Explore Circular Stories
BUSINESS AS UNUSUAL - CAN COVID-19 RECOVERY BE ALIGNED WITH PLANETARY NEEDS?
Oliver Dudok van Heel from Freshfields explored in a blog how COVID-19 has altered our relationship with our planet, what this could mean for a postcorona world and how this will affect business. The COVID-19 crisis has helped us understand the symbiotic relationship we have with our planet and how human action and wellbeing is inextricably linked to the natural environment on a number of levels.
FROM PRINCIPLES TO PRACTICES: REALIZING THE VALUE OF CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN REAL ESTATE
Making an investment case is vital to the adoption of circular economy principles, helping the built environment sector tackle its environmental footprint and create better places for people to live and work. What tangible changes could real estate investors and businesses make to tap into these benefits? These are core questions that Arup and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation addressed in the newest publication.
POSTPONED: THE ZERO WASTE SUMMIT MARCH 24-26
Companies for Zero Waste, who is hosting the Summit, are taking a pragmatic approach to identify actionable items to mitigate the supply chain environmental impact. The second annual Zero Waste Summit also includes a hands-on pre-summit workshop by David Gajadhar, Chairman of Companies for Zero Waste. This workshop is designed to help organizations connect the dots across the supply chain for waste mitigation and performance improvement during uncertain economic cycles. Join 200+ sustainability directors, policymakers and investors at New Jersey Innovation Institute’s Agile Strategy Lab in Newark, New Jersey.
SOCIAL ENTERPRISES AND CIRCULAR ECONOMY
This blog looks at what we can learn from social enterprises in Chile, Portugal and the Netherlands that are already creating inclusive work opportunities for people in the circular economy. The inclusion of jobs in the circular economy is a key focus area for the Circular Jobs Initiative, by Circle Economy, a dutch impact organization that is working to ensure the transition to the circular economy is positive for work and workers.
ACCELERATING INTO CIRCULAR ECONOMY
Circular Re-Thinking is one of the first professional training courses aimed at bringing experts into companies to accelerate the circular transition. Trentino Sviluppo in collaboration with consultancy firm Terra Institute and with the support of Renewable Matter’s editorial office conceived the Circular Re-thinking School, the project aims to create a connection between experts and young professionals who are interested in real circular economy processes and the companies that want to rethink their business models. These companies are hoping to find activators who will support the transition towards better sustainability practices through the enactment of a circular business vision. The program will be replicated in the US and the Netherlands.
RESOURCE INNOVATION AND SOLUTIONS NETWORK (RISN) INCUBATOR
In 2016, the City of Phoenix and Arizona State University launched the first circular economy incubator program in the United States: RISN Incubator. The incubator is a niche-business accelerator for entrepreneurs in the early stages of waste-to-product innovation. We offer ventures an opportunity to rapidly scale and transform their startup into a vehicle to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges by helping them to test their concepts, build out their company and scale to market. Additionally, we lead education and capacity building efforts with community partners to help them gain an understanding of circular economy concepts, strategies and how it all can be implemented into their work. One way we do so is through our Professional Certificate in Ethical Circular Economy which is a 1 to 3 day intensive focused on systems thinking, social and ethical impacts, design strategies, and more.
NYC RECYCLED GLASS AGGREGATE
Glass is, theoretically, endlessly recyclable. However, glass collected in curbside recycling programs gets broken and mixed with other recyclables. At Sims Municipal Recycling, glass is immediately screened out from the recycling stream and shipped to Sims’ Glass Plant where any residual non-glass materials are removed and glass is shipped for its highest and best use. While not all glass can be recovered for use in the bottling industry, Sims Municipal Recycling is able to supply builders with recycled glass aggregate (RGA) for use in a wide array of construction projects as a locally-produced, recycled, cost-effective aggregate product.
PATHWAYS TO A CLEANER ENERGY FUTURE: THE CASE OF DENMARK
In June of 2019, Clinical Professor Carolyn Kissane lead an NYU Center for Global Affairs Global Field Intensive to Denmark and Norway, examining clean energy policies and sustainability. Sixteen students participated in the program. Two students, Adrian Varga and Brian Myers, Energy and Environmental Policyconcentrators, in this blog post, examined Denmark's power sector and the innovative ways it is moving toward cleaner energy and deeper decarbonization.
A BROOKLYN TECH LIVING LAB INITIATIVE
Downtown Brooklyn Partnership (DBP) is excited to be a partner in testing out solutions that work toward an efficient, green, circular city. With our Living Lab initiative, DBP partners with smart cities startups to use Downtown Brooklyn as a testing ground for new technologies. Working in conjunction with incubators, accelerators and entrepreneurial hubs to identify urban tech startups, DBP is making Downtown Brooklyn a center for frontier urban technology.
BLOXHUB URBAN PARTNERSHIPS
BLOXHUB is the Nordic Hub for Sustainable Urbanization and we help create better cities worldwide through urban partnerships. Our goal is to help inspire and share the solutions across country boarders and fields of knowledge. With Urban Partnerships, BLOXHUB seeks to create a national or global initiative on behalf of its members, which will ensure strong partnerships, knowledge sharing and collaboration.
ZERO WASTE PRACTICES SUPPORT THE TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE
TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency) Zero Waste is the first program dedicated to measuring and improving zero waste system performance by encouraging the adoption of reliable, resilient and sustainable practices. Administered by Green Business Certification Inc. and supported by the USGBC, TRUE evaluates how well facilities perform in minimizing their nonhazardous solid waste and maximizing efficiency in the use of resources. With TRUE, a facility or building can achieve its zero waste goals, cut their carbon footprint and support public health. The focus for TRUE is on upstream initiatives including reduction, reuse, and closed loop practices.
ACCELERATING THE FUTURE OF SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING
Six companies graduated from the NextGen Circular Business Accelerator, managed by Closed Loop Partners, ready to scale their sustainable cup solutions. The diverse solutions include cutting-edge plant-based materials, new innovative liners for cups, and reusable cup systems that redesign the fiber to-go cup so that it is more widely recoverable or remains in circulation for multiple uses.
LEARNING FROM CONSUMERS - HOW SHIFTING DEMANDS ARE SHAPING COMPANIES’ CIRCULAR ECONOMY TRANSITION
There are many ways in which companies can apply circular economy principles to increase profitability. All of this will be in vain, however, if companies cannot bring consumers with them as they transition. ING's latest circular economy research, a global study of 15,000 consumers, reveals that 83 percent believe their consumer choices can have a positive impact on addressing global environmental challenges. The research also provides fresh insight into three industries: fashion, food, and electronics. The findings highlight where consumers are already engaging in circular activities, their appetite for new product and service models, and how these shifting preferences will change the way that businesses operate and generate revenues in the future.
A BUSLOAD OF FASHION PEOPLE GO TO A LANDFILL
Slow Factory is an organization focused on environmental justice and human rights via educational programs, cultural events, and special projects. In partnership with Adidas, our Landfills as Museums project encourages students and designers to adopt a waste-led design approach that considers the end of life of materials at the beginning in order to reduce the burden placed on the globe's landfills caused by overconsumption and waste.
WASTE WISE CITIES
In 2018, UN-Habitat launched the Waste Wise Cities Campaign, a call to action for municipalities to enhance solid waste management and resource efficiency. It also outlines the need for the development of partnerships across all sectors of society, formal and informal, governments and NGOs, private and public sectors. Read more about this program and the nexus between women and waste in UN-Habitat's newsletter.
URBAN MINING AND CIRCULAR CONSTRUCTION
Construction is critical to the healthy functioning of our economy. Yet, it is also one of the planet’s largest consuming sectors of energy and raw materials. How can we continue to build while minimizing negative impacts on the environment? The answer lies in urban mining and circular construction – but what is it and how does it help cities and developers? Read more for Metabolic's explanation.
CIRCULARITY IN 2020
While the concept of a circular economy has made its way into the public consciousness; unfortunately, as of 2018, circularity globally is only at 9%. What do we need to ensure that Circularity delivers on its potential in 2020 and beyond? This question and more are posed by Gina Wu Lee, Founder of Upcycler and the author of Closing the Material Loop-How Innovators from the Public and Private Sector are Creating Value from Waste and The State of the Circular Economy in America. The Upcyclers Network was founded to challenge our reliance on natural resource extraction and build a sustainable economy where waste is simply a resource out of place.
CIRCULARITY CITIES IN DENMARK
The Circularity City project has gathered municipalities and private sector frontrunners in Denmark to display how circular cities can be built. From 2017 to 2020, the focus has been to design new innovative, circular solutions in order to create a more positive environmental footprint in the built environment. This has been carried out through value-chain collaboration and development projects for both municipalities and corporations – all with the shared vision of establishing new circular solutions and scaling them, nationally and globally. The findings of this report will also be presented at Circular City Week New York, but you can already now access the findings.
GREENTOWN LABS CIRCULARITY CHALLENGE
The #CircularityChallenge brought together startups and corporates with the mission of advancing groundbreaking technologies to enable a circular economy. The accelerator, run by Greentown Labs and chemicals leader BASF, connected entrepreneurs with the necessary mentors, team members, and business and technical resources to fast-track their technologies. The accelerator participants are disrupting the recycling industry and plastics and energy storage value chains. Hear from the startups and corporates at the Feb. 6 Final Showcase!
MEASURING CIRCULARITY FOR BUSINESSES AND ORGANIZATIONS
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has just launched Circulytics - the most comprehensive, circularity measurement tool available in the world. Circulytics is for any organisation that wants to accurately measure the full extent of their circularity with unprecedented clarity. Using company-level data, with applied insights and analysis from the Foundation's Data and Metrics team, Circulytics highlights and inspires opportunities for innovation, while allowing companies to track their progress. Now a freely available resource, Circulytics is a crucial tool for every organisation that wants to accelerate the adoption of circular economy practices.
ReFASHION WEEK 2020
To raise awareness about textile waste and provide fashionable solutions, The New York City Department of Sanitation and its nonprofit partner, The Foundation for New York’s Strongest, team up to host the second annual ReFashion Week from February 22nd to the 28th. The week of events kicks off with an opening reception and panel featuring sustainable fashion experts and closes with an all-out fashion show highlighting thrift stylists and upcycle designers.
WHERE SHOULD OUR CLOTHES GO WHEN WE'RE DONE WITH THEM?
Every year, New Yorkers send 200 million pounds of clothing to landfill – that’s the equivalent of over 440 Statues of Liberty – but steps are being taken to change that. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation joined forces with NYC's Department of Sanitation and Economic Development Corporation for the Make Fashion Circular #WearNext campaign that united NYC with leading brands, collectors, recyclers, and resale companies, behind a common goal to divert clothes away from landfill. By swapping, selling, donating or recycling clothing, it’s possible to prevent clothing from ever becoming waste.
DESIGN FRONTIERS FOR THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
Parsons Healthy Materials Lab held its first large symposium, Material Health: Design Frontiers for the Built Environment in mid-November. Speakers from seemingly divergent perspectives presented their cutting edge work and pivotal discussions between disciplines emerged, making it very clear that collaboration across disciplines is essential for making radical change for a healthier future. Stay up to date with Healthy Materials Lab events and one of a kind online education opportunities.
NEWS FROM CIRCULAR ECONOMY RESEARCH CENTER IN PARIS
Circular Economy Research Center (CERC) has been established to lead and support novel research initiatives and to design new multidisciplinary business models which can support the transformation process from a linear to a circular economy. Conscious of this transformational context which can lead to a more sustainable future, Ecole des Ponts Business School is engaged in the domain of Circular Economy and promotes the responsible and cyclical use of resources. Stay updated on news from leading circular research with these four CERC projects: Circular Economy and the Internet of Things, Ideal-Cities, SmartShip, and Bio-Phoenix
NEW YORK CIRCULAR CITY INITIATIVE
“Imagine a New York City where no waste is sent to landfill, environmental pollution is minimized, and thousands of good jobs are created through the intelligent re-use of products and raw materials”, asks Oliver Dudok van Heel, Head of Client Sustainability for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Oliver and his team at Freshfields have convened thought leaders from city agencies, businesses, financial institutions, universities and think tanks to identify key levers of change to aid New York City transition to a Circular Economy. Recommendations and next action steps will be presented during Circular City Week. This initiative is part of Freshfields overall mission of collaborating with clients to provide strategic advice to enable them to achieve a sustainable future for themselves and the communities in which they operate.
URBAN-X: WHAT'S OLD IS NEW AGAIN
Americans create 70 pounds of apparel waste per person each year. And those 23 billion pounds of waste are costing cities hundreds of millions of dollars. Thrilling, a platform for second-hand and vintage boutiques, plans to reduce the environmental impact of clothing by 75 percent. Read more about how the URBAN-X alum is making an impact in the circular economy.
EXPLORE A BLUECITY
BlueCity is an international icon of circular economy, a national platform for circular entrepreneurs, and a very visible local accelerator that empowers circular entrepreneurs and inspires citizens. Their goal? To provide start-ups and scale-ups with access to circular resources, knowledge and talent, to turn ideas into action and ultimately: to help sustainable entrepreneurs to grow from intention to impact.
Deep inside of Brooklyn’s Industrial Zone, Cooper Recycling boasts a state-of-the-art recycling system that can process up to 2,000 tons of NYC’s construction and demolition debris every day. As calls for environmental progress and sustainable development get stronger, Cooper is positioned to lead the construction industry away from the traditional make-take-dispose model and towards a circular economy where construction materials are recycled to a higher use than mere disposal in a landfill.
PIONEERING SUSTAINABLE INTERIOR DESIGN
In summer 2019, Laurence Carr Design was selected to design a room for the prestigious Hampton Designer Showhouse benefiting Stony Brook Hospital in Southampton, New York. Laurence Carr Design created "The Restorative Room" centered around sustainable products and promoting the circular economy, through practices such as sourcing antiques, upcycling furniture, and working with eco friendly vendors. Read more about their projects, initiatives, and sustainable holistic design firm below.
ECO-INDUSTRIAL PARKS INITIATIVE
UNIDO’s Eco-industrial Parks initiative supports industrial transformation based on circular economy principles. An eco-industrial park is a community of businesses located on a common property in which businesses gain competitive advantage through industrial symbiosis. Through physical exchange of materials, energy, water and by-products, the eco-industrial parks promote resource efficiency and circular economy practices while also helping address inter-related aspects such as social standards and improved infrastructure.
EXPLORE A CIRCULAR FOOD CLUSTER
19% of Danish food companies are part of circular economy today and 54% are heading towards implementation of circular economy. The Danish Food Cluster is a member organisation that covers small and large corporates, knowledge institutions, and organisations. All in all 75% of the Danish food sector of which large members like Nestlé and smaller members like Cellugy already have implemented circular economy in their production.
DESIGN WEEK AT THE MAKER SPACE
On February 10-15 2020, the Design Lab @ NYU MakerSpace will host their annual Design Week focusing on sustainability, design and the circular Eeonomy. Through workshops, a documentary screening, a recycling facility site visit, and panel with leading experts (Frog Design, Closed Loop Partners, and more), participants will be invited to explore ways to reduce waste, re-use materials and embrace a circular design mindset. All events open to the public.
A SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING COALITION BOOTCAMP
SPC Immerse 2020 is the new Sustainable Packaging Coalition Bootcamp to be held in NYC at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on November 12th, 2020. This one day bootcamp will provide attendees with an immersive experience on packaging sustainability core concepts and it’s designed for sustainability, packaging, branding, marketing, communications, procurement and business development professionals that want to become more fluent in the topic.
HOW TO PRODUCE MORE FOOD WITH LESS - CASE BANK BY FOOD NATION
Food Nation is a public-private partnership established by the Danish Government and leading private organisations and companies. Food Nation creates awareness of Denmark as a global frontrunner within innovative, sustainable and efficient food production and works as a gateway for international decision makers seeking information about Denmark as a food nation.
H2 REFUEL ACCELERATOR
The Urban Future Lab, in partnership with Greentown Labs and Fraunhofer TechBridge, invited participates to celebrate the conclusion of the first ever H2 Refuel Accelerator. This unparalleled collaboration offered hydrogen technology startups opportunities and growth strategies with the support of Shell, Toyota, and NYSERDA. Pitches from the startup participants were given in Boston, which gave the audience a chance to learn more about hydrogen's potential for zero-emissions fuel.
CRADLE TO CRADLE: DESIGN & INNOVATION FORUM IN STOCKHOLM
Learn everything about Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute on 4-5 November to hear ideas, inspiration and practical insights from leading innovators, designers, brands and manufacturers on advancing safe and circular design, and accelerating circular business models across the Nordic region and beyond. Explore opportunities, solutions and ideas for transforming products for the circular economy with leading innovators including G-Star RAW, Houdini Sportswear, Troldtekt , Steelcase, Tengbom, 3XN/GXN, Stockholm Resilience Centre, RISE, Nordic Circular Hotspot and more. William McDonough, co-founder of Cradle to Cradle Certified, will deliver a keynote address.
COOPER'S RECYCLING CERTIFICATION
As a leading company in NYC’s private waste and recycling industry, Cooper Recycling’s objectives fall squarely within the sustainability sphere; Cooper Recycling is at the forefront of New York’s Circular Economy. As the first stage in the recycling loop, they employ the most advanced techniques to harness value from debris while minimizing environmental and economic costs. To advance these goals, demand for transparency in recycling and recovery rates amongst academics, policymakers and industry representatives has grown in recent years. Therefore, to avoid dubious claims and statistics and maintain an integrity that can be relied upon, Cooper Recycling successfully achieved verification from the Recycling Certification Institute (RCI) in 2015, becoming the only certified facility of its kind in New York.
THE CIRCULAR FUTURE
The Center for the Circular Economy and EON Group are looking to revolutionize the fashion industry through a global industry-wide initiative - Connect Fashion. This introduces the standard for Digital Identity, and a framework for how the Internet of Things will power end-to-end connectivity across fashion, advancing the circular economy, transparency and a more sustainable future!
CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN CHINA AND THE US
China’s “National Sword” policy took effect in 2018, establishing bans and strict quality standards to restrict imported recyclable materials. The market shift will have fundamental and long-lasting impact on the circular economy ecosystem, not only in China, but also in the rest of the world. With strong support from China’s government, this change has created a major new opportunity for global brands to participate in and benefit from circular economy trends. Through the China Program at Closed Loop Partners, we’re building bridges between Chinese companies and trade associations and U.S. investment opportunities and investors in the circular economy space.
PUBLIC REALM REFUSE + RECYCLING SOLUTIONS RFEI
Public Realm Refuse and Recycling Solutions RFEI collected responses and solutions in May 31, 2019. The NYC Department of Sanitation, in partnership with NYC Department of Transportation, sought creative solutions for containerized refuse and recycling that would:
increase waste diversion, including by reduction, reuse, and recycling
reduce the volume of consolidated material set out on City sidewalks
reduce vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions associated with waste collection
improve the cleanliness of City streets and sidewalks
NYC CURB-TO-MARKET CHALLENGE
A prize of $500,000 was offered to the individual or team that comes up with the best idea and business plan to repurpose New York City's recyclable trash and locally manufacture a product to sell into the NYC market. The winning entry demonstrated the most efficient, sustainable and environmentally aware way to implement the entire process of sourcing and converting the recycled waste for use. The competition was made possible by manufacturing entrepreneur Chris Graff. Application deadline is June 1st 2019.
This publication is the outcome of a yearlong exchange of knowledge and experience between Denmark and New York, initiated by State of Green. The purpose is to contribute to this exchange of ideas on circular economy and, through practical examples, illustrate how Danish and New York stakeholders are providing solutions that help progress the transition towards a circular economy.
TOOLKIT: TURNING BUSINESSES CIRCULAR
If you are looking for innovative insights on how to turn your business circular! In a partnership with Unilever, Forum For The Future have developed The Circular Economy Business Model Toolkit. A toolkit identifying 10 circular business model archetypes including modularity and local loops, all distilled from long-term research into circular economy trends.
CLOSING THE WATER CYCLE
AgTech X members NexLoop, a biomimetic design company specializing in passive water capture systems to enhance sustainable food production, have won Make It In Brooklyn’s “Innovator of the Year” award. NexLoop, have created an AquaWeb, a modular building facade system, which passively collects water from atmospheric sources, such as rain and fog, similar to how a spider web collects water from the air.
From their Hudson Valley brewery, Toast are leading a craft beer revolution against food waste. Using a recipe revived from ancient brewing practices, Toast takes yesterday's unsold loaves from local bakeries and turns it into award-winning craft beers. As a certified B Corporation, Toast Ale also pours all profits into food sustainability charities around the world.
THE RISN INCUBATOR
The RISN Incubator at Arizona State University invites startups and early stage business ventures creating solutions for waste diversion, minimization, and reuse/recycling innovations to participate in its diverse business development and accelerator program. Application deadline is 1st February 2019.
Renewable Matter is the international magazine that explores the circular economy, bioeconomy and future-proof strategies. Each issue of the magazine features four startups making the world more circular and sustainable and pushing the boundaries of the modern economy. From RePack to CupClub, from Evoware to Instock the selected startups represent the latest technologies around the world, the most innovative materials, new upcycled and recycled products and circular business models.
CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN BUILT ENVIRONMENT: LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP
Developed in a partnership between Arup and Stopwaste, the publication “Circular Economy in Built Environment: Opportunities for Local Government Leadership” provides a framework for applying circular economy principles at the community, neighborhood, and building scales. It identifies goals and strategies at each scale, along with real-world examples for many of these to demonstrate how they can be achieved in practice.
Circularity City will be an engine for urban transformation and growth in the Central Denmark Region. Together, we will develop new urban solutions where resources and materials are designed for disassembly and embedded in closed loops making it possible to regenerate and reuse them again and again.
TOOLS, KNOWLEDGE & ABILITY: CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN CITIES
As major engines of economic growth, cities have the tools, knowledge, and ability to drive the circular economy agenda forward and unlock economic, environmental, and social benefits. Soon to be published through a partnership between Arup and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Circular Economy in Cities will be an online suite of resources providing a global reference for city leaders to learn how to implement circular economy in their city. To find out more, this publication provides a preview of this content.
NATIONAL DANISH STRATEGY FOR CIRCULAR ECONOMY
The Danish government wishes with this strategy to pave the way for the Danish business community driving the circular transition. It also wishes to create such framework conditions that support the realization of economic and environmental benefits of the circular economy in a joint effort among enterprises, consumers, and public institutions. It is the objective to promote circular economy, including better use and recycling of resources and the prevention of waste.
THE BRING-IT MOVEMENT
FOR NYC STUDENTS
Single-use plastic creates major waste in our city and across our planet. The NYC Mayor's Office of Sustainability launched BRING IT, a multi-channel campaign empowering young New Yorkers to reduce plastic waste from the start. It began with a groundbreaking public-private partnership to give every high school student in New York City a reusable water bottle. That's 320,000 students making strides toward a zero waste NYC.
TAKE PART IN THE WORK OF THE MANHATTAN SWAB
The Manhattan Solid Waste Management Board (SWAB) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that is dedicated to increasing recycling, reducing solid waste, and advancing solid waste policy in New York City. They advise the Manhattan Borough President, City Council, City Administration and others on policies and programs regarding the development, promotion and operation of the City’s waste prevention, reuse and recycling programs. Speak your mind and join the movement. Meetings are held monthly, they are free and open to the public.
THE STATE OF THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN THE US
The State of the Circular Economy in America delivers the first United States focused scan of the Circular Economy landscape. By providing an analysis of 202 United States based Circular Economy initiatives, this report offers concrete examples of Circular Economy solutions, as well as demonstrates the diverse array of stakeholders and industries that are already participating in the creation of the Circular Economy here in America. The report is brought to you by Circular CoLab.
WIN A CIRCULAR
ECONOMY MENTOR SESSION
Prof. Michael Braungart, the co-creator of Cradle2Cradle, held a mentoring session in Circular economy for those with start-up or research projects. The Circular Economy Club believe it is crucial to connect experts on the circular economy with students, young professionals, and startups who are trying to embed circular economy in their projects. For that reason, Circular Economy Club launched the Mentors program. Circular Economy Club Mentors are experts in multiple fields including circular fashion, construction, cities, energy, cradle to cradle, biomimicry, industrial symbiosis, business models, policy-making and many more.
The Circular Economy Network is a collaborative community founded in NYC in 2017 to advance regenerative systems through interactive forums exploring business, research, policy, design, and technology. Circular Economy Network meetings feature enlightening presentations by diverse professionals from the circular economy community followed by lively discussions. Anyone with a passion for education and collaboration is welcome!
IN VIET NAM
UNIDO engages with circular economy as part of its mandate for inclusive sustainable industrial development, as circular economy enables industries to combine environmental protection with economic development. One example is the facilitation of establishing eco-industrial parks in Viet Nam which promote resource efficiency and circular economy, contributing to sustainable cities. In collaboration with Vietnamese authorities, UNIDO identifies and facilitates opportunities for industrial symbiosis while separate industries gain competitive advantage through physical exchange of materials, energy, water and by-products. This project has improved resource efficiency, competitiveness and profitability while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, waste and creating new employment opportunities, improved worker’s health and quality of life of communities.
NEXTGEN TO-GO CUP CHALLENGE
The Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners is the Managing Partner of the NextGen Consortium, which seeks to find a global recoverable solution for the fiber, hot and cold, to-go cup system. With over 250 billion cups produced a year, there is a lot of opportunity for improving the recoverability of materials at end-of-life. Nearly 500 innovative ideas were submitted to the NextGen Cup Challenge.
OPPORTUNITY AND DISRUPTION PUBLICATION
ING surveyed over 300 U.S. executives and found that nearly four in five firms have a strategic intent to implement a circular economy framework or have already put one in place. The survey presents what U.S. business leaders see as the challenges and opportunities of implementing circular practices within their business models – read more from the press release and report findings below.
Circular flows of materials in cities promises job creation, operational savings, less waste and lower carbon emissions, but how does it work in practice? How can a city municipality catalyze a transition from a linear economy of make, use, dispose, to a circular economy? C40 have researched 40 in-depth case studies from cities around the world, demonstrating how municipalities can advance towards zero waste economies.
MADE OUT OF WHAT:
A Moroccan women’s collective elevates its economic standing by adapting traditional skills to consumer waste. Paris-based designer Faiza Hajji got the idea to launch her successful company Ifassen while cycling around a valley covered in plastic bags. Merging her passion for sustainability and her love of traditional Moroccan skills, she revolutionized a community of women on the spot, growing a fashionable repertoire of design models and gaining them financial independence and joy in the bargain.
BLUEPRINT FOR THE FUTURE OF URBAN TECH
What does the ideal world look like? Well for the founder of the Bushwick Generator Emerick Patterson, an ideal world is a decentralized world – a world without a middleman, where communities operate through public consensus; where they can monetize their behavior based upon an agreed upon value, and where that value is earned by way of reputation. It is a radical idea but glimpses of this share economy has already been seen in the massive success of businesses such as Uber, Fon, Airbnb and TaskRabbit. And the idea of a share economy can provide fruitfull insights to radically new approaches to the circular economy.
The donateNYC Partnership program, initiated by NYC Department of Sanitation, has had a huge positive impact on waste diversion in NYC. In the last year alone, donateNYC’s nonprofit reuse Partners diverted over with over 98 million pounds of goods from landfill through donations and reuse, which has reduced greenhouse gases as much as keeping 37,000 cars off the road for one year.
MERA - The Association for Sustainable Manufacturing - is a network of sustainable manufacturers, suppliers, universities, and professional services firms which promotes the economic, environmental, and product performance benefits of remanufacturing and similar forms of sustainable manufacturing. Sustainable manufacturing is the standardized process of producing high-quality goods – a second time – by reusing materials and conserving embodied energy in existing products. It is “manufacturing with re-use” – the tried-and-true process of an environmentally-friendly industry that has been around for decades. Going forward, sustainable manufacturing will play a vital role in the circular economy.
AMSTERDAM GOING CIRCULAR
In the West Axis or “Westas” area of Amsterdam there are four logistic hubs close together. These include Schiphol Airport, the Port of Amsterdam, Dataport MAS-IX and Greenport Aalsmeer. Together they function as an international ‘turntable’ for passengers, goods, flowers and data. Pioneering initiatives in this region is taking place as Amsterdam is going circular. Amongst others; heat generated by the data center is vented into greenhouses, saving both cooling costs for the data center and heating costs for the greenhouses; while the Port of Amsterdam is transitioning from a polluting source to an energy-generating source as a gateway for the global reuse of materials.
PARTNERSHIPS FOR GREEN GROWTH AND GLOBAL GOALS
P4G, an initiative funding innovative public-private partnerships to advance green growth, is supporting circular economy partnerships in Asia and Africa. P4G is engaged in circular economy project around the globe, including the Global Smart Green Logistics Innovation Partnership, which is working with Alibaba to reduce plastic and packaging waste in China, and the Sustainable Special Economic Zone partnership (SSEZ), which is creating zones for SDG attainment and economic growth.
CLOSING THE LOOP
ON GOVERNORS ISLAND
Earth Matter NY is a non-profit whose mission is to reduce the organic waste misdirected into landfills by encouraging neighbor participation and leadership in composting. Since 2010, Earth Matter NY has been an integral part of Governors Island’s Zero Waste Island initiative. They compost all organics generated on the Island, manage recycling and organics diversion at most Governors Island events, and educate visitors, participants and vendors on source separation. At their Compost Learning Center, visitors can experience how everyone is part of ‘the cycle’ with hands-on compost and farm related activities. Visitors enjoy interacting with chickens, goats and worms who all help illustrate how the waste of one, is food for another. In 2018, Earth Matter composted 700 tons of organics, generated by NYC residents and Governors Island.