Unleashing the Power of Cities

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Cities and urban areas are at the core of our current linear economy. The millions of people living in these areas here buy, consume and waste enormous amounts of products and materials. Urbanisation has caused 70% of the world’s population to live in cities. The growing number of urban consumers also means in increase in the influx of goods. People living in cities are responsible for 67% of the global energy consumption and 70% of the total greenhouse gas emissions. Continuing with the way we utilise our resources, cities like Beijing, New Delhi, Milano and Brussels will face higher levels of air pollution and environmental degradation than ever before.Clearly, this is not what our city administrators desire. Their efforts are generally aimed at creating a community that is resilient, competitive and self-sufficient. They want to provide a healthy living environment where people can thrive and be happy, without having to worry about food, jobs or poverty. More and more cities also want to be climate neutral. This is why they are looking for concrete, practical and scalable solutions to change consumption patterns, rejuvenate industries and use waste as a resource. Treating waste as a resource opens up the possibilities for new forms of business – think for instance of repair cafes that provide a new life to discarded products or water purification plants in cities that retrieve ‘struvite’ from wastewater.Cities are key to starting the transition to the circular economy. Being the centres of political and financial power, the nodal points for many value chains and their waste streams, and the hotbeds for creative power and innovation, cities possess all the relevant levers to turn around our economy. This is also true for the scaling up of transformative economic activities: while current circular business models often focus on individual companies, applying a city focus can boost entire chains or sectors to move towards circularity. But what is perhaps more important is the influence of city administrators - unlike at the federal level - they are directly linked to the practical implementation that can happen ‘just around the corner’. They know their citizens and their citizens know them. A mayor can immediately see and feel the effects of change that he or she has introduced, on the road, in surrounding areas or in the air.

“This is where the strength of cities comes in - and this is why we need to make mayors heroes.”

- Andy Ridley, CEO, Circle Economy

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, is convinced that the circular economy provides an answer to many challenges cities are confronted with. In the Livre Blanc de l’economie circulaire du Grand Paris (2015), she writes that she sees the circular economy as “An economy with the smallest impact on our environment, on our climate and also on our health” and states that “it is the direction we have to follow as of today”. Some 500 kilometers north of Paris, the alderman for sustainability of the city of Amsterdam, affirms: “The potential of a circular economy is enormous, and that is why we are focused on research and are willing to support anyone who strives to make the circular economy a reality in our city.”What is the real potential of the circular economy within a city? To answer this question Circle Economy developed the City Circle Scan. This tool allows cities to develop practical and scalable solutions to save resources while creating new jobs, a healthier environment and improved livability. A report about the possibilities for circularity within Amsterdam, published last year, shows that material reuse strategies have a potential of creating €85 million of value per year in the construction sector, while €150 million of value could be preserved when organic waste streams are handled more efficiently. In terms of total material savings in the Amsterdam metropolitan area, this could add up to nearly 900 thousand tons per year, a significant amount compared to the annual import of 3.9 million tonnes currently utilised by the region. Lastly, employment could be boosted through increased productivity levels adding up to 700 additional jobs in the construction sector and 1200 new jobs in the food processing industry.Paris and Amsterdam have set the first steps towards circularity and now more and more cities are becoming aware of the impact they can have on a global transition towards a circular economy. At this moment, Brussels and Glasgow are being ‘scanned’ for circular opportunities in order to create a roadmap for change. Other cities such as Vancouver, Taoyuan and Cape Town have indicated they have a strong drive to initiate the transition. The question now is: Who’s next?By: Ben Kubbinga, Lead Partnerships and Collaborations, Circle Economy

March 11, 2016

Unleashing the Power of Cities

Cities and urban areas are at the core of our current linear economy. The millions of people living in these areas here buy, consume and waste enormous amounts of products and materials. Urbanisation has caused 70% of the world’s population to live in cities. The growing number of urban consumers also means in increase in the influx of goods. People living in cities are responsible for 67% of the global energy consumption and 70% of the total greenhouse gas emissions. Continuing with the way we utilise our resources, cities like Beijing, New Delhi, Milano and Brussels will face higher levels of air pollution and environmental degradation than ever before.Clearly, this is not what our city administrators desire. Their efforts are generally aimed at creating a community that is resilient, competitive and self-sufficient. They want to provide a healthy living environment where people can thrive and be happy, without having to worry about food, jobs or poverty. More and more cities also want to be climate neutral. This is why they are looking for concrete, practical and scalable solutions to change consumption patterns, rejuvenate industries and use waste as a resource. Treating waste as a resource opens up the possibilities for new forms of business – think for instance of repair cafes that provide a new life to discarded products or water purification plants in cities that retrieve ‘struvite’ from wastewater.Cities are key to starting the transition to the circular economy. Being the centres of political and financial power, the nodal points for many value chains and their waste streams, and the hotbeds for creative power and innovation, cities possess all the relevant levers to turn around our economy. This is also true for the scaling up of transformative economic activities: while current circular business models often focus on individual companies, applying a city focus can boost entire chains or sectors to move towards circularity. But what is perhaps more important is the influence of city administrators - unlike at the federal level - they are directly linked to the practical implementation that can happen ‘just around the corner’. They know their citizens and their citizens know them. A mayor can immediately see and feel the effects of change that he or she has introduced, on the road, in surrounding areas or in the air.

“This is where the strength of cities comes in - and this is why we need to make mayors heroes.”

- Andy Ridley, CEO, Circle Economy

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, is convinced that the circular economy provides an answer to many challenges cities are confronted with. In the Livre Blanc de l’economie circulaire du Grand Paris (2015), she writes that she sees the circular economy as “An economy with the smallest impact on our environment, on our climate and also on our health” and states that “it is the direction we have to follow as of today”. Some 500 kilometers north of Paris, the alderman for sustainability of the city of Amsterdam, affirms: “The potential of a circular economy is enormous, and that is why we are focused on research and are willing to support anyone who strives to make the circular economy a reality in our city.”What is the real potential of the circular economy within a city? To answer this question Circle Economy developed the City Circle Scan. This tool allows cities to develop practical and scalable solutions to save resources while creating new jobs, a healthier environment and improved livability. A report about the possibilities for circularity within Amsterdam, published last year, shows that material reuse strategies have a potential of creating €85 million of value per year in the construction sector, while €150 million of value could be preserved when organic waste streams are handled more efficiently. In terms of total material savings in the Amsterdam metropolitan area, this could add up to nearly 900 thousand tons per year, a significant amount compared to the annual import of 3.9 million tonnes currently utilised by the region. Lastly, employment could be boosted through increased productivity levels adding up to 700 additional jobs in the construction sector and 1200 new jobs in the food processing industry.Paris and Amsterdam have set the first steps towards circularity and now more and more cities are becoming aware of the impact they can have on a global transition towards a circular economy. At this moment, Brussels and Glasgow are being ‘scanned’ for circular opportunities in order to create a roadmap for change. Other cities such as Vancouver, Taoyuan and Cape Town have indicated they have a strong drive to initiate the transition. The question now is: Who’s next?By: Ben Kubbinga, Lead Partnerships and Collaborations, Circle Economy

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December 5, 2019

Unleashing the Power of Cities

Unleashing the Power of Cities

Cities and urban areas are at the core of our current linear economy. The millions of people living in these areas here buy, consume and waste enormous amounts of products and materials. Urbanisation has caused 70% of the world’s population to live in cities. The growing number of urban consumers also means in increase in the influx of goods. People living in cities are responsible for 67% of the global energy consumption and 70% of the total greenhouse gas emissions. Continuing with the way we utilise our resources, cities like Beijing, New Delhi, Milano and Brussels will face higher levels of air pollution and environmental degradation than ever before.Clearly, this is not what our city administrators desire. Their efforts are generally aimed at creating a community that is resilient, competitive and self-sufficient. They want to provide a healthy living environment where people can thrive and be happy, without having to worry about food, jobs or poverty. More and more cities also want to be climate neutral. This is why they are looking for concrete, practical and scalable solutions to change consumption patterns, rejuvenate industries and use waste as a resource. Treating waste as a resource opens up the possibilities for new forms of business – think for instance of repair cafes that provide a new life to discarded products or water purification plants in cities that retrieve ‘struvite’ from wastewater.Cities are key to starting the transition to the circular economy. Being the centres of political and financial power, the nodal points for many value chains and their waste streams, and the hotbeds for creative power and innovation, cities possess all the relevant levers to turn around our economy. This is also true for the scaling up of transformative economic activities: while current circular business models often focus on individual companies, applying a city focus can boost entire chains or sectors to move towards circularity. But what is perhaps more important is the influence of city administrators - unlike at the federal level - they are directly linked to the practical implementation that can happen ‘just around the corner’. They know their citizens and their citizens know them. A mayor can immediately see and feel the effects of change that he or she has introduced, on the road, in surrounding areas or in the air.

“This is where the strength of cities comes in - and this is why we need to make mayors heroes.”

- Andy Ridley, CEO, Circle Economy

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, is convinced that the circular economy provides an answer to many challenges cities are confronted with. In the Livre Blanc de l’economie circulaire du Grand Paris (2015), she writes that she sees the circular economy as “An economy with the smallest impact on our environment, on our climate and also on our health” and states that “it is the direction we have to follow as of today”. Some 500 kilometers north of Paris, the alderman for sustainability of the city of Amsterdam, affirms: “The potential of a circular economy is enormous, and that is why we are focused on research and are willing to support anyone who strives to make the circular economy a reality in our city.”What is the real potential of the circular economy within a city? To answer this question Circle Economy developed the City Circle Scan. This tool allows cities to develop practical and scalable solutions to save resources while creating new jobs, a healthier environment and improved livability. A report about the possibilities for circularity within Amsterdam, published last year, shows that material reuse strategies have a potential of creating €85 million of value per year in the construction sector, while €150 million of value could be preserved when organic waste streams are handled more efficiently. In terms of total material savings in the Amsterdam metropolitan area, this could add up to nearly 900 thousand tons per year, a significant amount compared to the annual import of 3.9 million tonnes currently utilised by the region. Lastly, employment could be boosted through increased productivity levels adding up to 700 additional jobs in the construction sector and 1200 new jobs in the food processing industry.Paris and Amsterdam have set the first steps towards circularity and now more and more cities are becoming aware of the impact they can have on a global transition towards a circular economy. At this moment, Brussels and Glasgow are being ‘scanned’ for circular opportunities in order to create a roadmap for change. Other cities such as Vancouver, Taoyuan and Cape Town have indicated they have a strong drive to initiate the transition. The question now is: Who’s next?By: Ben Kubbinga, Lead Partnerships and Collaborations, Circle Economy

Unleashing the Power of Cities

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Cities and urban areas are at the core of our current linear economy. The millions of people living in these areas here buy, consume and waste enormous amounts of products and materials. Urbanisation has caused 70% of the world’s population to live in cities. The growing number of urban consumers also means in increase in the influx of goods. People living in cities are responsible for 67% of the global energy consumption and 70% of the total greenhouse gas emissions. Continuing with the way we utilise our resources, cities like Beijing, New Delhi, Milano and Brussels will face higher levels of air pollution and environmental degradation than ever before.Clearly, this is not what our city administrators desire. Their efforts are generally aimed at creating a community that is resilient, competitive and self-sufficient. They want to provide a healthy living environment where people can thrive and be happy, without having to worry about food, jobs or poverty. More and more cities also want to be climate neutral. This is why they are looking for concrete, practical and scalable solutions to change consumption patterns, rejuvenate industries and use waste as a resource. Treating waste as a resource opens up the possibilities for new forms of business – think for instance of repair cafes that provide a new life to discarded products or water purification plants in cities that retrieve ‘struvite’ from wastewater.Cities are key to starting the transition to the circular economy. Being the centres of political and financial power, the nodal points for many value chains and their waste streams, and the hotbeds for creative power and innovation, cities possess all the relevant levers to turn around our economy. This is also true for the scaling up of transformative economic activities: while current circular business models often focus on individual companies, applying a city focus can boost entire chains or sectors to move towards circularity. But what is perhaps more important is the influence of city administrators - unlike at the federal level - they are directly linked to the practical implementation that can happen ‘just around the corner’. They know their citizens and their citizens know them. A mayor can immediately see and feel the effects of change that he or she has introduced, on the road, in surrounding areas or in the air.

“This is where the strength of cities comes in - and this is why we need to make mayors heroes.”

- Andy Ridley, CEO, Circle Economy

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, is convinced that the circular economy provides an answer to many challenges cities are confronted with. In the Livre Blanc de l’economie circulaire du Grand Paris (2015), she writes that she sees the circular economy as “An economy with the smallest impact on our environment, on our climate and also on our health” and states that “it is the direction we have to follow as of today”. Some 500 kilometers north of Paris, the alderman for sustainability of the city of Amsterdam, affirms: “The potential of a circular economy is enormous, and that is why we are focused on research and are willing to support anyone who strives to make the circular economy a reality in our city.”What is the real potential of the circular economy within a city? To answer this question Circle Economy developed the City Circle Scan. This tool allows cities to develop practical and scalable solutions to save resources while creating new jobs, a healthier environment and improved livability. A report about the possibilities for circularity within Amsterdam, published last year, shows that material reuse strategies have a potential of creating €85 million of value per year in the construction sector, while €150 million of value could be preserved when organic waste streams are handled more efficiently. In terms of total material savings in the Amsterdam metropolitan area, this could add up to nearly 900 thousand tons per year, a significant amount compared to the annual import of 3.9 million tonnes currently utilised by the region. Lastly, employment could be boosted through increased productivity levels adding up to 700 additional jobs in the construction sector and 1200 new jobs in the food processing industry.Paris and Amsterdam have set the first steps towards circularity and now more and more cities are becoming aware of the impact they can have on a global transition towards a circular economy. At this moment, Brussels and Glasgow are being ‘scanned’ for circular opportunities in order to create a roadmap for change. Other cities such as Vancouver, Taoyuan and Cape Town have indicated they have a strong drive to initiate the transition. The question now is: Who’s next?By: Ben Kubbinga, Lead Partnerships and Collaborations, Circle Economy

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Unleashing the Power of Cities

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Cities and urban areas are at the core of our current linear economy. The millions of people living in these areas here buy, consume and waste enormous amounts of products and materials. Urbanisation has caused 70% of the world’s population to live in cities. The growing number of urban consumers also means in increase in the influx of goods. People living in cities are responsible for 67% of the global energy consumption and 70% of the total greenhouse gas emissions. Continuing with the way we utilise our resources, cities like Beijing, New Delhi, Milano and Brussels will face higher levels of air pollution and environmental degradation than ever before.Clearly, this is not what our city administrators desire. Their efforts are generally aimed at creating a community that is resilient, competitive and self-sufficient. They want to provide a healthy living environment where people can thrive and be happy, without having to worry about food, jobs or poverty. More and more cities also want to be climate neutral. This is why they are looking for concrete, practical and scalable solutions to change consumption patterns, rejuvenate industries and use waste as a resource. Treating waste as a resource opens up the possibilities for new forms of business – think for instance of repair cafes that provide a new life to discarded products or water purification plants in cities that retrieve ‘struvite’ from wastewater.Cities are key to starting the transition to the circular economy. Being the centres of political and financial power, the nodal points for many value chains and their waste streams, and the hotbeds for creative power and innovation, cities possess all the relevant levers to turn around our economy. This is also true for the scaling up of transformative economic activities: while current circular business models often focus on individual companies, applying a city focus can boost entire chains or sectors to move towards circularity. But what is perhaps more important is the influence of city administrators - unlike at the federal level - they are directly linked to the practical implementation that can happen ‘just around the corner’. They know their citizens and their citizens know them. A mayor can immediately see and feel the effects of change that he or she has introduced, on the road, in surrounding areas or in the air.

“This is where the strength of cities comes in - and this is why we need to make mayors heroes.”

- Andy Ridley, CEO, Circle Economy

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, is convinced that the circular economy provides an answer to many challenges cities are confronted with. In the Livre Blanc de l’economie circulaire du Grand Paris (2015), she writes that she sees the circular economy as “An economy with the smallest impact on our environment, on our climate and also on our health” and states that “it is the direction we have to follow as of today”. Some 500 kilometers north of Paris, the alderman for sustainability of the city of Amsterdam, affirms: “The potential of a circular economy is enormous, and that is why we are focused on research and are willing to support anyone who strives to make the circular economy a reality in our city.”What is the real potential of the circular economy within a city? To answer this question Circle Economy developed the City Circle Scan. This tool allows cities to develop practical and scalable solutions to save resources while creating new jobs, a healthier environment and improved livability. A report about the possibilities for circularity within Amsterdam, published last year, shows that material reuse strategies have a potential of creating €85 million of value per year in the construction sector, while €150 million of value could be preserved when organic waste streams are handled more efficiently. In terms of total material savings in the Amsterdam metropolitan area, this could add up to nearly 900 thousand tons per year, a significant amount compared to the annual import of 3.9 million tonnes currently utilised by the region. Lastly, employment could be boosted through increased productivity levels adding up to 700 additional jobs in the construction sector and 1200 new jobs in the food processing industry.Paris and Amsterdam have set the first steps towards circularity and now more and more cities are becoming aware of the impact they can have on a global transition towards a circular economy. At this moment, Brussels and Glasgow are being ‘scanned’ for circular opportunities in order to create a roadmap for change. Other cities such as Vancouver, Taoyuan and Cape Town have indicated they have a strong drive to initiate the transition. The question now is: Who’s next?By: Ben Kubbinga, Lead Partnerships and Collaborations, Circle Economy

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