic stability, responsive government and manageable size, the country is a powerful proving ground for circularity. Its heritage of quality and its service-based economy allow leveraging of skills to take advantage of the embedded growth potential. The likely benefits for Luxembourg are considerable. The starting position is excellent. The capabilities and motivation seem to be in place. It is now only a question of providing a nucleus and initial catalyst to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy at scale. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Ministry of the Economy in particular have powerful roles to play as catalysts for circularity.
In the present situation where knowledge of circular economy potential is low but know-how for supporting technology and services is high, the government has a special brief opportunity to seize the initiative by delivering powerful messages about circularity through initiating and coordinating actions, as well as supporting those with a solid foundation of education, training and national co-branding. By leveraging those mechanisms the government will provide the enabling framework for its stakeholders to implement a circular economy with innovative lighthouse initiatives.
Beyond the Circular Economy package
Despite resource efficiency improving 41% between 2000 and 2016,with the Circular Economy Package and the initiatives set out in the accompanying Action Plan nearing completion, the EU institutions must acknowledge that the move to a more resource efficient or “circular” economy will take time. To invest in new business models, more resource-efficient processes and new supply chains for good quality secondary materials, businesses need the assurance that the resource efficiency agenda will remain a priority for the EU in the long term.
This briefing sets out a range of policy recommendations that the Aldersgate Group believe EU institutions should continue to pursue beyond completion of the Circular Economy Package to scale up business action on resource efficiency. These recommendations are based on business case studies, including some developed as part of the EU LIFE+ funded REBus project, which began in 2013 and on which the Aldersgate Group is a partner. By the end of 2016, pilots taking part in the REBus project (many of which involved SMEs), had already delivered a financial benefit of €5.62m, material savings in excess of 62,000 tonnes and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of just under 2,000 tonnes. These benefits have continued to grow since.
Recommendations based on the report's findings include:
- Pursuing work to include resource efficiency design criteria in product standards by delivering on the commitment to publish an updated Ecodesign Working Plan once a year and rapidly broadening the range of products subject to resource efficiency design criteria;
- Promote business innovation on resource efficiency, through continued financial support for business trials and broadening the sectors that receive technical support through the Commission’s Innovation Deals;
- Expand the use of circular economy criteria in the public procurement of a broadening range of products and encourage their application across EU Member States and EU institutions;
- Encourage Member States to develop pricing mechanisms that support material re-use where it is environmentally effective to do so; and
- Ensure a consistent implementation of the Circular Economy Package in different Member States. This is especially important in terms of the improved definitions of “waste” currently being negotiated by all three EU institutions, which must ensure that materials are no longer classified as “waste” when they can be re-used safely.
Circular City Governance: An explorative research study into current barriers and governance practices in circular city transitions across Europe
Circular City Governance
Circular City Governance - An explorative research study presents the results of an empirical research study into current barriers and governance practices in circular city transitions across Europe carried out by a team from the Radboud University Nijmegen School of Management (NL). The research activities ran from October to December 2017. The main objective of the study was to support the European Investment Bank (EIB) and other members of the Urban Agenda Partnership on Circular Economy involved in the working group on “Circular City Governance” (CCG) with the identification, analysis and elaboration of actions in support of Circular Governance in Cities, particularly through better knowledge and better funding. At the time this report was completed, the UAPCE’s Action Plan had been recently published for public consultation.
The research study follows an empirical approach primarily focussed on the identification of (i) the most common barriers and challenges that are encountered by cities seeking to promote the circular economy, and (ii) the most important governance interventions cities have taken to initiate and advance in the transition to a circular city. This information was drawn from the analysis of selected case studies of circular economy projects in urban environments, various publicly available circular economy strategies, plans prepared by cities and interviews with experts and officials of front-runner cities that have embraced the CE agenda across Europe. The results of this research study should contribute towarads improving the general knowledge basis on the promotion of the CE in cities by presenting the experiences and main lessons learnt by cities at the forefront of the CE agenda.
The circular economy and the bioeconomy — Partners in sustainability
'The circular economy and the bioeconomy — Partners in sustainability' is the third EEA report on the circular economy. It aims to support the framing, implementation and evaluation of European circular economy policy from an environmental perspective. It shows that the two policy agendas have similar objectives and areas of intervention, including food waste, biomass and bio-based products, and that they would benefit from stronger links, particularly in product and infrastructure design, and collaboration throughout the value chain.
The increasing demand for food, feed, biomaterials and bioenergy resources could worsen the over-exploitation of natural resources. By extending the lifetime of products and recycling materials, a circular, bio-economy approach can help retain material value and functionality for longer time as well as avoid unrecycled biowaste.
Promising innovations and strategies for circular biomass use include biorefinery, 3D printing with bioplastics, multi-purpose crops, better use of residues and food waste, and biowaste treatment. Consumers can also contribute by eating less animal-based protein, preventing food waste and separating biowaste from other waste streams.
Implementing the circular and bio-economy in tandem, by applying specific design principles within a systemic approach, would improve resource efficiency and reduce environmental pressures.
This high-level conference on Sustainability in Public Procurement provides an avenue for debate on what the EU and Member States can do to ensure a wider uptake of circular economy in strategic public procurement and serves as a forum to share best practices from selected industries.