The Woody Group, a company which manufactures pyjamas, wants to use raw materials more efficiently and responsibly in the future. It also wants to take more responsibility for its products once they are put on the market.
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BPost's project aims to replace all water fountains and vending machines for hot and cold drinks and snacks. The company would like to install new machines that are energy-efficient and produce less waste.
The Facility Services Agency drew up an inventory of all the surplus office furniture from the various departments of the Flemish government. This made it much easier to give the chairs, desks and cupboards etc. a second life.
Marypup recovers thousands of tents which have been thrown away and uses the fabric to make rainwear. This is upcycling: the waste is recovered, transformed and given a new life.
Convert works to support UN Sustainable Development Goal 12: ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns. It explores how natural sustainable resources can be used to make new products and seeks to reduce the amount of waste on earth through recycling and upcycling. Every fibre matters when waste fibres are used as non-woven material.
This COSME project aims to implement a capacity building and support scheme for SMEs in the tourism sector that will lead them to reach different levels of Circular Economy innovations within a transition system.
There are not many eco-friendly products on the Romanian construction market, so there was definitely a niche in the thermal insulation market. LanaTerm uses sheep's wool to create thermal insulation for buildings.
Baterkaren's mission is to make sustainability (circular economy principles and associated environmental protection) accessible to the general public, in order to render communities capable to adapt as effectively as possible to the potential impacts of climate change in the area.
At the Fabric Sales, a new model has been developed for repurposing and extending the life of designer fabrics.
Together with the students for furniture design of VOMO the CiLAB collective started a journey creating new circular concepts based on textile and furniture waste. The concepts do not only facilitate awareness but also link with the local community and the city of Mechelen.
Destination Climate Neutrality brings together leading recommendations of think tanks, scientists, thought leaders and NGOs to offer a policy blueprint for how best to propel Europe towards net zero carbon emissions in the coming 5 years of the Von der Leyen term. It offers sector-by-sector analysis, targets and initiatives in governance, finance, industry, energy, transport, the circular economy, agriculture and employment.
On circular economy, the report sees challenges in:
- a lack of EU targets for waste prevention, reuse, repair and refurbishment
- no monitoring framework for material flows
- contamination of materials by hazardous ingredients
- high demand for biomass.
The authors identify opportunities in job creation, cleaner supply chains and product policies.
This report presents a baseline measurement of employment in the Belgian circular economy and provides insights into the nature and number of jobs in the country’s circular economy. This includes all jobs contributing to the circular economy through activities in renewable energy, repair and maintenance, recycling, digital technology, design, new business models and collaboration.
This report, conducted by the King Baudouin Foundation and the Dutch social enterprise Circle Economy, aims to inform governments, employers, social partners and other representatives with a view to pursuing effective and inclusive circular labour policy.
An online monitor, which the partners will update regularly, complements the report.
Renewable energy is not enough. There needs to be a fundamental shift in the global approach to tackling climate change and the circular economy can play an essential role.
Completing the Picture: How the Circular Economy Tackles Climate Change, a paper published by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, tells us:
- Greenhouse gas emissions are not dropping quickly enough to achieve climate targets and switching to renewable energy can only cut them by 55%
- The remaining 45% of emissions come from how we make and use products, and how we produce food
The paper concentrates on five key areas (cement, plastics, steel, aluminium, and food) to illustrate how designing out waste, keeping materials in use, and regenerating farmland can reduce these emissions.
Over the last few years the concept of chemical recycling has been promoted by industry as a potential solution to help curb plastic pollution and waste management as a whole. This Zero Waste Europe report looks into the knowledge available as well as the state of implementation of such technologies in the European context.
Mechanical recycling is a mature industrial process, well established and expanding in Europe. Plastics cannot however be endlessly recycled mechanically without reducing their properties and quality. Besides, not all plastic types can be mechanically recycled. These limits set challenges for plastics recycling and show the need for significant improvements in the end-of-life management of plastics.
Since decades, innovators test gasification and pyrolysis for alternatives to waste to energy incineration with very limited results due to the energy balance and the environmental impact. In general, more information is needed about the environmental performance of chemical recycling technologies, as this industry is in its infancy and most plants are mere pilots. The roll-out of such technologies at industrial scale can only be expected from 2025-2030, an important factor when planning the transition to a Circular Economy and wider decarbonisation.
The right policy framework must accommodate chemical recycling as complementary to mechanical recycling while ensuring that carbon stays in the plastic, thus not being released into the environment. Therefore, allowing plastic to fuels to be considered chemical recycling risks creating a loophole in EU Climate and Circular Economy legislation.
The Elephant in the Boardroom: Why Unchecked Consumption is Not an Option in Tomorrow’s Markets is a working paper from the World Resources Institute that can guide discussion within companies about an uncomfortable truth: many of today’s business models are not fit for tomorrow’s resource-strained world.
Normalizing the conversation will set the groundwork for the pursuit of new business models that allow growth within the planet’s limits and generate stakeholder value in new and exciting ways.
This research, part of the CEC4Europe factbook on the circular economy published in September 2018, evaluates 131 projects from the Circular Economy Industry Platform (CEIP) regarding their contribution to circular economy from both a scientific and political perspective.
Content analysis was applied to derive qualitative and quantitative information from company statements on the platform. This was supplemented by qualitative, semi-structured interviews with company representatives on selected projects. Results showed a diverse approach to circularity across the sample projects, thereby partly expanding the sectoral focus of the circular economy package.
The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment unites businesses, governments, and other organisations behind a common vision and targets to address plastic waste and pollution at its source. It is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with the UN Environment Program. Launched in October 2018, the Global Commitment already unites more than 400 organisations in its common vision of a circular economy for plastics, keeping plastics in the economy and out of the ocean. Signatories include:
- close to 200 businesses that are part of the plastic packaging value chain, jointly representing over 20 % of all plastic packaging used globally, including many of the world’s leading consumer packaged goods companies, retailers, and plastic packaging producers
- 16 governments across five continents and across national, regional, and city level
- 26 financial institutions with a combined USD 4.2 trillion worth of assets under management and 6 investors in total committing to invest about USD 275 million
- leading institutions such as WWF, the World Economic Forum, the Consumer Goods Forum, and IUCN
- more than 50 academics, universities, and other educational or research organisations including MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, Michigan State University, and University College London.
All 400+ organisations have endorsed one common vision of a circular economy for plastics, in which plastics never become waste. As this June 2019 report shows, the number of business signatories has grown from over 100 to nearly 200 in the seven months since the launch.
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has released a report on tackling plastic waste using circular solutions, with a focus on the opportunities chemical recycling provides. After highlighting the scale of the issue, the report presents different ways of solving the plastic waste issue by comparing the impacts of different waste treatment options and technologies, such as pyrolysis. The report concludes that:
“To tackle the colossal societal and environmental issue of plastic waste, we need proportionally meaningful efforts from the private and public sectors as well as society at large that encompass behaviors and habits. The ultimate solutions will involve a combination of judicious consumption and disposal measures as well as the development of cost-competitive and environmentally friendly alternatives. Most observers would agree, however, that these changes are years away. In the meantime—over the next decade or two—we can implement circular solutions to reuse or repurpose plastic waste in the most efficient way.” (Boston Consulting Group, 2018, p. 24).
ECESP Coordination Group members contributed to this report, including Circular Change and Circle Economy.
In March 2019, the Italian Circular Economy Network hosted a national conference on the circular economy, where it presented this Report on the Italian circular economy in 2019. Based on the methodology used, comparing the 5 most important European economies, Italy is the top performer in terms of circular economy implementation, ahead of the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain (in this order). While Italy’s position has remained unchanged compared to the previous year, there are some small signs of a slowdown which must be taken into account.
The report makes the following 10 proposals for a circular economy in Italy:
- Spread and enrich circular vision, knowledge, research and good practices
- Implement a national strategy and action plan
- Improve the use of economic instruments
- Promote a regenerative bio-economy
- Integrate circular principles in public procurement
- Promote city initiatives
- Ensure rapid and effective implementation of the 2018 EU waste framework legislation
- Rapidly activate an effective end of waste (EoW) regulation
- Ensure the necessary business support infrastructure
- Extend circular principles to e-commerce
The Ecopreneur.eu landscape review of circular economy policy in the EU Member States aims to inspire these countries to accelerate their circular transition. Combining the EU's Monitoring Framework with other rankings, databases and reports, Ecopreneur presents 28 country profiles using a mix of quantitative data and qualitative information to highlight specific indicators. These range from waste generated per capita to voting behaviour on EU proposals on the circular economy.
The report also describes the current performance, initiatives, most relevant organisations, policies, challenges and examples of good practice for each Member State. The country profiles show 28 unique different trajectories towards the circular economy.
In this series of webinars, We are Circular will present best circular practices and organisations from all over the world in order to distill success formula, investigate business models and meet people behind the concept.
In the EU, waste water and solid waste are separately managed. Syctom and SIAAP, through their project COMETHA, aim to demonstrate the available synergies in institutional and technical cooperation regarding the circular economy principles for carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus, and the optimisation of renewable energy production. Target: a future with “zero non-recovered sludge and solid waste".
The Benelux Builds Circular Webinar on 10 September is a policy discussion on circular construction from a national, Benelux and EU standpoint.
This transnational event will explore why circular economy approaches are beneficial for the environment and society, and show the financial benefits for the organisations that buy furniture this way.
The CircLean Open Day Event, which will be held in virtual format on 10 September, 2-3.30 pm CET, is an opportunity to learn and discuss about the CircLean network, monitoring and reporting approach, tool and label.
On 8 September 2020 the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the European Commission (EC) will hold the 16th meeting (online) of the Technical Platform for Cooperation on the Environment, dedicated to "How can local and regional authorities use the circular economy as an enabler of a sustainable recovery?"
Les Assises de l’économie circulaire reviennent les 7 et 8 septembre 2020 avec un événement inédit - web et 100% gratuit - pour aborder des sujets de fond, concrets, au bénéfice et à la portée de tous et de chacun.
100 eco-innovative solutions supporting the transition towards CE, an unprecedented detailed mapping of waste flows and wastescapes, a multi-dimensional and multiscalar LCA based sustainable assessment and a transdisciplinary knowledge generation methodology, all developed within innovative co-creational peri-urban living labs (PULL) and an online geodesign decision support environment (GDSE).
An interactive event incorporating a holistic view of the Circular Economy. Come hear how Nordic Values are driving the Circular Economy with both Nordic and international speakers to be announced.
Participate in a series of short online events aimed to inspire housing organisations, policy-makers and communities. They will focus on circular economy in housing and on how communities can develop new homes or retrofit existing homes with minimal impact on the planet.
The call for interest to become a club member of the Consumer Insight Action Panel on circular economy is now open – express your interest today!
WCEF2019 presented the most advanced circular solutions for governments, industries, businesses and citizens and put a strong emphasis on the next level of circularity and how to scale up the transition.
CICERONE has launched an online consultation aimed at circular economy programme owners (organisations that design and fund programmes), as well as CICERONE partner organisations. The consultation is open until 18th July 2019.
The fourth edition of the international Circular Change Conference took place in Maribor, Slovenia, on 16 and 17 May 2019.
In the face of a growing global waste crisis, new corporate reporting disclosures are being developed by Global reporting Initiative (GRI) to help organizations better understand and communicate their waste impacts. It is in this context that the GRI Waste Standard is under development, and open to public consultation and comment until 15 July 2019.
A 600.000 EUR funding programme to support innovators in Ireland to develop and demonstrate consumer and business solutions that will stimulate the circular economy is now open for applications.
Waste and pollution from the production of textiles and clothing have become critical global issues. The current ‘linear’ model is outdated and unsustainable. There is an urgent need for a strategy to transform industry into a circular model. A new report launched by Ecopreneur.eu, the European Sustainable Business Federation, calls for decisive policy measures to create an enabling framework.
On March 27, the European Parliament voted to adopt the Single-Use Plastics Directive, thus banning single-use plastic cutlery, cotton buds, straws and stirrers to be banned by 2021, setting a 90% collection target for plastic bottles by 2029 and introducing more stringent application of the “polluter pays” principle.
On March 19, GLOBE EU and the Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS) organised a conference to look back on what the 2014 - 2019 EU mandate has achieved for the circular economy and present GLOBE EU’s recommendations with priorities for the next European Commission.