November 11, 2021
Circle Economy is thrilled to see its partners, the Dutch and Nordic Circular Hotspots, join forces

As part of the three-day state visit of the Dutch royal couple to Norway, the Holland Circular Hotspot and Nordic Circular Hotspot formally signed a Partnership Agreement today. The signing ceremony took place in Trondheim in the presence of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima as well as His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon Magnus and Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit.

Circle Economy, a partner of both the Dutch and Nordic Circular Hotspots, warmly welcomes this new collaboration, which aims to accelerate the market transition for circular solutions and businesses in and between The Netherlands and the Nordics. Since the Nordic Circular during the World Circular Economy Forum in Helsinki in June 2019, the two Hotspots have worked closely together. The formation of the Nordic Circular Hotspot was inspired by the Holland Circular Hotspot and now the time has come to formalise this partnership.

“Signing a partnership with the Nordic Circular Hotspot comes at a moment that the world realises that it needs circularity more than ever,” said Freek van Eijk, Director, Holland Circular Hotspot, at the signing ceremony. “This is the century for circular entrepreneurs and frontrunners to have the biggest market potential.”

Leapfrogging circular barriers

The Nordic economies combined make up the 12th-largest economy in the world. Accelerating the circular and sustainable transformation in this region has great potential and can have a significant ripple effect. The Netherlands is leading the transition to a circular economy, with a Circularity Metric of 24.5 per cent, according to Circle Economy's Circularity Gap Report for the Netherlands. By comparison, the Norwegian economy is only 2.4 per cent circular according to the Circularity Gap Report Norway. Through this collaboration, the Nordics could leapfrog some of the early barriers The Netherlands has gone through, and utilise innovation, resources and knowledge sharing in order to make the circular economy the new normal. Circle Economy was represented in Trondheim by Marc de Wit, Director Strategic Alliances.

“Circular value creation is key to sustainability in our markets for the time ahead,” said Einar Kleppe Holthe, Managing Partner, Nordic Circular Hotspot. “Nothing is better than formalising the partnership between our two Hotspots, connecting The Netherlands and Nordics in a more close and collaborative way.”

“Together we aim at leaving the wasteful, consumption-based and resource-intensive economy of the previous century,” said Cathrine Barth, Founder and Managing Partner, Nordic Circular Hotspot. “As partners we seek to evolve the circular economy and collaborate in view of establishing a healthier, safer and cleaner economy.”

Kick off with a roundtable with circularity-focused companies

To kick off their collaboration, the two Hotspots will this afternoon host a roundtable on circularity with 15 Norwegian and Dutch companies and organisations from different sectors. The roundtable will be held in collaboration with the Trondheim Centre for Sustainable Development and Nordic Innovation. Its purpose is to find ways to learn from each other, work cross-sectorally and holistically, and to germinate collaborative projects and initiatives.

State visit to Norway

The signing ceremony was part of the state visit, held from November 9-11 and accompanied by Dutch foreign minister Ben Knapen, affirming the outstanding relations between Norway and The Netherlands. Both countries share common values and jointly seek solutions to major international challenges. The main themes of the visit include bilateral and international co-operation, climate change, the energy transition and sustainability, with the circular economy being in the spotlight through the Partnership Agreement.

About the Nordic Circular Hotspot

The Nordic Circular Hotspot is the leading resource on the circular economy in the Nordics. With partners in all the five Nordic countries plus The Netherlands, supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers and Nordic Innovation, its mission is to accelerate the transition to an inclusive, resource-efficient, regenerative and circular market in the Nordic region. The Hotspot aims to contribute in a meaningful way to reinvent how the Nordics design, produce and market products. It also wants to rethink how the Nordics use and consume goods and services, and redefine growth in the Nordics and what is possible through reuse, reduction, repairing, regeneration and, most importantly, systems change. The Hotspot’s goal is to achieve critical mass of circular and sustainable dynamics and transactions in all value chains, to reach transitional tipping points faster in all segments and sectors of the Nordic market.

About the Holland Circular Hotspot Foundation

The Holland Circular Hotspot Foundation aims to create and strengthen circular economy export and investment opportunities for the Dutch business community, and stimulate international exchange of circular economy knowledge and innovation. This is done in close collaboration with the Dutch national government and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. By doing so, Dutch knowledge and expertise will contribute to the implementation of a circular economy in an international context, create mutually-interesting business opportunities and help to accelerate the realisation of theSustainable Development Goals and contribute to the climate objectives.

About Circle Economy

Circle Economy is a global impact organisation with an international team of passionate experts based in Amsterdam. We empower businesses, cities and nations with practical and scalable solutions to put the circular economy into action. Our vision is an economic system that ensures the planet and all people can thrive.

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November 3, 2021
Circle Economy enters new partnership with GGKP

The Growth Knowledge Partnership (GGKP) is the largest global network of experts and organisations dedicated to generating, managing, and sharing green knowledge. Circle Economy was approached to join the network to complement the existing community with circular economy specific content and expertise.  

The platform is hosted and funded by Global Green Growth Institute, OECD, UNEP, UNIDO and the World Bank - to provide government and industry with the evidence needed to transition to an inclusive green economy.

Circle Economy will leverage the partnership's expansive global network - sharing knowledge and tools, participating in expert working groups, seeking funding opportunities and amplifying our organisational reach and impact.

For more information, visit the GGKP website.

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October 18, 2021
New Circle Lab for Cities programme launches flagship Actions Framework

Together with ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, Metabolic and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Circle Economy is launching the Circle Lab for Cities programme, supporting cities in boosting their efforts toward a circular economy.

'With this programme, we are launching a digital platform for cities that offers knowledge, actionable insights and tools to support the implementation of practical circular economy solutions, helping them achieve their sustainability goals. This digital platform will continuously evolve and offer updated content and new features as more cities engage with it. We welcome user feedback so we can continuously develop content and release features based on cities' specific needs,' says Ivonne Bojoh, Head of Digital at Circle Economy.

Through the Circle Lab for Cities programme, cities can explore the circular solutions implemented by their peers, scan their urban metabolism, and act to advance their transition to a circular economy in priority sectors. 

Specifically, the digital platform developed as part of this programme includes a wealth of tools, knowledge and actionable insights—allowing city practitioners to identify priorities based on a local assessment of resource flows and existing initiatives. City actors will also have the opportunity to explore and learn from the circular solutions their peers have already implemented. The programme also includes the development of tools and materials to support planning, stakeholder engagement and monitoring of the circular strategies implementation locally.

'The Circle Lab for Cities programme aims to provide each city with the right instruments to take the next step in their circular development journey. As a global network, we aim to develop tools with local governments, to ensure that they address practical needs and are adaptable to different local contexts. This is why we will be testing all tools with network cities from five world regions,' says Sunandan Tiwari, Director of Global Implementation at ICLEI.

Funded by the MAVA Foundation, the programme represents a powerful collaboration that brings together leading expertise on the circular economy and one of the largest networks of local and regional governments working towards a sustainable urban future.

The program is guided by the Circular City Actions Framework, developed by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, Circle Economy, Metabolic and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to introduce cities to the range of strategies and actions available to them as they work towards a circular economy at the local level.

The framework is structured into five complementary strategies, the 5 Rs:

  • Rethink: Redesign systems to lay the foundation for circular activities and enable the transition to a circular economy 
  • Regenerate: Harmonise with nature by promoting infrastructure, production systems and material sourcing that allows natural ecosystems to thrive
  • Reduce: Do more and better with less by using and supporting infrastructure, processes and products that are designed to minimise material, water and energy use as well as waste generation, from production to end-of-use
  • Reuse: Use goods longer and more often by extending and intensifying the use of existing resources, products, spaces and infrastructure
  • Recover: Eliminate waste by maximising the recovery of resources at the end of the use phase and so that they can be reintroduced into production processes 

The 5 Rs are linked to 15 actions local governments can take that reflect the different roles local and regional governments play, from public service delivery to cooperation with local stakeholders, asset management, urban planning and regulation. They can be applied to all production, consumption and waste management processes influenced by the city, local businesses or residents. In addition, Circle Economy and ICLEI are launching a Cities Collection on the Circle Lab Knowledge Hub. The collection features city examples across the 5 Rs and diverse sectors cities can influence.

Local governments and city actors are invited to participate in the Circle Lab for Cities programme, which offers a hands-on, cost-effective and practical process equipping them with the strategies and tools their city needs to take the next step towards a circular economy. 

From engaging in the programme and making use of the tools it offers, cities can expect:

  • Improved understanding of how the circular economy translates to the local level based on best practices from cities with similar characteristics;
  • Support in selecting priority sectors based on material, greenhouse gas and employment data;
  • Guidance in identifying circular economy interventions relevant to their context;
  • Access to a platform that facilitates funding for selected circular interventions.

Are you a city practitioner interested in testing tools to make your circular economy strategy more actionable? Register below and be among the first to test circular development tools which will help make your city more circular.

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September 21, 2021
How circular is Sweden? RISE and Circle Economy analyse Sweden's state of circularity to drive the country's circular transition

Today, we are thrilled to announce that Circle Economy has joined forces with the Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE) to measure the circularity of the Swedish economy. The analysis, funded by the strategic innovation programme RE:Source, will deliver tailored recommendations for a circular economy in Sweden and inspire stakeholders from businesses, governments, academia and civil society to steer the country's transition.  

Sweden, like many countries around the world, recognises the circular economy as a means to meet emissions targets, improve living conditions and make the economy more competitive. But while the why of the circular economy is clear, the how remains a big challenge. Through the Circularity Gap Report analysis for countries—Circle Economy's method for analysing material flows in national economies—RISE and Circle Economy will shed light on Sweden's resource reality: what kind of materials already flow in the economy? Where do the biggest waste streams come from? Are certain streams already cycled back into the system? Understanding how circular Sweden is today will provide valuable insights into opportunities for the future. 

‘Thanks to this analysis, we will understand how circular Sweden is, where Sweden is excelling and where Sweden needs to improve. Based on that, we can identify circular actions that are likely to have the biggest positive impact. This will help us drive the circular economy transition in the Nordics and the world.’  - Vojtech Vosecky, Circle Economy Associate

‘It will be interesting to identify what measures should be prioritised for Sweden to become more circular and to what extent these measures are addressed in various national strategic documents such as the national action plan for a circular economy.’ - Carl Jensen, Project Manager at RISE

‘Our mission is to improve resource efficiency in society, but to measure improvement over time we need first of all a baseline measurement. That is why we decided to fund this important initiative.’ - Klas Cullbrand, Innovation Manager at RE:Source.

Thanks to the support from RE:Source, outcomes of the analysis and key recommendations will be launched in the form of a Circularity Gap Report for Sweden in the first quarter of 2022. 

By conducting a Circularity Gap analysis, Sweden will join the ranks of Austria (9.7% circular), the Netherlands (24.5% circular), Norway (2.4% circular) and Quebec (3.5% circular). Read more about Circle Economy's Circularity Gap Reporting Initiative here.

For more details about the Swedish project or our activities in the Nordics, feel free to get in touch with Vojtech at

About RISE

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden is Sweden’s research institute and innovation partner. Through international collaboration with industry, academia and the public sector, we ensure business competitiveness and contribute to a sustainable society.

About RE:Source

RE:Source has been appointed by the Swedish Energy Agency, Vinnova and Formas as a Strategic Innovation Program, supporting research and innovation leading to sustainable use of materials.

About Circle Economy

Circle Economy is an impact organisation, founded to create prosperity for all within the limits of our planet. We combine data, tools and digital knowledge for the greater good. With nature as our mentor, we support businesses, cities & nations to accelerate circularity with practical roadmaps for change. We are an international team of passionate experts working globally, based in Amsterdam.

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September 21, 2021
Leadership changes announced at Circle Economy

Amsterdam, 21st of September, 2021—Today, Circle Economy announces changes in its leadership team. As of 1 September 2021, Annerieke Douma (Director Global Alliances and Cities) has left Circle Economy after six years. Staying in Indonesia, Annerieke will remain connected to Circle Economy as an Advisor for Southeast Asia, while Hatty Cooper (Director Director Governments and Institutions) will additionally oversee the Cities programme, formerly led by Annerieke, moving forward. Meanwhile, Ivonne Bojoh—our Head of Digital—will assume the responsibilities of Chief Operating Officer ad interim. 

 'I am grateful to see the need for a circular economy gaining momentum rapidly over the past six years as one of the solutions to the global challenges we are facing. Cities, businesses and nations all play a key role in the necessary systemic change. I am convinced Circle Economy will continue to have a foundational role in the transition to a circular economy. I am grateful to have been part of an incredible team and to our close partners for the trust and collaborative effort we have put into contributing to a more equitable and prosperous society. The Cities Programme is in the best possible hands with Hatty Cooper moving forward.' - Annerieke Douma 

'Working with national- and local-level decision makers at the intersection of government, industry and civil society is vital to achieving an impactful and sustained circular transition for all. I look forward to collaborating with Annerieke in her new role in Southeast Asia and working with a great team to pursue our ambitious agenda to double global circularity by 2032.' - Hatty Cooper 

'As Circle's COO a.i., I can leverage lessons learnt from (digital) scale-up organisations and guide our teams to work according to the tri-track agile method. This will enable us to continue valuable research and development work for programmatic development, while we productise and distribute the content and data through our (upcoming) digital platform.' - Ivonne Bojoh

At Circle Economy, we want to thank Annerieke for helping shape what Circle Economy is today. While she was with Circle Economy she, among others, successfully developed a thriving Cities Programme, launched the first Doughnut City and initiated the Circular Jobs Initiative in collaboration with strategic global partners. 

At the same time, we look forward to helping more businesses, cities and nations put the circular economy into action with the continuing leadership of Hatty Cooper (Director Governments and Institutions) and Marc de Wit (Director Strategic Alliances), in close collaboration with Martijn Lopes Cardozo (CEO) and Ivonne Bojoh (COO a.i. & Head of Digital).

Circle Economy now has a four-person Management Team: Ivonne Bojoh (COO a.i. & Head of Digital), Marc de Wit (Director Strategic Alliances), Hatty Cooper (Director Governments and Institutions) and Martijn Lopes Cardozo (CEO)

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September 7, 2021
Nordic Circular Hotspot and Circle Economy partner up to accelerate the circular transition in the Nordics

We are thrilled to announce that Circle Economy has entered into a new partnership with the Nordic Circular Hotspot, the leading platform for the circular economy in the region. 


Together, we intend to accelerate the circular transition in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and The Netherlands through knowledge sharing, networking and collaborative projects. By uniting our strengths, networks, experience and expertise, we aim to leverage our joint abilities to set a powerful course for the circular future of the Nordics. 


“Since collaboration is key to circularity and today’s value chains swiftly need to change from linear to circular, it is crucial to join forces with like- and heart-minded organisations such as Circle Economy. Some of our ten Managing Partners already have had several years of experience working with Circle Economy by co-creating general awareness in the Nordics and growing the circular movement together. Working with nature as our inspiration, we very much look forward to our partnership and to accelerating the transition to a circular economy in the Nordics, hand in hand." - Einar K. Holthe, Managing Partner, Nordic Circular Hotspot and Market Strategist, Natural State


"Due to their innovation drive and strong sustainability movement, the Nordics are in a great position to become a global leader in the circular economy. But the region is in the midst of a major transition and still has a long way to go. By partnering up with the Nordic Circular Hotspot, we are co-creating opportunities to provide Nordic states, cities, regions and businesses with the fuel needed to accelerate their circular transition." - Vojtech Vosecky, Circle Economy Associate

Our partnership is part of the Nordic Circular Hotspot’s ten-year Partnership Programme, which has been designed to accelerate a strategic, systematic and efficient circular market transition and sustainable development in the Nordic region.


For further information on this partnership or our activities in the Nordics, feel free to reach out to Vojtech through our contact form.


About the Nordic Circular Hotspot

The Nordic Circular Hotspot is a collaboration platform and ten-year circular market transition programme run by a consortium of ten Managing Partners from five Nordic countries plus The Netherlands and co-financed by Nordic Innovation. On a mission to enable and accelerate the transition to an inclusive, regenerative and circular market in the Nordics, the Nordic Circular Hotspot operates as an active enabler, well-connected facilitator and strategic collaborator in the region. Its secretariat is located in Oslo.


About Circle Economy

Circle Economy is an impact organisation, founded to create prosperity for all within the limits of our planet. We combine data, tools and digital knowledge for the greater good. With nature as our mentor, we support businesses, cities and nations to accelerate circularity with practical roadmaps for change. We are an international team of passionate experts, based in Amsterdam.

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August 26, 2021
Circle Economy works with the UN Development Programme to accelerate the circular transition for ecotourism in Lao PDR

How can the circular economy support ecotourism?

Lao PDR is a country of rich and diverse natural landscapes including rainforests, waterfalls and limestone mountains. Its stunning nature offers unique opportunities to develop sustainable tourism, but financial, legal and other barriers hinder its development. Can the circular economy be a lever for change?

Our latest endeavour—participation in a UNDP-led project with Shifting Paradigms, Rebel Group and Earth Systems—explores how Lao can develop circular business models to support its ecotourism. Together, we led a Community of Practice: a series of workshops and consultations, bringing together local entrepreneurs and policymakers.

The result? Practical solutions that will help participants achieve their sustainability goals through a shift to circular business. For example, the sustainable tourism provider Green Discovery now collaborates with PLM Eastbeam, considering how to substitute steel for wood to build an eco-friendly bridge, and with Lao Biogas to champion more sustainable energy sources.

From investigating opportunities for sustainable building materials to financing circular business opportunities, the Community of Practice helped foster new connections, spark knowledge exchange and put theory into action.

‘We worked with businesses in Lao to kickstart and scale their circular ecotourism activities—using our Community of Practice to spark new ideas and transform theory into action.’ says project leader, Aglaia Fischer.

Stay tuned for our upcoming white paper summarising the outcomes of the project.

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May 31, 2021
A fully circular clothing industry in the Netherlands is possible—and can bring plentiful employment benefits

Shifting to a full circular clothing industry in the Netherlands won't just impact the environment—it can also bring employment benefits, boosting job creation by as much as 25%. This is according to new research by Circle Economy's Circular Jobs Initiative*, Putting circular textiles to work: The employment potential of circular clothing in the Netherlands. The report outlines three distinct circular scenarios—a shift in consumption patterns, prioritisation of reuse and repair, and upscaling of textile-to-textile recycling—through the lens of employment impacts, finding the second one to be most beneficial to the job market. But to realise such a scenario would require bridging current skills gaps, and re- and upskilling workers—bringing new careers, from (re)manufacturing designers to quality assessors to resale collection managers, to the fore.

The Dutch clothing industry: a catalyst for circular change

The impact of the fashion industry on people and planet is well-known: the clothing industry accounts for around 5% of emissions worldwide, and workers around the globe are subject to unethical working conditions pervasive in the sector. And yet, the hunger for fast fashion is growing: in the Netherlands alone, residents purchase an average of one new garment per week, and around the world the equivalent of one truck load of clothing is burnt or incinerated every second. The need for a circular clothing industry—and especially one that benefits workers—is clear; but what skills do we need to get there? 

Working in collaboration with the Goldschmeding Foundation, Circle Economy and HIVA dove into the intricacies of this question, with the aim of supporting national actors in the Dutch clothing value chain from linear to circular and supporting employment opportunities in the process. 

Repair and reuse scenario brings the greatest employment benefits, ahead of changing consumption patterns and scaling recycling

Boosting clothing reuse and repair would see the greatest benefits, the report finds: a growing second-hand market and increased demand for repair and maintenance services could increase job creation in the industry by 25%—equal to 24,286 new full-time equivalents (FTEs) in repair and maintenance, 17,319 FTEs shifted from first- to second-hand sales and an additional 4,611 FTEs in second-hand sales. Some of the skills required for this scenario are already present in the Dutch labour market: repair and maintenance, logistics and procurement, manufacturing, management, sales and retail, waste management and industrial cleaning skills already crop up across the clothing value chain. As we progress towards a more circular system, the need for these skills will only become more prevalent—as will new jobs in technology, e-commerce and textile sorting, to better support repair and cycling. And what's more, progressing to a fully circular sector that fulfills both environmental and social standards will need aspects of all three scenarios to be developed in combination, bringing additional skills to the fore.

The research leads collaborated with Amsterdam-based social enterprise Makers Unite to further explore skills gaps for their current and future business models. The organisation, which works with skilled newcomers to the Netherlands with a refugee background to create sustainable, upcycled products, hopes to convert to a fully circular business model. Makers Unite notes the growing relevance of data scientists and analysts, sustainability and innovation managers, logistics and customer communications workers and the redevelopment of design, product development and tailoring roles.

 'I believe a transition towards a circular economy model starts by understanding how to make the best use of our existing resources: material and human. The innovation needed for the skillforce will create new opportunities for social inclusion to be fostered—and this is why we have focused our efforts on new business models.'
Thami Schweichler—Managing Director at Makers Unite

The way forward: from potential to reality

The benefits of realising such a scenario are plentiful—but how can we get there? This will require committed coordination between relevant actors, from the Dutch government and private sector stakeholders to academia and education institutions—as well as action that ensures no worker is left behind or subject to unethical working conditions. Training and retraining must take a holistic approach and be directed at unemployed workers and those at risk of being phased out in addition to the employed workforce—and the role of vocational education and training must be recognised as essential to advancing the circular economy and building back better from the covid-19 pandemic. 

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