The Global Sustainable Technology and Innovation Community (G-STIC) plays a crucial role in strengthening interactions between the digital and circular community, and the online G-STIC Conference on 26-28 October is the place to join the discussion on how to spur all players and make digitalisation the decisive instrument for accelerating circular economy.
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Electronique et technologies de l'information
The International E-waste Day initiative on 14 October aims to reduce the environmental burden of e-waste and to save natural resources. TCO Development has launched an e-waste quiz to support educational and awareness-raising activities linked to this initiative.
The electrical and electronics industry has been contributing to Europe socially and economically for almost 100 years. However, its production, use and disposal are resource- intensive activities resulting in significant environmental and climate impacts.
Case studies of 4 different electronic product groups show there is potential for significant increases in their actual lifetime use. Extending the lifetime and delaying the obsolescence of electronics can significantly reduce impacts and contribute to meeting EU environment, climate and circularity objectives.
EU legislation includes recycling targets for municipal, construction and demolition, and electronic waste. This European Environment Agency briefing shows that there is significant potential to increase recycling from all of these streams.
However, to fully exploit this potential, current barriers need to be overcome. This also requires strong implementation of targeted regulations to increase separate collection.
Implementing new policy measures, some of which are already included in the EU 2020 Circular Economy Action Plan, can both directly and indirectly exploit the potential for increased recycling.
The Sustainable products initiative, which will revise the Ecodesign Directive and propose additional legislative measures as appropriate, aims to make products placed on the EU market more sustainable. You are welcome to give your feedback on it until 2 November 2020.
The European Manufacturers of Electrical Machines and Power Electronics are committed to Circular Economy
The European Committee of Manufacturers of Electrical Machines and Power Electronics (CEMEP) supports the development towards a circular economy (CE), thus actively contributing to more sustainable manufacturing and responsible consumption. This industrial sector follows a business-to-business market model, delivering products for a wide number of economic sectors and applications.
Its three main product groups – electric motors, variable speed drives and uninterruptable power systems – show differences and similarities when it comes to material efficiency, hence the need for sector- or product-specific approaches when pursuing CE.
This position paper describes the CE status of the CEMEP industries and the way forward towards more circularity.
A new project addressing the systemic complexities of the Circular Economy is being submitted as a Marie Curie (MSCA) post doc proposal. As these aspects build upon multi-stakeholder knowledge and insights, you are kindly invited to join the project community and collaborate.
The EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan: setting the world’s largest single market on a transition towards a circular economy
This case study on the EU's Circular Economy Plan (CEAP) by the Ellen McArthur Foundation reflects back on the steps which the European Commission took to take a lead in circular economy policies globally. From initially aiming at improving resource efficiency, to redefining growth with positive social, environmental, and economic benefits, this case study analyses this policy-making process.
The CEAP was a comprehensive body of legislative and non-legislative actions adopted in 2015, which aimed to transition the European economy from a linear to a circular model. It mapped out 54 actions, as well as four legislative proposals on waste.
By rethinking resource efficiency and material flows, the European Commission has developed a framework to promote systemic change.
PC4Change is a project of the Reware Cooperative - Social Enterprise, specialized since 2013 in the refurbishing of computers dismissed by large companies.
The CirQuality OWL project is funded by the EU (ERDF) and the Federal State North-Rhine Westfalia (NRW) with the aim of fostering the circular economy in the area.
Seven regional partners from the different fields (from energy to technologies to food to universities and associations) teamed up to use the circular economy to get the region off the ground in an innovative, crisis-proof, resilient and sustainable way. Together they are jointly striving for the following goals:
- Discover Circular Economy (CE)
- Regional capacity building
- Qualifying stakeholders
- Providing strategic support to stakeholders
- Developing regional identity
- Transfer results
AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, is coordinating a project called C-SERVEES to develop more circular products like washing machines, laser printers and toner cartridges, TV sets and telecom equipment.
Hewlett-Packard (HP) endorses the Circular Computing and proposes remanufactured models as alternatives for new models. This action underlines a highly significant endorsement of Circular Computing’s approach to sustainability at the high end of the IT market.
Best practices on industrial symbiosis in Italy and the contribution of regional policies as a strategic lever
In 2016, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) set up a Symbiosis Users Network (SUN) to boost industrial symbiosis in Italy. The network promotes circular economy models through industrial symbiosis by focusing on operational issues.
SUN's 2019 conference was devoted to Good practices of industrial symbiosis in Italy and the contribution of regional policies as a strategic lever. The event, co-organised by SUN, Ecomondo and ENEA was held in Rimini (IT) on 7 November 2019 at Ecomondo - a leading event in Europe for new circular economy models.
Reports on ENEA-promoted conferences on industrial symbiosis are available here.
The report from TCO Development, the organization behind the global sustainability certification for IT products TCO Certified, explains how everyone who buys/uses IT products can implement circular practices. It sets out how circular economy (CE) helps solve many pressing sustainability challenges linked to IT products and contains 33 expert tips on circular IT management.
- Use IT products longer.
- Circularity helps maximize the value of IT investment.
- Market demand is key to accelerating the pace of change.
- Circularity includes IT management throughout the life cycle.
- Improved supply chain responsibility can speed up transition to CE.
- Circularity is a team effort.
- Many circular solutions are already in place - just use them.
The European Policy Centre’s (EPC) Task Force called Digital Roadmap to Circular Economy has explored the linkages between digitalisation and circular economy, the opportunities created by data and digitally-enabled solutions, and the challenges associated with harnessing their full potential for the transition to a circular economy.
The project represents a pioneering endeavour in exploring the interconnections between the digital and green transformations and considers the implications for EU policymaking.
The final publication The circular economy: Going digital and its executive summary show that digitalisation can offer enormous possibilities for the transition to a more sustainable, circular economy but it is essential to steer it in the right direction.
Do you want to take the next step towards the circular and sustainable management of the IT products you purchase and use? Join this webinar on 9 June and find out some inspiring and practical tips to help get you started.
The Circular Economy for the Data Centre Industry (CEDaCI) aims to enable trans-sectoral and transnational learning and develop circular economy solutions for the Data Centre Industry in France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK by:
- Building a transnational / trans-sectoral network and a co-creation platform for sharing knowledge and expertise
- Establishing regional and transnational Working Groups
- Utilising co-creation methodologies in 8 workshops
- Jointly defining concrete circularity solutions to address the project pilot studies.
By joining this network you will receive innovative insights into circularity solutions and share ideas within a multi-professional network.
To become a member, you may apply by 30 September 2020.
The Circular Economy for the Data Centre Industry (CEDaCI) is a European project focusing on circular data centres. The project is of increasing collaboration and communication to drive sustainability in the data industry.
The Data Centre Industry (DCI) is one of the most important pillars of current technological and economic developments.
In DCIs, more than fifty different materials can be found per product, including ferrous, non-ferrous metals, precious metals (PM), platinum group metals (PGM), rare earth elements (REE), plastics and/or ceramics, some being considered as Critical Raw Materials (CRMs).
This assessment aims to study DCI design and material composition (specifically servers and switches), as well as to analyse their performance in a circular economy and provide recommendations for ecodesign guidelines.
How can the EU product safety and compliance framework help promote product durability and tackle planned obsolescence, foster the production of more sustainable products, and achieve more transparent supply chains for consumers?
Product longevity can play a useful role in achieving the Paris Agreement goals – material efficiency is an important contributor to energy efficiency and is also important in its own right. The product safety and compliance instruments available at European level can contribute to these efforts, if wisely applied.
This study was commissioned by the European Parliament Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO).
Research on Remelting and Purification of Si-kerf for PV wafers is part of CABRISS, a European collaboration aimed to develop a circular economy mainly for the photovoltaic but also other industries such as electronics or metallurgy.
During production of silicon wafers out of silicon (Si) ingots and wafers, about 40–50% of the material is lost due to the cutting technique. The research had kerf from slurry based wafer cuttings undergoing several refining steps and being remelted into ingots for PV-application.
Conclusion: With 10% refined material, ingots were still directionally solidified, whereas with 100% refined material, they were not. The presented refining method does not allow for ingots with 100% refined material to be used as PV-material.
The project Recycling of broken Si based structures and solar cells is part of CABRISS, a European collaboration aimed to develop a circular economy mainly for the photovoltaic (PV), but also for other industries such as electronics or metallurgy.
The paper presents some tests in which broken solar cell structures coming from an early stage in the PV production process chain as well as broken finished solar cells have been recycled into new silicon (Si) feedstock through demetallisation, purification and directional solidification.
The paper explores two different routes to remove diffusion layers and anti-reflection coating (ARC) on broken cells. It also presents the characteristics of ingots produced with the Si-feedstock from the two routes by directional solidification.
Refurbed is an online marketplace for refurbished electronics. Its products look like new, are 40% cheaper and use 70% less CO2 than the equivalent new product.
At times of Covid-19 quarantine, Belgian startup ASmartWorld who reconditions second-hand smartphones, took the initiative to distribute them free of charge in old people's homes to help guests reconnect with their families.
This retrospective report is a review of the plans set out by Circular Flanders in the Kick-off Statement.
The most important finding? A good deal more was accomplished than initially anticipated. For example, the opportunity to launch three Open Calls, permitting the funding of over 130 innovative circular economy projects. The Green Deal on Circular Construction was also an unprecedented opportunity, as was the complementary reinforcement of the OVAM team of experts in ecodesign and area-specific operations, allowing the scope to expand.
This retrospective report is an interactive PDF. External links to downloads or online resources have been embedded on each project page for easy accessibility.
Drawing on the results of CIRC4Life, the event aims to present examples of circular business models, discuss barriers and enablers, as well as how to incentivise consumers to engage with circular practices. It will also discuss the new Circular Economy Action Plan by the European Commission.