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Our HOOP and SCALIBUR Projects Host the Circular Economy Week in Albano Laziale, Italy – Meet Us There From 17 to 20 May 2022!

13. Mai 2022 - 11:22

With a share of 34 %, biowaste is the largest single component of municipal waste in the EU. Recycling of biowaste is key for meeting the EU target to recycle 65% of municipal waste by 2035, containing a high potential for contributing to a more circular economy, delivering valuable soil-improving material and fertilisers as well as biogas, a source of renewable energy*.

The first Circular Economy Week in the city Albano Laziale is organised by our projects SCALIBUR and HOOP, funded by the EU to support cities and regions to develop circular biowaste systems. The Circular Economy Week will focus on biowaste management and circularity, aiming to raise awareness locally about circular initiatives and emerging technological solutions for the valorisation of organic waste.

Four in-person events will take place during the Circular Economy Week involving a broad range of stakeholders such as policy-makers, waste management companies, service providers, agricultural associations, busineses, citizens, and students. Each event will focus on a specific aspect linked to the Circular Economy and the valorisation of biowaste.

On 17 May, the Circular Economy Week will kick off with the public seminar “Opportunities for innovation and practices for the Circular Economy: The role of Albano Laziale and best practices in Europe”. To join the seminar, please register here.

On 18 May, the seminar “New frontiers for the circular economy: Investing in the bioeconomy” will address field experts and focus on economic and employment opportunities generated by new technologies. Join the seminar by registering here.

On 19 May, two participative workshops on the topic of “Circular Cities 2030” will be held to promote the involvement of students and citizens of all ages in the processes of building local scenarios and policies. Please register here to join.

The Circular Economy Week will end on 20 May with a “Circular Economy Exhibition“ at the Palazzo Savelli in Albano Laziale. The exhibition will display circular innovative products created by local companies and non-profit associations that promote reuse, circular economy, and environmental and social sustainability.

For additional information and the detailed agenda in English and Italian, please visit the websites of our SCALIBUR and HOOP projects.

For further questions, please contact Francesca Grossi.

*European Environment Agency 2020

The post Our HOOP and SCALIBUR Projects Host the Circular Economy Week in Albano Laziale, Italy – Meet Us There From 17 to 20 May 2022! appeared first on CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

The Power of Multi-Stakeholder Engagement in Emergency Responses – Check Out Our PathoCERT Project Publications

4. Mai 2022 - 11:09

Being prepared to effectively and timely react and operate in the occurrence of waterborne pathogen contamination events requires not only a set of tailored tools and technologies, but also effective coordination and collaboration among different stakeholder groups at the local, regional, and national level. The PathoCERT project is driving the development of novel and easy-to-use technological solutions, services and governance mechanisms to improve the situational awareness and coordination of relevant stakeholders and enable them to respond quickly and safely to threats.

To achieve this level of engagement, it is fundamental to identify and engage a whole array of stakeholders such as first responders, civil protection representatives, research organisations, universities, public authorities, and utility (water) operators. The latest PathoCERT reports detail the stakeholder engagement plan developed and implemented through the Communities of Practice in six pilot cities: Granada (Spain), Amsterdam (the Netherlands),  Limassol (Cyprus), Thessaloniki (Greece), Sofia (Bulgaria), and Seoul (South Korea).

Within the communities of practice, key local and regional stakeholders have been able to provide feedback on the PathoCERT technologies, especially on their applicability. In this way, they highlighted existing challenges and opportunities, shared knowledge and experiences to maximise mutual learning effects, and finally had the opportunity to conduct table-top exercises to initiate the testing of newly developed tools and technologies.

For additional details, please download the reports The PathoCERT Stakeholder Engagement Plan and PathoCert Communities of Practices – Best Practices and Key Learnings from our library.

For further information, please contact Francesca Grossi.

The post The Power of Multi-Stakeholder Engagement in Emergency Responses – Check Out Our PathoCERT Project Publications appeared first on CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

Would You Like to Become a Changemaker Toward a Good Life for All? Join our Living Lab in Wuppertal!

7. April 2022 - 11:05

A good life within the planetary boundaries primarily means identifying and leveraging the synergies between our personal wellbeing and the wellbeing of the planet. Our PSLifestyle project is offering citizens in eight countries across Europe a platform to co-create and shape visions of the good life as well as design solutions to make such visions a reality. The project has launched Living Labs in the respective pilot cities to empower citizens to become changemakers toward the good life.

The PSLifestyle project invites citizens of Wuppertal, as one of the pilot cities, to join our Living Lab and actively engage in shaping a good life in harmony with nature. Are you on board?

Throughout six meetings, between April 2022 and March 2023, together with other community members, you will have the opportunity to:

  • discuss challenges you face living in Wuppertal and how to move toward more sustainable solutions in the four key areas: food, mobility, housing, and general consumption
  • jointly design solutions and everyday actions that address those challenges and increase our share of sustainable living
  • discuss barriers to the implementation of potential solutions and explore opportunities that could speed up their wider uptake
  • think of social, economic, political and other recommendations for key actors such as policymakers or business representatives that could support making visions of a good life a reality

Besides co-defining visions of the good life in Wuppertal, our exchanges will directly contribute to the creation of the PSLifestyle tool – an online tool that helps citizens become aware of their environmental impact and supports making changes to day-to-day behaviours. As Living Lab participants, you will have the opportunity to co-design the features and functionalities of the PSLifestyle tool. The meetings will be held in German.

At the Living Labs meetings, we will lead hands-on and creative discussions based on the local context of Wuppertal and by taking into account the participants’ needs and reality. The meetings will be followed up by socialising events, such as cooking together, as another way to reflect on how to make the good life possible for all.

Do you already have interesting ideas to make positive change happen? Would you like to discuss them with your fellow citizens and expand your social network? Then, join our Living Labs by registering here and let us shape the good life together!

Connect with us on Facebook and stay up to date with the progress of the Living Labs!

The PSLifestyle Living Labs are part of the EU funded project PSLifestyle“Co-creating a positive and sustainable lifestyle tool with and for European citizens”.  The CSCP’s main focus is on Germany, particularly the city of Wuppertal. There are 16 European partners in total delivering the project.

For further questions, please contact Arlind Xhelili.

The post Would You Like to Become a Changemaker Toward a Good Life for All? Join our Living Lab in Wuppertal! appeared first on CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

Join Our EU Circular Talk “Together for Circular Packaging” on 5 April 2022!

28. März 2022 - 10:16

Demands on packaging are increasing: it should be protective, stackable, informative but also practical, attractive and circular. To fulfil these requirements, consumers should be taken on board. That’s why understanding their behaviour is crucial, also in order to understand how behavioural challenges can be overcome.

Through its German Packaging Club, the Consumer Insight Action Panel has been addressing the requirements for sustainable packaging with a behavioural focus since 2019. Together, club members from retail, recycling, services, science and civil society are working on enabling the implementation of circular packaging with a consumer focus.

The EU Circular Talk “Together for Circular Packaging” will focus on exchanging insights and impressions from the Packaging Club, but also on learning from the experiences of other European countries and regions. We will look at behavioural challenges related to circular packaging and how these can be addressed. Furthermore, we will discuss the different roles and responsibilities of actors in the value chain and the potential of multi-stakeholder approaches to implement circular solutions.

Date: 5 April 2022
Time: 16:00-17:30 CET
Place: Online
Language: English
Cost: Free of charge

To join us, please register here.

The Packaging Club has recently published a paper analysing separating and sorting cues included in packaging and how effective they actually are. Read further details and download the paper in our library!

The EU Circular Talks are an exchange concept of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, to which the CSCP is a member.

For further questions, please contact Stephan Schaller.

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Kategorien: english, Ticker

“I Am Here to Challenge the Status Quo!”

28. März 2022 - 10:10

Adriana has put years of research into analysing environmental discourses and how to turn them into policy and action, particularity in the context of her native Bolivia. As part of the CSCP, integrating social and environmental innovation in value chains and strengthening the resilience of local communities are her key focus.

How did sustainability enter your professional life?

My interest in sustainability arose when I was working at the United Nations Development Programme in Bolivia. One of the reports I worked on focused on local endeavours for a type of economy that looked at alternatives to the traditional extraction of primary natural resources in the Bolivian Amazon and lowlands. For the report, I travelled the country and interviewed different stakeholders. Seeing first-hand the impact of sustainable value chains on local and rural development in terms of preserving rural livelihoods and local cultures as well as promoting improved social and environmental conditions made a great impression on me. It inspired me to pursue my master studies in the field of Environment and Sustainable Development and align my professional aspirations tightly to the topic of sustainability. The interconnection between sustainability and local and rural development has been of primary interest for me ever since.

Is this what lead you to the CSCP?

Yes. Working at the CSCP gives me the opportunity to scale up sustainability, take action and develop ideas that challenge taken-for-granted beliefs and understandings. By looking at things holistically and by working collaboratively we create new understandings of the issues at hand. How social and environmental issues are defined and framed determines to a great extent how they will be addressed. What I cherish the most about the CSCP is the intersection between research and implementation. This offers us the chance to develop comprehensive concepts and ideas and then translate them into real action.

What is the most exciting project that you are working on currently?

I am very excited to be working on a circular tourism project in Vietnam. Traveling is enriching, yet the tourism industry takes a significant toll on landscapes, nature and cultural heritage sites. At the same time, it promotes trade, economic development, and creates jobs across different industries. Integrating circularity in the tourism sector has the capacity to generate significant change, even more so in the context of COVID-19. Despite the pandemic having posed enormous risks and challenges to tourism, it also presents with an excellent opportunity to transform and re-define tourism and take steps toward social and environmental innovation. We are trying to capitalise on this momentum and support Vietnam’s tourism sectors to use circular solutions to not just recover from the pandemic but also thrive and become more resilient

How do you think that the work you do contributes toward achieving international sustainability goals?

The TUI Vietnam project promotes the uptake of sustainability and circularity principles throughout all the different industries that are active in the tourism sector. As such, it targets challenges from plastic and marine litter through to food waste and greenhouse gas emission. In another project, the SteamBioAfrica, we are working on the development of sustainable value chains for the commercialisation of a new solid biofuel in Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. The biofuel is gained from an invasive plant’s biomass using an innovative superheated steam process technology which creates high value, affordable, and secure solid biofuel. In doing so, we are aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create inclusive models that integrate women and youth in the value chains while promoting renewable energy and energy security. Such examples are clearly aligned to and in function of achieving goals set in framework such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the EU Green Deal. 

What are the biggest opportunities you have identified regarding sustainability today?

While sustainability has indeed gained a lot of traction since the debut of the term in the 1980s, I have the feeling that sometimes our notion of sustainability is stuck in time. We should not understand sustainability as a static and one-dimensional concept, but rather as a constantly-evolving and dynamic one. Thus, we should keep challenging the principles of sustainability and question its indicators and frameworks in order to ensure progress.

To close it, what is your favourite sustainable lifestyle habit or hack?

I love giving things a second (or third) life. It makes me happy when I can give new purpose to things that I no longer use or things that other people no longer use or need. Buying second-hand clothes and helping organise flea markets is something I like a lot.

For further question, please contact Dr. Adriana Ballón Ossio directly.

The post “I Am Here to Challenge the Status Quo!” appeared first on CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

“It is High Time to Make Biodiversity a Top Priority”

24. März 2022 - 12:21

In his private life, he keeps bees to promote biodiversity. What can’t be done in the back yard, he takes to the work desk, where he engages with key stakeholders and leads collaborative processes to protect and preserve biodiversity. This is Frank Augustin, the new project manager at our Sustainable Infrastructure, Products and Services (SIPS) team.

How did your journey at the CSCP start?

I have always been interested in both the theoretical as well as practical underpinnings of sustainability issues. Therefore, the CSCP as a think and do tank is naturally the right place for me to be. The international team, broad diversity of projects, and the collaborative approach are unique and offer an inspiring environment to come up with innovative ideas and turn them into real actions.

What do you bring along from your previous journeys?

With more than 25 years of experience in various positions, functions and projects from specialist to senior management, I have a deep understanding of the private corporate sector. I look forward to employing this experience in supporting companies to engage with sustainability topics, biodiversity being a core focus.

Among the many projects and work streams, what are you looking forward to the most?

The Coronavirus pandemic has taught many of us valuable lessons. The intrinsic link between the pandemic and biodiversity loss is an eye-opening example. Anthropogenic activities, such as mining or release of industrial waste are known to be drivers of diseases transmitted from animals to humans. On the other hand, the pandemic is taking its toll on biodiversity, potentially aggravating the initial drivers. Our CSCP holistic approach accounts for such feedback loops and looks at problems from a cross-topic and collaborative viewpoint. I believe in such work and its impact potential and this is what I look forward to the most.

What is your favourite sustainable lifestyle habit?

I really appreciate regional and sustainably produced honey, so I keep bees on my own which enables me to harvest honey and promote local biodiversity.

For further questions, please contact Frank Augustin directly.

The post “It is High Time to Make Biodiversity a Top Priority” appeared first on CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

How the PathoCERT Communities of Practice Are Connecting Stakeholders and Enabling Innovation

24. März 2022 - 11:10

How do we enhance the operational capacities of first responders during outbreaks of waterborne diseases and how can we boost cross-country collaborations? Given the differences and complexities of existing emergency management systems, connecting key actors across and within countries is essential. Not only to guarantee a deeper understanding of challenges, needs and opportunities but also to explore the uptake of novel technologies and processes collaboratively. Through running its Communities of Practice (CoP), the PathoCERT project has concluded the second round of multi-stakeholder targeted meetings in each of the six project pilot cities: Limassol (Cyprus), Thessaloniki (Greece), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Granada (Spain), Sofia (Bulgaria) and Seoul (South Korea).

Building upon the insights gathered from the first round of events, the CoP meetings revolved around expanding the knowledge-base with special attention to the PathoCERT tailor-made technologies, guidelines, and processes in connection to the cities´ emergency scenarios.

The CoP meetings gathered over 80 stakeholders, representing local civil defence departments, civil protection agencies, police and fire services, public health services, local and municipal authorities, water utilities, first responder bodies, and the Red Cross. Their outcomes resulted in a detailed overview of users´ requirement for the different PathoCERT technologies, including wearable sensors to detect water pathogens in real-time, drones to collect water samples in remote areas, and even the use of social media like Twitter to identify the occurrence of emergency events via citizens´ tweets.

In PathoCERT, the Communities of Practice act as an innovative bridge between local, regional and national stakeholders and technology developers, providing the necessary neutral stage for open discussions and conducting of co-creation processes. The results of this second round of CoP meetings paves the way for the further development and/or refinement of the project technologies as well as for the setting up of the pilot-testing activities.

For more information on the PathoCERT six Communities of Practice and the pilot case studies, please visit the PathoCERT project website!

The PathoCERT project aims to increase the ability of first responders to rapidly detect waterborne pathogens and ensure collaboration and coordination between the different actors during an emergency event. It brings together a consortium of 23 partners including universities, research organisations, NGOs, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), large enterprises, first responders, and water utility operators from different European countries and South Korea to research and develop targeted technologies, tools, and procedures.

For further information, please contact Francesca Grossi.

The post How the PathoCERT Communities of Practice Are Connecting Stakeholders and Enabling Innovation appeared first on CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

Our Packaging Club Releases Paper on Separating and Sorting Cues: Are They Effective?

24. März 2022 - 10:42

Do you know which packaging belongs in which bin? What if packaging consists of different materials? Retailers and producers are increasingly using separation and sorting cues to help consumers dispose of waste correctly and ensure high-quality material recycling. In a new study conducted together with the Berlin-based Verbraucher Initiative, the CSCP tested consumer awareness regarding such information strategies.

The results of the study indicate that the cues are not yet effective for complex packaging made of composite materials or multiple components. In principle, however, assistance is desired and considered helpful. “Uniform and familiar symbols with clear, colour-coded separating and garbage can cues are necessary”, summarises Belinda Bäßler of the Verbraucher Initiative e.V. “Only this way consumers can internalise the assistance”.

In an innovative experimental field test, consumers were first led to believe that they were taking part in a taste test. They were casually asked to dispose of the packaging of tasted products and observed while doing this. They were then questioned again and informed about the true motives of the field test. The test was carried with a complex multi-component coffee cup and a cereal bar wrapped in foil. Besides visible placing and clear information, the tests revealed the relevance of optical and haptical information. While the online community already highlighted a colour demarcation as potentially effective, the practical test showed that haptic elements, such as a perforation are perceived much more strongly than purely visual/textual information.

Earlier studies by the Club for Sustainable Packaging Solution (Packaging Club) already suggested that the visual and haptic design of a package can be significantly more effective – especially for correct separation – than corresponding information. Also, the appearance of a package should already clearly communicate how it is to be separated later.

This also means that materials should feel authentic to be correctly assigned. Plastic packaging with a paper-like appearance can mislead consumers and should therefore be avoided. Paper packaging with a plastic coating, as is more frequently used in the food sector, needs unambiguous information about separating and sorting. Even in the case of well-established beverage cartons, some consumers seem to remain uncertain and feel tempted to discard them in the paper waste bin.

“While separating and sorting cues may help for more complex packaging, simple mono-material packaging remains the most effective strategy for closing resource loops. This is indicated by the fact that no sorting mistakes were made with simple packaging concepts such as a muesli bar foil”, explains Stephan Schaller of the Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP).

The Packaging Club is part of the initiative Consumer Insight Action Panel.

For additional details, please download the complete study in our library.

For further questions, please contact Stephan Schaller.

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Kategorien: english, Ticker

The PSLifestyle Living Labs Ready to Kick-Off: Empowering Changemakers to Shape a Good Life for All

22. März 2022 - 10:08

The vision of a good life connects people around the globe: a life that respects planetary boundaries by protecting the climate, preserving and protecting biodiversity, stoping air and water pollution or reducing waste. There is growing momentum as to how sustainable lifestyles can be a catalyst for aligning personal wellbeing with that of the planet.

Nonetheless, citizens as well as key actors (policy makers, business, civil society, academia) all too often face gridlocks when trying to break down what a good life in harmony with nature means. This way, ambitious targets, products or services formulated by key actors mean well, but do not always reflect the realities of different groups in society, inhibiting their uptake.

The PSLifestyle Living Labs will focus precisely on this. The labs will bring together European citizens to co-create and shape visions of a good life – within planetary boundaries as well as design solutions for making those visions a reality. All of this from the perspective of their local realities and on basis of joint learning processes.

Throughout six Living Lab workshops, between April 2022 and March 2023, together with members of their community and city, citizens participating in the PSLifestyle Living Labs will have the opportunity to:

  • Exchange on challenges they face in their neighbourhood/cities/regions in general and for more sustainable living throughout four key areas such as food, mobility, housing and general consumption/leisure
  • Co-design solutions and every day actions that hold potential for overcoming those challenges and increase our share of sustainable living
  • Exchange on barriers that could inhibit the uptake of those solutions as well as on opportunities that could accelerate their wider roll out
  • Build future pathways/recommendations of social, economic, political and other nature to key actors that could support making the visions of good life, within planetary boundaries a reality.

The output of the Living Labs with the citizens will be directly fed into the content creation of the PSLifestyle tool, an online tool to increase awareness regarding individual impacts on the environment and support changing behaviours towards more sustainable patterns. Besides co-defining this content, the participants of the living labs will be engaged to co-create the features and functionalities of the PSLifestyle online tool, too. The approach will ensure that the tool reflects the needs and expectations of its users and as such increase the chances of its broad and continuous usage.

The PSLifestyle Living Labs will be established throughout the 8 project pilot countries, namely, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia and Turkey.

Are you located in one of these countries and working with citizens who are keen to actively engage? Share this opportunity with them and let’s join hands!

For further questions, please contact Arlind Xhelili.

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Kategorien: english, Ticker

“My Goal is to Reduce Food Waste Significantly”

21. März 2022 - 11:09

After two decades of working in marketing and communication for major brands and companies in the German and French food industry, Nicolas Barthelmé decided to change perspective. In founding his own bottom-up community movement, his focus shifted toward bringing transparency to the food market, supporting fair shares for farmers, and empowering consumers. The CSCP is his next step to enhance and upscale these efforts. His goal: to significantly reduce food waste through AI.

How did you cross paths with the CSCP?

The CSCP sparked my interest when I started to look for opportunities to actively engage on large-scale transformation projects, foster sustainable lifestyles, and drive behaviour change toward more sustainability. Previously, I led projects to increase market shares and achieve profit goals for brands and companies. Sustainability was part of these projects but not always a priority. At the CSCP I have the chance to work not only with companies and brands but also with all other relevant stakeholders and genuinely focus on impact and transformation. This gives me a very good feeling!

What is the most exciting project you are working on at the moment?

My principal focus is on the project Resource Efficient, Economic and Intelligent Foodchain (REIF), that allows a meaningful implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions in the processes of food production and distribution in order to reduce food waste. As a result, we will develop a new digital platform to enable all parties in the food value chain – from farmers to retailers – to get access to AI services and thus reduce overproduction and waste. I find it very motivating to be involved in a project that directly tackles one of the major challenges of our time. In Germany, vast quantities of food, amounting for up to 11 million tons, get lost during the production process alone. A drastic reduction of food waste is a must also in view of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda, in particular goals 2 and 12, Zero Hunger and Responsible Consumption and Production respectively as well as the EU Green Deal. Through REIF and my work at the CSCP I have the opportunity to engage with key stakeholders to achieve these goals.

How do you think your past experience can support your current work at the CSCP?

For over twenty-two years I built a professional profile in marketing and sales, gaining deep knowledge in strategy development, communication campaigns, and innovation processes for well-known French and German food brands and companies. Three years ago, I decided to change perspective and become a social entrepreneur by founding a new consumer community and bottom-up movement “Du bist hier der Chef – Die Verbrauchermarke” to bring transparency to the food market, allow real participation for consumers and achieve fair prices for farmers. Consumers have the right to know where their food comes from, how the products they consume have been processed and which kind of system they support with each act of purchase. This is the story behind the movement I started. In this sense, the CSCP is the next logical step to put my competence and passion into good use and enhance my efforts to reduce food waste.

For further questions, please contact Nicolas Barthelmé directly.

The post “My Goal is to Reduce Food Waste Significantly” appeared first on CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

Our New Project SteamBioAfrica Kicks-Off: Turning Bush Encroachment Into Clean Energy

21. März 2022 - 10:27

For the past decades, countries in Southern Africa, such as Namibia, Botswana and South Africa have suffered from unwanted bush encroachment. The invasive bush species compete with livestock for water, contribute to soil erosion, and threaten natural habitat and local savannah ecosystems. However, combating and controlling bush encroachment is costly, involving intensive manual labor. For most farmers it is an investment not worth making.

In September 2021, the CSCP as part of a wider consortium of an EU-Africa industry-research partnership, launched the project SteamBioAfrica. The project aims to tackle bush encroachment but also problems related to climate change and energy insecurity as well as water shortages and unemployment by transforming bush biomass into solid biofuel and water. To do so, the project will use an innovative technology of superheated steam processing systems. In addition, the project looks to promote best harvesting and land managements practices and stimulate effective land restoration.

The CSCP will focus on the development of sustainable value chains that enable the integration of women and youth-led enterprises and offer access to clean, affordable and secure energy in the rural and urban areas, tackling energy poverty. To ensure a long-term viability of biofuel, the CSCP will identify technical and related gaps and needs in local skills and workforce as well as design and deliver training and capacity building programmes. The technical training includes bush harvesting and land management modules for farmers as well as modules on superheated steam processes (SHS). The business-related programmes will target youth and women-led micro, small and medium sized Enterprises (MSMEs) and offer capacity building modules for the commercialisation of the new solid biofuel and the development of sustainable and inclusive business models.

It is expected that within ten years after the end of the project, Southern Africa will achieve a superheated steam processing and operating capacity of 350 tonnes/hour. This would result in over 6300 km2 of restored land (7.6 million tonnes CO2eq saving), over 40 million tonnes of solid biofuel (9.2 million tonnes CO2eq saving), 1900 m3 of recovered water and 6800 new direct jobs.

The project is supported by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Programme.

For further questions, please contact Kartika Anggraeni.

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Kategorien: english, Ticker

“Enabling Circular Electronics: Skills for Cities, Businesses and Consumers” – Watch the Discussion Now!

17. März 2022 - 11:51

Each year, more electronic internet-connected devices are produced than there are humans on Earth*. Resource-wise this is a dead end. In March 2022, we discussed with stakeholders from businesses, civil society organisations (CSOs) and the research community at the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference how we can make circular electronics a reality.

Digital networking is a great advantage, but the large number of electronic devices also poses serious ecological risks, especially in terms of resource consumption. This is why as part of the New Circular Economy Action Plan, the European Commission has announced a Circular Electronics Initiative, calling for longer lifespans of electronics. This can be achieved through various Circular Economy strategies, such as reuse and repair. For these strategies to work, they must be implemented along the whole lifecycle of the products – from design to manufacturing, retail, consumption and use, and end of life.

In March, we invited representatives of different stakeholder groups to discuss how we can collaborate to enable Circular Electronics.

CSCP’ Imke Schmidt kicked-off the discussion with a keynote on the work of the Circular Electronics Club as part of the Consumer Insight Action Panel. She brought insights into the difficulties that consumers face when it comes to changing habits and, for example, returning or repairing older electronic devices. Quite importantly, she laid out ideas on how this could be made easier for them through targeted interventions.

“The key aspect is the collaboration of all actors along the supply chain and the reassurance for consumers that their data is safe. Findings on the Repairability Index in France show that consumers are quite willing to pay more money for more repairable devices and would even change their favourite brand under certain circumstances. I think these are powerful signals that the consumers are ready and just need the right incentives to make change happen”, noted Schmidt.

Did you miss the event? Watch the recording below!

CE Talk Video

Evolena de Wilde d’Estmael, founder of Faircado, emphasised that repairing and reusing must become more attractive – buying new is still more atractive, not only because of the high repair prices.

Michal Len, director of Rreuse and Ioannis Bakas, expert at EEA, pointed out that too little value is currently placed on used and repaired devices. The still-dominating view is that only new things are of high quality and value.

Simina Lakatos, President of the Institute for Research in Circular Economy and Environment Ernest Lupan added a new perspective by emphasising the hurdles faced in countries like Romania, where a circular infrastructure has hardly been established yet.

The stakeholders agreed that incentive structures and pathways have to be set by policy frameworks in order to accelerate change.

Regarding the necessary up- and re-skilling of different stakeholders, it was agreed that valuable knowledge is already out there – there is just an urgent need to find and focus on the right collaboration formats to disseminate it.

The event followed our webinar at the Circular Europe Days, Expo Dubai in January 2022 – watch the recording here.

For further questions, please contact Imke Schmidt.

*WEF, 2019

Photo by Kilian Seiler on Unsplash

 

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Kategorien: english, Ticker

Environmental Sustainability and Digitalisation in SMEs – Status quo Vadis?

16. März 2022 - 8:49

On the way to a sustainable society and economy, digitalisation is one of the most important means. But are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) leveraging the synergies between a digital and sustainable transformation and what kind of incentives do they need to do so? Our latest study with the Öko-Institut outlines recommendations for policy approaches that would promote a twin sustainable-digital transformation.

The need for a sustainable and digital transformation is rising on the political agenda both nationally and on a European level. Policymakers face the challenge that digitalisation is ecologically ambivalent, especially its indirect effects. Reliable empirical data and standardised measurement of its environmental foot- and handprint is still lacking in many application scenarios. At the same time, many companies are enhancing their aspirations to become more digital and more sustainable at the same time. The study addresses important questions, such as:

  • How environmentally-sustainable are digitalisation processes in SMEs?
  • How are policy instruments used to date and how should they be used in the future to promote a synergetic sustainable-digital development?
  • Which role could the intensified cooperation between green economy start-ups and traditional SMEs play?
  • Which methods and standards are used or could be used by SMEs to measure the environmental sustainability (of their digitalisation activities) in an objective and verifiable manner, communicate it externally – and what is the role of digitalisation in this?

“Digitalisation in general and its use as a tool to improve the environmental performance is quite a challenge and seemingly not yet a priority for SMEs. Whether and to what extent digital solutions are used to improve the environmental performance of an SME depends on the importance that is attached to environmental objectives and its effect on the economic bottom line”, says CSCP’s Arne von Hofe.

With regard to political incentive systems, Cara-Sophie Scherf from Öko-Institut notes a need for action: “Despite a growing number of strategies and (legislative) initiatives that touch upon the topic of sustainable digitalisation, there are so far only a few specific instruments in which the topics of digitalisation and sustainability are (consistently) brought together.”

For additional details, you can download the complete study “Incentive Systems for an Ecologically Sustainable Digitalisation in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises”.

For further questions, please contact Arne von Hofe.

 

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“Healthy Working and Digital Leadership” – Don’t Miss Our CSR.digital Event on 1 April 2022!

15. März 2022 - 12:52

Following the Coronavirus outbreak, working from home has become a new norm for many. Advantages counted, home office has also caused a blur in boundaries between work and private life, impacting mental health and wellbeing. This is why leaders across organisations are faced with the challenge of implementing digital leadership strategies that ensure the overall wellbeing of employees in the era of remote work. Our upcoming event, organised by CSR.digital and the NRW Digital Health Industry Network, “Healthy working and digital leadership – How we can feel good in the new world of work“, looks into challenges but also solutions. Join us on 1 April 2022!

The event will start with two keynotes, followed by a workshop with multiple breakout sessions. The speakers, Christjan Knudsen, Senior Vice President Human Resources at Boehringer Ingelheim Germany and Dr. Elke Ahlers from Hans Böckler Foundation will set the tone and provide perspective ahead of the workshop.

During the event, you will have the chance to:

  • Build your personal skills and learn first-hand from a global leader and award-winning employer, such as Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Expand your personal network and receive certification for your attendance
  • Actively support research to establish cross-industry best practice guidelines on decentralised working, employee well-being, and digital leadership

Date: 1 April 2022
Time: 12:00-14:00 CET
Place: Online
Cost: Free of charge
Language: German

Join us by registering here.

For further information, please contact Anna Hilger.

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Pathways to Circular Textiles and Less Microplastic Pollution: Read the Latest ETC/CE Reports!

15. März 2022 - 10:46

Textiles and plastics represent key value chains in the EU Circular Economy Action Plan. On average, textiles have the fourth highest negative life cycle impact on the environment, after food, housing and mobility. Textile washing is also responsible for the release of microplastics into our seas, land and air. A shift to a circular textile production and consumption system could reduce these negative impacts considerably.

Did you know that the average textile consumption per person in Europe in 2020 amounted to over 15 kg, including clothing, home textiles, and shoes? Data from the same year suggests that textile consumption was the area with the third highest impact on water and land use and the fifth in terms of raw material use and greenhouse gas emissions. Research indicates that over 14 million tonnes of microplastics have been accumulated in the world’s ocean floor due to textile washing, causing harm to ecosystems, animals and people. Fast fashion accounts for a particularly high portion of such releases due to synthetic fibre usage but also because such garments wear out quickly.

Two recent reports of the European Topic Centre on Circular Economy and Resource Use (ETC/CE), which the CSCP co-authored, bring key knowledge on consumption and behaviour change factors. The reports set the basis for an improved understanding of the environmental and climate change impacts from textiles and from microplastics released from them. Data included in the reports covers the latest estimates of textile production, consumption, and trade in Europe as well as insights on the role of circular business models, including technical, social and business innovation. The reports also identify policy and consumer behaviour enablers and provide recommendations how to realise their full potential and enable effective implementation.

The reports “Textiles and the Environment – The role of design in Europe’s circular economy” and “Microplastic pollution from textile consumption in Europe”  are available for download in our library.

The ETC/CE project is a continuation of a long-term collaboration and partnership of the CSCP with implementing partners and the European Environment Agency (EEA) as a funder. It runs for a period of 5 years (2022-2026) and relies on the expertise of 13 European partners supporting the EEA in fulfilling its mandate to provide independent and reliable information to policy makers and broader audiences.

For further questions, please contact Francesca Grossi.

Photo by Mediamodifier on Unsplash.

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Transforming Tourism: Our Project Circular Tourism Vietnam Launches Stakeholder Meetings

8. März 2022 - 10:17

With its picturesque landscapes, white sandy beaches, and impressive terrace rice fields, Vietnam has become a leading tourist destination. Yet, the same landscapes that enabled the tourism boom in the first place are facing the most challenges caused by this rapid growth.

As one of the countries with the fastest growing tourism sector in the world, Vietnam is also a major contributor to marine plastic litter with approximately 730,000 tons of plastic waste going to the sea every year.*

The outbreak of COVID-19 has reduced international tourist traffic to Vietnam leading to a decline in income of many tourism-related businesses and increasing unemployment rates. Around 66% of tourist agencies reduced their staff by half and about 20 % let their staff go completely**. However, the circumstances surrounding the pandemic also offer great opportunities to transform the industry into a sustainable and resilient one. So, how can this be done?

In November 2021, the CSCP started the pilot project Circular Tourism Vietnam (Commencing Circularity, Transforming Tourism in Vietnam) to promote new pathways of social and environmental innovations through the integration of circular economy in the tourism sector. Supported by the TUI Care Foundation and in collaboration with the Vietnam Tourism Association (VITA), the project attempts to engage with tourism key stakeholders to identify national priorities and define strategies for a more sustainable and circular approach to tourism.

The pilot project will engage with selected tourism start-ups and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through a Circularity Lab. The Lab seeks to introduce the concept of circular tourism and promote exchanges of ideas for sustainable, circular tourism products and services. For example, hotels could use the food surplus of their restaurants to make soups, sauces or smoothies and sell such products under a special food-saving brand. The gastronomy sector could partner up with farmers and share their surplus and food leftover to be composted and later used as fertilisers. In exchange, hotels could feature collaborations with farmers in their menus, thus increasing their social acceptance and competitive advantage. Similarly, tourist agencies could offer creative re-generative activities to tourists, events to collect plastic litter in beaches and coastlines.

Once identified and agreed upon, the ideas will be prototyped with local tourists and communities before turning them into products or services.

Engaging with key stakeholders

As one of the pilot activities, the project has organised two stakeholder meetings in Hanoi and in Hue City in December 2021. About 40 national, international and industry-specific stakeholders took part in the event, contributing to a lively discussion on circular tourism.

“What we are doing at our hotel to reduce food waste is that we made a contract with a farmer cooperative. Every two days they would come to our hotel to pick up surplus food to use in their farms.”, noted Ms. Quyen from one of the hotels in Hue City. The Circular Tourism Vietnam project aims to help bring such best practices one step further, for example by supporting farmers to compost the waste they collect from restaurants and establish a farm-to-fork-to-farm circular concept.

Out of the stakeholder meetings, the pilot project has already developed a concise action plan for circular tourism. Immediate actions that were identified and can be taken right away by the tourism actors include single-use plastic avoidance and the reduction of plastic and food waste.

For further questions, please contact Kartika Anggraeni.

 

*Thanh Hai, Truong and Vu, Nam. 2019
** Quang, T.D., Tran, T.C., Tran, V.H., Nguyen, T.T., Nguyen, T.T., 2020

Photo by Kiril Dobrev on Unsplash.

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Engaging Employees Toward Becoming a Sustainable Enterprise: Why it Works

3. März 2022 - 12:12

The way companies approach the integration of sustainability principles into their culture and working practices is as varied as the companies themselves. Top management responsibility and commitments are often regarded as the most important means and indicators for formal sustainability integration. But do they also need to be the starting point? Putting employees in the driver seat from the beginning may offer significant advantages.

Some organisations do not start with a sustainability strategy at the top, but rather as a cross-cutting cultural process. This was the case with Stadtwerke Wuppertal (WSW), a German municipal utility whose human resources (HR) team wanted to hear their employees’ perspectives on sustainability and how they could best align it with current and future sustainability-related processes and projects. The CSCP offered its expertise by accompanying WSW on this journey.

The human resource factor as the driving force

What if a topic that really drives and motivates you is taken up within your company, but you are not part of the process? That’s why employee engagement from early on is key. Sustainability is meaningful, motivating, and contagious. With more and more people willing to be an active part of the sustainable transformation, HR departments increasingly report the need to have a strong sustainability focus that not only attracts new talent, but helps to retain and further develop employees.

Engaging colleagues at different functions and hierarchy levels

With WSW, we started with an application process open to all its employees for an initial workshop series. With a diverse group of about 20 highly-motivated employees, we facilitated three workshops to exchange views and ideas on sustainability. Working with the Golden Circle concept, we developed a proposal for the purpose of the companies’ sustainability journey (the “Why?”), the way to get there (the “How?”), and ideas for concrete measures (the “What?”).

In addition to the workshop series, the CSCP facilitated qualitative interviews with executives to better understand their current perception as well as opportunities and challenges on the road towards more sustainability. Based on these, we conducted a survey with WSW Executives to review the general awareness as well as hot topics to consider when further embedding sustainability into various processes and projects. At the end of the project, we presented a summary report to the WSW Top Management, including our recommendations to strengthen sustainability within the organisation.

Why this is worth the effort?

The results of such open and honest discussions on eye level often lead to practical suggestions from the operational implementation perspective. If taken up by top management, these suggestions can be far better accepted compared to top-down strategies. Also, our surveys and feedback talks regularly reveal that dealing with sustainability issues and their concrete implementation is experienced as motivating and meaningful. And last but not least, there are exciting insights from the participants that are important for embedding cross-cutting issues like sustainability: In everything we do, we need to ask ourselves, is it possible to do it more sustainably? Here, too, the personal insights of colleagues will always carry more weight than messages from external facilitators.

While sustainability strategies are often developed with a strong focus on hot topics (the “What?”), they may lack a more in-depth dialogue on how a motivating and guiding purpose may also include sustainability (the “Why?”) and how the cultural setting and way of working and cooperating may require change and new experiments (the “How?”). Combining this holistic view with employee engagement may not only be a good starting point, but also support organisations with ongoing sustainability strategies in order to review and strengthen internal ownership. With the focus on developing a sustainability culture aimed at empowering employees to become internal and external ambassadors, proactive HR departments have a highly important new role to play.

For further information and to exchange with us on the role of enterprises in accelerating the sustainability transformation, please contact Stephan Schaller or Hanna Perrin.

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Kategorien: english, Ticker

Join Our Workshop “Enabling Circular Electronics: Skills for Cities, Businesses, and Consumers” on 2 March 2022!

24. Februar 2022 - 11:54

Each year, more electronic internet-connected devices are produced than there are humans*, resource-wise a dead end. Join us on 2 March 2022 at the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference to discuss how we can make circular electronics a reality!

Digitalisation surrounds us everywhere. This is accompanied by an immense increase in reliance on devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops and more. In Europe and other world regions, electronic devices and digital services are gaining more and more importance. For example, an average of 78% of people in Europe have a smart phone**.

While digital networking is on the one hand of great advantage, the huge amounts of related devices bring along serious ecological risks, especially with regard to the use of resources. This is why the European Commission announced a Circular Electronics Initiative as part of its New Circular Economy Action Plan, calling for longer lifespans of electronic appliances. This can be achieved through various circular economy strategies, such as reuse and repair. For these strategies to work, they must be implemented along the whole lifecycle of the products – from design to manufacturing, retail, consumption and use, and end of life. However, there are still many open questions and challenges, some of which we will discuss during the workshop:

  • Who can enable circular electronics and how can the re-skilling and upskilling work for different stakeholder groups?
  • Could digitalisation be part of the solution? For example, through a digital product passport that can provide information on the composition of electronic devices so that reuse becomes easier?

Date: 2 March 2022
Time: 11:30-12:45 CET
Format: Online
Language: English

Join us by registering here!

The workshop is part of the Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference, 1-2 March 2022. Further details on the conference programme can be found here.

For further information, please contact Imke Schmidt.

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Our weiter_wirken Capacity Building Programme Launches Its Second Round: Apply Now!

23. Februar 2022 - 11:13

Sustainability is one of the most important topics of our time – but how can it be communicated successfully? In its second round, our capacity building programme, weiter_wirken will support representatives of civil society organisations (CSO) to integrate behavioural know-how into their work and increase positive impact.

Sometimes, it takes more than just good intentions to make a true shift toward more sustainability. In fact, the intention-action gap is what many CSOs working in the field of sustainability identify as a major challenge. Behavioral science offers valuable knowledge as to what motivates people’s choices, thus presenting cues how to deal with this bottleneck. The weiter_wirken programme combines such knowledge with hands-on expertise to support CSOs increase the impact of their sustainability projects.

The training consists of four one-day workshops building on each other, each with a different focus, as well as two shorter optional workshops with in-depth knowledge on specific topics. In addition to knowledge transfer, expert lectures, and practical examples, weiter_wirken presents an opportunity to exchange and connect by building a network of committed participants.

Participation in the programme is free of charge. There are 20 available places for CSO representatives from North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), who can apply online. The application process is open until 20 March 2022. The training programme starts in early May and it will be conducted in German.

For more information on the content of the training and the application criteria, please visit the weiter_wirken website.

weiter_wirken is a cooperation project between the Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP), ecosign / Akademie für Gestaltung and the Stiftung Umwelt und Entwicklung Nordrhein-Westfalen.

For further questions, please contact Jennifer Wiegard.

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The “Pro-long Electronics“ Campaign Inspires Consumers to Give Devices Longer Lives

22. Februar 2022 - 12:55

Electronic devices have become an indispensable part of our daily lives. With increasingly shorter innovation cycles, replacements to such devices can be a quick first choice. The “Pro-long Electronics” campaign informed consumers on the financial and ecological benefits of giving older devices a second or pro-longed life and gathered far-reaching traction.

Going through your home (physically or mentally), how many electronic devices can you count? More importantly, how many such devices do you have that you deemed outdated and are not using anymore? Updates, upgrades, and short innovation cycles spur ever shorter replacement cycles and as a result it happens all too often that devices that are still functional or apt to be refurbished end up unused. This marks a common habit that translates into lost resources. The simple solution can sometimes be to prolong the lifetime of your device.

The campaign: numbers and results

With this goal in mind, the “Pro-long Electronics” campaign aimed at informing consumers about the benefits of giving electronic devices a longer or second life – benefits that play out for consumers and the environment at the same time. The campaign that ran for two weeks raised awareness on the topic and engaged consumers by offering one 500€ and two 250€ repair vouchers to participants who posted photos of their oldest still functional electronic devices. A video as well as a variety of infographics were shared via different social media channels reaching over half a million views across platforms. The campaign recorded a total of over 15,000 interactions and mustered interest among an array of organisations and actors active in the sector, such as Circle Economy, ECSP Business School, Societe Generale, PACE, and SITRA. The campaign was featured by the WEF alongside comments by the Ellen MacArthur and the Environment Minister of the Netherlands, Steven van Weyenburg.

Why is it important?

The benefits for consumers when it comes to prolonging the lifetime of older devices are threefold. Besides saving money and reducing waste, it helps to cut down carbon emissions as well as emissions from the energy it takes to make new products.  A study of the European Environmental Bureau found that extending the life of consumers’ smartphones, washing machines, laptops and TVs in the EU by just one year could generate roughly 4 million tonnes of CO2 savings (EEB, 2019).

Would you like to engage on a discussion how to empower consumers to pro-long the lifetime of electronics? Reach out to Arlind Xhelili and start the conversation now!

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