The Croatian project titled "Responsible Business for a Clean World" involves collecting unused soap in hotels and sending it to a soap factory, where it is cleaned, sterilised and recycled into new soap products, which are then offered back to customers at the hotel.
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Purified Metal Company can responsibly process contaminated steel scrap into a high-quality raw material.
Refarmed uses the concept of ‘building integrated agriculture’. High-impact buildings (meaning they produce a lot of waste and excess heat) are equipped with rooftop greenhouses which turn all that waste into value - to support low-impact food production.
ConnectedBin has developed a waste container solution using artificial intelligence to identify waste types and sort them properly. The Internet of Things system reports on waste types and amounts, making waste collection more efficient.
Residuos do Nordeste, an intermunicipal waste management company based in North-Eastern Portugal, is running an education and awareness-raising campaign called "Educar para uma Economia Circular" related to the top of the waste management hierarchy: prevention.
Studio Thomas Vailly's project makes use of what is left of the sunflower crop to produce innovative materials.
Sonae Arauco is a wood-based panel producer that contributes to the circular economy through the recovery of wood waste. It has developed a close value chain that reuses and recycles the wood residues generated during the production process.
For New York's design week, NYCxDESIGN in May 2018, the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York invited chefs from the Helsinki-based Restaurant Nolla to bring their zero waste food philosophy to New York. The temporary bistro was built on themes of circular economy, new material innovations and sustainable design.
eCO2blocks creates an alternative – or a complementary material – to cement by producing building blocks made from industrial waste and water which is not fit for drinking.
A team of researchers from the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Coimbra (FCTUC) has developed an innovative wastewater treatment technique using natural flocculants extracted from waste eucalyptus wood.
Best practices on industrial symbiosis in Italy and the contribution of regional policies as a strategic lever
In 2016, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) set up a Symbiosis Users Network (SUN) to boost industrial symbiosis in Italy. The network promotes circular economy models through industrial symbiosis by focusing on operational issues.
SUN's 2019 conference was devoted to Good practices of industrial symbiosis in Italy and the contribution of regional policies as a strategic lever. The event, co-organised by SUN, Ecomondo and ENEA was held in Rimini (IT) on 7 November 2019 at Ecomondo - a leading event in Europe for new circular economy models.
Reports on ENEA-promoted conferences on industrial symbiosis are available here.
The furniture sector and Circular Economy 2.0: the European Furniture Industries Confederation shares its views
From a “circular” point of view, the wide range of products considered to be "furniture" and the diverse use of materials in production (e.g. wood, plastics, textile, steel, glass, composites, foam) makes it a complex area to address.
The European Furniture Industries Confederation (EFIC) has drawn up a position paper that identifies challenges and opportunities linked to the circular economy transition, covering the different phases of manufacturing from supply of materials to the end-of-life phase, and that provides sector-specific expertise on EU Circular Economy policies.
The European furniture industries are ready to work together with EU institutions to create suitable tools for the sector, enabling it to move in the right direction.
In March 2020, the European Commission published the new Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP). Following of this publication, the French Institut National de l'Economie Circulaire (INEC) has published an analysis of the new action plan, followed by some recommendations:
- promote the inter-sectoral dimension of circular economy (CE);
- speed up the integration of the CE dimension into public procurement;
- introduce a coherent circular-oriented tax system;
- transition towards a non-financial accounting system;
- teach people to be circular;
- start a discussion on "equitable" needs;
- blockchain, territories and behavioural change.
To read the full report (in FR) click here.
The report from TCO Development, the organization behind the global sustainability certification for IT products TCO Certified, explains how everyone who buys/uses IT products can implement circular practices. It sets out how circular economy (CE) helps solve many pressing sustainability challenges linked to IT products and contains 33 expert tips on circular IT management.
- Use IT products longer.
- Circularity helps maximize the value of IT investment.
- Market demand is key to accelerating the pace of change.
- Circularity includes IT management throughout the life cycle.
- Improved supply chain responsibility can speed up transition to CE.
- Circularity is a team effort.
- Many circular solutions are already in place - just use them.
The European Policy Centre’s (EPC) Task Force called Digital Roadmap to Circular Economy has explored the linkages between digitalisation and circular economy, the opportunities created by data and digitally-enabled solutions, and the challenges associated with harnessing their full potential for the transition to a circular economy.
The project represents a pioneering endeavour in exploring the interconnections between the digital and green transformations and considers the implications for EU policymaking.
The final publication The circular economy: Going digital and its executive summary show that digitalisation can offer enormous possibilities for the transition to a more sustainable, circular economy but it is essential to steer it in the right direction.
The Circular Economy Action Group, the business initiative promoted by Forética in Spain to lead the transition of companies towards a circular economy model, has produced a report entitled "The reality of plastics: myths and truths" [La realidad de los plásticos: Mitos y verdades].
The aim of the report is to ensure a better understanding of plastic waste pollution, thus promoting the foundations of the new plastics economy. It also outlines the actions to be taken in order to improve plastic circularity.
Forética's mission is to promote the integration of social, environmental and good governance aspects in the strategy and management of companies and organisations with one objective: to achieve a sustainable future.
Resource Effectiveness and the Circular Economy: how to strengthen Sweden's competitiveness in a future with finite resources
The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) has always been a meeting place for Sweden’s future. It builds bridges between the business community, the public sector, academia and the political sphere.
Its two-year project "Resource Effectiveness and the Circular Economy" was aimed at making Sweden more competitive in a future with finite resources, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, by economising on resources and developing new technologies, services and business models in five areas:
Read the synthesis report, marking the completion of the project, which presents the most important conclusions, recommendations and action plans from the five subprojects.
The Dutch economy is 24.5% circular. Measures in four key sectors can triple the national circularity rate and help the government achieve its ambitions for a fully circular economy by 2050.
On 3 June, Circle Economy launched the Circularity Gap Report for the Netherlands. The report shows that the Netherlands is a circular frontrunner: the country's circularity rate is three times higher than the global rate of 8.6%. Consuming 221 million tonnes of materials each year, the Netherlands retrieves one quarter from non-virgin, secondary sources. However, if the government is to achieve its ambitions of full circularity by 2050, a major overhaul of the national economy, including jobs, will still be necessary.
Holland Circular Hotspot is a private-public platform in which companies, knowledge institutes and local authorities collaborate to promote and support international collaboration and knowledge exchange on Dutch circular economy, and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, a government agency for sustainable, agricultural, innovative and international business development and growth, have come together to share insights, networks and resources to help kickstart circular developments that will boost the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Circular examples from various market segments closely linked to SDGs such as agri-food, manufacturing and the built environment are included in the brochure next to cross-sectoral topics such as consumer goods or plastics.
EUMEPS op-ed: Thermal insulation improvements in the EU building Renovation Wave also promote the Circular Economy
The European Manufacturers of Expanded Polystyrene (EUMEPS) is the voice of the Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) industry. It has published an op-ed welcoming the European Commission’s commitment to a Renovation Wave and the outline of its strategy shared in the roadmap published in May 2020. It believes that this initiative is a great opportunity for scaling-up current renovation rates and EU’s climate and energy efficiency goals.
EUMEPS agrees that increased renovation can be a key contributor to creating jobs and stimulating economic recovery in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. It embraces the Commission’s finding that buildings are also critical for making circularity work and its objective to implement the Renovation Wave in line with circular economy principles.
The Upper Autrian Cleantech-Cluster networks all actors from the resource supplier, to the manufacturer, industrial researcher, to mechanical engineers, recyclers, and disposers in order to find joint solutions and develop new technologies. We cooperate with our 10 cluster initiatives in the Upper Austrian business support agency and 2000 partner companies, whose activities range from plastics, to automotive, furniture and wood construction, food, medical technology, mechatronics, IT, logistics, and HR, In order to support projects for SMEs in particular, the cluster also supports EU funding applications, thus offering its partners an internationally mature circular economy toolbox.
THEMES and EXPERTISE in the network:
- Material efficiency in production
- Circular design
- Business Models
- Initial and continuing education
- Cross-sector networking with researchers, companies, associations (regional, national, international)
- Project development
- Project Management
- Process support through conception, moderation of workshops, work meetings, events
- Funding advice
The “Cyprus Circular Economy Platform” aims to collect circular economy good practices and events from all stakeholders that can contribute to the transition to a circular economy across Cyprus. For industries, enterprises, local authorities, public bodies, associations, NGOs etc that have a good practice to demonstrate or an event to share, regarding the circular economy in Cyprus, this is the place to do it.
The Cyprus Circular Economy Platform was co-created by the European Commission Representation in Cyprus and the Cyprus Federation of Employers & Industrialists (OEB) and was registered as a partner for the 2018 EU Green Week.
The European Resource Efficiency Knowledge Centre (EREK for short) is here to help European companies, especially SMEs, save energy, material and water costs. We provide tools, information and business opportunities that show you new and better ways to be resource efficient and benefit from circular economy business models which turn waste into an asset. EREK also supports national, regional and local organisations across Europe that work with SMEs to improve their environmental performance, helping them to become more resource efficient.
SMEs can get the following benefits thanks to EREK’s tools and services:
- Access to knowledge on best available technologies and business models
- Better control of energy, water and material costs
- Compliance checks for upcoming regulations
- Become less dependent on suppliers
- Demonstrate return on investment when adopting resource efficient measures Information on funding sources and technology providers
- Help building a green image which enables the targeting of new customer segments
EREK offers the following to SME intermediaries:
- Tools and instruments for businesses to assess their saving potentials
- Access to top international knowledge, technical expertise and practices on resource efficiency
- Capacity-building workshops and networking events Online training opportunities to learn from resource efficiency experts
- Overview of relevant support programmes available on European, national and regional levels
- Updates on professional events within the community
Concrete activities include:
- European Resource Efficiency Self-Assessment Tool for SMEs
- Catalogue of Resource Efficiency Improvement Measures
- European Resource Efficiency Information Database
- Online EREK platform
- Structured knowledge on resource efficiency best practices
- News, trends, and information on support programmes
- Database and managed European network of the national and regional organisation providing support to SMEs in resource efficiency measures
- Capacity-building and training workshops
- Knowledge resources, expertise and sharing
EREK is an initiative of the European Commission and is implemented by a consortium of organisations including Technopolis Group, VDI Zentrum Ressourceneffizienz (DE), WRAP (UK), Motiva (FI), Enviros (CZ), WAAT and Arctik (BE).
Circle Lab is an online platform for cities, businesses, and citizens to explore, brainstorm, and implement circular business models and strategies to tackle universal and local challenges.
By digitising knowledge, opening up access, and encouraging co-creation, we aim to break down information silos and fuel cross-industry collaboration and innovation. The circular economy has the potential to change the world, and we believe the time to bring the concept to the kitchen table – so that everyone, from entrepreneurs to big brands, can play a role in making it a reality – is now.
Catalunya Circular was launched on the 9th of May 2018 in Barcelona and it already has around 20 member organizations. Its aim is to become a central point of reference for circular economy (CE) in Catalonia.
Besides providing useful knowledge and information on CE, Catalunya Circular offers an opportunity to raise awareness about the work done by Catalan businesses and society by publishing details of their CE initiatives. These initiatives are geolocated on an interactive map and can be selected using a search engine that allows users to look for projects by keyword and/or type of economy.
The ARA Innovation Space is a place for networking, interdisciplinary exchange and innovative creating around topics for a circular economy.
For civil society, artists, scientists, creative people, students, entrepreneurs and all those who are simply curious. The goal of the ARA Innovation Space is to connect people on a cross-disciplinary level to join forces developing and implementing innovative solutions – contributing to the sustainable use of our natural resources.
We organize workshops, networking events as well as creative formats such as exhibitions and performances on a regular basis.
The aim of FURN360 is to create an Innovative didactic content to promote the integration of the Circular Economy Principles within the different business models used by the furniture and woodworking sectors specialized in office and contract.
It will comprise a joint curriculum, didactic materials and a collaborative platform in line with the needs of identified different target users. FURN360 will develop and implement an innovative practice, a new training curriculum for the furniture sector, specifically for the office furniture and contract sectors, adapted to the future trends and needs of the whole society in terms of circular economy.
Cities are where the future happens first. The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group connects more than 90 of the world’s greatest cities, representing over 650 million people and one quarter of the global economy. Created and led by cities, C40 is focused on tackling climate change and driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, while increasing the health, wellbeing and economic opportunities of urban citizens.
As a part of the circular economy, Eco-design is a way for enterprises to reduce the impacts of their products or services at each step of their life cycle.
Since 2012, UCM help SMEs to integrate this approach in order to make their business less impacting, but also compatible with the evolution of the reglementation, cost-effective and connected to the new customers markets.
You want to improve your life cycle management? Take opportunities in the Circular economy? Or even change your business model? Don’t hesitate to make your first step with us. We propose short and mid-term supports, customs tools and seminars, and grant research for circular projects.
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.
Organised in the context of the 2021 EU Industry Days, this event aims at understanding how the recently proposed Sustainable Batteries' Framework will impact the batteries' recycling industries. The event will gather input from EU institutions, the batteries' recycling industry and think tanks.
The session on Chemical waste as a resource – examples from the distribution sector (hosted by Fecc) on 22 March highlights opportunities for and experience of using high-quality second-hand chemicals, while connecting a variety of value chains. Result: reduced waste, CO2 emissions saved, plus the implementation of a circular business model in the chemical supply chain.
This webinar on 17 March aspires to address the developments set out in the 2020 Circular Economy Action Plan and the bioeconomy's huge potential for tackling environmental and societal challenges. The discussion will focus on how best to empower the circular bioeconomy through an enabling policy framework.
Industry is driving the recovery in Europe. The 2021 edition of EU Industry Days - Europe’s flagship annual event on industry - will take place from 23 to 26 February. On that occasion the EESC will organise a workshop on "Circular Procurement: public and private" on 24 February.
Virtual MeetingPack 2021 will take place on 27 May. It is a strategic overview of the development of barrier packaging and a prelude to Meetingpack 2022.
On 17 and 18 February the Lithuanian Innovation Center will hold a webinar on Sustainable Transport and Mobility Solutions with Circular Procurement. It will consist of presentations from public and private sectors including topics like green public procurement, sustainable mobility and transport innovation.
The Joint Initiative on Circular Economy (JICE) organises a webinar on 1 March 2021 on moving towards a more circular model on textiles. Registrations are open!
Join the Finnish innovation Fund Sitra, the European Environment Agency and the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform to discuss how to create a level playing field for circular businesses and how to enable a transition to a circular economy through incentives that promote circularity. Rendez-vous on 25 March (13:00 to 14:30 CET).
How can the choice of the "best offer" enable the development of the circular economy? What is the state of regulation? Which obstacles to be unblocked can still be identified? Follow the webinar on Le mieux-disant au service de l’économie circulaire - i. e. the choice of the "best offer" to the benefit of the circular economy - on 4 February 2021.
The Metropolis of Greater Paris, INEC, ObsAR and Les Canaux are launching their support programme, the Circular and Social Purchases Programme, at a webinar on 3 February 2021 from 10.30 a.m. to 12 noon.
Le Fonds ING pour une Economie plus Circulaire apporte son soutien à celles et ceux qui exercent leurs compétences et leur métier en vue d’une utilisation optimale des ressources naturelles.
During the financial year 2019, the Plastics Technology Centre AIMPLAS presented more than 80 circular economy projects, taught 25 courses on the topic and sponsored 26 talks by its experts.
Between 2018 and 2019, knowledge brokerage between Slovenia and Portugal took place on waste collection and treatment, reuse and repair facilities as well as communication strategies.
Have a look at this two-hour webinar recording of 15 April 2020 on Brazilian circular capacity building. International speakers share their views on rethinking our business models and making them more sustainable in the wake of COVID-19 crisis.
The Commission is working with the Member States to keep the green lanes for European waste companies open so that it can be shipped without delay, become the resource for another industry or get its appropriate treatment in the EU. This is an essential task to protect Europe's health and environment and keep the circular economy moving ahead.
The City of Amsterdam aims to halve its use of raw material and resources by 2030, and achieve a fully circular economy by 2050. To this effect, its new circular economy strategy will use an adapted version of British economist Kate Raworth's "doughnut model".
How can we best equip people to transform the fashion industry from the inside out? (Re)education is one promising avenue – and there is a lot to learn!
The European Green Deal sets out ambitious goals for plastic packaging products in the EU, which include ensuring that all products on the market are reusable or recyclable by 2030. The European project CIRC-PACK shared key lessons at its final online event in March.
The BeCircular call for projects is open to all circular innovators in the Brussels Region. Due to exceptional circumstances, the deadline of the 2020 edition has been extended to 19 June 2020.
According to the 7th edition of the International Seminar on Biopolymers and Sustainable Composites organized by AIMPLAS on 4 and 5 March, bioplastic production is expected to increase by 15% by 2024 and is carving out a niche in the construction and automotive sectors.