The ICLEI Europe Brussels Office organises the 29th Breakfast at Sustainability's entitled Fostering the circular food economy through stronger rural-urban linkages.
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Scaling the Circular Built Environment: pathways for business and government
The circular economy has great potential to help meet global sustainability targets and the Paris Agreement's goals in particular. The built environment, consuming almost half of the world's resources extracted every year and responsible for a massive environmental footprint, is a fundamental sector in the circular transition.
Moving towards a circular built environment involves a shift in roles and business models for stakeholders active in this sector. However, barriers related to culture, regulations, market, technology and education are slowing down the transition.
The private and public sector need to create a level playing field in order for circular materials, products and services to become the new normal in the built environment. This requires bold leadership from both companies and policy-makers who have to transform the market (e.g. by introducing new valuation methods) and implement long-term policies that encourage the scaling of circular solutions (e.g. through circular procurement). Standardization, new forms of collaboration and co-creation processes are essential elements in the transition. Digital innovation, education and information sharing can further drive the change in mindset and culture that is needed to turn the circular built environment into reality.
The World Circular Economy Forum is a ground-breaking event that presents the best innovations for circular economy and gathers the most recognised experts and decision-makers in the field. Be at the epicentre of the circular economy in Helsinki, Finland, on 3 - 5 June 2019.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation will be holding a public webinar on its Circular Economy in Cities suite of online resources for urban authorities on the 25th of March 2019.
Cirkelstad is a national platform connecting private entrepreneurs and policy-makers who are delivering the transition to a circular economy in pioneering Dutch cities. By facilitating their networking, the platform enables greater impact by spreading best practice.
In addition to a comprehensive database of good practice, research and policy guidelines to inspire practicioners, the Cirkelstad Academie also provides occassional trainings and provides advisory services to aspiring circular projects in Utrecht and Amsterdam.
To learn more about this hands-on network and connect with the 'spinners' coordinating activities in each city, visit the platform here.
Roubaix's Circular Economy Route Map
After the 2014 elections, the new Roubaix municipality team wanted to change the image of its city and encourage a positive attitude towards both its inhabitants and France as a whole.
The roadmap aims at turning difficulties into advantages, generating a new dynamic. Based on the Sustainable development strategy (since 2003), a zero waste policy is progressively implemented with a focus on cooperation and awareness raising among the stakeholders.
The approach is global, even if some activities are implemented on a micro-scale (budget issue), mostly at the level of a city sub-district (Fresnoy-Mackellerie).
To enable the entire City of Roubaix to experience the transition to a zero waste economy, projects are open and accessible to all categories of population and businesses. This is reflected in the way the projects are designed and co-developed, and how the City communicates about them.
Some concrete solutions are tested on an everyday basis and feedback is already shared with others (zero waste family program, zero waste business label, zero waste festival…).
Generally speaking, the City of Roubaix wants :
- to have the largest possible audience sharing the zero waste concepts, to match activities that could bring new dynamics into this field and make it happen. The more people share the same values the better;
- to multiply the interaction at different levels (inhabitants, institutions, businesses) but also to keep a global coherent approach;
- to minimize the production of waste, by changing consumer’s behaviour, retailer distribution methods and the design and processing used by the companies;
- to make the remaining and really unavoidable waste enter a circular loop.
AquaponieBxl is introducing aquaponics across Brussels by building urban farms where vegetables grow on water using fish waste as fertiliser.
The event will tackle the question of how to translate circular economy principles into day-to-day relations with suppliers and businesses.
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.
The first seminar on 'the City as a Business Model' was held at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands on 4 October. It aimed to share knowledge and discuss about how cities can make the transition to sustainable, inclusive circular economies, based on various European best practices.
Seminar discussing the different aspects of urban waste prevention, with a particular focus on exchanging best practices coming from European heritage cities.
Examining the role of selective waste collection in a CE by focusing on two different waste streams (plastics and bio-waste) while also granting consideration to the future of highly selective collection streams.
The first Slovenian Circular Economy Roadmap paves the way towards a circular economy in Slovenia.
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.
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.
G-STIC 2018 builds onto the key findings of G-STIC 2017, which demonstrate that a transition to a new industry framework requires a circular economy approach that is enabled by smart technologies.
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.