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Cooperation and development

Cooperation and development

Growth without economic growth

Type:

EEA briefing
Author: 
Zora Kovacic (European Centre for Governance in Complexity), Roger Strand (European Centre for Governance in Complexity), Silvio Funtowicz (European Centre for Governance in Complexity), Lorenzo Benini (EEA), Ana Jesus (EEA)
Publication Date: 
01/2021
Country: 
EU

Language for original content:

By building on the insights from previous EEA reports on drivers of sustainability transitions, this briefing explores alternative ideas about growth and progress with the aim of broadening the sustainability debate.

Economic growth is closely linked to increases in production, consumption and resource use and has detrimental effects on the natural environment and human health. It is unlikely that a long-lasting, absolute decoupling of economic growth from environmental pressures can be achieved at the global scale. Societies need to rethink what is meant by growth and progress and their meaning for global sustainability.

The briefing outlines how circular economy may not deliver the transformation to sustainability when growth strategy still leads to increased material consumption.

Thinking beyond borders to achieve social justice in a global circular economy

Thinking beyond borders to achieve social justice in a global circular economy

Thinking beyond borders to achieve social justice in a global circular economy
Author: 
Yasmina Lembachar (Circle Economy), Joel Marsden (Circle Economy), Anna-Sophie von Schwerdtner (Circle Economy)
Publication Date: 
06/2022
Country: 
Netherlands

Language for original content:

Across the globe, current approaches to sustainability are leaving lower-income countries behind. The authors of this paper believe a different vision for the future can be built, but transitioning to a circular economy, where waste is eliminated, materials are used and reused at their highest value, and nature is regenerated, won’t be socially just by default.

It is necessary to design the transition well to ensure that workers aren’t left behind, labour rights are uplifted, social benefits are maximised, and a wide range of approaches to circularity are recognised. 

This brief highlights where we are headed if we do not take action, and illustrates key levers to address current oversights on circularity and its relationship to power, trade and technology.

A Compendium of Small Scale Actions to Promote the Circular Transition in Cities

A Compendium of Small Scale Actions to Promote the Circular Transition in Cities

Resourceful Cities

Small Scale Actions (SSA) are a new element introduced for this round of URBACT action planning networks (2019-2022). This compendium summarises all of the SSAs carried out within the Resourceful Cities Network. It aims to support and inspire other cities which want to accelerate their circular transition.

A wide range of SSAs were carried out by Resourceful Cities partners, each one responding to an identified need within the individual city context. Actions included promoting citizen engagement and participation, enhancing knowledge and raising awareness of the circular economy, business support, data collection and monitoring and trialling new business models.

Coffeefrom: processing coffee grounds into a durable and resistant alternative to single-use plastic

Coffeefrom

Coffeefrom is an innovative project from Italy, the second circular economy project run by Il Giardinone Cooperativa Sociale. It has built a supply chain based on the recovery and processing of industrial coffee grounds. Coffee grounds from the food industry are blended with biopolymers to become a new bio-based material that is a durable and resistant alternative to single-use plastic.

NP-bioTech: catalytic biostabilisation for a fast treatment of citrus pulp or sewage sludge into a rich biofertiliser

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Italy

Language for original content:

district; productive areas; supply chain

NP-bioTech uses a biocatalyst, adsorbed onto an inert material (catalytic substrate). This enables the accelerated fermentation of critical biomass (such as citrus pulp or sewage sludge), transforming it into a biostabilised and pasteurised material with excellent agronomic properties.

Hydro Ben: recovering oils and fats from wastewater in catering establishments

HYDRO BEN

The Hydro Ben project focuses on resource recovery for reuse in other industrial activities. It consists of recovering fatty substances from wastewater in professional catering facilities, by means of a special device which is placed under the sink.

remesh: social economy gives a second life to mesh banners and a better life for employees

remesh workshop

remesh is a socio-professional business workshop with an environmental impact. Most of its employees are women from disadvantaged background. The workshop is also providing a circular economy business model as they reuse advertising banners and meshes to make new products that are fashionable but sustainable.

01 Jun 2022
Fecc

Fecc, which represents the chemical distribution industry in Europe, is organising a multi-stakeholder panel discussion. The discussion will bring together members of the chemical distribution sector to discuss their sustainability initiatives and how they can be aligned with the current European regulatory framework on the circular economy and COVID-19 recovery.

Resourceful Cities, or developing next-generation urban resource centres to serve as catalysts of the local circular economy

Resourceful Cities

Resourceful Cities is an URBACT Action Planning Network of European cities that want to develop next-generation urban resource centres to accelerate the transition to the circular economy. The idea for this network arose from one of the actions identified by the Urban Agenda Partnership on Circular Economy under its ‘better knowledge’ pillar - namely to promote Urban Resource Centres for waste prevention, re-use and recycling.

Broadly these centres serve as connection points for citizens, new businesses, researchers, and the public sector to co-create new ways of closing local resource loops, while promoting waste prevention, re-use, repair, and recycling. Their precise manifestation will differ from city to city in response to the local context and needs identified.

24 May 2022 to 08 Jun 2022
UNECE 75

Event type:

City: 
Online
Country: 
Switzerland

Key Area:

The UNECE webinar series on "Empowering MSMEs to harness opportunities in the transition to sustainable trade and a circular economy in the context of the post-COVID recovery" will take place from 24 May to 8 June 2022.

The webinars focus on the green resurgence of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) through entrepreneurship skills facilitation, circular economy, innovation and sustainable trade. They aim to raise awareness and build the capacity of policymakers and MSMEs in the UNECE region.

Barriers and enablers of wood cascading – Lessons for a circular bioeconomy

Barriers and enablers of wood cascading – Lessons for a circular bioeconomy

Barriers and enablers of wood cascading – Lessons for a circular bioeconomy

Longstanding research on wood cascading has identified a variety of factors to enable more efficient, circular use of forest-based products in Europe.

This paper finds that two of the most critical barriers to wood cascading are:

  • Competition between energy and material uses of waste wood in policy, market and infrastructure
  • Inadequate information on and low quality of waste wood, including pollutant content.

It makes the following recommendations for policies and business:

  • Redesign production processes to deal with contamination and increase quality
  • Coordinate energy and waste policies
  • Advance reporting standards about material composition of bioproducts
  • Explore the best forms of involvement, awareness raising, communication and policies.

Environmental assessments should focus on the needs of circular cities

Environmental assessments should focus on the needs of circular cities to support the transition to a sustainable circular economy

Environmental assessments should focus on the needs of circular cities

The circular economy (CE) is gaining momentum in cities. To ensure a sustainable CE, it is crucial to measure the environmental performance of CE strategies. However, environmental assessments overlook several strategies that are a key feature of urban CE practice. These include reuse and repair, sustainable built infrastructure and urban land use, green public procurement, smart information and access technology.

To provide insights into the environmental performance and potential of these strategies, industrial ecologists and municipalities should:

  • collaborate with urban systems experts
  • quantify the environmental impacts of entire urban systems
  • combine environmental assessments with social and economic feasibility ones.
12 Apr 2022
4th OECD Roundtable on the Circular Economy in Cities and Regions

The 4th OECD Roundtable on the Circular Economy in Cities and Regions will bring together key stakeholders from cities, regions, national governments, the private sector, civil society, academia, philanthropy and international organisations on 12 April 2022.

Learning after the flood - waste management in focus

Thinking Circular®

Type:

Author: 
Eveline Lemke
Publication Date: 
03/2022
Country: 
Germany

Language for original content:

134 people died in the devastating flooding in the German region of Ahrweiler in July 2021, caused by a climate change-induced weather situation. Over 400 000 tonnes of waste were created by the floods in one night. 40 000 households were hit, and massive damage to infrastructure such as roads, schools and hospitals was reported. The situation was described as being similar to the massive destruction following a war.

Thinking Circular’s report summarises the process of waste management and learning from this regional crisis.

ReCreate: Innovate and develop novel technological solutions for deconstruction and reuse

Recreate

ReCreate pushes towards circular construction by investigating the system changes needed in the whole ecosystems of construction and demolition.

11 Mar 2022
REPLACE

Event type:

City: 
Brussels
Country: 
Belgium

A learning and exchange event on the amelioration of regional policy instruments targeting the circular economy is organised by REPLACE in Brussels on 11 March.

Laboratorio Cartiera: leather and a social conscience!

Cartiera logo

The Italian Cartiera is an ethical fashion workshop founded in Lama di Reno, Marzabotto in 2017 which makes leather and fabric items.

Believing strongly that work is an extraordinary tool for social inclusion, Cartiera offers paths for employment and integration of disadvantaged people, mainly refugees and asylum seekers.

30 Jun 2022 to 01 Jul 2022
MonGOS

The International MonGOS conference - Water and Sewage in the Circular Economy Model, which will be held from 30 June to 1 July 2022 in Cracow (Poland), will provide a summary of the MonGOS project "Monitoring of water and sewage management in the context of the implementation of the circular economy assumptions" financed by the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA) under the International Academic Partnerships Programme (2020-2022).

Lenka Homolka

22 Feb 2022
Green Growth online communication workshop

The Green Growth Community (GGC) is organising a new online edition of a communication training on 22 February. This session will help participants communicate their projects or initiatives in the field of sustainability and circular economy more effectivelly.

What can we learn from the Nordics about Circular Economy?

What can we learn from the Nordic countries about the circular economy?

The goal of the circular economy is to take full advantage of all available resources through reducing, reusing, repairing and recycling. The recent Nordic Circular Summit in Copenhagen covered topics from public administration programmes to innovative techniques and renewable practices in the marine and food industries.

What can we learn about the circular economy from the Nordic perspective? Find some answers in this position paper.

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