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Circusol: Circular business models for a sustainable solar power industry

Circusol

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.

Interested in what Circusol is doing (newsletter, events, sharing knowledge, feedback, etc.)? Join its Network!

Progress towards preventing waste in Europe - the case of textile waste prevention

Progress towards preventing waste in Europe: the textile case

Textile Waste Prevention

Type:

Author: 
Burcu Gözet - Wuppertal Institute, Henning Wilts - Wuppertal Institute, Saskia Manshoven - VITO, Ioannis Bakas - EEA
Publication Date: 
12/2021
Country: 
EU

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Waste prevention is the best waste management policy option, according to the waste hierarchy - the EU's main rule for the environmental ranking of waste management policies. Its main objective is to reduce waste generation, the environmental impacts of waste management and the hazardousness of the waste generated.

To support this objective, the EU and all its Member States have put in place legislation that promotes activities in products' life cycles aimed at reducing the amount of waste generated.

This report aims to assess progress towards the main objective of waste prevention: decoupling (i. e. breaking the link between waste generation and economic growth).

Linking cross-border shipments of waste in the EU with the circular economy

Linking cross-border shipments of waste in the EU with the circular economy

Shipments of waste and the circular economy

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Author: 
European Environment Agency
Publication Date: 
12/2021
Country: 
EU

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This briefing provides a snapshot of the status of trading non-hazardous, recyclable waste within the EU. Its aim is to provide knowledge and information to support the review of the EU's Waste Shipment Regulation.

The idea is to improve the functioning of secondary material markets by offering insights and potential solutions to help ensure that waste is treated in the best possible way in line with the principles of the waste hierarchy.

Circular economy and the energy transition – potential of a Flemish circularity hub for EV Li-ion batteries

Circular economy and the energy transition – potential of a Flemish circularity hub for EV Li-ion batteries

C
Author: 
CE Center | Circular Economy Policy Research Center
Publication Date: 
05/2019
Country: 
Belgium

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How can a "strategic stock management" approach shed light on the potential of circular strategies for critical raw materials? This reports provides insights at regional macro-economic level for policy-makers.

The future economic and environmental potential of a Flemish Circularity Hub for li-ion batteries from electric vehicles is explored as a case study with high policy relevance.

Consumers’expectations of circular business models: perspectives of suppliers

Consumer expectations of circular business models - supplier perspective in Product-Service Systems

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Author: 
The Circular Economy (CE) Policy Research Center
Publication Date: 
05/2019
Country: 
Belgium

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In ‘Vision 2050. A long-term strategy for Flanders’, the circular economy is one of seven transition priorities. New business models play a key role in this transition.

This paper explores incentives and barriers for consumers in adopting new circular business models - such as Product-Service Systems (PSS). Eight B2C suppliers were interviewed in the sectors of coffee, housing, electrical appliances and clothing.

The study confirms that PSS are context-dependent and emphasises the dynamic relation between producers and consumers in PSS.

Future research priorities include uncovering practical and cultural aspects of PSS, as well as exploring what it takes for PSS to be transformative in the context of a transition towards the circular economy.

 

Consumer Attitudes towards Circular Business Models and Activities

Consumer Attitudes towards Circular Business Models and Activities

Consumer attitudes towards circular business models

Type:

Author: 
CE Center | Circular Economy Policy Research Center
Publication Date: 
05/2019
Country: 
Belgium

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Scope:

This study focuses on the willingness of consumers to use circular business models (CBMs).

It assesses the ‘suitability’ of a product or sector for a particular circular business model from a consumer-based perspective: is it likely that a sufficient number of consumers would be willing to adopt the CBM to make it worthwhile for providers to enter this market? The study aims to provide an overview of different attitudes towards a diverse set of CBMs. Specifically, it takes six scenarios concentrating on coffee, printing, housing, clothing, household chores and secondhand markets. This approach makes it possible to compare results for a variety of CBMs as well as to identify general trends in consumers’ intentions and reported behaviour.

Impact of circular economy on achieving the climate targets: case housing

Impact of circular economy on achieving the climate targets: case housing

Impact of circular economy on achieving the climate targets

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Author: 
CE Center | Circular Economy Policy Research Center
Publication Date: 
05/2019
Country: 
Belgium

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This report assesses how the circular economy contributes to reaching climate goals with regard to residential housing.

The draft Flemish climate policy plan covers the operational phase of housing and the material and carbon footprints of building and renovation. The report explores two ways to reduce these footprints: reducing the size of new housing and splitting existing buildings, and applying alternative construction methods or building materials and increasing the use of recycled and reused materials.

Car-sharing in Flanders

Car-sharing in Flanders

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Author: 
CE Center | Circular Economy Policy Research Center
Publication Date: 
05/2019
Country: 
Belgium

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This report details the research conducted by the Steunpunt Circulaire Economie, covering the results of a consumer survey with over 2000 respondents, as well as four interviews with car-sharing companies and interest groups.

The main objective is to get a better understanding of the position of car-sharing in Flanders, what people think of car-sharing, including the barriers people face, and what impact car-sharing is having on behaviour and the environment.

The report concludes with a set of implications and recommendations for policy relating to car-sharing and its place in the circular economy. 

Biomass Flows in the Flemish Economy

Biomass Flows in the Flemish Economy

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Author: 
Ive Vandereydt, Koen Breemersch (VITO), Kranti Navare (VITO)
Publication Date: 
05/2019
Country: 
Belgium

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This short-term assignment attempts to improve our understanding of the data availability of biomass flows within the Flemish economy and develops a methodology to approximate the flow of biomass between different industries. 

This needs to be done in order to maximise their potential and reduce unnecessary waste flows. However, the report finds that the data currently available are insufficient, and considers that the construction of a physical counterpart to monetary input/output tables might be the answer.

Impact of Circular Economy on achieving the climate targets: case mobility

Impact of Circular Economy on achieving the climate targets: case mobility

Impact of Circular Economy on achieving the climate targets: case mobility

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Author: 
Maarten Christis (VITO), An Vercalsteren (VITO)
Publication Date: 
05/2019
Country: 
Belgium

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This study starts from the draft version of the Flemish Climate Policy plan. It assesses how specific measures and strategies reduce the impact on the climate. It also aims to illustrate the added value of the circular economy, which is intrinsically focused on reducing the material footprint.

The study looks at the climate impact from a consumption or footprint perspective, starting with Flemish consumption and including the value chain both inside and outside Flanders. Territorial GHG emissions are included separately to distinguish between the global and Flemish impact. The mobility sector has been selected as a case study. The study focuses on passenger transport by car.

CO2 mineralisation for sustainable construction materials

CO2 mineralisation for sustainable construction materials

CO2 mineralisation for sustainable construction materials
Author: 
Andrea Di Maria (KU Leuven), Ruben Snellings (VITO), Luc Alaerts (KU Leuven), Mieke Quaghebeur (VITO), Luc Alaerts (KU Leuven), Karel Van Acker (KU Leuven)
Publication Date: 
04/2019
Country: 
Belgium

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The production of Portland cement (PC) is responsible for 8-10 % of the global anthropogenic CO2 emissions. PC and PC-based blends are the most common binder in concrete production (< 99 % of cases). As PC is accountable for 74-81% of the CO2 footprint, substantial climate impact reductions for concrete requires eco-innovation at the cement level.

One of the most promising technologies to lower CO2 emissions consists in partially replacing traditional PC with industrial byproducts displaying cementitious properties, such as blast furnace slag from iron production, or coal combustion fly ashes from power generation, but their availability and properties are rather constrained.

A diversification of local (secondary) raw materials to extend partial substitution of PC is ongoing. 

Employment impact of the transition to a circular economy: literature study

Employment impact of the transition to a circular economy: literature study

Employment impact of the transition to a circular economy: literature study

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Author: 
Gwen Willeghems, Kris Bachus
Publication Date: 
09/2018
Country: 
Belgium

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This research paper is the first output of the research line that studies employment and actor analysis for the circular economy. The study aimed to gain insight into how the transition to a more circular economy could affect the labour market, with an emphasis on net job creation or loss, job creation at different skill levels, and geographical job concentration. The methodology used was a combination of literature review and exploratory data analysis, the latter focusing mainly on the Belgian region of Flanders.

Exploration of the plastic recycling landscape in Flanders

Exploration of the plastic recycling landscape in Flanders

Exploration of the plastic recycling landscape in Flanders

Type:

Author: 
Marijke Jacobs (VITO), Ive Vanderreydt (VITO), Loïc Deweerdt (Summa), Luc Alaerts (Summa)
Publication Date: 
06/2018
Country: 
Belgium

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Scope:

In order to identify and analyse possible bottlenecks and opportunities in the current post-consumer plastic recycling landscape in Flanders, available data sources were summarised and relevant sector organisations and companies interviewed. Specifically, interviews were organised with companies working on polyolefins in order to gain greater insight into the potential for circularity of the value chain for this type of polymer and its applications.

Circular Cities - Impacts on Decarbonization and beyond

Circular Cities - Impacts on Decarbonization and beyond

To evaluate the impact of adopting circular economy principles in cities – in terms of emissions, quality of life and resilience – Enel and ARUP, with the scientific support of the Enel Foundation, have collaborated on a research project focusing on four cities: Bogotá, Genoa, Glasgow and Milan, all committed to enhancing the energy transition.

The study concerns three key urban sectors:

  1. mobility
  2. built environment
  3. energy systems.

It entailed interviews with stakeholders and analyses of existing decarbonisation policies and circular strategies. A reference model was used to help identify the most significant circular actions that could lead to a reduction in GHG emissions in three sectors.

The results could be used as a guide for decision makers.

Circular Economy Roadmap for Germany

Circular Economy Initiative Deutschland

Within the framework of the Circular Economy Initiative Deutschland (CEID) and its three interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral working groups, more than 130 experts from industry, science and civil society have summed up their findings in the Circular Economy (CE) Roadmap for Germany, which consists of a consolidated opinion addressing society as a whole.

This Roadmap, which has focused - right from the beginning - on shaping a consistent and common target vision for a circular economy in 2030, is a scientifically-based framework for action that systemically describes the necessary steps for Germany to transition to a CE and provides decision-makers from politics, industry and science with concrete recommendations for action.

The Circular Economy and International Trade: Options for the World Trade Organization

The Circular Economy and International Trade

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Author: 
Christophe Bellmann
Publication Date: 
12/2021
Country: 
Other (Global)

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This study highlights that, while international trade has a vital role to play, policy responses to-date have largely been designed at the national level and in an uncoordinated manner.

ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton says that "the report shines a light on how well-intentioned national policies are inadvertently hindering the adoption of circular solutions in the real-economy. Simply put: the transition to a circular economy can only be enabled at scale by harnessing the power of cross-border trade to unlock economies of scale and comparative advantages. We hope our analysis will serve as a clarion call for a concerted global effort under the auspices of the World Trade Organization to enable new patterns of trade capable of meeting global climate and sustainability goals".

6 Conditions for Chemical Recycling

Ecopreneur
Author: 
Ecopreneur.eu
Publication Date: 
12/2021
Country: 
Belgium

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Sector:

Scope:

Recycling is key for the circular economy. Chemical recycling could one day become a trouble-shooter solution for any remaining unrecyclable applications and replace incineration. However, it is not yet a sustainable technology.

Ecopreneur.eu - the European Sustainable Business Federation - has concerns about linear economy lock-ins, high CO2 emissions, competition with mechanical recycling, lack of scale, low quality, toxic residues, and large investments being drawn away from SMEs going circular.

Therefore it advocates to support the development of chemical recycling only if:

  1. net-carbon positive,
  2. used for otherwise unrecyclable residues,
  3. with maximum quality,
  4. scalable,
  5. at costs reflecting the waste hierarchy, and
  6. matched by equal support for SMEs on circular design.

Greenwashing in the Fashion Industry

Greenwashing in the Fashion Industry

Type:

Policy Paper
Author: 
Generation Climate Europe, Task Force on Textiles
Publication Date: 
10/2021
Country: 
Belgium

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This policy paper sheds light on the false claims and misleading communication campaigns advertised by the fashion industry. It discusses the environmental impacts associated with these Greenwashing claims in relation to three issues: materials, circularity and climate.

The paper further presents the most common statements and strategies used by fashion companies to convey their alleged engagement in environmentally sustainable practices.

Finally, recommendations are given on the policies needed on the EU-level to ensure that fashion brands are providing accurate and verifiable information to consumers, for them to make informed choices.

With this policy paper, Generation Climate Europe (GCE) calls on the EU to address the growing issue of Greenwashing in the fashion industry.

How robust is the circular economy in Europe? An ascendency analysis with Eurostat data between 2010 and 2018

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The authors of the study apply ascendency analysis (a systematic method based on information theory for quantifying the efficiency and resilience of natural ecosystems) at EU level and discuss the implications for urban waste management systems, taking the Netherlands as an example.

They argue that ecological principles can be useful for developing human-made systems. The system is made sufficiently robust to be able to cope with shocks by including a diverse set of stakeholders who provide:

  1. resource-use efficiency through specialised know-how in capturing, processing and delivering a range of resources, and
  2. resilience by generating multiple paths that allow these vital resources to circulate throughout the urban network at different levels and rates.

Don't leave your disused materials in limbo! Give them a new life with In Limbo

In Limbo

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 materials for 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.

Watch a video on In Limbo

Ekofungi: Waste to taste

Ekofungi

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Country: 
Other (Serbia)

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Ekofungi is a Serbian company that takes a 100% circular approach to mushroom cultivation. It has pioneered a technology for sustainable cultivation of edible mushrooms using recycled cellulose waste. Each year, Ekofungi grows 130 tons of mushrooms which are either sold fresh or dehydrated and mixed with other vegetables.

UPMADE® by Reet Aus turns textile leftovers from cost into value

Reet Aus

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Estonia

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The mission of Reet Aus is to minimise the ecological footprint of one of the world's most contaminating businesses – the fashion industry. They do it by industrial upcycling. This not-wasteful way of production is based on a scientific methodology called UPMADE® that has been developed by the designer and founder PhD Reet Aus in cooperation with Stockholm Environment Institute Tallinn Center.

Circular Turku - A Roadmap Toward Resource Wisdom

Circular Turku

In 2018 the City of Turku set the following target: becoming carbon neutral by 2029, in time for its 800th anniversary.

Finland's oldest city, Turku is a forerunner in circular innovations in the water, textiles and chemicals sectors, among others. A vibrant community of researchers and business actors, along with numerous public and private initiatives, already contribute to scale up circularity in the Turku region.

The Circular Turku roadmap is about creating the right conditions for a circular transition in the region. The city can support this transition through different levers such as local regulations, urban planning and infrastructure development.

Turku wants to promote a fair and inclusive circular transformation of economic systems that benefits all city residents.

From Principles to Practices: Realising the value of circular economy in real estate

From Principles to Practices: Realising the value of circular economy in real estate - a report by Arup

Arup

Type:

Author: 
Devni Acharya, Arup, Richard Boyd, Arup, Olivia Finch, Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Publication Date: 
02/2020
Country: 
EU, Other (United Kingdom)

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Arup has joined forces with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to produce a report on the value of circular economy (CE) in real estate.

CE offers real estate investors a framework for achieving environmental and social goals while delivering better economic performance. How do real estate business models need to change - apart from eco-design - if CE principles are to scale up in this sector?

The report defines five models to improve financial performance to the benefit of real estate investors and construction clients:

  1. Flexible Spaces
  2. Adaptable Assets
  3. Relocatable Buildings
  4. Residual Value
  5. Performance Procurement.

 

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