The WCYCLE Maribor project provides for an innovative urban circular economy system, offering a new business and economic model for the city in the field of efficient resource management.
You are here
Since 2000, the “Slovenian Entrepreneurship Observatory” publishes a report annually providing analysis of the situation of Slovenian companies and insight into Slovenian entrepreneurship. In 2018 this report had a thematic focus on the circular economy (CE), with the authors centring in on the drivers and barriers to SMEs integrating CE into business practice.
This report first provides a theoretical framework for the CE, which aims to raise awareness and facilitate information exchange between companies and individuals looking to spread circular innovation. Simultaneously this report also provides an overview of the barriers companies face in transitioning towards circularity, which include a lack of comparable indicators to benchmark and track progress; cost of eco-design; administrative burden; access to finance and a lack of awareness about the concept itself: in 2017, a survey of businesses indicated only 32% had some understanding of what a circular economy is. This survey also revealed businesses perceive economic, environmental and regulatory opportunities as the main drivers towards circularity.
The report concludes with practical aspects of CE implementation at the level of enterprises, presenting a case study which highlights the situation and the possible use of eco-design in Slovenian SMEs operating in the construction sector and conclusions with recommended steps to overcome the barriers identified.
The underlying idea of the Strategy for the Transition to the Circular Economy in the Municipality of Maribor, as well as the Wcycle project, is its to have an own innovative model as a system for managing all the resources available in the Municipality of Maribor and the wider urban area.
The model is based on the operation of enterprises that are predominantly publicly-owned and already provide public services for residents. They are thus the city’s bottlenecks that until now have not functioned as a connecting link, which is a fundamental principle in the transition from linear to circular economy.
Only close cooperation between public companies, citizens, industry and local self-government can lead to a successful interconnected system that optimises resources and results - economic, environmental and social. This is a long-term project that provides development-oriented efficient management of resource flows in local and regional environments.
The purpose of the Strategy and Wcycle project discussed is cross-sectoral cooperation in handling, processing, re-use and development of resources, which deals with the circular economy in Maribor in seven selected sectors (i.e pillars or circles).
The positive consequences of these practices are the emergence of new business opportunities for the Municipality of Maribor, the people and the economy, the creation of high-quality, mainly green jobs, new added value and a fresh economic boost.
Cities and regions in Alpine Space have mainly set their low-carbon objectives and adopted relevant strategies in energy, mobility, construction aso. The project GREENCYCLE aims to introduce the system of circular economy as a holistic approach to support implementation of low-carbon strategies and provide additional 2-4 % greenhouse emission reduction to the partner cities.