Regenerating nature requires an economic transformation. To halt and reverse biodiversity loss, we need to fundamentally transform the way we produce, use, and consume our products and food. Conservation and restoration efforts alone – crucial though they are – will not be enough. The circular economy offers a framework for such a transformation. Applied together, its three principles are able to help tackle the root causes of biodiversity loss and enable the regeneration of nature. These biodiversity benefits can be demonstrated across different industry sectors, as shown in this new study by Ellen MacArthur Foundation. This paper also highlights the key steps businesses and policymakers can take to scale the circular economy potential and help shape a nature-positive future.
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The French management consulting firm Gate C helps clients map the benefits and capture the value of the circular economy.
Society 2030: Spirit of Progress is Diageo's 10-year action plan to help create a more inclusive and sustainable world. This global leader in beverage alcohol has set itself 25 goals aligned to the UN's SDGs.
The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) and its members have set out the industry’s vision for the future: they intend to deliver renewable, climate positive and circular packaging for resilient food supply systems.
Through its robust and ambitious Roadmap, the industry commits to take action throughout the industry value chain, from sustainable sourcing to climate impact and recycling. Its ten commitments include increasing the collection and recycling of beverage cartons to reach a 90% collection rate and at least a 70% recycling rate by 2030, and decarbonising the industry’s value chain in line with the 1.5o C aligned science-based targets.
Enhancing the Sustainability of Batteries: A Joint NGO Position Paper on the EU Battery Regulation Proposal
In December 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Regulation on batteries and waste batteries (Battery Regulation). In this position paper, environmental civil society organisations (Environmental Coalition on Standards, Transport & Environment, Deutsche Umwelthilfe and the European Environmental Bureau) go through the measures proposed by the European Commission and point out aspects that are either overlooked or should be improved.
Given the need to take biodiversity more into account in circular economy projects, this study aims to stress the links between the two and to clarify the role played by the circular economy in preserving ecosystems.
Several guiding circular economy principles contribute to reducing the impacts of our activities on ecosystems, such as non-toxicity, optimisation of resource management, promotion of renewable resources and looping of flows. The study also highlights the fact that each lever for implementing the circular economy can and should factor in biodiversity: land-use planning, normative framework, innovation, awareness raising and training, and economic support.
This study aims to assist the European Commission to identify policy options that support the uptake of circular economy principles for buildings’ design in European, national and local policies.
The goal is:
- to increase the service life of buildings
- to facilitate the use of secondary materials and
- to improve resource efficiency across the building life cycle.
The study also provides key insights and recommendations on actions for a roadmap supporting the uptake and implementation of circular economy principles for buildings’ design.
Ethical smartphones, multifunctional strollers, remanufactured milking robots and bicycles-as-a-service: the Dutch manufacturing industry offers plenty of inspiring and groundbreaking innovations for a circular economy. International cooperation is nonetheless crucial to deliver and accelerate the circular transition as the value chains of the manufacturing industry cover the whole world.
With this publication on Manufacturing: the future is circular, Holland Circular Hotspot and the Dutch Circular Manufacturing Implementation Programme (UPCM) aim to bring insights and case studies from the Netherlands to an international level, in order to inspire everyone around the world to act and kickstart circular development.
Every year, huge numbers of photovoltaic (PV) modules are being installed. This solar energy expansion greatly furthers the ecological transformation of the energy system. But to solve the climate crisis every aspect has to be taken into consideration. This is why this white paper wants to shine light on challenges currently occuring or to be expected in connection with used photovoltaic modules and their disposal in Germany.
To better implement the goals of a circular economy, this paper will retrace the steps in the lifecycle of a photovoltaic module and analyse problems and possible solutions along these stages. After a brief description of the occuring challenges, opportunities and solutions deemed to be effective and sensible in these matters are presented.
How to reduce textile waste by repurposing unsold/gently-used t-shirts, dresses and skirts to make grocery bags
A simple design to turn an unsold/gently-used piece of clothing into a circular grocery bag.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having an immense impact on societies across the world. It has caused millions of deaths worldwide and challenged our health systems and economies. The pandemic - and responses to it, involving lockdowns, use of personal protection equipment and stay-at-home measures - has far-reaching health and economic consequences.
This briefing deals with the less visible effects on our environment and climate originating from changed use of single-use plastics due to the pandemic.
Emerging waste streams: Opportunities and challenges of the clean-energy transition from a circular economy perspective
Emerging waste streams: Opportunities and challenges of the clean energy transition from a circular economy perspective
Renewable energy technologies, such as wind turbines, solar photovoltaic panels and batteries, are essential for Europe’s transition to climate neutrality. Deployment, maintenance and replacement of this infrastructure requires significant resources, including many substances included in the EU list of critical raw materials.
Waste arising from end-of-life clean energy infrastructure is projected to grow up to 30-fold over the next 10 years, presenting significant opportunities to reduce consumption of scarce raw materials by recycling metals and other valuable resources back into production systems.
Circular economy approaches such as repair and upgrading of equipment and recycling of end-of-life infrastructure can underpin the sustainability credentials of EU renewable energy.
The extraction/processing of raw materials is associated with potentially significant environmental impacts, including contributing to approximately half of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally. In the EU, non-energy, non-agricultural raw materials account for 18 % of GHG emissions associated with EU consumption.
Given the EU's commitment to reducing its GHG emissions, and the European Green Deal's aspiration to achieve a climate-neutral continent by 2050, mitigating climate impacts from raw material production is central to the EU's climate agenda.
All activities associated with collecting waste materials for recycling lead to GHG emissions. Especially for metals, however, their contribution to emissions is only a fraction of the emissions saved by not using primary metals.
Every year, about 100 billion tons of material are taken from the planet - but only 10 billion are circularized. The results of the TOP 10 study clearly highlight the differences between the systems: the waste culture and concepts are different in the Global North and the Global South, as are the objectives of the respective legislations.
In the Global North, the goal is to decouple waste generation from consumption. In the Global South, waste increases with per capita income; here, the old consumption patterns and images of the rich Global North are often emulated.
Scorecards are used in the study to assess individual materials and their circular maturity in the region. The overall score is shown in the summary per material.
Innovation Deal for a circular economy: unlocking opportunities through public-private collaboration
By designing and enabling the use of Electric Vehicle (EV) batteries for multiple use-cycles, valuable materials are maintained, and a range of economic and environmental benefits can be unlocked.
Innovators from the automotive industry, Dutch and French public authorities, and the European Commission have collaborated to identify regulatory barriers to reusing EV batteries as energy storage devices and unlock solutions.
France’s Anti-waste and Circular Economy Law is a great example of cross-sectoral collaboration. Policymakers, municipalities, NGOs and businesses worked together with the public administration to identify a richer range of needs, solutions, and policy measures. As a result, the law is ambitious and contributes to a system-wide transition towards a circular economy.
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?
- Recycling Management
- 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
- Good Practices
- 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.
Why do we need a Circular Valley? Emissions resulting from “linear economy” pose a major threat to the environment and to us. We need a place to cooperate on solutions to reduce emissions and “closed cycles”.
Why is the Rhine-Ruhr region ideal? The Rhine-Ruhr region in Germany combines industries in need of solutions with already existing solution providers and a broad scientific landscape. It is also a cosmopolitan region with a rich industrial tradition.
How to start? The development of the region towards a “Circular Valley” has started with an Accelerator for Circular Economy topics to attract talent to work with companies from the region and beyond.
Application phase for Batch #2 starts in September 2021. It is for start-ups supporting the EU Green Deal and CEAP.
Pryme converts plastic waste into valuable products on an industrial scale. It has developed a new approach to an existing and proven chemical recycling technology. Pryme has optimised the pyrolysis process by adding proprietary characteristics.
ZenRobotics has harnessed the power of artificial intelligence to improve the quality of waste sorting. ZenRobotics' AI-powered robot technology is used at its material recovery facilities (MRFs) to capture valuable high-purity materials from waste streams in construction and demolition, commerce and industry, and municipal solid waste.
Ricehouse natural mortars are obtained by expertly mixing aerial lime with rice husks, a agricultural by-product derived from husking raw rice.
Italy's Puglia Region has large expanses of olive groves. Pruning these trees yields around 800 kilotonnes of residual biomass each year and Fiusis uses this biomass to produce energy.