Alberto Arroyo Schnell is responsible for policy and programmes at the European Regional Office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). He has held leading positions on EU environmental policy for the past 15 years. His current focus is working together with the key sectors related to / impacted by / benefiting from biodiversity and nature, aiming to find ways to achieve the environmental targets jointly and to ensure ownership of these targets by all stakeholders. He is Spanish, with a background in Forestry Engineering.
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The 2020 edition of EU Green Week 2020, focussing on nature and biodiversity, is taking place from 19 to 22 October 2020 in an entirely virtual format. Join exciting virtual discussions on how protecting and restoring nature can stimulate recovery and create jobs, helping us to build more resilient and healthier societies.
Are you a programme owner or a policy maker keen to advance the transition to a circular economy? Join CICERONE in building a circular economy joint programming platform to enable more cooperation!
The lack of a commonly accepted, inclusive definition of and methodology for measuring circularity hinder the transition to a more circular economy (CE). These two factors obstruct the development of and access to dedicated or non-dedicated finance, credit risk assessment and the transferability and replicability of projects and investments across regions and jurisdictions.
The Expert Group on Circular Economy Financing proposes a sector agnostic CE categorisation system that defines categories of activities substantially contributing to a CE. Guidelines with an indicative list of typical investments/projects for each CE category are included.
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.
This document is the result of the active involvement of the Interreg MED Green Growth community, together with its projects.
To make circular economy (CE) simpler, more efficient and more competitive, it is suggested to take a holistic, integrated and cooperative approach, by considering all phases in which CE is structured, all levels (from local to European) and all stakeholders involved in the implementation of CE models.
The policy recommendations proposed in the document are structured into six main areas:
- Investments and access to finance
- Technological infrastructure
- Labour market and employment
- Awareness and knowledge
- Cooperation among stakeholders and technology transfer
- Cross-cutting issues.
The European Commission has launched the public consultation on the green claims initiative. It will be open until 3 December 2020.
The EU-funded DigiCirc project aims at enabling the digitalisation of the Circular Economy by building upon the innovation potential of SMEs. It accelerates innovation by identifying cutting-edge circular economy solutions and by promoting business development and start-up growth.
DigiCirc will build and coordinate an innovative network of stakeholders that will set the foundation for an open space for innovation performed through the DigiCirc accelerators.
45 circular innovations, addressing sectoral challenges and generating new value chain, will be selected through open calls in three domains:
- Circular cities
- Blue economy.
For more information on open calls (the first on Circular cities to be launched in November) and the accelerator programme click here.
The Coordination Group decided, in Autumn 2019, to create leadeship groups to hold in-depth discuss and deliver orientations on priority topics.
The leadership group on cities and regions focused specifically on the territorial approach to the transition to circular economy at local and regional level.
The Life Cycle Innovation Conference (LCIC 2020) takes a systems perspective when discussing sustainable innovation. It will look at both, innovative approaches and methods to address sustainability challenges as well as innovative products and services that will help the transition towards a more sustainable world.
The Environmental Protection Agency has launched a challenge called 'Innovating a Circular Economy for soft plastic in Ireland' under Enterprise Ireland’s Small Business Innovation Research programme. The challenge focuses on reducing/eliminating soft plastic waste generated through the provision of school meals in Ireland.
Nordic Innovation launches a series of workshops, free of charge, to develop collaborative pilots across industry ecosystems, that can be scaled to successful transition towards a circular economy, critical for innovation and economic growth around the Nordics.
The Alliance for Flame Retardant Free Furniture position paper - Unwanted toxic flame retardants preventing circularity and increasing fire toxicity
The Alliance for Flame Retardant Free Furniture states its position: Unwanted toxic flame retardants prevent circularity and increase fire toxicity
The Alliance for Flame Retardant Free Furniture welcomes the new Circular Economy Action Plan and calls on EU institutions to address the unnecessary use of chemicals preventing circularity and the achievement of climate goals, such as toxic flame retardants in furniture, which endanger people’s and firefighters’ health as they migrate out of products and can lead to increased fire toxicity.
The use of such retardants is a historical, hazardous and ineffective practice which is not proven to reduce the number of fires. It is at odds with circularity objectives and their presence in furniture runs counter to the ambition to introduce and increase circularity.
Ensuring fire safety is a must, but it needs to be done in ways that are not hazardous.
ENEA, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, is directly involved in activities focused on the assessment, proposal and selection of circular economy indicators.
In response to increasing demand for online training, AIMPLAS has prepared 4 free webinars on themes related to plastics: solutions in the medical sector, new recycling technologies, quality control in the automotive industry and reduction of CO2 emissions.
Within the ECESP, Circular Change has promoted the role of creative industries with a focus on circular design.
In April 2020, European Aluminium launched its Circular Aluminium Action Plan, a strategy for achieving aluminium’s full potential for a circular economy by 2030.
All citizens and the wider community of stakeholders are welcome to express their views in a consultation on Waste shipments – revision of EU rules before 30 July 2020 (midnight CEST).
Over 100 participants joined the Circular Economy on the City Level webinar of the Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP) which sparked interesting discussions about smart and efficient ways of leveraging the potential of cities and municipal utilities in the transition towards more circularity.
Circular economy (CE) appears everywhere in Europe to be an adequate response to the challenges of resource scarcity. Driven by the development of the European CE Package, many initiatives to accelerate the transition are emerging, both on governmental and private levels, but they lack coordination.
In the wake of the new Circular Economy Action Plan published by the European Commission in March, the "Institut National de l'Economie Circulaire" (INEC) - member of the ECESP Coordination Group - and Orée have co-authored a study identifying the major CE networks in Europe in order to strengthen the cooperation needed to achieve CE ambitions. By so doing they have pursued their common aim to develop and disseminate a vision of an inclusive and unifying CE.
Read the full study.
This paper by GS1 in Europe highlights the need to structure product data to make it available for circular economy needs. If data isn't structured and can't circulate according to a circular model, it will be very challenging to reach the scale needed for the circular economy plan.
Open standards are a way of uniquely identifying products, locations, machines, packaging, etc. If "global open identifiers" (openly available references for products, etc.) are used, rather than closed-in systems based on data for one limited purpose, it will be possible to share data.
GS1 in Europe is a neutral, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to global standards to improve the efficiency, visibility and sustainability of products around the world.
Today, only 8.6% of the resources and materials in the global economy are reused or recycled.
A crucial transition to a circular economy is required to reach the environmental goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to achieve countries’ climate targets as set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
In this context, it is essential to ensure that the transition to a resource-efficient and circular economic model also delivers on social objectives.
This paper introduces the relevance of the circular economy in the international development SDG context. It also explores how a just transition approach can be successfully applied in the circular economy context.
Following the publication of the new Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) by the European Commission in early March, the members of the Coordination Group of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform have issued a joint statement on the CEAP, while also reflecting on the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world.
The French "Institut National de l'Economie Circulaire" (INEC) and Orée have published a co-authored study to better understand circular economy initiatives dynamics at work in different countries.