The fourth edition of the international Circular Change Conference was a meeting of the global circular community, and a platform that sent a strong message to change-makers across Europe that more needs to be done to accelerate the change from linear to circular.
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While standards and initiatives abound for components of the circular economy, such as recycling, there is no current agreed global vision on how an organization can complete the circle. A new ISO technical committee, inspired by France's XP X30-901 standard for the circular economy, TC/323 has just been formed to do just that.
The event is the continuation of the popular symposium "Conflict Minerals & Sustainable Supply Chain", which iPoint has been hosting in Germany since 2013. From 2019, the symposium will form part of iPoint's two-day event fw:transparency.
The symposium provides presentations and panel discussions with top-class experts from the business, academic, and legal sphere. Proceeding from the assumption that compliance with the law is a precondition for the Circular Economy, they will shed light on existing and upcoming laws, reporting frameworks, and corporate challenges of sustainable sourcing, sustainable products, and sustainable value chains with a particular focus on the circular economy and related digitalization trends, including blockchain.
On 19 June 2019, Altstoff Recycling Austria (ARA) and Circle Economy released the Circularity Gap Report Austria, the first measure of circularity for a nation state.
Experts and peer reviewers included CEC4Europe, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism, the Federal Environment Agency, the Federation of Austrian Industries, the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, TU Vienna, the INZIN Institute and the City of Vienna. This landmark report paves the way for nations to lead the transition from a linear economy of Take-Make-Waste to a circular economy.
The analysis, commissioned by ARA, found a circularity rate for Austria of 9.7%, ahead of the figure of 9.1% in Circle Economy’s Global Circularity Gap report published in January 2019.
The Austria report will enable political and business leaders to identify and monitor the best interventions to boost the circularity rate, the proportion of materials that are recycled, re-used and re-manufactured in the Austrian economy.
This report is the first of its kind, where the circularity of a country is assessed combining different approaches. The relevance of the outcomes therefore goes beyond providing an action agenda for Austria alone.
The report was commissioned by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) to inform a workshop on "the future of the waste sector in Europe: challenges and opportunities for workers" held on 7th December 2017 in Brussels.
The report deals with the following questions:
- What are the EU policies towards waste management?
- What are the implications of the circular economy for the waste management sector?
- What is the public/private provision in waste management in Europe?
- Which multinational companies dominate the sector?
- What are the current collective bargaining arrangements?
- What are the opportunities and obstacles for organising waste management workers in Europe?
The report focuses on:
- Improving the health and safety of workers
- Ensuring quality jobs and decent pay and conditions
- Fighting against social dumping
- Improving the quality of jobs through up-skilling.
On Thursday 6th of June, EREK will hold a workshop in Helsinki, Finland, titled Improving resource efficiency through industrial symbiosis – Opportunities for SMEs. This event is co-hosted by Motiva, and is officially featured as a World Circular Economy Forum side event.
WCEF2019 presented the most advanced circular solutions for governments, industries, businesses and citizens and put a strong emphasis on the next level of circularity and how to scale up the transition.
The EREK international conference will demonstrate how successful businesses and industries seek resource efficient solutions, collaborate in a circular and social economy, and pursue digitalisation to gain a competitive edge. From keynote speeches to practical sessions, the conference aims to gather the Resource Efficiency community by promoting exchanges between all actors, from newcomers to front runners, from SMEs to business intermediaries, raising awareness of existing and upcoming opportunities to make the Circular Economy a reality.
Smart Circular Economy is an international workshop focusing on the role of ICT as an enabler for the Circular Economy. This workshop will bring together scientists and researchers as well as relevant stakeholders from industry and local communities to share and exchange their experiences, discuss challenges, and report state-of-the-art and in-progress research at the intersection of ICT and the Circular Economy. Accepted and presented papers will appear at IEEE Xplore and will be listed by all major indexes.
The policy brief discusses Circular Economy Business Models (CBM), gives several examples and considers the challenges and solutions facing policymakers. It makes a number of recommendations to regions to speed up the development of CBMs ‒ something this brief argues regions are in a good position to do ‒ and shares several good practices from Interreg Europe projects. It should be read in conjunction with the Interreg webinar on CBMs webinar on Circular Economy Business Models. It also briefly sketches EU policies in this area and offers some practical funding and networking tips.
In a circular economy, assets are no longer sold. Rather, the assets are collectively maintained by a network of stakeholders involved in the ongoing functioning of the assets - the circular service (CISE) network. This shifts the responsibility for the functioning of an asset from the end-user to the network, thus stimulating the re-design of business processes to optimize the life-cycle performance of the asset.
A CISE network however requires unprecedented levels of cooperation and coordination between participants, leading to high administrative costs and the need for trust and transparency in the network. CISE networks are a totally different way of doing business, requiring different financial, legal and governance structures. Would it be possible for assets to be owned and procured by a network that creates value from them? Could this, simultaneously, reduce administrative costs? Could cashflows generated by the asset be redistributed to the network, leveraging the sharing of risks and returns?
The fourth edition of the international Circular Change Conference took place in Maribor, Slovenia, on 16 and 17 May 2019.
The objective of this seminar is to explore how families can be better integrated and considered in the circular economy. Different experts and stakeholders at various levels of action will be brought together - from policy-makers to community-led initiatives combining a top-down and bottom-up approach. The aim is to exchange and build a constructive dialogue among different actors of sustainable development in Europe.
Circular economy strategies and roadmaps in Europe: Identifying synergies and the potential for cooperation and alliance building – Study
Circular economy strategies and roadmaps in Europe: Identifying synergies and the potential for cooperation and alliance building
Circular economy strategies have been under development in European cities, regions, and countries in the last few years. 33 strategies have been adopted since 2014, and at least 29 more are under development. Existing strategies were reviewed for this study, to identify similarities and differences, and to assess the involvement of civil society organisations, and potential for collaboration.
The study argues that documents developed in the future should put more focus on including broader sections of value chains, and on ensuring inclusive partnership approaches in all phases of the strategy’s cycle. To date, circular economy strategies show different degrees of inclusiveness in terms of value chains and partner involvement. Limited inclusive approaches can be explained by the exploratory nature of most strategy documents. This includes a stronger involvement of civil society organisations in earlier phases of strategy development, and not just for dissemination and citizen involvement.
The study highlights the role of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform in gathering and sharing civil society’s knowledge and making sure it is fed into the policy cycle for circular economy.
This study delivers the first empirical findings on the relevance of digitisation to improving material efficiency based on the German company survey ‘IW-Zukunftspanel’.
German manufacturing firms have up to now only rarely digitised material efficiency measures to a great extent. If they are - particularly in large companies - they tend to be used for process optimisation. Around two fifths of the companies are at least moderately digitised in relation to the most important industrial efficiency measures, namely process optimisation and the use of new techniques, but there is still more than a third that is not at all. Companies have most frequently digitised cross-company materials cycles, but this instrument is only applied by two fifths of industrial companies. There is still potential for more digitisation of measures relating to product design, materials cycle management and new business models.
At least every other manufacturing company reuses residue and waste materials via internal circulation systems. Nevertheless, for two fifths of these companies digital networks do not play any part and in the case of a further two fifths, the part they play is minor. Only one in ten companies is heavily digitised. More than half of industrial companies use resource-saving measures that begin at the product design stage. To date, almost half of these companies are not digitally networked, or if they are, it is only to a small extent. One third of the industrial companies up to now have considered new business models as an efficiency-raising way. Of these, three out of ten have not been digitised yet with a further two fifths having only a minor level of digitisation.
Companies that have already embedded digitisation in their strategy are frontrunners for greater material efficiency, since they more frequently use material efficiency measures intensively, are more likely to recognise further potential savings and their efficiency-saving approaches are also clearly more often highly digitised.
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IRCEM and the Romanian Ministry of Environment, in collaboration with the Department for Sustainable Development, as well as other 12 ministries and other partners, will participate in 8 different working groups, one in each region of Romania, in order to develop Romania's Strategy for the Transition to a Circular Economy (ROCES) 2020-2030.
The 4th Circular Change Conference will address the circular economy situation on the ground and explore the everyday challenges of circular companies.
On 8 and 9 April the Circular Economy Virtuous Circle Tour will take place in Greece in the form of the 1st Greek Circular Economy Forum.
The Circular Economy Foundation (FEC) is a private, Iberian ambit foundation working in areas related to circular economy, sustainability, resource use and environment.
FEC has launched PIPEC, a multi-participant Iberian platform (Spain, Portugal and Andorra) whose aim is promoting the Circular Economy and its potential advantages such as sustainable development, eco-competitiveness of companies, new proximity employment, reduction of dependence on raw materials, energy and material efficiency, reduction of the ecological footprint, promotion of local and quality production, prevention and minimization of waste, protection of natural capital, increased ecological resilience and the reduction of carbon emissions.
FEC has launched this platform in order to involve all actors in the life cycle (or value chains), with the aim of discussing the possible orientations and co-build innovative economic initiatives. PIPEC is structured in: "Multiparticipant" Working Groups and Sectorial Platforms.
- an international network of over 3500 circular economy professionals and organizations from over 100 countries.
- non-for-profit, global and open to anyone willing to join the club for free.
The CEC vision: opening a new era where all cities worldwide function through a circular model, setting the end of an age of waste.
- bring the circular economy to cities worldwide by building strong local networks to design and implement circular local strategies; embed the circular economy in the education system; and
- help circular solutions scale.
- the CEC Organizers program: for circular leaders to bring the circular economy to live in their cities, universities, hubs and companies;
- the CEC Mentors program: for members with expert skills to give free advice to the most promising circular talent; and
- the CEC Global events: for members to ccoperate to the solution of local and global challenges.
On 28 March 2019 the Economy Circular Chair (ESCP Europe & Deloitte) and the European Research Project R2Pi are co-organising an event (at ESCP Europe Business School, Paris) which focuses on various types of circular economy partnerships among enterprises (firm-centric, consortium and market-based).
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 VUB-ULB research chair "Transitioning Belgian companies into Circularity" organises its first interactive seminar entitled "What can cities, companies and citizens do?" .