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Biodiversity and Nature Conservation as Means Towards More Resilience and Prosperity

24. September 2020 - 8:48

The natural environment is everybody’s business. Human societies and economies rely on biodiversity in fundamental ways. Natural ecosystems provide a non-negotiable foundation for economic growth, human health and prosperity. In figures, this means that half of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which amounts to €44 trillion, depends on our ecosystems and their services1. The current pandemic has also reminded us of the inordinate importance of biodiversity, considering the role of healthy ecosystems in protecting us from disease spread. Making even greater commitments and acting on the protection of our natural environment and its restoration is one of the most important actions of our times in order to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), strengthen our resilience, and achieve a good life for everyone.

Biodiversity – the variability and abundance of living organisms and their habitats – is the most fundamental building block of our natural environment. Yet, biodiversity is under threat, with the current rate of extinction being tens to hundreds of times higher than the average over the past 10 million years and it’s accelerating2. Specific SDGs exclusively address the threats imposed to our ecosystems and their diversity, and provide blueprints for coordinated action. SDG 14 on Life Below Water calls for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources. SDG 15, which focuses on Life on Land targets the protection, restoration and promotion of sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, including protecting forests, combating desertification, and halting and reversing land degradation and biodiversity loss. In Europe, bold action is under way through the new EU-wide Biodiversity Strategy, part of the EU Green Deal, which will unlock €20 billion per year for biodiversity restoration.

Currently, earth system scientists are showing us how climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic are interlinked to biodiversity loss. There is strong evidence that healthy ecosystems protect us from dispersal of diseases, as biodiversity makes it difficult for pathogens to spread rapidly. The risk of disease emergence increases with the intensification of human activities causing environmental degradation and encroachment of natural habitats, enabling pathogens in wildlife to spill over to livestock and humans.  Through the EU Biodiversity Strategy, ecosystem restoration will be a central element of the EU’s recovery plan from the coronavirus pandemic, providing immediate business and investment opportunities and bringing direct and indirect jobs to local communities.

At the CSCP, we acknowledge the strategic interlinkages between healthy ecosystems and the leading sustainability goals of our time. We want to join forces in making biodiversity preservation an integral part of the sustainability agenda.

The World Economic Forum warns that environmental risks are the greatest systemic threats to our global economy. To achieve healthy and stable economies, mainstreaming circular principles is a key shift. There are significant opportunities in including biodiversity principles in the circular economy strategies and actions. One way of restoring ecosystems and supporting local communities is upscaling and implementing nature-based solutions. In our current projects and beyond, we look forward to collaborations that focus on enhancing biodiversity in circular economy approaches.

Biodiversity loss also puts our food systems and nutrition at risk: more than 75% of global food crop types rely at least partly on animal pollination and a diverse biome creates healthy soils3. Another way to see it is that food waste causes biodiversity loss in numerous ways by spending water and fuel, to name just a few. In various projects, we are working towards fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food systems, in view of the EU Farm to Fork strategy. We see increased impact in linking the implementation of the Farm to Fork with the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and are looking to join forces on this topic and alter the current trend together.

We are also keeping an eye on the role that the tourism industry has on biodiversity. In particular, we are looking for ways to tap into the possibilities that tourism strategies represent for the protection and preservation of biodiversity instead of taking a toll on local ecosystems. In our project Sustainable Island Mauritius, we are working with local authorities, businesses, communities, and tourists to integrate biodiversity considerations in policy formation, business models, production and consumption practices, and more. We look forward to replicating and further developing this know-how in order to make the tourism industry a champion for biodiversity protection.

We are open for new collaborations across all of our topics towards innovative ideas and impactful actions in curbing biodiversity loss and preserving our ecosystems. Biodiversity is a key ingredient for a good life – join us in restoring and preserving it!

For further questions, please reach out to Luis Esquivel.

 

1 World Economic Forum 2020
2 FAO UN
3 EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030

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Kategorien: english, Ticker

HOOP! Hub of Circular Cities Boosting Platform is Ready for Kick Off

23. September 2020 - 13:48

Globally, around 30% of all waste is organic. However, despite its decomposability, much of such waste still ends up in landfills. For cities, as main waste management stakeholders, there are multiple challenges involved, such as finding the right recycling technologies and aligning with other relevant actors in the process. Our newly launched project HOOP, will directly support selected European cities in choosing, financing, and implementing the, for them, most appropriate technologies for recycling biowaste. The project will also support cities in setting up effective processes, including closer stakeholder collaboration or adjusting other parts of the chain, such as collection or sorting systems.

HOOP, which stands for Hub of Circular Cities bOOsting Platform to Foster Investments for the Valorisation of Urban Biowaste and Wastewater, is the next step of our SCALIBUR-project and its sister-projects VALUEWASTE and WaytUP. The goal of HOOP is to help unlock bio-based investments and deploy local bio-economies in European cities through a systemic and cross-cutting approach.

Lighthouse cities from eight EU countries will act as demonstrators for transferring circular, bio-based economy models throughout Europe. The project will also support creative ideas and initiatives for obtaining high-value products from organic waste and urban waste water.

The city of Münster in Germany will be one of the lighthouses, along with the cities Kuopio in Finland, Bergen in Norway, Almere in the Netherlands, Murcia in Spain and with the three regional clusters Lazio in Italy, LIPOR in Portugal and CluBE in Greece.

A key feature of the project will be the so-called Biowaste Clubs, located in each of the lighthouse cities. The clubs will be responsible for ensuring that key local stakeholders along the entire biowaste value chain get involved and work together to, for instance, co-design more efficient collection and valorisation of the local organic waste. Various engagement activities will be carried out for this purpose.

The consortium includes partners from ten EU Member States.

The CSCP is a partner in the 24-member consortium. HOOP will run for four years and is a Horizon 2020 project led by CETENMA in Spain.

For further information, please contact Carina Diedrich.

 

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Watch the highlights of the CSR.digital Live Interviews on AI, Ethics and New Work Concepts

23. September 2020 - 12:04

In a series of live-streamed interviews, CSR.digital is discussing key Corporate Digital Responsibility (CDR) topics with relevant actors in the field. In two recent interviews, Nicole Langrock from KI.NRW shared more on the ethical implications of applying Artificial Intelligence (AI), while Dr. Ole Wintermann from the Bartelsmann Foundation spoke on the usage of digital tools for designing modern workplaces.

Langrock presented a white paper on the ethical application of AI, which KI.NRW has recently developed. The paper is concerned with how to design and implement AI processes that protect users and their data. The document could be used by Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) as a guideline in designing and implementing AI-based processes that are also ethical. Langrock shared best case examples, but also critical applications of AI, which have led to replications of the racism and discrimination that exist in our societies.

Here is a short Video of the highlights of the interview with Nicole Langrock:

The focus of the interview with Dr. Ole Wintermann from the Bertelsmann Foundation were the New Work concepts. Dr. Wintermann highlighted the importance of using digital technologies in ways that promote self-determined work and the participation of employees — especially in the home office era that we are living now. In his own words, ‘trust and collaboration should replace control and meticulous time tracking.’

Here is a short Video of the highlights of the interview with Dr. Ole Wintermann:

The next CSR.digital live interview is scheduled for 29 September 2020 with Lars Rückemann of Codecentric, a Solingen-based IT company, who will discuss the topics of flat hierarchies and New Work concepts. Register here to watch the full interview live!

CSR.digital – Sustainably Competitive is funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs NRW via the EFRE fund.

For further information, please contact Anna Hilger.

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Kategorien: english, Ticker

Harnessing the Power of AI to Minimise Food Waste

22. September 2020 - 10:30

Given their short shelf life, milk and dairy products can be tricky when it comes to food waste management. The REIF (Resource-Efficient, Economic and Intelligent Food Chain) project is exploring Artificial Intelligence (AI) based approaches to turn milk and dairy products from a challenging product group into a key contributor to food waste reduction.

In August 2020, the CSCP and its project partners met at the headquarters of the German retailer Tegut in Fulda to get a first-hand impression on the different store concepts, including detailed tours of the back offices. The visit yielded valuable insights into the daily work routines in the retail sector and the related consequences for the implementation of automated, demand-driven and markdown mechanisms for milk and dairy products.

The learnings and insights were jointly analysed during the second half of the visit. The team discussed how a markdown, which is a price reduction for products with a short expiration date, could be effectively implemented at Tegut. A wide range of aspects, from technical to behavioural ones, were on the agenda:

  • How can the markdown be implemented technically?
  • How to design impactful monetary incentives for the consumers?
  • How can you set a price based on the expiration date while ensuring that the product itself is not devalued?
  • What communication strategies are necessary in order to ensure that consumers understand and endorse the markdown concept?

Using the example of Tegut, these questions were discussed in detail, leading to new ideas which will be further developed and piloted during the upcoming months.

As a project partner, CSCP’s focuses on ensuring an efficient integration of all relevant stakeholders, both during and after the project. The CSCP is also supporting the participating companies to adapt operational processes and organisational learning through trainings and capacity building.

The REIF consortium consists of 18 partners and it will be coordinated by the University of Applied Sciences Augsburg. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi).

For further information, please contact Rosa Strube.

 

 

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Kategorien: english, Ticker

Household Waste Analysis Results: Packaging Design Key in Consumer Sorting Practices

21. September 2020 - 10:17

Increased circularity in the packaging sector requires more recyclable materials, but also better sorting practices from consumers. But what influences certain consumer behaviours when it comes to waste sorting? What types of packaging and instructions promote or hinder circular behaviours? The CIAP’s Club for Sustainable Packaging Solutions addressed these questions hands-on: with a household waste analysis in the city of Solingen.

Most of the current packaging consists of different materials – think of aluminium lids on plastic cups of yogurt as a prime example. If we stick to the yogurt cup, a consumer would need to separate the lid from the cup, remove the cardboard sleeve, and clean the cup for the sorting to be completely effective. Oftentimes, there are no clear sorting instructions and the process is perceived as too complex from a consumer perspective. To achieve better recyclability, consumers need to be able to separate and sort accordingly and easily. A better understanding of consumer decisions and behaviours is the basis for designing interventions that generate more circularity. The household analysis in Solingen looked for cues about what triggers better sorting practices and what doesn’t. For this purpose, both the recyclable and the residual garbage bins of 15 households of different sizes and demographic structures were analysed. Highlights from the findings per product category include:

Dairy product cups
Lid off or lid on? For the recycling of the aluminium lid, this makes a big difference. In our sample, the lids were removed from exactly half of the 228 cups. A clear difference was observed in the size of the cups: larger cups (400ml and above) were separated significantly more often (78%) than smaller ones (37%).

Thermoformed packaging with sealing foil
The lids or foils were removed in about one third of the packaging. However, the hypothesis that hygiene factors could possibly have an influence in the sorting behaviour of fresh meat or fish packaging could not be confirmed.

Plastic bottles of hygiene and cleaning products
Despite that most households do not separate waste in bathrooms and laundry facilities, plastic bottles of hygiene products interestingly recorded the most accurate sorting. The hypothesis is that either these bottles are generally too large to ignore their recycling potential or, another factor, namely that most waste bins in bathrooms are too small for these bottles to fit in. While 95% of the plastic bottles were placed correctly into the recyclable bin, only 2 of the 116 bottles had the lid removed. Here, we found fundamental deficiencies in packaging design, since many lids (e.g. of shampoo bottles) can only be removed with great force. In addition, clear instructions on how to sort a certain packaging were also lacking. The nationwide education campaign of the Dual Systems’ initiative Waste Separation Works (Mülltrennung Wirkt) is trying to address this problem.

In addition to the evaluation of the predefined packaging categories, the club members were able to observe other phenomena that could complicate the recycling of packaging resources. As recyclable materials require a lot of space in the waste container, but most of such packaging is light in terms of weight, different types of packaging get stuck inside each other which may significantly hamper the recycling process and regaining of all recyclable materials.

The aim of the Club for Sustainable Packaging Solutions is to work with stakeholders in integrating consumer insights into the development of sustainable (circular) packaging and generate new solutions. The general findings of the project will be made available to SMEs and transferred to the EU level in the form of policy recommendations through the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform.

The Consumer Insight Action Panel (CIAP) is a non-profit initiative led by the CSCP and funded by Sitra and Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU), in partnership with the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform.

For further questions, please contact Stephan Schaller.

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Join our City Loops Online Workshop: Cities and Circular Economy

21. September 2020 - 9:55

Cities and regions are key players in the transition towards circular economy. The City Loops project will provide sector-specific Circular Innovation Workshops to support cities close the loop.

Climate change and aggravated resource scarcity call for a new way of defining the economy. Governments and intergovernmental bodies alike are reacting to this imperative, a prime example being the EU Green Deal, which is estimated to affect about two thirds of all industry sectors in Europe.

Circular economy approaches are one path towards a zero-carbon society, which we have to realise within this decade in order to bring climate change and its overwhelming effect on the eco-system to a halt. However, the transition to a circular economy needs a systems approach. This is what the innovation programme City Loops will help put into practice by developing and strengthening circular economy opportunities at a city level.

City Loops provides sector-specific Circular Innovation Workshops to develop tangible and impactful circular business solutions. The programme creates city-specific learnings and action networks to strengthen sector-specific business collaborations in each participating city.

The City Loops project is set up to develop a replicable circular innovation process that results in economically viable circular solutions. The circular innovation process is based on the findings of a previous Climate KIC study of circular economy education needs, followed by a successful pilot project implementation in three countries1. It will be facilitated by experienced trainers who use innovative and hands-on circular solution development methods and tools. The participants of this innovation process – businesses, municipalities and service providers – will jointly develop circular solutions that close material flows, intensify value creation, develop viable business models and effective innovation for ‘circular solutions’, create partnerships and collaborations, and identify and create business opportunities for cities and regions.

There will be three series of online workshops, each consisting of two parts and access to an online self-study course. Each series consists of the following four modules:

Module 1: Circular Economy and Value Chains – Closing Material Cycles and Intensifying Value Creation
Module 2: Identify Structural Waste
Module 3 – Designing Innovative Business Models for Circular Solutions
Module 4 – Developing High Output Innovation Partnerships

The two-session workshop is available on three different dates:

30.09. & 02.10.2020 (9:30 -14:00 CET) – Register HERE now!
14.10. & 16.10.2020 (9:30 -14:00 CET) – Register HERE until 02.10.2020
28.10. & 30.11.2020 (9:30 -14:00 CET) – Register HERE until 16.10.2020

The workshops will be held in German and are free of charge.

In order to ensure long-term sustainability, the project will support the development of a self-sustaining network of circular professionals that will make use of the circular solution innovation process for the project’s duration and beyond.

City Loops is a project of the EIT Climate-KIC, Wuppertal Institute and the CSCP.

For further questions, please contact Raymond Slaughter.

1 EIT Climate-KIC Circular Cities Project

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Citizens and Civil Society Initiatives Celebrated the Good Life in Wuppertal

17. September 2020 - 13:07

The mini-festival “Place of the Good Life”, held in August 2020 at the Platz der Republik in Wuppertal, brought together citizens and civil society actors in a creative and participatory format. The event marked the launch of a co-creation process towards the Day of the Good Life in Wuppertal, planned for 16 May 2021.

The ongoing pandemic has reminded us about the importance of our close communities and the value of well-connected neighbourhoods. After all, they provide the setting where much of our daily interaction takes place: meetings, discussions and the addressing of shared experiences and challenges.

Three hundred participants from around Wuppertal joined the event and participated in one of the thirty available activities. On big visioning walls, the participants could write and paint their ideas of the good life in Wuppertal.

A bee keeper brought some of his bees to show how honey is produced. Langerfeld blüht auf offered Wuppertal citizens an opportunity to produce seed bombs and green their neighbourhoods. Mechanics from Mirker Schrauber helped visitors to repair their bikes, whereas some learned how to drive a wheelchair with the support of a team from the Else-Lasker Schüler-Schule.

Participation in a panel on the topic of sustainable mobility was facilitated by Mobiles Wuppertal. An exhibition by Kitma and Power of Colour sparked reflections on racism in our daily life and nudged participants to think about how best to overcome it. A solar panel on the ground produced electricity during the festival and visitors could learn from the Bergische Bürgerenergiegenossenschaft how to use these small solar panels on their balconies to produce solar energy at home.

A Yoga and Zumba session added some physical activity. The event was concluded with an international public singing session with English, Turkish and German songs.

The four main topics: mobility, energy and living, nature and food, and togetherness will be the basis of the discussions that will take place in the next events. Following up on the “Place of the Good Life” event, neighbourhood meetings will involve citizens in the Ostersbaum area of Wuppertal in preparing activities for the Day of the Good Life, scheduled for 16 May 2021. In visioning workshops, the project will further collect ideas and actions for the final big event.

The Day of the Good Life is a joint project of the CSCP and its partners, the Nachbarschaftsheim Wuppertal, e.V., Idealwerk and the Forum für Soziale Innovation (FSI) gGmbH.

For further information, please contact Alexandra Kessler.

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Listen to the Third Episode of our Academy of Change Podcast: Tools for Creating Behaviour Change Interventions

17. September 2020 - 12:26

Do you work on a sustainability project and are wondering how to increase your impact? Have you thought about behavioural tools and how to choose them appropriately for your specific case? Listen to our conversation with Dr. Stefan Kaufman to get an expert account on how to use the right tools for impactful behavioural change interventions.

There is a wide selection of tools that have been used successfully to design behaviour change interventions, ranging from prompts, norm appeals, commitment, feedback or incentives. Some tools, such as social norms, are increasingly well used and understood. There are many, however – among the total of 93 identified tools – which are less well known and not much used.

Our guest speaker, Dr. Stefan Kaufman, Senior Research Fellow at BehaviourWorks Australia, has spent years applying behavioural knowledge to address social challenges across various sectors, from circular economy topics through to wellbeing and health, and in collaboration with a range of public and private organisations. Drawing on his experience, Kaufman highlights that, “Social life is complex, and different theories highlight and obscure different elements of it, so it’s wise to have a few in your back pocket.” A translation of knowledge into intermediary concepts to address real-life, complex problems is possible through behavioural tools.

If you are keen on learning how behavioural change tools work, which ones might be the best fit for your project, and how to implement them – listen to our podcast! In a lively conversation, Dr. Stefan Kaufman and CSCP’s Rosa Strube and Mariana Nicolau, will take you through a variety of tools and share tips and tricks on what works and what doesn’t.

Download our Tools podcast now!

To listen to previous episodes of the Academy of Change podcasts – please go to our library!

The podcast series is part of the Academy of Change, a capacity building programme and offers complementary views on selected behavioural change topics. Through conversations with experts in the field, the topics are explored from a practical perspective in order to serve listeners from different fields and areas of interest.

The Academy of Change (AoC) is a non-profit initiative of the CSCP, Behaviour Change (BC) and the International Civil Society Centre (ICSC). The AoC is funded by the KR Foundation.

For further question, please contact Mariana Nicolau.

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Kategorien: english, Ticker

The CSR.digital Roadshow: Collaborating for Corporate Digital Responsibility

17. September 2020 - 12:01

In late summer 2020, the team of CSR.digital went on the road. The agenda: conducting small Corporate Digital Responsibility (CDR) workshops with Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHK) of North Rhine-Westphalia. The goal is to develop a comprehensive concept that can be used by various Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) as a framework for defining their role and action in the field of CDR.

The CSR.digital project created basic workshop formats by locating CDR action fields within a matrix of development. This basic format was tested and expanded at the respective chambers with the direct participation of SMEs.

The kick-off workshop took place in July at the IHK Bonn. Two SME representatives, Sandor Krönert from Tanzhaus Bonn and Holger Schwan from Projektservice Schwan shared experiences regarding their companies’ reaction to the ongoing pandemic. Mr. Krönert talked about their recently developed app for planning dance courses in ways that meet hygiene requirements while fulfilling the courses’ programme. Drawing on such particular examples, the project team and the SME representatives engaged in discussions about the various fields of action in CDR, such as the zero-waste principle, the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in support of sustainability goals, and the concept of the sharing economy. The participants also looked into areas with the greatest potential for positive impact at the SME level.

During the second workshop, which took place at the premises of IHK Düsseldorf, Thomas Götzen from the construction company Interboden shared more about their project ‘The Cradle’, in which they are using the Cradle-to-Cradle concept for the construction of an office building in Düsseldorf. Such experiences will be shared and discussed with other SMEs in order to find ways of replicating and upscaling them.

CSR.digital is planning to conduct further meetings with all IHK offices in North Rhine-Westphalia and jointly develop a comprehensive workshop concept that can used by SMEs to define their actions in the field of CDR. The next meeting will take place at the IHK Mönchengladbach on 8 October 2020.

CSR.digital – Sustainably Competitive is funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs NRW via the EFRE fund.

For further information, please contact Anna Hilger.

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Mongolia’s Response to Fast Fashion: Sustainable Cashmere

10. September 2020 - 11:39

Unlike other materials, cashmere is a fine, natural fibre that decomposes easily. Nonetheless, its production comes with significant social and environmental impacts. Carbon emissions from livestock, overgrazing, deforestation, lack of supply chain transparency, and poor working conditions of goat herders are some of the major issues. Our STeP EcoLab project is supporting the Mongolian wool and cashmere sector to make the difference: achieve a strong sustainability profile and better recognition in the global textile market.

Through an online workshop held in August 2020, the project STeP EcoLab introduced European consumers’ demands and trends for fair fashion, animal welfare and sustainable production to a team of Mongolian experts. The workshop was a first step towards enhancing Mongolia’s access to EU and global markets.

The local experts had been previously selected by the project team to support the implementation of sustainability measures in the Mongolian wool and cashmere sector and multiply the knowledge to the rest of the textile industry. They will do so by helping Mongolian companies to comply with key requirements of the globally recognised and most relevant sustainability standards in preparation for eco-certification in the near future. The two-day interactive workshop focused on sustainability management methods, sustainability as a business case, European eco-certification standards, communication strategies, and best practice sharing. A highlight of the training was the ‘persona session’, during which the participants had a chance to talk to fictitious clients and try to understand their needs and requirements.

As a next step, the team of the Mongolian experts will support the development and implementation of a Voluntary Code of Conduct (VCP) among the Mongolian wool and cashmere companies. Externally, the VCP will act as a signalling instrument towards customers and targeted markets until complete sustainability certification is achieved. In addition, VCP members will reduce the environmental and social impact of wool and cashmere production and increase competitiveness of this sector.

The STeP EcoLab is a four-year project funded by the European Union under the SWITCH Asia II Programme. The project is implemented by the Mongolian branch of ‘Agronomes et Vétérinaires Sans Frontières (AVSF Mongolia)’ in partnership with the CSCP, the Mongolian Wool and Cashmere Association (MWCA), the Environment and Security Center of Mongolia (ESCM), the National Federation of Pasture Users Group (NFPUG) and the Mongolian Bankers’ Association (MBA). The project lasts four years and is funded by the European Union under the SWITCH Asia II Programme.

For further information, please contact Pawel Zylka.

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Watch Our Explainer Video: The Dialogue Forum in a Nutshell

7. September 2020 - 10:07

In this explainer video, Federal Minister for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, Julia Klöckner and CSCP’s Nora Brüggemann explain how the Dialogue Forum for the Reduction of Food Waste in Wholesale and Retail is addressing food waste.

In line with the National Strategy for Reducing Food Waste, the Dialogue Forum focuses on the wholesale and retail sectors as hallmarks in promoting better food appreciation in the society. The main goal of the Dialogue Forum is to contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3 – Food Loss and Waste – by facilitating a transparent and open exchange among companies themselves as well as with civil society and politics. Another important segment of the Dialogue Forum is to introduce innovative ideas, upscale best practices, and implement actions towards food waste reduction.

Watch the explainer video for a comprehensive view on the three main objectives of the Dialogue Forum!

The Dialogue Forum for the Reduction of Food Waste in Wholesale and Retail is a project conducted by the CSCP in partnership with the Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) .

For further information please contact Nora Brüggemann.

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First BOOM Camp: Building and Living

7. September 2020 - 9:41

BOOM’s unique career orientation programme took place from 2 to 7 August 2020 in Hessen and gave teenagers between 14 and 17 a chance to explore and experience handicraft professions and sustainable lifestyles in preparation for future career choices.

Professional craftspeople joined the holiday career camps to provide teenagers with tips and tricks on how to design and create upcycled products. From turning old surfboards into benches to sit on or rebuilding broken tree houses’ roofs and making them functional again, participants of the first BOOM camp got busy being creative and hands-on.

During the free time, a wide range of low-carbon activities were offered to the participants, including mountain biking, archery or the exploration of the surrounding area for tasty and healthy wild herbs.

Despite the special circumstances related to Corona and the strict hygiene rules, the career orientation camp managed to ignite new ideas about how career choices could lead to a more sustainable and inclusive future and was a full-on success with the participants.

Two further BOOM orientation camps are scheduled to take place in 2020, in Walberberg, Cologne/Bonn:

  • 20-25 September 2020, Daily Consumption, age group 18-25 years
  • 11-16 October 2020, Nutrition, age group 14-17 year

Registration for both camps is open! If you know a teenager or young adult who is wondering how his or her career might look like in the future, spread the word!

BOOM (Berufsorientierung und Nachhaltigkeit mal Anders) are six-day career orientation camps for teenagers and young adults. Participants of the camps have the opportunity to explore future jobs in fields such as “daily consumption and product design”, “energy and mobility”, “building and housing” and “food and agriculture”. The main goal of the BOOM camps is to mainstream an understanding of sustainability as a key aspect in the career choices of the next generation.

BOOM camps are a joint project of the CSCP and its partners Provadis GmbH and Sportjugend Hessen e.V and it is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

For further questions, please contact Carina Diedrich.

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I Am a Bridge Builder for Ideas, Businesses, People and the Planet

31. August 2020 - 10:20

Dr. Esther Heidbüchel joined our SBE team as senior consultant with a core focus on the Sustainable Chemistry project.

What are the highlights of your professional journey so far? 

I have always been walking off the beaten tracks, starting with marketing new business units, developing strategies and volunteering concepts, then taking on the challenge to develop sustainability strategies and implement sustainability management systems. Highlights are always those points in time when I manage to win over people to really understand and foster sustainability.

In your view, what are the main ingredients for a sustainable life?

Well, I think it all starts with getting information and then deciding what is important for you. Don’t try to change everything in one go – perfection is an illusion. Better start with small, but impactful steps  such as avoiding fossil-fuel travel as much as possible, switching to green power, buying organic and fair products, avoiding unnecessary packaging or cosmetics containing microplastics.

Now that you’ve joined the CSCP, what are you looking forward to the most?

Working with a great team to contribute towards making this planet a good and friendly place to live for future generations.

Sometimes, it seems a bit blurry that becoming more sustainable can support companies in achieving many other goals, including increasing profits. How can this strategic link be better communicated?

When I started my professional life, sustainability was something related to the guys climbing chimneys and blocking whalers. Now this has changed – in my opinion, mainly due to increasing awareness of the threats imposed to the environment as well as the numerous studies clearly showing that sustainable companies are performing better than “conventional” ones. This link between performance and sustainability is one of the keys. In some cases, extraordinary sustainability features of products or companies can generate a premium on prices, but in most cases, profit will come from efficiency gains and process optimisation – which are also part of a sound and integrated sustainability strategy.

Strengthening resilience has become the keyword of the moment. What makes a company future-proof in your view?

The foundation is to know the risks along the whole value chain, including an early-warning system. Here is where digitalisation comes in: real-time monitoring, Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain technology – there is a huge potential to increase transparency and timely information. A rather underestimated aspect related to resilience are skilled workforces that are aware of the impact of their work decisions. This goes well beyond Health & Safety policies. Regarding the future, innovation, using swarm intelligence, cooperation with suppliers and also Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and monitoring of trends is paramount for developing sustainable businesses.

Now that remote working is becoming a new normal, what are some of the lessons learnt from your many years of working remotely?

All you have to do is to remember that you are talking to human beings and get used to smaller pictures. The media of your choice must not change the way and style you communicate. It is extremely important to always ask yourself if you would say what you are saying if the meeting was an in-person one . Regarding home office: self-discipline, self-discipline, self-discipline, and then quite importantly: self-care!

For further questions, get in contact with Dr. Esther Heidbüchel.

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ETC/WMGE Report on Electronics and Obsolescence in a Circular Economy is Published

27. August 2020 - 11:26

The stock of electrical and electronic equipment has increased to the extent that the number of internet-related electronics produced annually exceeds the number of humans on earth (WEF, 2019). Such rapid increase of the amount of electronics is indicative of growing demand, but also of shorter lifetimes and increasing obsolescence of such products. The European Topic Centre’s on Waste and Materials in a Green Economy (ETC/WMGE) report “Electronics and Obsolescence in a Circular Economy“ offers a state-of-the art analysis as well as examines potential circular business models and policy measures for increasing lifetimes of electronics.

The report shows that, in practice, electronic products have an average lifetime that is at least 2.3 years shorter than the manufacturer’s claim (designed lifetime) or the consumer’s expectation (desired lifetime). Through four different case studies – smartphones, washing machines, vacuum cleaners and televisions – it is shown how increasing the product lifetime is essential for reducing environmental impacts of electronics. In support of that, the report examines potential circular business models and policy measures that lead to longer lifetimes of electronic products.

The ETC report “Electronics and Obsolescence in a Circular Economy“ provides the analytical underpinning for a respective briefing of the European Environment Agency (EEA). It is published in the memory of Sunny-Yang Deng, co-author of the report and late CSCP project manager, whose expertise in obsolescence has greatly contributed to it.

The report is available for download at the CSCP’s library.

For further information, please contact Nora Brüggemann.

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CSCP Appointed to the Board of the Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI)

24. August 2020 - 9:04

Delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda requires immediate change of course and joined forces of multiple actors. The CSCP has recently joined the board of the Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), an important platform for multi-stakeholder engagement towards more sustainability through digital technologies.

In close collaboration with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies and other organisations around the world, the Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) is a hub for information, resources and best practices for achieving social and environmental sustainability through technology. CSCP’s Executive Director, Michael Kuhndt, has been named to the board of GeSI to help strengthen collaboration across organisations and industries towards a sustainable, fair and inclusive future.

A hallmark of CSCP’s engagement at GeSI will be the “Digital with a Purpose: Delivering a SMARTer2030” movement, which is oriented towards more informed and purposeful development and deployment of digital technologies. In a “race to the top”, digital companies are not only seeking to improve their own operations and reduce negative social and environmental impacts, but also utilise their digital technologies to enable others to achieve the SDGs and increase their positive social and environmental handprints.

A recent report published as part of the “Digital with a Purpose” movement highlights that “of the 169 SDG targets, 103 are directly influenced by digital technologies, with established examples of deployment that provide insight into their potential to make an impact. Analysis of 20 targets and their indicators across the SDGs shows that the expected deployment of existing digital technologies will on average, help accelerate progress by 22 percent and mitigate downward trends by 23 percent”

The “Digital with a Purpose” movement foresees a performance framework to ensure not only commitment but also action and progress towards achieving the SDGs. In support of this, CSCP’s Senior Advisor, Raymond Slaughter, is leading a workstream on circular economy. The focus of the work stream will be to support companies in achieving more sustainability through the implementation of circular economy principles.

The CSCP as well as the other GeSI partners call on organisations around the globe to make four ‘universal commitments‘:

  • Re-commit to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and become a purpose-led business
  • Take action on climate change, including a specific commitment to reduce greenhouse gases by at least 50% by 2030
  • Embrace the principles of impact transparency and collaboration
  • Harness the power of digital technologies to support these commitments

The CSCP will work closely with the other GeSI board members to strategically lead the „Digital with a Purpose: Delivering a SMARTer2030” movement.

For further information, please contact Raymond Slaughter.

 

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Join our event “Place of the Good Life”, 30 August 2020, Wuppertal

20. August 2020 - 13:51

Neighbourhoods represent important forums for tackling various social and environmental challenges as they are the sites where much of the regular interaction among people takes place. Our project Day of the Good Life is exploring ways to motivate and strengthen citizens to shape their neighbourhoods sustainably together with family, friends and neighbours. Learn more about our creative and participatory approach at our event “Place for the Good Life”, 30 August 2020, Platz der Republik, Wuppertal.

The Day of the Good Life, scheduled for 25 April 2021, is an all-day event in Wuppertal during which citizens reclaim the streets and design public space according to their needs and wishes. The city streets are freed from cars and all forms of traffic on that day. More than a just a day, the project is about a process aimed at supporting and strengthening initiatives that work on promoting a sustainable, climate-friendly and socially-just life in Wuppertal. One of the goals of the project is to make such initiatives more visible and tangible in the city’s urban society.

The event “Place for the Good Life” is a pre-step towards the big event in 2021 and will mobilise the Wuppertal neighbourhoods and citizens to get into the mood for the good life. During the event, the topics of mobility, nature, nutrition, energy, living, and community will be illustrated in playful and artistic ways to motivate visitors to share their vision of the good life. The event will be held according to current COVID-19 safety measures. To ensure everyone’s safety, please bring your mask and always keep 1,5 meters distance to other visitors.

The “Place for the Good Life” will be followed by several neighbourhood meetings to further shape citizens’ ideas for contributions on the major event – the Day of the Good Life in April 2021.

  • Event: “Place of the Good Life”
  • Date: 30 August 2020
  • Time: 11.00 – 18.00
  • Place: Platz der Republik, Wuppertal

The CSCP is actively engaged to make the good life a reality for every neighbourhood and citizen in Wuppertal with its core expertise in sustainable lifestyles and collaborative engagement processes.

The Day of the Good Life is a joint project of the CSCP and its partners, the Nachbarschaftsheim Wuppertal, e.V., Idealwerk and the Forum für Soziale Innovation (FSI) gGmbH.

For further information, please contact Alexandra Kessler.

Image by Davide Brocchi ©

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Watch Our Webinar “Putting Solutions on the Table: Approaches and Interventions for More Sustainable Food Consumption Behaviours”

19. August 2020 - 12:36

Over 90 participants joined the Valumics webinar on 16 July 2020 which focused on the main food consumption targets at the EU level as well as related challenges and opportunities in achieving them.

The webinar, an interactive session hosted by the CSCP with the participation of Valumics partners and field experts, focused on these questions:

  • How to move towards healthier and more sustainable food consumption in view of the EU Farm to Fork Strategy?
  • Which sustainable food consumption targets lie ahead?
  • How can food consumption behaviours and solution-oriented interventions trigger a shift towards a more sustainable future?
  • How are these behavioural interventions applied in real life contexts and what might we learn from them?

Expert speakers and key notes:

Henk Westhoek, DG SANTE, European Commission, provided an overview on the recently published EU Farm to Fork Strategy, emphasizing the need for integrated approaches that combine different levels of governance and the usage of multiple instruments.

Pierre Marie Aubert, IDDRI, spoke about food consumption impact reduction targets for 2050, highlighting that “there is a clear benefit from a health and environmental perspective” in reducing the animal protein intake and increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables.

Mariana Nicolau, CSCP, shared key insights based on the VALUMICS work about what drives food consumption behaviours in the EU. Nicolau emphasized the usefulness of mapping behaviours with a behavioural model in order to focus on what exactly needs to change, rather than jumping straight into how to change things.

Matthew Gorton, Newcastle University, discussed current  promising interventions that have the potential to drive more sustainable food consumption behaviours.

Antonella Samoggia, University of Bologna, spoke about the key recommendations that the VALUMICS project is currently preparing in support of food consumption impact reduction goals.

The speaker slides are available here.

The webinar was concluded with a lively Q&A between participants and the expert panel. A selection of questions and answers is available here.

The webinar ‘Putting Solutions on the Table: Approaches and Interventions for More Sustainable Food Consumption Behaviours’ was held within the framework of the VALUMICS project.

VALUMICS focuses on food system dynamics and is a multi-stakeholder consortium funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme.

For further information, please contact Mariana Nicolau.

 

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Join the Federal Action Week “Germany Saves Food”, 22-29 September 2020!

18. August 2020 - 10:52

About 11 million tonnes of food are lost in Germany annually, meaning that the average German wastes around 55 kilos of food per year. This points to flaws throughout the entire supply chain: from producing and processing through to household consumption practices. Innovative tools and approaches as well joint commitment from all hallmarks of the society are needed to reduce food waste and preserve valuable resources. Join the action week “Germany Saves Food”, 22-29 September 2020, to make your own contribution!

With various on-site activities and digital formats, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and the action week partners are working together with all participants to promote greater food value appreciation. Individuals, companies as well as initiatives and associations from all over Germany are invited to be part of the action week, which marks the first such nationwide activity. Participants can come forward with their original ideas or join existing campaigns. Every idea that leads to less food waste counts!

To help channel your ideas and get inspired, here are some valuable suggestions:

  • Suggestions for actions in agriculture, production or processing for trade, out-of-home catering or at home consumption can be found in this guideline.
  • Share your own idea to save food! Have your activity published at Deutschland Rettet Lebensmittel. Information regarding registration can be found here.
  • Promote food saving! Free to use communication material such as posters, menu inserts, postcards can be ordered or downloaded here.
  • Be on the know! Check out the hashtag #deutschlandrettetlebensmittel for all actions shared on social media.

The action week “Germany Saves Food” is a joint initiative of “Zu gut für die Tonne!” (Too Good to Throw Away) of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and the respective ministries of the German federal states. The action week is part of the implementation of BMEL’s National Strategy to Reduce Food Waste.

More information about the action week can be found here.

The National Dialogue Forum for Reduction of Food Waste in Wholesale and Retail Industry, carried out by the CSCP in collaboration with the Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, is a partner of the action week.

For further information please contact Nora Brüggemann.

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Listen to our Academy of Change Podcast: Behaviour Models as Guides for Positive Change

12. August 2020 - 13:45

Gaining accurate information about people’s behaviours and their decision making practices is becoming significantly more important in achieving sustainability goals across various fields. As a result, important questions arise: What motivates specific behaviours but discourages others? How are behaviours constructed and shaped but also changed and transformed? The second episode of our Academy of Change (AoC) podcast series focuses on behaviour models as pre-defined approaches in analysing and changing behaviours. Listen to our guest speaker, Andrew Darnton, as he guides you through efficient ways of choosing and implementing models that support your sustainability projects.

An added value of behaviour models is their capacity to distil academic theory into practical guidance. They can be used to map current behaviours and understand barriers and enablers for positive change. There is a growing body of academic evidence on the topic, but it can be hard to grasp and apply to newcomers in the field. Moreover, there are many competing and complementary models, making choosing even more difficult.

In the behavioural models episode you can listen to an inspiring conversation with Andrew Darnton, an independent researcher specialised in behavioural theory and system change, as he explains how to pick the most appropriate models for specific organisations and needs. In addition, Darnton, who is the author of the ISM (Individual, Social, Material) model, spoke in detail about the role of models in designing impactful interventions for targeted behaviours.

In his own words: “Models are devices for using our heads: they’re thinking tools! The value that they have is in the potential of helping us figure out a problem. Models are always going to be wrong, it’s about how wrong they are. The best model is the most usable, the one that gets one the closest to a workable solution. They help us work out which bits of the data we have are most relevant.”

Other topics covered in the models’ podcast include suggestions on right and wrong ways of applying theory, the most popular models and how to use them, and practical lessons on applying models to specific projects and challenges.

Download our Models podcast now!

The first AoC podcast on the topic of Insights with guest speaker Lizzie Kenyon is available here, if you would like to start at the beginning of our Behaviour Change series.

The podcast series is part of the Academy of Change (AoC) training programme and it offers complementary views on selected behavioural change topics. Through insightful conversations with field experts, the topics are explored from a practical perspective in order to serve listeners from different fields and areas of interest.

The Academy of Change (AoC) is a non-profit initiative of the CSCP, Behaviour Change (BC) and the International Civil Society Centre (ICSC). The AoC is funded by the KR Foundation.

For further question, please contact Mariana Nicolau.

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Household Waste Analysis in Solingen: Enhancing Better Sorting from a Consumer Perspective

5. August 2020 - 14:31

What can garbage bins reveal about consumer waste sorting practices and underlying behaviours? How can such information be used to improve waste separation? Is behaviour change or a change in the product package design the best solution in a specific case? The Club for Sustainable Packaging Solutions, as part of CIAP (Consumer Insight Action Panel), conducted a household waste analysis in Solingen to shed new light on potential interventions for more sustainable practices in waste management.

A search through the bins of residual and recyclable waste from private households was central to the analysis in the aim of understanding recurring waste sorting patterns. Members of the Club for Sustainable Packaging Solutions (Club für Nachhaltige Verpackungslösungen) looked at four product categories in particular: dairy cups, food packaging consisting of tray and film, cleaning products packaging, and blister-cardboard combinations as used in batteries. For example, it was looked if the yogurt lid had been separated from the cup or if soap pouches were thrown into the residual or the recyclable bin. In addition, attention was paid as to whether the packaging of specific products included any separation instructions for the consumer. CSCP’s Stephan Schaller, who moderates the club, highlighted the importance of “clear and simple messages for the consumer” in order to facilitate proper sorting.

The aim of the club is to work with stakeholders in integrating consumer insights into the development of sustainable (circular) packaging and generate new solutions. The household waste analysis will offer useful cues about barriers and enablers towards better sorting practices. The results of the analysis will be completed in September 2020, whereas the general findings of the project will be directly fed at the EU level in the form of policy recommendations. Outcomes, such as documents and (virtual) learning sessions, will support knowledge-sharing with other actors, particularly Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Members of the CIAP Club for Sustainable Packaging Solutions include retailers like ALDI Nord/ALDI Süd, dm drogerie-markt and REWE Group, system gastronomy providers like McDonald‘s Germany, packaging companies, waste collectors and recyclers as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

The Consumer Insight Action Panel (CIAP) is a non-profit initiative led by the CSCP and funded by Sitra and Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU), in partnership with the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform.

For further questions, please contact Stephan Schaller.

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