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The Circular Economy - Challenges, Opportunities and Pathways for European Businesses

The Circular Economy - Challenges, Opportunities and Pathways for European Businesses

The Challenges, Opportunities and Pathways for European Business in Circular Economy report is a EUROCHAMBRES initiative launched in order to better understand if and how the circular economy will benefit European businesses, and to delineate a successful transition. This will be the basis for a policy strategy to contribute to an enriching debate on future legislative proposals at European level.

This report is a comprehensive meta-analysis of the most up-to-date quantitative studies on the circular economy, and elaborates on nine industrial sectors (agriculture, construction, mobility, hospitality and food services, metal manufacturing, electronics, textile, food & drink manufacturing, and plastics) including case studies. Bearing in mind the future of European manufacturing industries and businesses, the paper focuses on European trends derived from available data regarding investment costs, cost savings, and investment opportunities.

30 Jul 2019
kustaa saksi archipelago europa building circular economy

During its Presidency of the Council of the European Union in late 2019, Finland will highlight the EU’s role in leading the transition to a climate neutral Europe with a versatile selection of Finnish artists’ work and a number of exhibitions that will give the public a new view on sustainable development and the circular economy.

Policy Hub - Circularity for Apparel and Footwear

Policy Hub logo

The Policy Hub (founded in 2019) unites the apparel and footwear industry to speak in one voice and propose policies that accelerate circular practices. It consists of five partner organisations representing more than 500 stakeholders:

  1. Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC)
  2. Global Fashion Agenda (GFA)
  3. Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI)
  4. Textiles Exchange (TE)
  5. Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC)

The Policy Hub’s vision is to encourage an ambitious policy framework to accelerate the transformation of the apparel and footwear industry towards circularity. It focuses on:

  • guiding the industry towards circularity
  • educating the industry and the policy makers
  • cooperating and facilitating policy discussions.

Conference on the Circular Economy and Rational Use of Raw Materials

Abstract: 

Following successful 2017 and 2018 editions, both in Krakow, MEERI-PAS and the WRMC organised a 3rd edition of this conference in Racławice from 2 to 3 July 2019 for more than 200 participants.

04 Oct 2019

Join Kyiv's European Circular Economy Forum on 4 October 2019, organised with support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

03 Jun 2020 to 05 Jun 2020

The third Dresden Nexus Conference will take place on 3-5 June 2020 with the theme "Circular Economy in a Sustainable Society"

Designing plastics circulation

Designing plastics circulation - electrical and electronic products

Type:

Author: 
Nordic Council of Ministers
Publication Date: 
08/2019
Country: 
Denmark, Finland, Sweden

Language for original content:

Today, most electrical/electronic equipment (EEE) is not designed for recycling, let alone for circulation. Plastics in these products account for 20% of material use, and through better design, significant environmental and financial savings could be made. Technological solutions and circular design opportunities already exist, but they have not yet been implemented. Some challenges, such as ease of disassembly, could be resolved through better communication and by sharing learnings across the value chain. Instead of WEEE, we should focus on developing CEEE: Circular Electrical and Electronic Equipment. The case examples of this report show how different stages of the lifecycle can be designed so that circular plastic becomes possible and makes business sense. It is time to take a leap in material flow management and scale up these circular solutions across the industry.

Circular Conversations

Circular Conversations is a digital parlour created to host an open and critical exchange of ideas on what the next society and economy should look like and how to get there.

By initiating conversations with people of different perspectives, ideas and ideologies, disciplines and backgrounds, this decentralized and independent platform shares theories and practices able to shape the direction and design of the next economy.

To read more conversations like the interview with Rieta Aliredjo, 2019 circular economy stakeholder conference keynote speaker, on empowering kids to be circular starts, visit the blog here.

Circular economy and voluntary standard: 6 companies share their experience

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Author: 
AFNOR
Publication Date: 
02/2019
Country: 
France

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Scope:

To increase clarity in circular projects, France's standardisation body AFNOR developed a voluntary standard, XP X30-901, that proposes a common understanding, laying out the terms, principles, and practices for all actors to agree to work with on the subject.

XP X30-901 proposes a 3 x 7 matrix covering the three dimensions of sustainable development - environment, economy, society - and the seven areas of action of the circular economy: sustainable procurement, ecodesign, industrial symbiosis, functional economy, responsible consumption, extension of service life, and the effective management of materials and products at the end of their life cycle.

In this report, six members of the standardisation commission share their experiences on this voluntary standard.

29 Oct 2019
Materials - value chains for circular economy: metal, wood, plastic and concrete
CEN and CENELEC members, together with their industry partners, invite you to a one-day stakeholder workshop in Brussels on 29 October 2019 to address the challenges linked to the circularity of material-use at every phase of the value chain, and to both discuss and identify specific standardization gaps for metal, wood, plastic and concrete circularity.
05 Aug 2019
citeo logo

Citeo Circular Challenge is a programme to detect innovation, essentially in the paper and packaging sectors, which has supported over 700 projects across the entire circular value chain in 2016. Submit your project until 15 September 2019, and win up to €40,000 in grant funding and business services.

20 Sep 2019 to 22 Sep 2019
fixfest2019

In 2017, Fixfest brought together over 200 volunteer repairers and tinkerers, activists, policy-makers, thinkers, and companies from all over the world in the name of taking greater care of the things we own – and better products.

06 Nov 2019 to 07 Nov 2019
urbanrec logo

Discover the final results of the three-year long URBANREC project by joining project partners on 6 November in Brussels for a morning session of policy dialogue in the European Parliament.

23 Sep 2019
sustaiinable business models for the circular economy logo

On 23 September 2019, the Slovene Business & Research Association will organise a conference in Brussels to present and share best practices in business-research collaboration for bio-circular business models.

Karun upcycles harmful waste into high quality sunglasses

Karun sunglasses and fishing nets

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Italy, Sweden, Other (Chile)

Language for original content:

Karün is a Swedish-Chilean company producing sunglass frames entirely from discarded fishing nets and jeans, collected in Patagonia.

09 Dec 2019 to 13 Dec 2019

The SSCPR platform will be hosting 'Turning visionary approaches into planning policies and tools' , a research and policy conference, from 9-13 December 2019 in Bolzano (Italy), with a focus on circular economy in the track on New value propositions in times of urban innovation ecosystems and sharing economies.

For Better Not Worse: Applying Ecodesign Principles to Plastics in the Circular Economy

For Better Not Worse: Applying Ecodesign Principles to Plastics in the Circular Economy

Type:

Author: 
Chloé Fayole, Doreen Fedrigo, Ioana Popescu
Publication Date: 
06/2019
Country: 
Belgium

Language for original content:

Scope:

Contact: 
Doreen Fedrigo

This report examines the actual implementation of existing measures and potentially relevant new approaches for deepening the application of ecodesign principles for plastic materials and products containing plastic.

It looks at a number of sectors which rely heavily on plastic, including packaging, construction, electronics, automotive, furniture and textiles. The study assesses a wide range of criteria and tools available in horizontal and product regulations, as well as so-called soft tools such as standards, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes and the EU Ecolabel.

The report also looks at the potential of these tools for driving circularity and opportunities for extending promising solutions to other sectors.

Statement from the Architects' Council of Europe - Designing Buildings for Circular Economy

Statement
Author: 
Architects' Council of Europe (ACE)
Publication Date: 
06/2019
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

Key Area:

Scope:

Contact: 
Pierre Obajtek

On the occasion of the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF), held on 4-5 June 2019 in Helsinki, the Architects' Council of Europe (ACE) published a Statement highlighting the importance of design to achieve more circularity in the construction and building sector, as well the solutions that architecture can bring.

Like many other sectors, the construction and building sectors operate largely within a linear economy model of “take, make and waste”. Yet, there is growing awareness of the finite nature of natural resources and fragility of our environment, and thereby of the urgent need to develop more sustainable and regenerative economic models.

Architecture has a crucial role to play here as many decisions taken during the design phase have long-lasting consequences on the environmental performance of a building. Developing circular economy principles in the built environment is fundamentally about changing the way we design our buildings to ensure that they can be operated, maintained, repaired, re-used or adapted to new needs, while optimising resource value and generating as little waste as possible. If high-quality architecture can create significant value, conversely, ill-conceived buildings can cause considerable waste and costs, both in the short term as well as for future generations.

Designing and building in a circular manner requires acknowledging that a building is above all a support for life. Beyond optimising the use of resources for their own sake, it is essential to seek to preserve and enhance the economic, social, environmental and cultural value that a place embodies for end-users, so that it can be used for the longest possible time.

The Statement presents different architectural solutions promoting circularity, focusing on preserving and enhancing the value of resources. It also puts forward some policy recommendations to support the architectural approach to circularity.

09 Oct 2019

Join the Architects' Council of Europe for a workshop on the 'adaptive reuse of our built environment for a greener Europe' on 9 October 2019

09 Jul 2019
uapce action plan logo

The Urban Agenda Partnership on Circular Economy has identified several barriers and bottlenecks regarding the use of secondary raw materials (recycling) or products (re-use) originating from waste streams and has now commissioned a basic assessment of the current legislative framework, the implementation and application of that framework, and the definitions of waste in the context of a circular economy.

Are you an urban waste manager or regulator? Share your experiences and best practice to provide valuable feedback on implementing waste legislation and contribute to recommendations seeking to improve this framework.

12 Jul 2019
Survey Circ4life

On 5 July a a survey on consumer attitudes to reuse and recycling of electronic and food products was launched in the framework of the EU funded project CIRC4life.

Creating a Digital Roadmap for a Circular Economy

Creating a Digital Roadmap for a Circular Economy

EPC publication

The EU faces multiple challenges (climate crisis, environmental disasters, a lack of competitiveness, falling behind in the digital race, etc.) that it will need to address if it is to ensure long-term sustainable prosperity for European citizens. At the same time, there are two ongoing transitions – the creation of a circular economy and the digital transformation – that could provide the means to address these challenges, if they are managed well.

As the EU and national policymakers are making significant efforts to promote a circular economy on the one hand and a digital economy on the other, Annika Hedberg and Stefan Šipka, together with Johan Bjerkem, argue that it is time to align the agendas as a means to achieve greater sustainability and competitiveness.

This publication:

  • demonstrates what digitalisation means in the context of a circular economy;
  • considers what a greater focus on sustainability would mean for the digital transition;
  • examines the role of the EU policy framework, tools and initiatives in steering a (digital) transition towards a (digital) circular economy and makes recommendations for EU institutions for the next five year.

It suggests that the EU must:

  • think systemically, define a vision and act;
  • provide an adequate governance framework and economic incentives for a (digital) transition to a (digital) circular economy;
  • encourage collaboration across European society and economy as well as globally, and empower its citizens to contribute to the transition.

This Discussion Paper builds on the findings of the EPC’s "Digital Roadmap for a Circular Economy" project of 2017-19 and paves the way for a more extensive final study, scheduled to be published in the late autumn of 2019.

The project has been supported by Aalto University and the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) (members of Helsinki EU Office), Central Denmark region, Climate-KIC, the Estonian Ministry of the Environment, Estonian Environment Investment Centre, HP, Orgalim, the province of Limburg, UL, Fondazione Cariplo and Cariplo Factory.

Field trip for policy makers: circular economy & social inclusion in practice

Start/End date: 
27/07/2019
Country: 
Belgium
City: 
Brussels

Coordination Group activity type:

Abstract: 

To help inspire conversation and policy action concerning inclusive circular business models during the next EU Commission mandate, RREUSE invited EU decision makers to a closed site visit to Les Petits Riens, a Brussels-based social enterprise with activities dating back to 1937.

19 Sep 2019
ERC

Event type:

City: 
Paris
Country: 
France

Sector:

Scope:

EuRIC – the European Recycling Industries’ Confederation – and FEDEREC kindly invite you to the 3rd edition of the European Recycling Conference (ERC) on 19 September 2019 at the unique location of the Air and Space Museum in Paris.

Cycle Terre: excavated soil from urban areas becomes construction raw material

Earth Cycle

Cycle Terre project aims to set up an industrial process to reuse soil extracted from the excavation sites of the new subway and other construction sites in Sevran, France.

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