Let’s close the loop

Circle Economy is a non-profit open platform that aims to accelerate the transition to the circular economy. We believe it is time to move away from our current linear take-make-waste economy, towards a system that is in balance with and inspired by nature. Together with our members we are accelerating the transition towards this new circular economy, in which we close the loops and not only focus on economic growth, but also take social and ecological value into account in every decision we make.

Do your share our mission? Join us. And make it happen from start to start.

Want to learn more? Check out:

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Did you recently do a game changing design project that fits with the principles of a circular economy? Submit it now, and be a showcase for the 250.000 visitors of Dutch Design Week! 

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Events

Throughout the Netherlands
10 October 2014

On Friday October 10th the Dag van de Duurzaamheid (Sustainability Day) will be held. 

TBA
18 - 26 October 2014

During the 13th edition of the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven you can see how the world of tomorr

20 - 14 November 2014

The Disruptive Innovation Festival, curated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, will take place fr

Six principles to change the system

Circle Economy is all about changing systems. Thinking, producing, funding, selling, consuming, rewarding, sharing, etc. It all can change for the better. From linear to circular. From old to new. From me to we. Here are the six guiding principles we use to make it happen:

  • All materials are cycled infinitely in either technical or biological cycles
  • All energy is derived from renewable or otherwise sustainable sources
  • Human activities support ecosystems and the rebuilding of natural capital
  • Human activities support a healthy and cohesive society and culture
  • Human activities support human health and happiness
  • Resources are used to generate value (financial and other forms)

 

Let's Get Circular

Sometimes it’s hard to grasp the progress society is making towards achieving a circular economy because it is a decades long journey.  At Circle Economy, however, we’ve envisioned the future and are taking small steps towards a circular state.  Working daily on this transition gives us a lot to think about, and we’re spotlighting here what we’ve encountered as the gears towards a circular economy are set in motion:

  • The butt naked truth about curiosity

    When away from work, during a holiday in a beautiful country, often valuable insights come to us. In this blog post, our CEO Guido Braam shares his vision on the value of curiosity.

  • Shifting your business model from linear to circular

    What will be the first step you take when you are open to shifting your company from the linear to the circular economy? One of the major aspects is diving into your business models. There are a lot of financial factors that should be taken into account. Recently an interesting article was published in ‘Het Financieele Dagblad("Niets meer weggooien", August 2, 2014) about the progress and current obstacles in the movement towards the circular economy. 

  • Eddy Leddy: The mascot of the circular economy

    Think back to your childhood (or your child's childhood). It's hard to forget Captain Planet, Smokey the Bear, or Seabert.

    As these childhood mascots have successfully helped raise awareness about pressing environmental topics, Circle Economy start-up member i-Link embarked on a mission to educate children and their families by creating the mascot of the circular economy.

  • Two years, three valuable insights

    During the summer of 2012 I was introduced to Circle Economy. The values and potential power of this initiative really grasped me from day one. I started to support Circle Economy, first part-time but the last 1,5 years I decided to put all my energy and focus on the transition towards the circular economy.

    Since then I learned a thousand individual lessons. Today, I want to share three of them that may support you in your contribution to the inevitable circular economy.

  • The ambassador I'm going to 'bee'

    Guestblog by Astrid Dunselman

    Today I had FUN! How often do you get to go down the street from your office and wreck an old phone or tear a broken hairdryer apart? I have too little of those days (sadly). Apart from having a nice outlet for any frustrations you might have, it makes you realize that the products we buy are made of relatively cheap resources (now at least) like plastic and wire. They are also virtually impossible to take apart.

  • Inspiration comes from putting yourself on the line

    "There’s a huge surge of creativity and commitment to change happening today. I haven’t seen anything like this for many years. People are questioning pretty much all the assumptions on which our economy and way of life has been based for the last hundred years. There are many great ideas circulating and getting wider attention. There are also people who are not waiting for someone else to change the world but going ahead, taking risks and starting to make the change we all need." A guest blog about the WORKconference for the Sustainable Enterprise by Stuart Boardman.

  • Giaura: turning CO₂ waste into a resource

    Tackling a huge problem from the ground up is a challenge. Tackling a problem like carbon emissions from the ground up while meeting emission reduction targets is an even bigger challenge. But how about tackling a problem from outer space and bringing it back down to Earth? It's not the first time that technology created by the European Space Agency (ESA) has been brought back down to Earth, but this time it’s a breath of fresh air - literally - for the planet.

  • Guestblog: Design for Circular Economy

    Over the last few years the concept of circular economy has gained widespread attention from businesses and governments. For many the circular economy is the most logical way for approaching sustainability in a profitable way. The boostcamp kick-off showed that a circular approach is so logical that several projects didn’t start out from a circular economy ambition but just to do business in a good way. 

  • Designers and fashion brands as the key to closing the loop for consumer textiles

    In the Netherlands, about 70-80 Million kg of textiles are separately collected each year.  Collection is mainly organized by charities like KICI, Humana and the red cross who provide collection bins in municipalities where consumers can dispose of their textiles. However, a much larger amount of textiles is not collected but disposed of through municipal waste.

  • Washing Machines, Rights and Responsibilities

    Why is it so hard to get something repaired? Why is it so hard to find out how to do it yourself? Why do we make so little effort to change this? A guest blog by Stuart Boardman.

  • Three unexpected advantages of a circular office

    On April 15th, MUD Jeans, winner of the Circle Challenge, opened the doors of their 100m2 circular office. MUD Jeans’ employees are very pleased with their office, not only because it takes sustainability to the next level, but also because its healthy, convenient and eye-catching.

  • Resource 2014 Follow-up: The Consumer and the Circular Economy

    During Resource 2014, one topic kept popping up: What is the role of the consumer in a circular economy? Does the general public have a role to play in the transition to a circular economy, or do consumers not need to be aware of the circular system?
     

  • New member: Biopolus - creator of BioMakeries

    “At a certain point I said to myself: why not use this combined intelligence of humans and nature to produce high added value products beside high quality reusable water? Instead of getting rid of the waste, let’s turn it into something useful!”  - István Kenyeres

     

    These words of its founder describe exactly what the Hungarian startup Biopolus is currently doing. It develops and sells efficient, beautiful living factories – they call them BioMakeries – to convert wastewater and almost any kind of organic material into products for sale.

  • From elephant poo to notepad

    With the current concerns about deforestation, one of the alternatives of papermaking from trees is utilizing abundant waste material and re-purpose it as your future notepad or journal: circular economy in action! Four questions about sustainable papermaking to Michael Flancman, founder and CEO of ALTERNATIVE PULP & PAPER CO., the makers of POOPOOPAPER.

  • Resource Event: First Impressions

    We've just returned from Resource 2014 - the world's first major event for the circular economy.  Here's a quick look back on the past three days and our first impressions.

  • Extracting Raw Materials: How Far is too Far?

    The debate on critical raw materials is becoming ever more relevant with increasing resource prices and resource dependency. But what are some of the key geological practicalities encountered when extracting raw materials and how do they relate to economic and environmental impact?

  • Rethinking Design

    A circular economy is often defined as an industrial economy that is regenerative by design.  So what must a designer do to help shift to circular?

  • Transportation in a circular world

    Electric vehicle popularity has skyrocketed in the past decade and will continue to do so. But do electric vehicles have a place in a circular world?

  • Waste2Chemical

    A bio-engineering spin-off from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, that develops bacteria that can convert organic waste into building blocks for the chemical industry.

  • Wildwood Brewery

    In the food industry, Wildwood brewery has developed an integrated system to cascade or reuse materials. Beyond the actual brewing process, the operations of this Montana brewery include mycoculture, vermiculture, anaerobic digestion, aquaculture, and agriculture.

  • Creating jobs - Recycling fishing nets

    Discarded fishing gear is a big problem; Interface teamed up with the Zoological Society of London to create carpet made from fishing nets.

  • Natural farming and permaculture design - Masanobu Fukuoka

    Masanobu Fukuoka is a farmer/philosopher who lives on the Island of Shikoku, in southern Japan. His farming technique requires no machines, no chemicals and very little weeding.

  • Ex’tax

    Ex’tax, the proposal by Eckart Wintzen (1939-2008), enables a more sustainable kind of prosperity, based on sensible use of resources and more jobs and services.

  • Patagonia

    Patagonia, a US-based USD 500 million (sales) maker of rugged outdoor clothing, is taking back for recycling any product ever made with a Patagonia label on it.

  • Worn again

    Worn again: “A zero waste future in textiles with regional manufacturing, green jobs, good growth at the heart.”

  • Waste Producer Exchange

    Waste Producer Exchange (WPE) is an online waste and materials trading platform. They point out that waste is someone else’s valued commodity.

  • The World’s First Working Industrial Symbiosis

    In Kalundborg Symbiosis, public and private enterprises buy and sell waste products from industrial production in a closed cycle.

  • Urban Farming – City Slicker Farms

    The programs of the City Slicker Farms programs have a long-term sustainable impact, changing underutilized urban landscapes into ones that provide healthy, affordable food and improve the environment for generations to come.

Let's get started!

Circle Economy is an open collaborative platform where we learn, share and develop together. We work with our members to start circular projects. Members work together to help each other get their own projects rolling. Bring your expertise, your network or your ambition and get started – it is all valuable. Need help? Just ask Circle Economy for assistance. We find the missing links, bring partners to the table and aim for the same higher ground: closing the loop. Then we can really turn this world around.

This is how we make a circular project happen, step by step:

1. Kickoff Meeting

At the kickoff meeting we discuss the member's current situation and desired goals.

2. System Analysis

Time for some detailed homework on the member company and its industry, main activities, impacts, and challenges.

3. Opportunity Mapping

We map the most relevant information about the member and use it to find opportunities for circular projects.

4. Circle Scorecard

Together we evaluate potential projects on the Circle Scorecard to pick the most beneficial one to move forward with.

5. Next steps

Depending on the project selected, the next steps we coordinate can range from a roundtable to business case development.

More about our approach?

Read more.

Can’t wait to start your own circular project? Contact our Team of Action for an introduction.

Join us!

What are you waiting for? Circle Economy is open for everyone who shares our (circular) vision. There’s only one ground rule: you, your company or your organization is participating in a circular project and is willing to share your knowledge with the community. Circular projects are projects that have an impact on your world, the people around you, and on your way of doing business – it needs to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy and should become an inspiration and guide/lesson/example for others to do the same. This is what you can do:

Become a Changemaker

For entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers or other brave individuals.

Already many Changemakers (and Members) are joining Circle Economy LinkedIn Group. Everyone is welcome. Circular contacts, knowledge, news and insights are waiting for you. Share with us your talent and expertise. Simply create a personal profile and you are in! 

At the moment we are working hard on improving our website. Soon you can collaborate with our Circle Community, check out developments of our circular projects and find out more in our circular Knowledge Centre. To be continued... 

Yes, keep me posted

Become a Member

Become a partner in our cooperative! Together with other members we speed up the transition. And as a cooperative we’d like to give you, your organization, company or institution in return:

  • Analysis of circular project opportunities
  • 15 days of support or project monitoring, throughout the year
  • Round table sessions will give you access to knowledge and creativity of an extended network
  • Active training on circular economy for Seniors/executives and Juniors/professional passionates from the organization
  • Full access to the online platform of Circle Economy (yet to come)
    • Look at ongoing projects
    • Material knowledge 
    • Lessons learned, best practices, toolkit
    • Open innovation

Yes, I’d like to know more 

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