The European Commission has published a call for proposals on “Social innovations for a fair green and digital transition”, under the Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) strand of the European Social Fund+.
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By building on the insights from previous EEA reports on drivers of sustainability transitions, this briefing explores alternative ideas about growth and progress with the aim of broadening the sustainability debate.
Economic growth is closely linked to increases in production, consumption and resource use and has detrimental effects on the natural environment and human health. It is unlikely that a long-lasting, absolute decoupling of economic growth from environmental pressures can be achieved at the global scale. Societies need to rethink what is meant by growth and progress and their meaning for global sustainability.
The briefing outlines how circular economy may not deliver the transformation to sustainability when growth strategy still leads to increased material consumption.
Small Scale Actions (SSA) are a new element introduced for this round of URBACT action planning networks (2019-2022). This compendium summarises all of the SSAs carried out within the Resourceful Cities Network. It aims to support and inspire other cities which want to accelerate their circular transition.
A wide range of SSAs were carried out by Resourceful Cities partners, each one responding to an identified need within the individual city context. Actions included promoting citizen engagement and participation, enhancing knowledge and raising awareness of the circular economy, business support, data collection and monitoring and trialling new business models.
The Balearic Islands have adopted a new law on urgent measures to promote the sustainability and circularity of tourism, introducing a strategy for circularity.
All you need is food: this awareness campaign in Italy promotes circular behaviour to reduce food waste
Food waste causes loss of materials and energy, environmental damage and negative effects on people's health and quality of life. In response to this, two Italian consumers' associations have decided to provide a series of nationwide services and activities, investing in innovative tools that promote the information needed to curb daily food waste.
The Re-think Circular Economy Forum in Naples is designed to present macro-trends, possible evolutionary paths and the main projects of the circular economy in Naples and the rest of the Campania region, as well as across Italy and at international level. The Forum was set up to promote the development of the circular economy.
On 1 June 2022, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Circular Economy – Sustainable Competences for Youth project will jointly host an interactive conference with experts in circular economy competences and youth, policy makers, academics and business representatives.
During this conference, participants will learn more about the outputs from the CESCY project, but will also be given the opportunity to share their views on the topics at stake, as well as to hear from speakers and participants from different sectors and backgrounds.
The Final Conference of the WINPOL project on 25 May will give an overview of the work accomplished over more than four years. It will review the successes achieved at project level and the progress made in the use of intelligent systems and policies in the field of waste management.
The REthinkWASTE project is organising a webinar on Pay As You Throw and Know As You Throw models on 5 May.
On Thursday 28 April The European Commission invites you to an online event on the methods for measuring the life cycle performance of products and organisations: the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) and the Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF).
France's Law Against Food Waste has become an international model for sustainable food policy. The law is often described as combining economic efficiency with environmental protection and social equity. However, stakeholder narratives cast doubt on whether this French CE law really contributes to social justice in the long run. This discourse analysis shows that:
- the ban on food waste institutionalised a narrative about food waste that prioritises profit over social equity
- the traditionally dominant solidarity narrative about food waste has been pushed back by the emerging CE discourse
- As a consequence of this shift, activities enacted in the name of the CE may counteract social equity goals (for instance by establishing competition with charities).
Policies are focusing on halving food waste to help conserve increasingly strained food resources. However, expanding their scope of action to include dietary changes and complement targets with resource footprints has greater potential to save resources while avoiding trade-offs.
This paper shows that in Germany:
- Healthy, plant-based diets are more effective at reducing land and biomass use than halving food waste
- A combination of more plant-based food consumption and food waste reduction in distribution and consumption is most effective at saving resources
- Focusing exclusively on food waste reduction as a policy target can be detrimental to the overarching goal of saving resources because it deflects attention away from more effective alternatives.
The 3rd Symposium on Circular Economy and Sustainability will take place in Chania, Greece on 27-29 June 2022. Researchers, practitioners and entrepreneurs are invited to submit both empirical and theoretical papers that are broadly consistent with any of the topics covered by the Symposium.
134 people died in the devastating flooding in the German region of Ahrweiler in July 2021, caused by a climate change-induced weather situation. Over 400 000 tonnes of waste were created by the floods in one night. 40 000 households were hit, and massive damage to infrastructure such as roads, schools and hospitals was reported. The situation was described as being similar to the massive destruction following a war.
Thinking Circular’s report summarises the process of waste management and learning from this regional crisis.
The circular economy is a model of production and consumption that is underpinned by a transition to renewable energy and materials. It is a resilient system - good for business, people and the environment. The book titled The Circular Economy and Green Jobs in the EU and Beyond examines what the circular economy means, why the transition from a linear economy to a circular one is important, and how we can achieve it.
The book offers clarification on the meaning and the implications of the circular economy across different contexts – economic, social, cultural, legal and international. Particular emphasis is placed on the implications for jobs and different business models as well as on questions of equity.
The European Commission is preparing a legislative proposal on the Right to Repair, headed “Sustainable consumption of goods – promoting repair and reuse”. The overall goal of the initiative is to extend the time during which consumers use the product before discarding it.
The public consultation and call for evidence are currently ongoing and will run until 5 April 2022.
Clear Fashion, independant expert of garment evaluation, is a solution that informs consumers on brands' practices and clothes' impact, and enables fashion brands to communicate their scores, in order to bring more transparency in the fashion industry.
Extended Producer Responsibility Schemes (EPR) are increasingly used across Member States to finance proper waste management. The workshop discussed the take-aways, benefits but also shortcomings of EPR Schemes, in order to focus on the various areas of improvements. Particular emphasis was placed on the role played by eco-modulation of fees.
Circular Procurement: ‘From strategy to results’ – how circular procurement can make the change in the energy transition
This workshop used the concrete example of procurement of charging stations for electrical vehicles to link circular procurement to the energy transition.
The Cities & Regions Leadership Group in 2021 continued the work on the analysis of indicators to measure the transition to the circular economy in cities and regions.
This workshop capitalized on those discussion points, gearing the discussions towards the definition of operational cooperation leads between different initiatives supporting CE transition in cities and regions.
This workshop session was divided into three different thematic blocks focussing on:
- Module 1: Agri-plastics and circularity - best practice and the road ahead
- Module 2: Bio-based Industry trends and utilization of secondary biomass
- Module 3: Food waste and youth: how universities can help inspire action
Concern continues to grow regarding the availability of critical metals. Such rare or scarce metals, like lithium or cobalt, are not only vital to the world’s major economies. They are also crucial for a transition to a renewable energy system in the Netherlands. At current levels, the global supply of these metals is insufficient, and the Dutch demand for them is no exception.
This study Towards A Circular Energy Transition serves to provide insight into the demand for critical metals domestically over the next few decades, to offer perspectives on how to reduce this demand, and to demonstrate the opportunities these new measures present to industry in the Netherlands.
In this panel discussion, founders of circular enterprises will get the audience up to date on the latest trends, challenges and innovations in the sector.
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!
Once you start to think beyond material presents, there’s an incredible range of original, planet-saving gift ideas you could offer this winter.
The initiative called Microplastics pollution – measures to reduce its impact on the environment aims to tackle microplastics unintentionally released into the environment. It will focus on labelling, standardisation, certification and regulatory measures for the main sources of these plastics.
The European Commission would like to hear your views on microplastics pollution. Give your feedback!
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.