The circular economy is a key element of the European Green Deal as a concept that can support the transition towards a more sustainable growth model. In recent years there has been a growth of circular economy industrial applications, but evidence suggests that the uptake of circular approaches in many sectors is still limited.
Ethical smartphones, multifunctional strollers, remanufactured milking robots and bicycles-as-a-service: the Dutch manufacturing industry offers plenty of inspiring and groundbreaking innovations for a circular economy. International cooperation is nonetheless crucial to deliver and accelerate the circular transition as the value chains of the manufacturing industry cover the whole world.
With this publication on Manufacturing: the future is circular, Holland Circular Hotspot and the Dutch Circular Manufacturing Implementation Programme (UPCM) aim to bring insights and case studies from the Netherlands to an international level, in order to inspire everyone around the world to act and kickstart circular development.
Every year, huge numbers of photovoltaic (PV) modules are being installed. This solar energy expansion greatly furthers the ecological transformation of the energy system. But to solve the climate crisis every aspect has to be taken into consideration. This is why this white paper wants to shine light on challenges currently occuring or to be expected in connection with used photovoltaic modules and their disposal in Germany.
To better implement the goals of a circular economy, this paper will retrace the steps in the lifecycle of a photovoltaic module and analyse problems and possible solutions along these stages. After a brief description of the occuring challenges, opportunities and solutions deemed to be effective and sensible in these matters are presented.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having an immense impact on societies across the world. It has caused millions of deaths worldwide and challenged our health systems and economies. The pandemic - and responses to it, involving lockdowns, use of personal protection equipment and stay-at-home measures - has far-reaching health and economic consequences.
This briefing deals with the less visible effects on our environment and climate originating from changed use of single-use plastics due to the pandemic.
Renewable energy technologies, such as wind turbines, solar photovoltaic panels and batteries, are essential for Europe’s transition to climate neutrality. Deployment, maintenance and replacement of this infrastructure requires significant resources, including many substances included in the EU list of critical raw materials.
Waste arising from end-of-life clean energy infrastructure is projected to grow up to 30-fold over the next 10 years, presenting significant opportunities to reduce consumption of scarce raw materials by recycling metals and other valuable resources back into production systems.
Circular economy approaches such as repair and upgrading of equipment and recycling of end-of-life infrastructure can underpin the sustainability credentials of EU renewable energy.
The extraction/processing of raw materials is associated with potentially significant environmental impacts, including contributing to approximately half of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally. In the EU, non-energy, non-agricultural raw materials account for 18 % of GHG emissions associated with EU consumption.
Given the EU's commitment to reducing its GHG emissions, and the European Green Deal's aspiration to achieve a climate-neutral continent by 2050, mitigating climate impacts from raw material production is central to the EU's climate agenda.
All activities associated with collecting waste materials for recycling lead to GHG emissions. Especially for metals, however, their contribution to emissions is only a fraction of the emissions saved by not using primary metals.
The extraction and processing of raw materials are associated with potentially significant environmental impacts, including contributing to approximately half of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally. In the EU, non-energy, non-agricultural raw materials, although a small subset of all raw materials and natural resources, account for 18 % of GHG emissions associated with EU consumption. In the context of the EU's commitment to reducing its share of global GHG emissions, as well as the European Green Deal's aspiration to achieve a climate-neutral continent by 2050, mitigating climate impacts from raw material production has a central role to play in the EU's climate agenda.