Food waste causes loss of materials and energy, environmental damage and negative effects on people's health and quality of life. In response to this, two Italian consumers' associations have decided to provide a series of nationwide services and activities, investing in innovative tools that promote the information needed to curb daily food waste.
NP-bioTech uses a biocatalyst, adsorbed onto an inert material (catalytic substrate). This enables the accelerated fermentation of critical biomass (such as citrus pulp or sewage sludge), transforming it into a biostabilised and pasteurised material with excellent agronomic properties.
The Hydro Ben project focuses on resource recovery for reuse in other industrial activities. It consists of recovering fatty substances from wastewater in professional catering facilities, by means of a special device which is placed under the sink.
The LIFE CIRC-ELV project has developed a new process for managing end-of-life vehicles to recover bumpers and fuel tanks, recycle the materials and use them to manufacture pipes and new parts for vehicles. Using this recycled plastic in products from this industry and others will help reduce the carbon footprint by 85%.
remesh is a socio-professional business workshop with an environmental impact. Most of its employees are women from disadvantaged background. The workshop is also providing a circular economy business model as they reuse advertising banners and meshes to make new products that are fashionable but sustainable.
The EcoSynergy System project tested a new economic framework of circular economy, food and nonfood producers, information and awareness of citizens, industry and education, ethical and environmental activities and new technologies.
The EU-funded OLEAF4VALUE project has set up a consortium of highly experienced partners to develop a valorisation system for the olive leaves biomass. The consortium will address all levels of the value chain: raw material, biorefining, post-extraction technologies, market validation and sustainability assessment.
The BioSupPack project aims to deliver novel, cost-competitive and versatile bio-based packaging solutions - based on PHA - that demonstrate high-performance for the packaging of food, cosmetics, homecare and beverage products as well as no environmental damage during & after their use.
In spring 2020, the spread of the COVID-19 and the resulting economic crisis had a severe impact on society. This situation does, however, enable a stronger contribution to a transition to a circular economy through a green recovery.
As one of the world’s most innovative countries, Sweden has a good chance of addressing this transition by taking important steps to strengthen its competitiveness through technological development and innovation for circular solutions.
Adopted in 2020 based on an agreement between the Government, the Centre Party and the Liberal Party, this strategy sets out the direction and ambition for a long-term and sustainable transition of Swedish society.
The European Circular Cities Declaration is designed to help accelerate the transition from a linear to a circular economy in Europe, and thereby create a resource-efficient, low-carbon and socially responsible society.
It aims to:
Allow local and regional governments across Europe to communicate their commitment to supporting the circular transition.
Provide a shared vision of what a “circular city” is.
Underline the critical role which local and regional governments need to play in making this transition happen.
Establish a network of committed organisations to share their experiences, challenges and successes.
For more information on the declaration, please click here.
The Großes Walsertal region has developed a Circular Economy Strategy: it has set itself the objective of introducing circularity at every stage of the value chain, from production to consumption, repair and waste management. Smart product design and increased recycling and reuse activities will contribute to gradually close the loop of each product life-cycle in the region.
The Großes Walsertal communities act as role models by sharing tools, offering vouchers for local food stores (as part of the leisure activities funding) and implementing binding green criteria for events organised on their territory.
PlasticFreER is the Plan approved by the Emilia Romagna region (IT) Executive in 2019 for a shared strategy with public bodies, businesses, trade unions, associations and the scientific community to free offices, canteens, festivals and parties from disposable plastic and clean up public spaces, rivers, sea and beaches.
A common path in 15 actions for an increasingly circular and sustainable economy.
Reconvert, reduce and clean up: three pillars of the rule approved by the regional government which translate into support, with funds and incentives, for the conversion of companies producing plastic - particularly single-use.
Aid to public bodies and private individuals who decide to reduce their use and a special cleaning project to remove waste from the beds of waterways/sea.
Saccharides are a valuable and readily available source of renewable carbon. There are unique opportunities to produce renewable intermediate chemicals and polymers from regionally available agricultural products and imported feedstock in the period up to 2050.
Industry in the Chemport region (Northern Netherlands) has several options to further reduce CO2 emissions, including recycling or circular chemistry and shifting towards bio-based feedstock, acting as a catalyzer for other industries.
Important focus areas of the saccharide roadmap are:
strengthening/expanding feedstock production
further developing an integrated approach, cooperating and improving the knowledge base.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia has developed a Roadmap for the circular economy in Serbia, a document that aims to bring together, connect and promote all those actors whose knowledge, innovativeness and creativity can contribute to a faster transition to the circular economy.
The roadmap seeks to encourage the private sector to use circular business models and to motivate industry to create new jobs, as well as to inspire a shift in business operations through the introduction of innovative and sustainable solutions. The roadmap has been developed by the Circular Economy Platform for Sustainable Development in Serbia project, which was initiated and implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy fulfils the commitment in the Programme for Irish Government to publish and start implementing a new National Waste Action Plan. This new national waste policy will inform and give direction to waste planning and management in Ireland over the coming years. It will be followed later this year by an All of Government Circular Economy Strategy. The need to embed climate action in all strands of public policy aligns with the goals of the European Green Deal.
The policy document contains over 200 measures across various waste areas including Circular Economy, Municipal Waste, Consumer Protection and Citizen Engagement, Plastics and Packaging, Construction and Demolition, Textiles, Green Public Procurement and Waste Enforcement.
The roadmap is about promoting circular and sharing economy in the city of Helsinki. The main four focuses are construction, procurements, green waste and sharing economy and business opportunities related to circular economy.
The aim of Poland's Roadmap towards the Transition to the Circular Economy (CE), which was adopted in 2019, is twofold: first, to identify cross-cutting measures capable of having the broadest possible impact in Poland, both socially and economically; and second, to prioritise areas that will enable Poland to take advantage of its current opportunities, and to deal with existing or future challenges.
The Roadmap focusses on 5 areas in particular:
Sustainable industrial production
New business models
implementation, monitoring and financing of CE.
The Roadmap includes a set of tools, which are not purely legislative, to create the conditions for a new economic model in Poland.
In 2019 the European Commission set out a policy guideline to address global environmental challenges and circularity. EURATEXand its members welcome the ambition of the EU Institutions to change the old way and commit to engage with all relevant parties to deliver and implement a new Textile Strategy to boost the circular economy and be fit for the present and future generations.
This strategy by EURATEX is a starting point, with insights into solutions based on a 14-month consultation with members, involving over 100 companies and key stakeholders, focused on applied circular practices and future opportunities. It prioritises removing barriers to a large-scale uptake of circular economy in textiles, sets out 12 key points and puts forward 38 proposals.
The framework for inclusive circular trade is designed to help guide trade and trade-related circular economy and development policies, practices and agreements to ensure these all work towards a shared goal of an inclusive circular economy.
This paper sets out a framework for inclusive circular trade, intended to enable a pathway in which circular trade helps to promote fair, inclusive and circular societies. The framework was developed through the work of an alliance of organizations spanning Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe.
Are there limits to robustness in our socio-economic metabolism? And is 100% circularity rate in the EU27 theoretically possible? Can we use principles and indicators from regenerative economics to develop (rather than just grow) regenerative circular economies?
Circular Buildings: constructing a sustainable future is the latest addition to a series of publications from Holland Circular Hotspot about circular challenges and opportunities in different sectors including infrastructure, plastics, manufacturing and textiles and apparel industries.
It explores how circular economy concepts can help tackle challenges in the building sector, supporting the transition towards a more sustainable and futureproof industry. It provides 25 good practices from the construction value chain and offers a framework for an international shift towards circular construction comprising policies, measurement standards, collaboration initiatives and knowledge exchange.
The conference Towards a Circular Economy: Competences for Youth aimed to enable participants from different backgrounds to learn more about the outputs from the Circular Economy - Sustainable Competences for Youth (CESCY) project, to share their views and to hear from experts from different sectors.
The worsening climate crisis and the growing scarcity of natural resources have increasingly demonstrated the limits of our predominantly linear economy. There is no question that our business models and practices must become more sustainable and circular. It is therefore essential that young people be prepared to contribute and lead the way towards a more circular economy in Europe and beyond.
The fashion sector is awash with certification schemes, sustainability labels and multi-stakeholder initiatives all seeking to steer the industry onto a greener course. Such schemes serve a dual purpose for the brands. As the fashion industry is one of the least regulated sectors in the world, they partially exist as a genuine attempt to move towards sustainability but they also enable ‘greenwashing’.
This report has sought to assess whether certification schemes, labels and multi-stakeholder initiatives are fit for purpose and what role they play in addressing the damage done by the fashion industry. The findings show that the majority of schemes offer a false promise of certification for textiles and a highly sophisticated form of greenwashing.
sets out the background to the Circular Electronics project of the Consumer Insights Action Panel (CIAP),
shares information on the multi-stakeholder circular Electronics Club at the heart of the work, and
provides an overview of the methodology followed in gathering insights, designing and running interventions, and evaluating results and sustainability of the pilots.
It is designed not only to provide an overview of the project’s activities, but also to share learnings, findings and models that could support potential future initiatives in the field of circular electronics and beyond.
Circularity offers pathways to achieve a more sustainable production and consumption and to provide benefits to society. Although sustainability entails an ecological, economic, and a social dimension, the discourse on social aspects seems to have been less prevalent than on economic and environmental ones. Hence the need to further explore the social impacts of circularity and its potential societal benefits.
The aim of this report is to frame, address and better understand questions related to the social impacts of the transition to a Circular Economy. The report synthesises the gathered insights into key emerging themes and identifies gaps or areas of potential in the field as part of the Consumer Insight Action Panel (CIAP) project, led by the CSCP and funded by Sitra and DBU.
The EU Green Deal includes a commitment to shift the tax burden from labour to pollution. EU companies seek to adopt circular practices, but financial incentives in their tax systems curb circular growth.
This study presents a roadmap for a rebalancing of the tax mix, both at national and EU levels. It assesses the impact of 20 taxshift measures significantly decreasing the tax burden on labour while increasing taxation of resource use and pollution.
The analysis shows that a well-considered, broad-based tax reform could lead to more jobs, higher economic growth, fewer emissions and less dependence on imports. It also shows that it is possible to design policy measures addressing environmental issues (Polluter Pays Principle) and social issues (leaving no-one behind) simultaneously.
Economic growth is closely linked to increases in production, consumption and resource use and has detrimental effects on the natural environment and human health. It is unlikely that a long-lasting, absolute decoupling of economic growth from environmental pressures and impacts can be achieved at the global scale; therefore, societies need to rethink what is meant by growth and progress and their meaning for global sustainability.
Recovo is a B2B platform located in Spain which specialises in selling on deadstock fabric which would otherwise be classified as textile waste.
The platform helps EU-based brands and suppliers to give a second life to unused fabric: this reduces the amount of resources needed to meet buyers' needs and cuts down on the amount of waste to be processed. The platform uploads photos and information on fabric remnants put up for sale by producers which can then earn money from products rather than paying for waste disposal. Buyers can order samples, then buy as much of the fabric as they want which is delivered straight to them.
A user-friendly platform promoting circularity and combating waste!
The Incubation Forum for Circular Economy in European Defence (IF CEED) aims to apply the circularity approach of the EU Green Deal to European defence by engaging a cooperative community, including EU defence ministries, industry, institutes, research centres, financial institutions, academia and other bodies at national and international level.
Nine working groups called "Project Circles" cover the following themes:
Critical Raw Materials
Materials for Textiles
Waste Framework Directive Art. 9.1.i
EMAS Uptake Strategy
Spare Parts Management.
Based on circular economy principles, the key goal of IF CEED is to incubate collaborative projects and their respective consortia.
Nir-vana is an open innovation platform where innovators can find the right opportunity and develop their innovation ecosystem. It offers everything one needs to grow one's innovation ecosystem.
Circular economy (CE) projects are obviously part of the content of the Nir-vana platform, since CE is a key to sustainability. Many of the projects are uploaded to the platform by users and others are embedded from other sources such as the Enterprise Europe Network. Nir-vana is also open to connect with other sources of CE proposals.
Participants to the platform can share their valuable ideas with agents outside their company and seek collaboration with others to carry out innovative projects - whether they are part of a company or a freelance professional, an entity or researcher.
SmartProSys is a research initiative for sustainable chemistry and circular economy at the Otto von Guericke University in Magdeburg, Germany (contact).
It aims to transform the linear, fossil-based process chain of the chemical industry into a sustainable, fully closed and energy-efﬁcient cycle.
The chemical recycling process is a complex, multi-layered process with numerous components. However, this cycle should result in a ﬁnal product that is dynamic, ﬂexible, and adaptable to the environment.
Madeira Circular Platform provides a forum bringing together key actors for the transition to the circular economy (CE), including the civil society, businesses, public administrations and the scientific and academic communities.
Its main objective is to create the communication channels necessary to carry out and promote collaborative action and to support the implementation of the guidelines of the Madeira Circular Agenda, which are much needed to encourage the circular movement.
The Platform is a community of stakeholders in the form of a portal to support the Autonomous Region of Madeira in the transition to the CE and featuring good practices leading to the efficient and sustainable use of resources all along the business value chain.
Circusol - Circular Business Models for the Solar Power Industry-is an Innovation Action project funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme, bringing together 15 partners from 7 European countries to develop and demonstrate business solutions for the circular economy in the solar power sector.
Photovoltaics (PV) currently accounts for about 5 % of world’s electricity generation capacity. As the PV and EV (electric vehicle) markets grow, so will their demand for raw materials, as well as their "waste" output. How to make sure that the material aspect of the energy transition will also be sustainable?Product-Service Systems (PSS) could be the answer.
In Limbo is a platform (digital website and physical warehouse) facilitating the reuse of materials within the social and cultural sectors and schools in Brussels.
It encourages exchange and mutual aid within these sectors, as well as boosting recycling, reducing landfill costs and enabling organisations with limited resources to obtain reusable materials. Following the principles of circularity and sharing, all partners are invited to give and receive materialsfor free.
In Limbo is open only to registered partners which must be formal or informal non-profit associations or collectives, specifically social, cultural and artistic organisations, schools and temporary projects in Brussels. However, In Limbo accepts donations from all types of organisations.
The BDI Initiative Circular Economy (CE) was created in April 2021 by the Federation of German Industries.
It is a network of more than 50 members that defines the potential of CE and the necessary framework conditions through practical exchange. To this end, they are in close dialogue with policymakers in Berlin and Brussels and with the sciences community.
They bring business leaders together to share learnings and best practices, advocacy necessary for the change, influence policy, and accelerate the green transition using collective action. They raise awareness, grow ambition, build capacities, promote green tech, and foster partnerships to boost the transition towards climate-neutral Slovenia.
Furthermore, they work towards better understanding the necessity to act now on climate change. They bridge the gap between different stakeholders, offering them a safe space for open discussion about systemic barriers to reach climate neutrality.
Through its eight modules, the CICLO platform aims to upgrade, free of cost, the opportunities for up-skilling and re-skilling of long-term unemployed and low-skilled workers, in the field of the evolving circular economy market:
Circular Economy: What’s in a name?
Materials Reuse and Remanufacturing
From Products to Services (Servitisation)
Soft Skills for the Circular Economy I and 21st Century Skills
Soft Skills for the Circular Economy II
How to Approach a Transition Towards a Greener System.
The material could be included in educational services offered by Vocational Education and Training (VET) providers, Training Centres, Higher Education Institutions, NGOs, SMEs, public services relevant to EU labour force, etc.
Prof. Joanna Kulczycka is president of the Waste Management and Recycling Cluster, a key national cluster in Poland formed of 99 entities: SMEs, research units, NGOs and consulting companies promoting cooperation between business and research in the field of recovery and recycling various industrial and municipal waste, mainly WEEE.
Joanna Kulczycka has a Ph.D. in management from AGH UTS (Cracow) and a D. Sc. degree (habilitation) in economics (commodity science) from Poznań University of Economics. She was the founder of and now heads the Department of Strategic Research at MEERI Polish Academy of Sciences. She is Professor in the Faculty of Management AGH University of Science and Technology, where she lectures on eco-innovation in industry and circular economy.
Joanna Kulczycka is also author of over 100 publications. These include the first book on LCA in Polish, the first Polish Minerals Yearbook, and the first book about critical raw materials in Poland, and she is also editor of several books concerning the circular economy in Poland. Her research experience stretches from the economics and management of industrial processes, mainly in the raw materials and recycling sectors, to CSR, to eco-innovation and to the circular economy.
In her role as Director of Programmes, Hatty leads Circle Economy’s thematic and sector-focused portfolio (textiles, finance and built environment). Having worked for over 14 years in democratic strengthening and sustainable development, Hatty has extensive international experience of working with governments and parliamentary systems to enhance their capacity for effective oversight, scrutiny and representation in the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Hatty is an experienced portfolio manager, delivering a wide range of multi-year, multi-stakeholder international development programmes in South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. She has taken the lead on projects as wide ranging as enhancing the representation of women in public life in Pakistan to institutional strengthening in Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis.
Hatty has a background in project management and strategic organisational planning, with strong links across government and multilateral organisations.
Key objectives at Circle Economy
- Build a comprehensive portfolio of sector + cross-sector programmes; working with government + industry
- Develop multi-stakeholder projects, across government + industry, to support the circular transition at national level
- Expand the profile and viability of Circle Economy in the Global South.
Romina Giovannetti joined Ecoembes in 2019 as Head of EU Public Affairs. She has 20 years' experience in public policy and communications in Brussels, together with a track record in journalism in South America.
Romina previously served as Public Affairs Associate Director at the consultancy Weber Shandwick. With expertise in European funding and industrial and environmental policy, she acted as advisor to a number of associations, corporations and NGOs.
Prior to that, Romina worked with a number of Brussels-based associations, spearheading their employment, sustainability and transport dossiers. She spent the early part of her career as a news reporter and editor in Argentina’s leading media group Clarín.
Ecoembes is a non-profit organisation that cares for the environment through recycling and the eco-design of packaging in Spain. While implementing Extended Producer Responsibility, it engages collaboratively with individuals, public authorities and companies so as to improve the environmental impact of household packaging.
Brendan Edgerton is the Director of Circular Economy at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in Geneva, Switzerland. Since arriving at WBCSD in 2015, he has managed the delivery of the Practitioner Guide (www.CEguide.org) and the 8 Business Cases to the Circular Economy and contributed to the Environmental Priorities for Business in the Circular Economy and the CEO Guide to the Circular Economy.
Brendan also contributed to the development and launch of Factor10, WBCSD’s circular economy programme. This programme was launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January 2018 with over 30 members, spanning 16 industries and generating over USD $1.3 trillion in annual turnover. He now manages multiple workstreams under Factor10 on circular metrics and sector deep dives.
Prior to WBCSD, Brendan’s work experience included life cycle assessment and costing at Walt Disney Imagineering, renewable and energy efficiency project identification at Office Depot and green building consulting with Green Dinosaur. Brendan has an MBA from the Yale School of Management, a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and a bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of California Santa Cruz.
FEAD is the European Federation representing the European waste management industry. FEAD’s members are national waste management associations covering 19 Member States, Norway and Serbia. They have an approximate 60% share in the household waste market and handle more than 75% of industrial and commercial waste in Europe. Their combined annual turnover is approximately €75 billion. FEAD represents about 3000 companies with activities in all forms of waste management. These companies employ over 320 000 people who operate around 2400 recycling and sorting centres, 1100 composting sites, 260 waste-to-energy plants and 900 controlled landfills. They play an important role in determining the best environmental option for waste management problems.
Dorthe Nielsen, policy director at EUROCITIES, is responsible for the overall coordination and delivery of outcomes of the policy work in EUROCITIES. She focuses on sustainable urban mobility and green and smarter cities. She is also in charge of governance-related matters, including the urban agenda for the EU and creative citizenship. She previously worked for the Greater London Authority (EU office) and at the Secretariat General of the European Commission. She holds a Masters degree from the College of Europe (BE) in European politics and a Masters degree in public administration from the University of Roskilde (DK). A Danish national, she is fluent in English and French.
EUROCITIES is the leading network of more than 140 major European cities, working together to improve the quality of urban life. It strives for a Europe where cities are genuine partners with the EU to create a better future. It puts individuals at the heart of developments to achieve inclusive, prosperous and healthy cities with future-fit local governments. It works to connect EU and local policy developments in areas such as climate, environment, mobility, economic development, social affairs, culture, digital transformation and urban development. The circular economy cuts across all those areas of work.
Walter Stahel has been the founder and director of the Product-Life Institute (Switzerland) since 1983, the oldest consultancy in Europe devoted to developing sustainable strategies and policies. From 1986 to 2014, he was also director of risk management research at the Geneva Association.
Currently, Walter Stahel works as an author, keynote speaker and storyteller. He promotes understanding of the structure of an economy in loops and its drivers and obstacles (circular industrial economy), spreads knowledge about the competitiveness of a performance economy selling goods and molecules as a service, and identifies the levers to speed up the shift from a linear industrial economy managing flows to a circular economy managing stocks. He does this through workshops, lectures and policy groups.
The CSCP is a think and do tank that not only contributes to advancing the sustainable consumption and production (SCP) agenda through its think tank activities, but also implements innovative SCP projects and activities in the field as a do tank.
Michael Kuhndt is the Founder and Executive Director of the CSCP with more than 20 years' experience of international cooperation, development and sustainability.
Michael Kuhndt has managed programmes for many multinational companies, ministries, European and UN organisations in the fields of: strategy development for sustainable supply chains & circular economy, development/set up of a sustainable consumption approach, upscaling of sustainable business models, triple bottom line innovation, sustainable finance and policy strategies based on multiple stakeholders.
Founded in 2015, the Circular Economy Coalition for Europe is a platform of scientists and universities in the fields of resource management, waste management and anthropogenic metabolism. Working to support the transformation of the EU to an effective and efficient circular economy, the experts provide the European institutions, national decision-makers, businesses and the interested public with facts and data based on scientific methods and evidence.
At the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), Jean-Pierre is the policy officer responsible for Product Policy and Circular Economy.
The EEB is Europe’s largest network of environmental citizens’ organisations with around 140 organisations in more than 30 countries. Jean-Pierre has a Master's degree in Environmental Policy from Humboldt University Berlin and in Geography from the University of Oxford.
Prior to joining the EEB, Jean-Pierre worked for four years at the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) in Brussels, as part of their Green Economy programme where he specialised in plastics, market-based instruments and economic indicators. At IEEP, he published a number of reports on a range of environmental issues for the European Commission, the European Parliament, UN Environment and the OECD.