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Cooperation and development

Cooperation and development

19 Oct 2022

This #EURegionsWeek in-person side event @ImpactFactoryMechelen on 19 October will inspire those who want to support and accelerate the transition to a circular economy in their cities.

Registration is now open.

The agenda includes:

  • a site visit of the Impact Factory in Mechelen (Belgium),
  • showcasing the impact of Urban Resource Centres (URC) in The Hague, Oslo and Opole
  • the nuts and bolts of developing and operating a URC, including various business models as well as on the ground challenges and opportunities.

Resourceful Cities Circular Transition Stories

Resourceful Cities

In September 2019, nine Resourceful Cities embarked on their journey to develop next-generation urban resource centres as a way to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. 

The nine cities together with their local stakeholders were all able to deliver a high-quality Integrated Action Plan. Every one of those action plans is not just an expression of their resilience in times of crisis: it is also a manifestation of their individual response to their local context and needs.

This publication summarises their collective journey as a network and tells the story of each of the nine partner cities from their own perspective. Their journey shows that cities are big enough to make a difference and small enough to make it happen.

05 Oct 2022
C3 webinar series

Local governments play an essential role in guiding their cities into circular action and overcoming the main barriers to change. But how exactly can cities lead the circular economy transition? One of the most important steps is developing a holistic and cohesive Circular City Strategy, one that provides information and direction to enable local stakeholders, both within and outside the municipality, to get involved and engage in the process.

In this third of a series of Circular City Centre (C3) webinars on 5 October 2022, representatives from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Circle Economy will present the third C3 guidance document on how cities can develop a circular city strategy.

Neue Effizienz gemeinnützige GmbH

Neue Effizienz

Neue Effizienz is an institution for knowledge transfer and research in the area of energy and resource efficiency based in Wuppertal, Germany. As a regional association, it is funded by the municipalities, public utilities and regional economic development institutions of Wuppertal, Solingen and Remscheid.

Neue Effizienz promotes innovation as well as science and technology transfer in the fields of energy, circular economy, new mobility and smart cities. bergisch.metall, a competence network for the metal industry, fouses on the circular economy; the bergisch.circular project assists the municipalities with the establishment of intermunicipal structures and initiatives supporting the circular transformation.

Trade for an inclusive circular economy: A framework for collective action

Trade for an inclusive circular economy: A framework for collective action

Photo credit: Copyright © Samsul Said/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Author: 
Jack Barrie, Latifahaida Abdul Latif, Manuel Albaladejo, Ieva Baršauskaitė, Alexey Kravchenko, Amelia Kuch, Nanno Mulder, Melissa Murara, Antoine Oger, Patrick Schröder
Publication Date: 
06/2022
Country: 
EU, United Kingdom, Other (Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia-Pacific)

Language for original content:

The framework for inclusive circular trade is designed to help guide trade and trade-related circular economy and development policies, practices and agreements to ensure these all work towards a shared goal of an inclusive circular economy.

This paper sets out a framework for inclusive circular trade, intended to enable a pathway in which circular trade helps to promote fair, inclusive and circular societies. The framework was developed through the work of an alliance of organizations spanning Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe.

Chatham House does not express opinions of its own. The opinions expressed in this publication are the responsibility of the authors. A Spanish translation of the paper is also available as a PDF.

Exploring tools from regenerative economics for a balanced transition towards a circular EU27

Exploring tools from regenerative economics for a balanced transition towards a circular EU27

Cleaner Production Letters
Author: 
Filippos K. Zisopoulos, Dominika A. Teigiserova, Daan Schraven, Martin de Jong, Xin Tong, Robert E. Ulanowicz
Publication Date: 
08/2022
Country: 
Netherlands

Language for original content:

Are there limits to robustness in our socio-economic metabolism? And is 100% circularity rate in the EU27 theoretically possible? Can we use principles and indicators from regenerative economics to develop (rather than just grow) regenerative circular economies?

These aspects are being discussed together with Dr. Dominika Alexa Teigiserova, assistant prof. Dr. Daan Schraven, prof. Martin de Jong, prof. Xin Tong, and prof. Bob Ulanowicz in the paper entitled: Are there limits to robustness? Exploring tools from regenerative economics for a balanced transition towards a circular EU27.

This peer reviewed paper is open access and published in the special issue "Sustainable Cities in the Context of Economic Transformation and Climate Change" of the Cleaner Production Letters journal.

15 Sep 2022
Chemical recyling event

This cross-border event on 15 September organised by Holland Circular Hotspot will focus on chemical recycling, a topic that is likely to play a crucial role in making the chemical industry both circular and climate neutral. There will be opportunities for business collaboration and matchmaking between all relevant German (North Rhine-Westphalia) and Dutch stakeholders in the chemical recycling value chain.

31 Aug 2022 to 02 Sep 2022

From 31 August to 2 September, the national student conference 'Circular Insights 2022' will take place in Wuppertal, North-Rhine Westphalia. Students and graduates from all fields of study will meet with companies to focus on the joint development of possible solutions paving the way for a sustainable and circular future. You can still register for this event.

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.

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