ALL NEWS & UPDATES

Circle Economy and partners launch new textile 5R solutions project SOLSTICE
May 28, 2024
Circle Economy and partners launch new textile 5R solutions project SOLSTICE

Launched on 28 May, 2024, the SOLSTICE project supports sustainable growth in the textile sector by raising customer awareness, enhancing recycling with new sorting methods, ensuring feedstock traceability using the Digital Product Passport, and providing data and guidelines to decision-makers.

Led by Axel’One, an open innovation platform in chemistry-environment in France, the SOLSTICE consortium is EU-wide and covering the whole value chain in textiles and plastics. The project spans 42 months, aiming at advancing climate-neutral and circular economy practices within the textile industry.

The SOLSTICE project is based on a holistic approach that encompasses all stages of waste prevention, guided by a 5R strategy: Reject/Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Reuse and Recycle. These solutions will be tested and refined in demonstrations conducted in 4 European cities and regions: Grenoble (France), Berlin (Germany), Prato (Italy), and Catalonia (Spain).

Partnering with businesses and clusters across the textile value chain are central to the SOLSTICE’s mission. Through these collaborations, SOLSTICE seeks to unlock concrete business opportunities to accelerate the adoption of innovative solutions that align with the circular economy.

As part of a consortium of 24 partners working on the project, Circle Economy will uncover the current state of circularity in textiles ecosystem as well as identify and inform the areas of immediate action, the choice of circular interventions and the design of replicable blueprints.

More information on the SOLSTICE project on its website: www.solstice-project.eu

SOLSTICE is a Horizon Europe project, funded by the European Union. Led by Axel’One, an open innovation platform in chemistry-environment in France, the SOLSTICE consortium is EU-wide and covering the whole value chain in textiles and plastics. The project is started on 1 May 2024 and will last for 42 months. The full list of partners is available here. It receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under the grant agreement No. 101134989.

Read more
Arrow
Doubling circularity in Montreal’s economy can slash its emissions and waste
May 8, 2024
Doubling circularity in Montreal’s economy can slash its emissions and waste

Out of all materials consumed in Montréal’s economy, 3% come from secondary (recycled) sources, according to the Circularity Gap Report Montréal. Significantly decreasing the city’s material footprint will be key to meeting its target of 17% circular by 2050. 

This result is primarily driven by high material consumption, typical for high-income economies like Montréal’s. Montréal's economy consumes 27 tonnes of virgin materials per person per year, consisting of metal ores, minerals, fossil fuels, and biomass. Although more than double the global average of 12 tonnes per capita, this amount ranks below Québec’s material use of 32 tonnes per capita and the Canadian average of 36 tonnes per capita.

Because material consumption is strongly linked to carbon emissions, Montréal also has a sizeable carbon footprint—13 tonnes per capita. This includes greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions linked to goods and services sold and used within the city, regardless of where they originate from along the value chain. While lower than the Canadian national average—19 tonnes per capita—Montréal’s GHG emissions exceed the estimated sustainable level of 2.3 tonnes per person per year, a threshold established by the UN Environment Programme and the International Resource Panel needed to support ‘a safe operating space’ on Earth. 

The report estimates that about 70% of Montréal’s carbon footprint is generated beyond the city's borders. What’s more, over half of the materials consumed by the local economy are imported from outside of Canada. According to the report, local consumption must be viewed from a global perspective, including environmental impacts in countries and territories where the resources are extracted and processed.

The city administration has set ambitious sustainability targets, aiming to achieve zero waste status by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050, as well as boost the use of secondary materials to 17% by 2050. The report points out that hitting these targets without lowering the total material consumption could prove challenging. Recycling alone cannot compensate for the vast amount of waste generated during the lifecycle of products consumed and discarded in the city.  

To transition to a circular economy in Montréal, the report’s authors suggest prioritising circular practices in construction and manufacturing, as these sectors combined account for over 60% of the city’s virgin material consumption. Changes in the food system, transport, and residents' habits could also have a significant impact. If improvements are made across all five areas, the city’s material use could be lowered by a remarkable 38%, while the carbon footprint could decrease by 46%. Such impacts would in turn more than double the Circularity Metric, bringing it from 3% to 7%.

The Circularity Gap Report Montréal is the third report in a series dedicated to the province of Québec and the City of Montréal produced by impact organisation Circle Economy. Montréal is the metropolis of the province of Québec, which is one of Canada's ten provinces. The Circularity Gap Report Québec, published in 2021, estimated that the province’s economy was 3.5% circular—a percentage that could be potentially tripled. The report Circular Montréal: Baseline Assessment followed in 2022, pinpointing how sectors and solutions can be best leveraged to bolster circularity in Québec’s largest municipality. These reports have informed public consultations around the development of Montréal’s circular economy roadmap, adopted in May 2024. 

Read more
Arrow
Launched: Circular Cities Declaration Report 2024 offers insights into circular impacts on the ground 
April 18, 2024
Launched: Circular Cities Declaration Report 2024 offers insights into circular impacts on the ground 

The Circular Cities Declaration (CCD) Report 2024 was launched at the World Circular Economy Forum 2024 in Brussels. The report examines the implementation, measurement, and impact of circular policies in cities that have signed the declaration, committing themselves to the circular transition.

In 2023, signatories of the CCD were asked to report their progress in transitioning to the circular economy. In response, 54 signatories from across Europe—cities with a combined population of 16 million—submitted detailed insights on circular policies and initiatives. Based on these submissions, the implementation and impact of circular economy strategies in urban settings were assessed and summarised.

The CCD Report 2024 underscores a widespread adoption of circular economy strategies among reporting cities, with over 200 measures already in motion. Over half of the CCD signatories have embraced the circular economy as a pivotal instrument in bolstering their nature and biodiversity preservation initiatives. Moreover, cities are increasingly leveraging circular practices to advance climate objectives and build resilience while ensuring a just transition.

The report identifies a challenge in accurately measuring and reporting on the progress of circular initiatives. Despite this, over two-thirds of cities have either developed or are in the process of formulating indicator frameworks to better assess circular impacts. These frameworks include governance, behavioural, material flow, and broader societal and environmental indicators.

Drawing from the findings of the report, six priority actions have emerged to accelerate the circular transition in cities:

  1. Work towards common circular economy metrics
  2. Set more ambitious targets, including on consumption-based emissions
  3. Integrate circular economy approaches across city departments to unlock resources
  4. Create systemic circular solutions
  5. Advocate for a new paradigm
  6. Embed nature into all decision-making processes.


Read the full report here.


About the Circular Cities Declaration

The European Circular Cities Declaration is a project funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The declaration aims to accelerate the transition from a linear to a circular economy in Europe, and thereby create a resource-efficient, low-carbon and socially responsible society. It was developed by a consortium of European stakeholders, including ICLEI Europe, Circle Economy, Circular Flanders, Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production, ECERA, EIT Circular Economy Community, European Committee of the Regions, European Economic and Social Committee, European Investment Bank, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Eurocities, Metabolic, Metabolism of Cities, ReLondon, RRA Podravje - Maribor, and the UN Environment Programme.

Read more
Arrow
Multilateral Development Banks present their Working Group’s emerging shared vision for circular economy at WCEF 2024
April 15, 2024
Multilateral Development Banks present their Working Group’s emerging shared vision for circular economy at WCEF 2024

[Brussels, 15 April 2024] - During the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) 2024, Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) presented their Circular Economy Working Group’s emerging shared vision on the role of MDBs in supporting circular economy. 

The shared vision was unveiled at a session titled 'Shaping a global vision for circular finance' which saw Directors from the MDBs emphasise the critical role of MDB support to clients in facilitating the uptake of circular economy approaches. The MDBs recognised that circularity is important to achieving sustainable and just development in the 21st century.

Working together for more circularity, the MDB Working Group will continue to: 

  • Strengthen internal capacity to continue their demand-based support to circular economy approaches, both within their lending and their advisory activities.
  • Explore and share methodologies to demonstrate how circular solutions can generate economic value while fostering a just and inclusive sustainable development.
  • Enhance resource efficiency considerations within their operations across sectors.
  • Facilitate the exchange of knowledge with the private sector, civil society, and local, regional, and national authorities.


About WCEF

The annual World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) presents the world’s leading circular economy solutions with business leaders, policymakers and experts participating from around the world. Circular economy approaches can help businesses seize new opportunities and gain a competitive advantage, as well as contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. WCEF2024 is organised by Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, and produced with Circle Economy Foundation (programme partner) and the International Resource Panel (science partner), in close collaboration with international partner organisations.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Amy Kummetha (amy@circle-economy.com)

For content inquiries, please contact:

Marvin Nusseck (marvin@circle-economy.com)

Read more
Arrow
Introducing circularity in the built environment with BUS-GoCircular
April 2, 2024
Introducing circularity in the built environment with BUS-GoCircular

ENGLISH

Amsterdam, 26 March 2024—Circle Economy’s Circularity Games platform now offers an introductory training program for circularity in the built environment as part of the BUS-GoCircular project. BUS-GoCircular, funded by the European Union's Horizon Research and Innovation Programme, addresses the challenges of promoting skilled labour in the field of green energy and aims to offer hands-on training and capacity building to increase the number of skilled workers throughout the value chain.

This online training programme is just one of several training materials, workshops and initiatives that have been developed. The training program is divided into six modules, each encompassing reading materials, interactive video content and educational game features. The modules introduce players to the concept of circularity, its urgency and the possibilities of a circular economy. The training addresses the problems and opportunities for the built environment and the importance of a change in mindset.

The training is designed around the ‘Key elements of the circular cconomy framework’. This framework defines the learning objectives for the practical implementation of circularity in the built environment. While the training serves as an introduction to the circular economy, all key elements are covered, with the primary purpose of the training being to encourage change.

The introductory training on the Circularity Games platform aims to stimulate discussion around applying circular principles within the built environment. The training provides insight into which financial and practical circular applications are valuable. If, after completing the built environment introductory training, there is still more to discover and discuss using the Circularity Games platform, organisations can develop a follow-up specification training program in collaboration with Circle Economy. The focus of this training could be on sector-specific topics or the further discovery of specific key elements and the business models that apply to particularr contexts.

For more information, visit the Circularity Games website and contact Sreeja Raghunathan (sreeja@circle-economy.com) or Alice Lunardelli (alice-l@circle-economy.com)

DUTCH

De Circle Economy Foundation heeft een inleidend trainingsprogramma ontwikkeld beschikbaar op het Circularity Games platform als onderdeel van het BUS-Go Circular project. Dit trainingsprogramma is onderverdeeld in zes modules, die elk lees materiaal, interactieve video-inhoud en educatieve game-functies bevatten. De modules laten je stapsgewijs kennismaken met het concept, de mogelijkheden en de urgentie van een circulaire economie. De training behandelt zowel de problemen en kansen voor de gebouwde omgeving als het belang van een mentaliteitsverandering.

De training is ontworpen rondom de "Key Elements of the Circular Economy Framework". Dit framework is op het BUS-Go Circular afgepast en definieert de leerdoelen voor de praktische implementatie van circulariteit in de gebouwde omgeving. Hoewel de training dient als introductie op de circulaire economie, komen alle Key Elements aan bod. Met als belangrijkste doel van de training: verandering stimuleren.

De Nederlandstalige training heeft als doel de discussie te stimuleren over het toepassen van circulaire principes op de manier van werken binnen de gebouwde omgeving, en geeft inzicht in de waarde van circulaire toepassingen, zowel financieel als praktisch. Mocht je na het volgen van het inleidend trainingsprogramma het gevoel hebben dat er nog meer te ontdekken en te bespreken valt aan de hand van het Circularity Games platform, dan zou jouw organisatie in samenwerking met de Circle Economy Foundation een vervolg specificatie training kunnen ontwikkelen. De nadruk van deze training zou bijvoorbeeld kunnen liggen op sectorspecifieke onderwerpen binnen de gebouwde omgeving, het verder ontdekken van specifieke Key Elements of de businessmodellen die van toepassing zijn binnen de sector.

Voor meer informatie bezoek de circularity games website en neem contact op met Sreeja Raghunathan (sreeja@circle-economy.com) of Alice Lunardelli (alice-l@circle-economy.com)

Read more
Arrow
Meet Circle Economy at the World Circular Economy Forum 2024!  
March 4, 2024
Meet Circle Economy at the World Circular Economy Forum 2024!  

The World Circular Economy Forum 2024 is hitting Brussels on 15–18 April! 

Thousands of experts and decision-makers will come together at the SQUARE convention centre to explore practical and impactful circular solutions. This year, Circle Economy is proud to co-host the forum and co-design its programme based on insights from the Circularity Gap Report 2024! With government representatives, the finance community and labour organisations on our guest list, we’re looking forward to bringing the report’s recommendations to life. Please check our sessions below and register to participate—in person or online. 

Building sustainable solutions for used textiles trade

Up to US$700 billion could be generated by circular textile business models, which address the impacts of discarded textiles on nature and health. However, little is known about the current destinations, uses and impacts of globally traded used clothes. This workshop sheds light on this murky subject, exploring collaborations, policies and real-world examples to make the worn clothes trade more circular. 


Practical information

Date and time: 15 April 2024 at 09:30–10:45 CEST

Organisers: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Circle Economy

Learn more and register here 

Turning circular visions into actions

The Circularity Gap Report 2024 detailed tangible solutions to accelerate the global circular transition. Now is the time to act upon its insights! This opening plenary session will feature a critical discussion with global policy and thought leaders. They will define the role of governance, economics and society in building a just, circular future.

Practical information

Date and time: 15 April 2024 at 11:00–12:00 CEST

Organisers: International Resource Panel, Circle Economy and Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund 

Learn more and register here 

Shaping a global vision for circular finance 

This session will give the stage over to directors of multilateral development banks (MDBs) from different regions to discuss a shared vision for the role of finance in the circular transition. They will convene for a first-ever public talk on circular finance aimed at building a common approach to the circular economy. 

Practical information

Date and time: 15 April 2024 at 13:30–14:30 CEST

Organisers: Circle Economy, Circularity Exchange Network (Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank), UNEP Finance Initiative and Invest-NL

Learn more and register here 

The people driving change today 

In this session, you will hear from people putting the circular economy into action: entrepreneurs, policymakers, trade union leaders and business people. They will share inspirational insights on what is needed to unleash the potential of a people-centred, jobs-rich circular economy.  

Practical information

Date and time: 15 April 2024 at 13:30–14:30 CEST

Organisers: International Labour Organisation and Circle Economy, with the Solutions for Youth Employment Programme of the World Bank

Learn more and register here 

Ensuring a peaceful transition 

Circular economy approaches can support peacebuilding, community resilience and dialogue. However, shifting to less extractive and less interdependent economic systems might also stir geopolitical tension. This session will analyse the risks and opportunities of the circular economy for international relations and peacebuilding.

Practical information

Date and time: 16 April 2024 at 09:00–10:00 CEST

Organisers: Circle Economy and International Resource Panel, with Carnegie Europe

Learn more and register here 

Urban planning catalyses the implementation of circularity 

Urban planning is a key lever for the circular transition in cities. However, a common understanding of circularity in urban planning is still lacking. This session explores how cities can go from high-level policy to implementation to steer their circular development. 

Practical information

Date and time: 16 April 2024 at 10:45–11:45 CEST

Organisers: ICLEI Europe and Circle Economy

Learn more and register here 

Read more
Arrow
Ivonne Bojoh: ‘I believe that laser focus is far more effective than trying to be everything to everyone.’
February 8, 2024
Ivonne Bojoh: ‘I believe that laser focus is far more effective than trying to be everything to everyone.’

In celebration of Circle Economy Foundation’s 13th birthday, we are thrilled to introduce you to our new CEO, Ivonne Bojoh. With a background in digital technology and professional services, Ivonne brings a unique perspective to the forefront of our mission. In this interview, Ivonne shares her vision for the future, her passion for the circular economy, and the transformative impact she envisions for Circle Economy Foundation.

As a former start-up and scale-up professional, Ivonne Bojoh was always fascinated by cutting-edge technology. However, as she progressed in her career, she became increasingly aware that technology and economic growth can also have detrimental effects on nature and humanity

‘This happened when I went on a weekend trip with my husband in 2019,’ Ivonne recalls. ‘With ample time for introspection, I contemplated what truly energises me and aligns with my heart's desires. It became apparent that I wanted to do something on a global scale to address the societal and environmental challenges that I had observed in Southeast Asia, where I lived at the time.’

After this pivotal moment, Ivonne stepped down as a co-founder and CTO and came to the Netherlands in pursuit of her next opportunity. It was during this phase that she crossed paths with Martijn Lopes Cardozo, the previous CEO of Circle Economy Foundation. 

‘When Martijn introduced the concept of the circular economy to me, I didn’t immediately grasp its meaning,’ confesses Ivonne. ‘But then he illustrated it with an example from nature, where waste essentially doesn’t exist. I thought: “This is so simple, anyone can understand this! Anyone can see how a dead tree serves as a home for small animals, or that elephant dung is an incredibly energy-rich fertiliser. It’s a beautiful system. Why isn’t everyone living in this system?” This is when my admiration for the circular economy started.’  

Given Ivonne’s extensive experience in digital scale-ups, it came as no surprise that Martijn Lopes Cardozo invited her to develop a digital strategy to accelerate Circle Economy Foundation’s impact, and later to join the organisation as Director of Digital. In 2021, she also became interim COO, and in December 2023 succeeded Lopes Cardozo as Circle Economy Foundation’s CEO.

Reflecting on her new role as CEO, Ivonne points out: ‘Circle Economy Foundation has grown quite quickly in the past couple of years. What we need right now is to refine our internal structure and operations, ensuring we sustain the momentum needed to accelerate the global circular transition. At the same time, I see a tremendous opportunity for extending the foundation’s impact beyond the Global North. My roots are in Indonesia, so I have an intrinsic motivation to bring our work to Southeast Asia and the Pacific region. In addition, there are a lot of opportunities for us to support the circular transition in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.’ 

Prior to assuming the position of CEO, Ivonne played an important role in developing the foundation’s new impact strategy. According to her, while its core vision remains unchanged—building an economic system that ensures the planet and all people can thrive—the organisation's role in this systemic transformation has become better defined. Over the next eight years, it will deliver on three specific goals for the four priority systems (housing, nutrition, manufactured goods, and mobility):

  1. Ensure that decision-makers have the indicators and evidence needed to ensure accountability for their circular ambitions. 
  2. Guarantee sufficient financial capital flows to circular and just solutions.
  3. Empower the key actors with the awareness and capacity to implement circular solutions.

‘I believe that laser focus is far more effective than trying to be everything to everyone. There are far more objectives that are needed in this global transformation, but these are the three objectives we feel we can contribute to best,’ says Ivonne. 

While doubling global circularity to around 17% by 2032 may appear a daunting task, Ivonne remains optimistic in light of the growing awareness of the adverse impacts of the linear economy: ‘If humans were made without the gene that causes greed, our jobs would be easier. Unfortunately, we are who we are. During the era of industrialisation, our unchecked greed took centre stage, and we kept on producing more, thinking that more is better. We’ve unknowingly gotten stuck in a finite system—we can’t continue like this forever. But the good news is that, increasingly, policymakers and industry leaders are aware that this system is tremendously flawed. The question is “Do you know and act or do you know and look away?”’

Amidst the complexities of her role, Ivonne finds solace in the proximity of a protected dune area, with 3400 hectares, the Amsterdam Waterleidingduinen are one of the largest connected hiking areas in the Netherlands. Describing her experience, she states, ‘Being able to just take a walk in nature and hear birds, see animals… it really calms me.’ For her, the ability to connect with nature fosters creativity, allowing her to recharge and approach the foundation's mission with renewed energy.

Read more
Arrow
Dutch circular finance initiative launches Open Source Scorecard
February 7, 2024
Dutch circular finance initiative launches Open Source Scorecard

The path to a circular economy is both new and profound, demanding a different perspective, experimentation, and the courage to choose a circular future. The Dutch circular finance initiative, known as the Kopgroep Circulair Financieren, is a public-private partnership that unites Dutch frontrunners in circular finance towards a common goal: Establishing circular financing as the norm by 2030.

The circular economy aims to minimise the use of new raw materials and products, maximise reuse, and reduce waste by creating a closed loop of production and consumption. It is essential for staying within the ecological boundaries of our planet, while simultaneously reducing the Netherlands' reliance on resources from other parts of the world. Financiers, investors, and other financial sector service providers play a key role in driving the circular transition. The Kopgroep Circulair Financieren addresses the challenges in financing circular entrepreneurs in the Circular Finance Roadmap 2030 (NL), to ensure that circularity becomes an integral part of financing assessments and investment decisions.

Since its inception in 2020, Invest-NL has been actively involved in financing circular propositions. The intensive collaboration with this diverse group of financiers and investors has yielded knowledge, new connections and valuable experience. This makes us a unique transition network, and this is how we make financing a circular future possible, says Anne Mieke van der Werf, Director Business Development at Invest-NL and Chair of the Kopgroep Circulair Financieren.

Looking through a circular lens at financing


At the moment, one of the main challenges is to incorporate linear risks and circular opportunities in financing decisions (e.g. resource depletion, rising raw material costs, environmental damage). The group emphasises the importance of integrating circularity into the assessment of financing requests and investment decisions, to ensure business continuity.

The Kopgroep Circulair Financieren has collaboratively developed an open-source Circular Risk Scorecard. This scorecard aims to collect data to demonstrate that the risks of circular businesses are currently overestimated, while the opportunities are not adequately considered in financing or investment decisions. The Kopgroep Circulair Financieren calls on the financial sector to use the scorecard, providing insight into the circular risk score of the business (or project) to be financed and incorporating this score into decision-making for financing and investments.

To get started with the scorecard or for more information, please refer to this page (EN) or this page (NL).

Furthermore, the Kopgroep Circulair Financieren organises two deep dive sessions,
free to attend, on:

Tuesday 5 March from 16.00-17.00h;
Wednesday 27 March 16.00-17.00h.

Please register via Jeroen@copper8.com.

For general inquiries, contact: Hilde Sijbring (hilde.sijbring@circularfinancelab.nl).

For scorecard-related inquiries, contact: Jeroen van Muiswinkel (jeroen@copper8.com).

The Kopgroep Circulair Financieren is part of the Sustainable Finance Platform of the Dutch Central Bank.


About the Kopgroep Circulair Financieren
Established in 2021 under the Sustainable Finance Platform of the Dutch Central Bank, the Dutch circular finance initiative Kopgroep Circulair Financieren employs a project-oriented approach with core values being action, connection, and anticipation. The group operates with dedicated teams on impactful projects contributing to at least one goal on the Circular Finance Roadmap 2030. Members include representatives from financial institutions such as ABN AMRO, European Investment Bank, ING, Invest-NL, Royal Netherlands Institute of Chartered Accountants (NBA), Dutch Banking Association, Sustainable Water Bank, Rabobank, Regional Development Agencies, and Triodos Bank. Strategic partners include the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Province of Utrecht, and Municipality of Amsterdam.

Read more
Arrow