On 17 and 18 March 2020 the Circular Materials Conference invites you to reimagine materials with the help of emerging technologies and novel collaborations to create a circular future together.
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Since 2016, the Brussels-Capital Region has set the circular economy as one of its strategic priorities, and is implementing concrete actions to that effect.
Where are we today? Is this just the beginning of a major cultural shift? What are the main challenges ahead? To find out, the authors met numerous actors - public or private - on the ground to better understand the implications of 'circularising' the Brussels Region.
This brochure gives an overview of the promises and limitations for this new economic model with concrete examples, providing inspiration and grounds for further reflection on transitioning to the circular economy.
Les "Rendez-vous de l'économie circulaire" d'UniLaSalle continuent au Campus de Rennes le 14 février 2020. Il s'agît de repenser son modèle économique grâce à l'économie circulaire.
The next big thing in design is circular!
Die Umstellung zu einer zirkulären Wirtschaft fängt bei der Gestaltung an! Ecodesign beschreibt einen umfassenden Gestaltungsansatz, um die Umweltbelastungen von Produkten und Dienstleistungen über den gesamten Lebenszyklus hinweg zu minimieren, denn 80 Prozent des Ressourceneinsatzes eines Produktes werden bereits in der Produktentwicklung festgelegt.
The project „Prosperkolleg“ in Bottrop started on the 1st of June 2019 with the objective to explore how to transfer the idea of circular economy to the industry. The "Hochschule Ruhr West", the "WiN Emscher-Lippe GmbH", the city of Bottrop, the "Effizienzagentur NRW" and the "Prosperkolleg association" joined forces to research and demonstrate innovative circular product and business model developments. The project is funded by the ministry of economics, innovation, digitalization and energy of the land NRW.
The OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities (CFE) and Nordic Innovation are organising the 2nd OECD Roundtable on the Circular Economy in Cities and Regions in Oslo, Norway, on 31March 2020.
It will bring together key circular economy stakeholders from cities, regions, private sector, academia and international organisations.
Despite the waste hierarchy in force – Reduce, Re-use and Recycle, re-use could be much further developed. Waste management programmes include re-use but prioritise recycling, even though re-use is more environmentally and socially friendly. 2Lifes project is meant to be an instrument to help boost re-use through public policy.
The non-governmental organisation, French National Institute for Circular Economy (INEC) is a reference body focused on ecological intelligence and resource economics. Its aim is to bring together all public and private stakeholders to promote the circular economy and accelerate its development.
Wednesday 11 December 2019 at 9.30-15.30 at UCLY, 10, place des archives, 69002 Lyon
Companies wishing to increase the amount of recycled materials in their processes and improve the quality in process and product by using digital tools can now participate in the pilots of the research project Di-Plast.
Join the Šiauliai Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts for an international conference on the "circular economy for competitive regions" on 28 November 2019 at the Šiauliai 2019 exhibition.
Contaminated sediment from the Port of Dunkirk has been re-used in road structures since 2002, when the Port started to cooperate with the Ecole des Mines de Douai and various industrial partners in order to design alternative materials for stabilised sub-base road layers.
On 8 November, the Slovenian town of Bled will host a conference on Circular Economy in the Region: Connected for Sustainability and Growth. The aim of the conference is to discuss the possibilities and advantages of the transition to a circular economy in the region and the potential for cooperation.
The Union pour la Méditerranée Women Business Forum aims to build skills, connect and empower female entrepreneurs to develop their business leadership and start, grow and sustain their enterprises in a regional competitive environment. The 2019 edition of the Business Forum will focus on Women in the circular economy and in Tech & Innovation Sectors.
Join Circular Flanders at the closing event of the Green Deal Circular Procurement (GDCP) in Brussels on 21 November 2019 to hear lessons learned and meet potential buyers or suppliers.
Policy enablers to accelerate the circular economy: Scaling up actions across regions and stakeholders
Over the past couple of years, as companies start to understand the opportunities that lie under the concept of circular economy, the circularity conversation has gained significant momentum. At the same time, national and regional governments are developing frameworks and regulations to promote the circular economy.
Effective policymaking is crucial to accelerate and scale up circular actions in the economy. It supports businesses in overcoming hurdles by stimulating innovative projects and long-term investments in circularity, facilitating collaboration and partnerships, and producing tangible results.
Learning from successful policies can help inform future policies to promote wider actions in other sectors and regions over time.
By highlighting some representative pioneers in circular economy policy, exploring key enablers from these policies, describing how other regions could replicate these enablers and providing recommendations, this publication aims to provide insights from the policy perspective and to feed into the ongoing development of other initiatives and policies related to the circular economy globally.
The BlueCity business park is one of Rotterdam's unique landmarks: formerly a water park resort, the complex is now a circular incubator housing over 30 startups experimenting towards a sustainable future.
Public authorities will soon be encouraged to apply the Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) approach to their policies thanks to a new Interreg Europe project, LCA4Regions. The 9 project partners met for the first time in Brussels, on 30 September and 1 October 2019, the with support of ACR+.
The Finnish city of Lahti has been pioneering industrial symbiosis at the Kujala Waste Treatment Centre where all sorts of waste are reused. Several companies have established interconnected material flows, thus making one’s residues another one’s raw materials.
Vlaanderen Circulair (Circular Flanders) is the hub and inspiration for the Flemish circular economy. It is a partnership of policymakers, companies, civil society, and the knowledge community taking action together. Its six core activities are:
- Networking partners to tackle circular economy challenges
- Creating knowledge with the Circular Economy Policy Research Centre to streamline policy-related research into policy measures for the circular economy in Flanders
- Speeding up innovation and entrepreneurship
- Assisting pioneers
- Connecting local, Flemish, federal and European policymaking
- Embedding circular principles across Flemish civil society
Key to the Circular Flanders approach are several pillars with a great deal of potential, which bridge and bring together different sectors. Currently, these are circular purchasing, circular cities, and running circular businesses.
Through the Brussels Regional Programme for a Circular Economy, the government of the Brussels-Capital Region has defined a framework to encourage the transformation of a linear economy (extract – produce – consume – dispose) into a circular economy (recover – produce – consume – reuse) within Brussels.
The be circular portal is the entry point to the BRPCE, and networks the regional government with businesses and civil society delivering change on the ground, while also providing information to entrepreneurs about the various direct and indirect support programmes available.
Its projects include the Annual General Meeting linking more than 300 Brussels and European participants, and yearly Prizes for Circular Entrepreneurship. In 2017, be circular supported 222 entrepreneurs and financed 139 projects. A year later, the programme had reached nearly 1,300 businesses.
be circular also collects good practices from the Brussels region, with a particular focus on its four priority sectors: construction, logistics, retail and waste management.
To prevent consumers from buying items they use only a few times a year, Usitoo enables customers to rent these instead. The cooperative has a catalogue of hundreds of items that its customers can rent with credit, thus making the possession span of these items much longer.
The town of Riihimäki is already a member of FISU (Finnish Sustainable Communities), a network of Finnish municipalities committed to becoming waste-free, and has now adopted a circular economy roadmap focusing on the participation of local actors.
In 2017, the local authorities asked the 29,000 inhabitants of this town what sustainable choices they would be ready to make and how the municipal council could best enable these. Inhabitants also contributed ideas to develop the resource efficiency of Riihimäki.
The circular economy and resource efficiency roadmap of Riihimäki covers five themes:
- Carbon neutral energy production and consumption
- Sustainable circulation and ecologically efficient town structure
- Sustainable consumption of natural resources and circular economy
- Diversity of nature and comfortable living environment
- Inhabitant responsibility in Riihimäki.
Every one of these themes is dealt with by taking into account the following points of view:
- Vision for 2050
- Methods of working: who realises the vision
- Actions, ideas, commitments and promises
- Measures and indicators for monitoring and follow-up.
In addition to municipal actions, the Riihimäki roadmap also includes commitments to circular economy by local companies and communities. The roadmap also accentuates the education of students and recent graduates with the aim of incorporating the circular economy into all professional fields.
As cooperation is central to circular economym, the Riihimäki roadmap’s guiding principle is to increase cooperation between different communities and companies. The aim is to share good practice by developing a cluster that will monitor how companies are progressing and promote circular economy cooperation.
In the framework of the CIRCWASTE project, coordinated by SYKE (Finnish Environment Institute), pioneering municipalities have developed local circular economy roadmaps in 2019. This roadmap, adopted by Finland's fourth biggest city, is based first and foremost on what stakeholders identify as local strengths, special characteristics and challenges.
Vantaa’s roadmap lists the priorities, objectives and actions to take in 2019-2030 that could a promote circular economy locally. Its priorities are the following:
- circular business models
- circular economy in construction
- circular public procurement
- sharing economy.
The objectives are to be reached by 2030 in four timeframes, with responsibility for implementation shared among several local stakeholders that vary from municipal utilities to private companies. Specific indicators have been developed to measure and report on progress.
To stimulate circular business models locally, the municipality will set up a local cluster in cooperation with Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY.
Vantaa’s roadmap also puts a strong emphasis on construction and land use, committing to increase local (re)-use of soil and recycled materials in construction, which should reduce GHG emissions from transport. The use of demolished concrete has already increased and become fairly commonplace in infrastructure projects. It is used in street structures, repairs of building elevations and green landscaping.
In addition to this, Vantaa aims to develop a set of procurement criteria incorporating circular economy principles. As the circular economy benefits the natural environment, businesses and residents alike, cooperation among stakeholders is central to implementation of the roadmap.
In the framework of the CIRCWASTE project, coordinated by SYKE (Finnish Environment Institute), pioneering municipalities have developed local circular economy roadmaps in 2019. The City of Porvoo is one of these and published its own circular economy roadmap in May 2019 to steer efforts that promote resource efficiency and circular economy in the coming years, so it can build on successes to date that range.
A steering group of 16 municipal civil servants and other local stakeholders drafted this roadmap, which focuses in particular on the following objectives:
- increasing the use of recycled materials in excavation and building sites
- cooperating to improve energy efficiency
- reducing the amount of total waste while increasing the level of recycling municpal waste.
The amount of high-quality soil and rock is not increasing in Finland, nor is the land area growing. This is why in Porvoo stakeholders are desiging a built environment that takes into account the sustainable use of soil materials and other resources.
Porvoo also aims to reduce food waste and improve the recycling of municipal waste through counselling and outreach for and to citizens. The impact of counselling on the volume of food waste is monitored at schools by weighing plate waste, for example. In addition to this, Porvoo will promote waste sorting by improving the quality of the recycling network using life-cycle analysis.
The roadmap also includes specific circular economy tasks and challenges for the local authorities and companies of the City of Porvoo to implement, with the most urgent having a completion date of 2020 while others have targets for 2030.
Circular Flanders is conducting in-depth research on how car-sharing can contribute as much as possible to more efficient use of materials and a better environment, and is ready to share the outcome at this workshop in Leuven on 7 November 2019.
In the framework of the CIRCWASTE project, Southwest Finland developed a circular economy roadmap in late 2018 to help implementation of the national waste plan and define regional objectives with concrete measures to achieve these.
The Finnish Environment Institute formed an expert network on circular economy, and began identifying regional strengths and special characteristics to start with.
In 2018, the Central Finland region produced approximately 1,8 million tonnes of different kinds of waste. Stakeholders thus sought to focus on waste management during the drafting process, and received training on, for example, plastic lifespan and creativity in the circular economy alongside many networking opportunities.
While the overarching theme is public procurement, the regional strategy focuses on the following sectors in particular:
- construction and demolition waste (62% of all waste in the region)
- biodegradable waste, biogas and the nutrient reuse (approximately 30% of non-recycled waste is biodegradable waste)
- plastics (in 2018 households generated approximately 6,000 tonnes of such waste)
- electric and electronic wreckage (in 2018 citizens generated approximately 6,000 tonnes of such waste)
This roadmap seeks to reduce the amount of construction and demolition waste and increase reuse of such waste to 70%. The partial activities helping to reach the targets are listed in the roadmap.
Different stakeholders, ranging from municipal or regional authorities, to national institutes, educational establishments, and private companies will take responsibility for implementation.
In 2018, Finland's easternmost region of North Karelia adopted a circular economy roadmap as part of the CIRCWASTE project. Its objectives are to:
- enhance material and energy efficiency and improve natural resource use
- make circular economy inherent to industrial production in priority sectors and strengthen the regional cooperation network in the field of circular economy
- strengthen and stimluate new circular business models while developing new technological solutions and know-how in the region.
Regarding waste management overall, this strategy aims to increase knowledge and change overall consumer attitudes.
A system to recycle construction waste is set for development, and will focus on logistics, demolition methods and supervision. This strategy aims to improve training concerning waste management in particular, and motivate companies to consider waste already in the planning stage.
As for municipal waste management, the strategy hopes to improve the collection network and logistics by creating incentives and introducing monitoring systems.
The objectives are to be reached in different timeframes by 2030. For each partial target, responsibilities have been shared among various actors: municipalities, the Regional Council of North Karelia, private companies, educational establishments, organisations etc.
The circular economy roadmap of the South Karelia region in Finland, along the Russian border, was drawn up at the end of 2018 in the framework of the CIRCWASTE project. The Finnish Environment Institute formed an expert network on circular economy, and began by identifying regional strengths and specific characteristics.
In South Karelia, stakeholders set the objectives of circular economy as
- Sustainable wellbeing, no emissions, no waste, or excessive consumption
- More jobs and business activity in the field of environment
- Strengthening of knowledge and training in environmental and circular economy issues.
Stakeholders at different levels are responsible for achieving specific targets, and range from the regional development council to municipalities, private companies, networks, universities and other educational establishments, etc.
For manufacturing, this strategy focuses on construction and mining, energy efficiency, renewable energies, reducing CO2 emissions, increasing recycling and improving waste management.
Regarding bio-based industries such as forestry in particular, this strategy focuses on by-products, nutrient recycling, and developing new products and materials.
To develop intelligent public services, the region is hoping to stimulate the sharing economy and improve digital services.
This strategy perceives the factors enabling circular economy as citizen engagement, research cooperation, developing educational curricula, and the role of government procurement.
South Karelia's performance will be monitored using the following indicators:
- the amount and level of recycled municipal waste
- the amount and level of recycled construction and demolition waste
- the amount of biodegradable municipal waste and the amounts of composted or decomposed biodegradable municipal waste
- the amount and level of electrical or electronics waste.
The region has also set itself goals to:
- create 500 new jobs in environmental businesses by 2030
- increase by 20% the number of businesses in waste management and recycling within the region.