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Exploring and evaluating Business Showcases from the Circular Economy Industry Platform

Exploring and evaluating business showcases from the circular economy industry platform

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Author: 
Lukas Stumpf
Publication Date: 
11/2018
Country: 
EU

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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.

Eco-design, eco-innovation and business models acted as strong enablers for circular actions in the sample, reflecting respective EU policies.

At the same time, sample projects heavily relied on recycling while missing out on potentially more efficient circular principles such as reduction or reuse.

High diversity in criteria was found regarding the evaluation of overall environmental impacts, with some projects using purely qualitative assessment methods, while other projects presented elaborate quantitative environmental evaluations, including significant positive impact potential. Regulatory challenges were specifically reported regarding the introduction of sound circularity quotas and targets, regarding definitional ambiguities, as well as regarding issues around unknown material compositions that currently impede recirculation.

New Plastics Economy 2019 Global Commitment Report

New Plastics Economy Global Commitment June 2019 Report logo

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Author: 
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Publication Date: 
06/2019
Country: 
EU

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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.

Rapporto sull'Economia Circolare in Italia 2019

rapporto sull economia circolare 2019

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Author: 
ENEA, Circular Economy Network
Publication Date: 
04/2019
Country: 
Italy

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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

Inštitút cirkulárnej ekonomiky

slovak institute for circular economy logo

The Inštitút cirkulárnej ekonomiky (Institute for Circular Economy) is Slovakia’s circular economy network, connecting public actors and private to accelerate the transition to a circular economy in Slovakia.

The Institute regularly publishes overviews of the circular economy in Slovakia, and supports municipalities with improving waste management locally, while also developing circular business models with companies. One such innovative programme specifically targets festival organisers, helping them reduce waste at large scale events.

Institut Cirkulární Ekonomiky

The Institut Cirkulární Ekonomiky (Institute for Circular Economy) is the Czech Republic’s foremost circular economy non-profit focusing on innovative environmental management. Together with its partners, the Institute works on projects that further the transition from a linear towards a circular system.

These include analytical and educational programmes as well as project management tools for various organisations and individuals, such as:

  • Annual Waste as Resource conference for local authorities
  • Zajimej.se, the Czech language web portal on circular economy
  • Uplatni.se portal connecting companies with students looking for internships and thesis in circular economy

Additionally, the Institute also engages private companies and public sector institutions with research, events, workshops and policy development in the Czech Republic.

Cirkularni Hub Praha

prague circular hub logo

The Prague Circular Hub is a joint initiative by the Institut Cirkularni Ekonomiky, Alliance for Renewable Energy and the Brno Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Its vision is to build a cultural and innovation centre which seeks to acquaint the general and professional public with circular economy. With discussions, seminars, conferences, as well as pilot projects aimed at testing new research methods in the field of circular economy, the Prague Circular Hub contributes to the active transformation into a circular system.

While the Hub has already completed a Prague Circular Scan with the support of Circle Economy, it continues to organise regular ‘buzz talks’ and conduct further research to promote the adoption of circular business models in the Czech capital.

Žiedine Ekonomika

ziedine ekonomika logo

Žiedine Ekonomika (Circular Economy) is a Lithuanian association promoting a circular economy. This non-profit organisation networks local, national and European public authorities with companies to help develop circular business models in Lithuania.

Ringmajanduse Forum

In 2018, the Estonian Environmental Management Association established a Circular Economy Forum, which now already counts several companies among its members and receives support from the national Ministry of Environment.

The Circular Economy Forum is an open platform for communication and cooperation to raise business awareness of the circular economy and support wider application of circular business models.

The forum is aimed at companies operating in Estonia that have an interest in applying circular economy principles in practice. Alongside regular events, the forum also publishes good practices from Estonian industry.

To join the forum, email ekja@ekja.ee with the following information:

  • Company name
  • Name and contact details of company representative
  • What is your interest in circular economy?

Circular Hungary Program

circular hungary program logo

The Hungarian Foundation for Circular Economy established a Circular Hungary Program in 2018, the objective of which is to promote the acceleration to a circular economy transition in Hungary. The program aims to identify obstacles and gaps as well as improve the conditions and environment at technological, regulatory, market, consumer behaviour and financing levels for circular products, practices and projects. This is a business-led initiative, with more than 12 corporations already signed up to take part.

Companies, organisations, institutions and local governments can join the Circular Hungary Program. More information and membership conditions can be found here (in Hungarian)

Waste and Resources Action Plan

wrap logo

The WRAP (Waste and Resource Action Plan) is a UK catalyst active in the space between citizens, government and businesses that focuses on maximising the value of waste by increasing the quantity and quality of materials collected for re-use and recycling. It does so by conducting research, brokering voluntary agreements and implementing campaigns to empower consumer action.

Research

  • Barriers to Recycling at Home helped hundreds of local authorities build an evidence base and coherent strategy to get communities engaged and committed to recycling.
  • Switched on to value identified £1 billion of unused electronics in UK homes, and demonstrates that extending the life of electrical products could save businesses £400 million a year.
  • Reducing Food Waste by Extending Product Life motivated supermarket Tesco to source fresh produce more quickly, helping them to offer their customers products that stay fresh for longer.  
  • Valuing Our Clothes provided the first comprehensive insight into the financial and environmental impact of clothing. It revealed that UK households own £30 billion worth of unused clothing.

Voluntary Commitments

  • The Courtauld Commitment 2025 is an ambitious voluntary agreement that brings together a broad range of organisations to make food and drink production and consumption more sustainable. It builds on the success of the Courtauld Commitments 1, 2 and 3 in preventing waste and avoiding carbon emissions. 
  • The Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) brings together industry, government and the third sector to reduce resource use and improve the sustainability of clothing. The agreement targets every stage of the clothing journey, bringing together retailers, brands, re-use and recycling organisations, charities and NGOs, which collectively make up over 40% of UK clothing sales.
  • The UK Plastics Pact aims to create a circular economy for plastics. It brings together businesses from across the entire plastics value chain with UK governments and NGOs to tackle the scourge of plastic waste.

Consumer campaigns

  • Love Food Hate Waste  in partnership with major UK supermarkets. The campaign gives individuals the information they need to recognise and tackle food waste.
  • Love Your Clothes offers practical advice to help people make the most of their clothes, as well as demonstrating the benefits of repairing, re-using and recycling them. 
  • Recycle Now provides information and advice to help individuals recycle more. It is the national recycling campaign for England, used by over 90% of English local authorities.

Circular Norway

circular norway logo

Circular Norway is Norway's first and only politically independent, independent member organisation that works nationally to transform a linear to a circular economy. On behalf of its members, the association works politically to strengthen framework conditions and increase the pace of change.

Circular Norway helps its members to make better use of their resources and strengthens their competitiveness in the national and international market. Through practical help, expertise and knowledge networks, it makes the transition to a circular economy both easier and more profitable.

The network published the first comprehensive report on Norway and Circular Economy in April 2019, and has also begun producing visual guides to explain the principles of circular economy for a Norwegian audience. Circular Norway was instrumental in bringing the concept to the forefront of political discussion by hosting a session on circular economy at the August 2019 'arendulska political festival'.

Vlaanderen Circulair

vlaanderen circulair

Vlaanderen Circulair (Circular Flanders) is the hub and inspiration for the Flemish circular economy. It is a partnership of policymakers, companies, civil society, and the knowledge community taking action together. Its six core activities are:

  • Networking partners to tackle circular economy challenges
  • Creating knowledge with the Circular Economy Policy Research Centre to streamline policy-related research into policy measures for the circular economy in Flanders
  • Speeding up innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Assisting pioneers
  • Connecting local, Flemish, federal and European policymaking
  • Embedding circular principles across Flemish civil society

Key to the Circular Flanders approach are several pillars with a great deal of potential, which bridge and bring together different sectors. Currently, these are circular purchasing, circular cities, and running circular businesses. 

Cradlenet

cradlenet logo

Cradlenet is a multi-stakeholder association founded in 2009 to disseminate the Cradle2Cradle concept across Sweden, which has become the country's foremost circular economy network.

Cradlenet aims to accelerate Sweden's transition to a circular economy among companies, organisations and people in order to provide inspiration and momentum, and knowledge about developments in circular thinking.

With all seminars free of charge, Cradlenet members have access to further networking events and knowledge research.

Cradlenet is a non-profit association operating out of Stockholm, and with local networks in Umeå , Malmö and Gothenburg.

be circular be.brussels

Through the Brussels Regional Programme for a Circular Economy, the government of the Brussels-Capital Region has defined a framework to encourage the transformation of a linear economy (extract – produce – consume – dispose) into a circular economy (recover – produce – consume – reuse) within Brussels.

The be circular portal is the entry point to the BRPCE, and networks the regional government with businesses and civil society delivering change on the ground, while also providing information to entrepreneurs about the various direct and indirect support programmes available.

Its projects include the Annual General Meeting linking more than 300 Brussels and European participants, and yearly Prizes for Circular Entrepreneurship. In 2017, be circular supported 222 entrepreneurs and financed 139 projects. A year later, the programme had reached nearly 1,300 businesses.

be circular also collects good practices from the Brussels region, with a particular focus on its four priority sectors: construction, logistics, retail and waste management.

Usitoo: a functional economy catalogue that lengthens the use-time of products

USITOO

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Country: 
Belgium

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To prevent consumers from buying items they use only a few times a year, Usitoo enables customers to rent these instead. The cooperative has a catalogue of hundreds of items that its customers can rent with credit, thus making the possession span of these items much longer.

19 Sep 2019

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City: 
online
Country: 
EU

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Join a 1one-hour webinar for a deeper understanding of the circular economy business model patterns identified by the R2π Consortium, to highlight key enablers and tools for implementation at the company level

18 Sep 2019 to 20 Sep 2019

The 3rd international PLATE conference (Product Lifetimes and the Environment) will  address product lifetimes in the context of sustainability, and is hosted by TU Berlin and Fraunhofer IZM from 18 to 20 September 2019

Riihimäki's circular economy roadmap

Riihimäki
Publication Date: 
05/2019
Country: 
Finland

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Contact: 
Jenni Takala
Hanna Eskelinen

In the framework of the CIRCWASTE project, coordinated by SYKE (Finnish Environment Institute), pioneering municipalities have developed local circular economy roadmaps in 2019.

The town of Riihimäki is already a member of FISU (Finnish Sustainable Communities), a network of Finnish municipalities committed to becoming waste-free, and has now adopted a circular economy roadmap focusing on the participation of local actors.

In 2017, the local authorities asked the 29,000 inhabitants of this town what sustainable choices they would be ready to make and how the municipal council could best enable these. Inhabitants also contributed ideas to develop the resource efficiency of Riihimäki.

The circular economy and resource efficiency roadmap of Riihimäki covers five themes:

  1. Carbon neutral energy production and consumption
  2. Sustainable circulation and ecologically efficient town structure
  3. Sustainable consumption of natural resources and circular economy
  4. Diversity of nature and comfortable living environment
  5. Inhabitant responsibility in Riihimäki.

Every one of these themes is dealt with by taking into account the following points of view:

  1. Vision for 2050
  2. Methods of working: who realises the vision
  3. Actions, ideas, commitments and promises
  4. Measures and indicators for monitoring and follow-up.

In addition to municipal actions, the Riihimäki roadmap also includes commitments to circular economy by local companies and communities. The roadmap also accentuates the education of students and recent graduates with the aim of incorporating the circular economy into all professional fields.

As cooperation is central to circular economym, the Riihimäki roadmap’s guiding principle is to increase cooperation between different communities and companies. The aim is to share good practice by developing a cluster that will monitor how companies are progressing and promote circular economy cooperation.

 

07 Nov 2019
circular flanders car sharing workshop

Circular Flanders is conducting in-depth research on how car-sharing can contribute as much as possible to more efficient use of materials and a better environment, and is ready to share the outcome at this workshop in Leuven on 7 November 2019.

30 Jan 2020 to 01 Feb 2020

ChangeNOW - the world's largest gathering of solutions for the planet - returns to Paris for its 3rd edition from 30 January to 1 February 2020, with more than 1,000 solutions and several inspiring circular economy keynotes.

17 Sep 2019
circ4life surveys

Share your preference regarding consumer labelling and sustainable lighting design with the CIRC4Life project! This H2020 project is looking for end-user input in the creation and design of new circular business models, and your opinion counts.

Suckõrs uses naturally growing reed to produce reusable, biodegradable drinking straws and a novel material for goods

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Country: 
Estonia

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Suckõrs is an Estonian company that uses reed growing naturally on the shores of Estonia to make reusable, biodegradable drinking straws and a new raw material for producing goods. Their products can be cleaned and reused multiple times and, once they have reached the end of their lifecycle, they will decompose naturally. 

The Next Closet sells second hand designer fashion online

The Next Closet

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Country: 
Netherlands

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The textile industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. The Next Closet’s mission is change this and inspire people to invest in quality and reuse what they already have, so second hand can become the number one choice.

Plateforme Collectif Grand Est

ont créé collectif-grandest.org, la plateforme collaborative de l’économie circulaire des acteurs de la région. Ce portail territorial rassemble les initiatives, les acteurs, les connaissances, les outils, les actualités et les événements de l’économie circulaire.

Espace de valorisation, de partage et de rencontre, il est au service des collectivités locales, des entreprises et des associations du territoire.

17 Oct 2019 to 18 Oct 2019

Le modèle de l’Économie de la Fonctionnalité et de la Coopération (EFC) répond à l’exigence de nouvelles formes de développement économique plus respectueuses des enjeux de développement durable, en favorisant les dynamiques de performance fondées sur le service et la qualité plutôt que sur la consommation de ressources et le volume.

Cette formation de deux jours permettra aux participants d'aborder et comprendre les prinicpales dynamiques de cette nouvelle forme de modèle économique.

09 Oct 2019
Urban Agenda for Circular Economy

During the European Week of Regions and Cities in Brussels, the Urban Agenda Partnership for Circular Economy will host a workshop on 9 October to help develop its “Roadmap for a Circular Urban Resource Management Plan” for cities.

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