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Wegozero: mapping businesses with zero waste potential in Europe

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Country: 
Netherlands

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The zero waste consultancy wegozero has mapped more than 1000 businesses with zero waste potential in four European cities. Its maps are available for a monthly subscription and aim to tell people which businesses in their city are sustainable and geared to circular thinking.

Sustainable Production and Consumption of Food. Mise-en-Place Circular Economy Policies and Waste Management Practices in Tourism Cities

Sustainable Production and Consumption of Food. Mise-en-Place Circular Economy Policies and Waste Management Practices in Tourism Cities

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Although previous researchers have explored the circular economy practices of different businesses in various contexts, only a few papers have focused on the sustainable preparation and consumption of food in the tourism and hospitality industry. This paper sheds light on case studies from hotels, restaurants and cafés that are located in urban tourism destinations.

This research suggests that catering businesses can implement a number of responsible initiatives by introducing preventive measures and recycling practices to curb food loss and the generation of waste. In conclusion, it finds that there is scope for regulatory authorities and policy makers to encourage hospitality practitioners to minimise food waste.

Implementation of circular economy approaches in the electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) sector

Circularity and the electrical and electronic equipment sector: Barriers, enablers and policy insights

CEPS logo
Author: 
Vasileios Rizos, Julie Bryhn
Publication Date: 
03/2022
Country: 
Belgium

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The article Implementation of circular economy approaches in the electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) sector: Barriers, enablers and policy insights by Vasileios Rizos and Julie Bryhn aims to enrich the research in the field of circular economy business models by focusing on the EEE sector.

The study adopts a multi-case study approach and uses a sample of 31 cases developed through the EU-funded CIRC4Life project and the snowball sampling method. 

The findings show that despite the various policy instruments in place to boost the CE transition in this sector, gaps exist which require policy attention. 

The study suggests actions to facilitate CE practices including knowledge sharing platforms and business partnerships as well as R&D project grants.

SmartProSys, a research initiative for sustainable chemistry in the name of circularity

SmartProSys logo

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.

ChangeMakers

ChangeMakers

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Magazine
Author: 
Circularities, CIRCL – Circular Economy platform ABN AMRO
Publication Date: 
01/2022
Country: 
Netherlands

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ChangeMakers is a magazine published by Circularities together with Circl/ABN Amro Bank. Readers can learn about working methods and practical examples of circularity from directors, designers, buyers and marketing specialists from companies like Philips, Bugaboo, Fairphone and Mitsubishi.

The magazine aims to inspire future-proof professionals with a wealth of interviews from people who really know what they're talking about and feel passionate about the circular transition. Each section tackles the circular economy from a different perspective: for instance, directors speak about how they need to steer their companies and designers talk about the principles underpinning their work. 

If you're interested in circular issues, this magazine is well worth the read!

 

Whole of Government Circular Economy Strategy 2022-2023 Living More, Using Less

Living More, Using Less: Ireland’s first national circular economy strategy

Living More, Using Less
Publication Date: 
12/2021
Country: 
Ireland

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The Whole of Government Circular Economy Strategy is Ireland’s first national circular economy strategy. The Strategy is a key addition to the Government’s drive to achieve a 51% reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and to get on a path to reach net-zero emissions by no later than 2050, as per commitments in the Programme for Government and the Climate Act 2021.

The Strategy explains what the circular economy is, why Ireland needs to deliver on a circular economy and how national policy will develop to support that goal. A circular economy can have positive environmental, economic and social impacts, such as reduced plastic pollution, new jobs and better quality, longer lasting consumer products.

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

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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

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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

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

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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

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

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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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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.

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