Circular Economy

  • 22 January 2021

    SDGs and CE

    English Version The article is based on Enrico Giovannini’s intervention at the second edition of Re-think-Circular Economy Forum last October 2020. Sustainable Development and Circular Economy: the new paradigm for the European Union – Enrico Giovannini, Founder and Director of the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASviS) Enrico Giovannini begins his speech recognizing the circular economy as the key point of rethinking the economic and social model. He believes that, currently, the concept of circularity is mainly used in reference to material stuff and there is a limited thinking about the need to “recycle” also people. Consequently, without reinvesting continuously in people, they are most likely to be treated as “social waste” (Pope Francis). Having a large part of the population feeling like waste, will not ensure the social and institutional dimensions of sustainability. The current Covid-19 crisis clarifies that if people feel to be excluded from the social and economic processes,institutions are at risk of instability,as people will be in client of pushing for radical changes in the status quo, i.e.a revolution. The “Arab Springs” are an example of this: started as an environmental problem, then transformed into an economic and social crisis, ended with an institutional instability and a revolution. Also migration is an indicator of how people who are treated as “social waste” try to recycle themselves moving somewhere else. He reminds that the economy, society, environment and institutions need to be fully integrated in a vision of sustainable development according to the 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In 2019, the ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work published a report discussing how, in business accounting, workers and their training are accounted for as a cost, like intermediate materials or raw materials, which reduce the company’s profit. According to him, this perspective does not...
  • 15 January 2021

    Industrial Ecology and CE

    Industrial Ecology: A foundation for envisioning and measuring the Circular Economy transition By Shyaam Ramkumar – Tondo Associate English Version The concept of a circular economy has been quickly gaining momentum in recent years. Many local and national governments, companies from startups to SMEs to multinational corporations, and a growing number of NGOs such as Tondo are driving the push for a transformation of our current economic model towards one that is more circular, regenerative, and resilient. However, the theoretical and conceptual foundations of the circular economy have a much longer history. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation lists seven different schools of thought that make up the basic tenets of the circular economy, one of which is Industrial Ecology. Industrial Ecology became a prominent concept with the publication of an article by Robert Frosch and Nicholas Gallopoulos in Scientific American titled “Strategies for Manufacturing”. In the article, Frosch and Gallopoulos conceptualize how industrial systems could behave more like ecological systems. Similar to the symbiotic relationships found in nature where wastes of one species are resources for another, they pondered how outputs and wastes from one industry could be inputs into another industry. The field has since evolved to encompass a set of tools and methods that can help transform value chains across cities, regions, and countries to become more circular. These tools and methods can provide a foundation for envisioning and measuring the circular economy transition. Life Cycle Analysis One of the main methods within Industrial Ecology is Life Cycle Analysis, or LCA. Using the LCA methodology, enables the assessment of the environmental impacts across the whole lifecycle of a product, process, or service. The methodology creates a detailed inventory of all the resources, energy, and materials required from extraction and processing to the production, distribution, use, and disposal of the...
  • 8 January 2021

    Eco-Design or Circular Design?

    By Simone Bambagioni – Tondo Associate English Version Ecological design – or eco-design – is certainly one of the key enablers for a transition towards a circular economy. Yet, is it the best alternative to make fully circular products? Eco–design is an approach to designing products with special consideration for the environmental impacts of the product during its whole lifecycle. As described in the European Waste Framework Directive, it is based on a hierarchical structure of waste management that goes, in order of priority, from the prevention of waste (best option) to reuse, recycling, other recovery and disposal (worst option). However, this process relies on the assumption that the concept of waste still exists and will inevitably persist. However, in an ideal Circular Economy based future, products and materials are reused and cycled indefinitely, eliminating as a consequence the very concept of waste. Therefore, in order to have a truly Circular Product Design, we need to introduce a further concept – what Walter Stahel calls the Principle of Inertia. According to it, a product must maintain its original state (or a state as close as possible to the original one) for as long as possible, in order to minimize and ideally eliminate the environmental costs when performing interventions to preserve or restore the product’s added economic value overtime. In this context, product lifecycle is no longer linked to functionality, but rather to the obsolescence. Products, indeed, can become obsolete for many reasons (technologically outdated, outmoded, outlawed, lost of economic value, etc.) while maintaining their original functionality. This means that the state of obsolescence does not necessarily have to be permanent. It can often be reversed, giving the product a new lease of life. As long as this process stands, a single product can have several use cycles during its lifetime. And...
  • 25 December 2020

    Two concepts for the same goal?

    By Alessandro Arlati – Research Assistant at HCU, Department of Urban Planning and Regional Development English Version During the last decade, Circular Economy (CE) has more and more affirmed its relevance as a conceptual framework for supporting future sustainable development in our cities. The Ellen McArthur Foundation, as a way to eschew the take-make-waste mentality that has largely characterized our economic systems, defined CE paradigm in 2013. The CE paradigm claims for a change (often referred to as “transition”) from a linear economy, not only by mitigating and adjusting its negative impacts. It implies a more profound systemic shift, aiming at building “long-term resilience, generate business and economic opportunities, and provide environmental and societal benefits”. Yet, CE is not alone in this objective. Many other concepts are paving their way in the attempt of countering the negative impacts of the society we are living in. Among others, Nature-based Solutions (NBS) are becoming a fancy answer to address various societal challenges by imitating nature. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) defined the main objective of NBS implementation in its ability to support the achievement of society’s development goals and safeguard human well-being providing simultaneously economic, social and environmental benefits. Now it is worth asking ourselves whether there is a synergy between these two concepts. Looking at the definitions and the objectives that both CE and NBS are aiming at, it does not sound absurd. Furthermore, it is important to mention at this point, that both CE and NBS were included in the EU research and innovation programmes (e.g. Horizon 2020) in 2015. Yet, the series of projects started within these programmes have taken two definite and distinct directions: in other words, the two concepts do not figure out as connected in some way. However, it is possible to identify...
  • 30 September 2020

    ZEROBARRACENTO

    English Version ZEROBARRACENTO is a gender-neutral zero-waste brand envisioning outerwear as a service. The fundamental values of the company are 0% waste and gender on the one side, and 100% traceability, transparency and inclusiveness on the other side. In addition, the hundred percent stand for 100% sustainability, an issue that has been at the core of the brand since the beginning. Following the product principles of the brand, the clothing lines need to be clean, essential and sourced locally. Therefore, the company is exclusively using materials coming from certified suppliers. To guarantee short transportation ways, every step of the design, product development and manufacturing takes place in Italy and factories are chosen in such a way that they are close to the place where the raw materials have been sourced. Moreover, the selected suppliers operate in the cities/regions which show the highest level of expertise in working with sustainable materials. For the organic and recycled wools, Biella and Prato have been chosen as supplier districts for instance. All material inputs are certified, of high quality and flow through a production/consumption chain that is circular. In addition, every product is self-complementary, designed to last and fully traceable throughout the value chain. One of the materials is Newlife™, a certified yarn, made from 100% post-consumer bottles. The patterns of the textiles are developed with a zero-waste design technique that eliminates textile waste at the design stage, an approach that contributes to reduce the use of natural resources. Usually, around 15% of textiles go wasted in the production process of fashion clothes. The technique involves eliminating waste by removing accessories (no buttons, no zippers, no hooks and eyes) and included the selvedge when sewing the garments. This way the final products are finished up with just a few seams. The packaging is made...
  • 15 September 2020

    Innovation Call

    English Version At Tondo we support changemakers and therefore we are pleased to announce an Innovation Call with a focus on the Circular Economy and related to our main event Re-think Circular Economy Forum! Startups that carry out activities related to the Circular Economy can apply to the Innovation Call organized by Tondo with different partners. The call aims to select highly innovative projects that are feasible from a business point of view and capable of generating a strong positive impact on the environment. The call is open to the startups that are already established, or innovative ideas which are not yet materialized and which are operating in the thematic macro-areas that will be discussed during Re-think Circular Economy Forum (Agri-food, Cities, Materials and Technology), the event on the Circular Economy organized by Tondo on October 27th and 28th. The call might give to the selected startups the possibility to pitch during the main event and, in addition, the four winning startups (one for each macro-area) will receive some services from our partners (such as strategic and commercial support, help in applying to national and European grants,…), and a cash prize of 1.500 € will be awarded to the one that will achieve the highest score by the innovation jury. The macro-areas of the event, that are also the main focus of the Innovation Call are: Agri-food: agriculture 4.0, new types of cultivation such as Indoor and Vertical farming, and new methods of food preservation and transportation; Cities: urban context organized in a circular way, presenting actual projects, but also possible future trends with a focus on smart cities, mobility, biocycle & waste, urban, water, and air; Materials: biomaterials that are increasingly replacing synthetic ones, emerging practices in the reuse and regeneration of materials (organic and synthetic) and future trends in material science; Technologies: emerging...
  • 4 September 2020

    ilVespaio

    English Version ilVespaio is a network of free-lance designers with a focus on ecodesign and sustainability. A team of creatives, researchers and educators promotes awareness on social and environmental issues, organizing workshops, events, contests and educational exhibitions with companies, local authorities, schools and families. Why ilVespaio? IlVespaio was founded by the graphic designer Stefano Castiglioni and the product designer Alessandro Garlandini in 2008, based on the idea of designing and producing promotional merchandise made of re-used production scraps and other materials. A circular promotional item unique and customized, instead than cheap junk imported from Asia. We called ourselves ilVespaio, the Italian word for wasp nest, because we were looking for a name from the natural world recalling movement, dynamism and creative chaos. Wasps are usually considered useless, annoying insects. However, they are very important for the ecosystem and for impollination, but, unlike bees, they proudly refuse to be tamed and don’t like to work for humans. They use attics to create their nests, instead! Our first project was a production of bags for the Provincia di Varese made of reused non-woven banners, reclaimed along the race route during the Varese World Championship Road Race 2008. Since then, we did many projects all sharing the same approach based on interactivity, playfulness, and care for design and graphics. The team has grown: designers Sebastiano Ercoli and Clara Giardina and videomaker Luca Orioli joined ilVespaio and other collaborators are helping us on specific projects. We strongly believe that citizens play a crucial role in the transition towards circular economy and that we need to focus on education especially of children and new generations. We have developed projects to raise awareness on environmental issues and to promote conscious behaviours. Every medium is strategic to convey messages that are important to us: exhibitions, outdoor events,...
  • 27 July 2020

    CE and COVID-19

    By Alexandra Kekkonen – Tondo’s associate English Version What have we learned about Circular Economy from COVID crisis? The massive disruption of the global value chains in the result of the measures taken by the governments to address the Covid-19 crisis has revealed the fragility of our lineal global economy model and productive arrangements linked to a single geographic location and a single supplier, high degree of dissolution of our innovation, production, supply and consumption systems. (Serada, 2020) It has raised the concerns about the resilience of our economies and led to intensification of such trends as diversification of sourcing and supplies, reshoring, developing strategic autonomy in the critical sectors, intensifying automation, transforming supply chains into more simple, digital, regional more transparent, facilitated by the new delivery modes and contactless innovations. The experiences obtained during the COVID 19 crisis have reaffirmed – there is a need of the great reset and building a more resilient, just, responsive and sustainable economies. Circular Economy is increasingly considered a valuable option allowing to collectively reimagine and redesign our systems to ensure an ecologically safe and socially just space for all. The circular economy also now has the opportunity and duty to further incorporate equality and resilience into this model.  Product design and product policy factors such as repairability, reusability and potential for remanufacturing offer considerable opportunities to enhance stock availability and, therefore, resilience. Rethinking business models in terms of the circular economy presents many opportunities to improve competitiveness, efficiency, innovation and sustainability including through facilitating an access to and shared use of underutilized products.  Circular supplies represent a model for developing components that are reusable and recyclable at the end of a product’s life.  Product life extension prolongs the useful life of a product through improved product design and long-term maintenance.   Resource recovery...
  • 16 July 2020

    Corso di formazione

    Per realizzare un’efficace transizione del sistema economico e industriale verso un modello basato sull’Economia Circolare è necessario garantire a tutti degli strumenti per rispondere alla crescente richiesta di conoscenze, competenze e strumenti da parte del mondo imprenditoriale e manageriale. Ed è per questo che siamo lieti di comunicarvi che da ottobre 2020 partirà ufficialmente il corso di alta formazione “Gestione strategica dell’Economia Circolare: per una transizione verso nuovi modelli produttivi“. Il corso nasce da una proposta iniziale di Tondo e si concretizza grazie alla proficua collaborazione con ALTIS, Alta Scuola Impresa e Società dell’Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, e Circularity: è quindi, l’esito dell’incontro tra tre esponenti di eccellenza del mondo della sostenibilità e dell’Economia Circolare. La data di inizio del corso sarà il 30 ottobre, pochi giorni dopo lo svolgimento dell’evento Re-think – Circular Economy Forum organizzato da Tondo; si andranno infatti ad approfondire alcune delle tematiche trattate durante l’evento e ad acquisire le competenze necessarie per coniugare sostenibilità, innovazione e creazione di valore all’insegna di business circolari. Il corso si concluderà il 19 dicembre e verrà fornito un attestato di partecipazione ufficiale da parte dell’Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. Struttura del corso Il corso sarà accessibile online e saranno disponibili due modalità di partecipazione, a scelta: Completo – dirette straming + videoregistrazioni : 4 moduli, ciascuno dei quali prevede 1 settimana di lezioni videoregistrate e due sessioni in diretta streaming (il venerdì dalle 16 alle 19 e il sabato dalle 10 alle 13) Base – videoregistrazioni: 4 moduli accessibili fino a giugno 2021. Programma del corso Il corso si articola attorno a 4 macro-tematiche, corrispondenti ai 4 moduli: Circular Economy, Strategy and Business Models, che dedicherà particolare attenzione alle teorie che concorrono a definire il concetto, alla produzione normativa che contribuisce a identificarne perimetro e direzioni di sviluppo e alle modalità di integrazione con la...
  • 8 July 2020

    CE in Estonia

    By Alexandra Kekkonen – Tondo’s associate English Version Estonia is an innovative nation in Northern Europe known globally for its digital ambitions. It is one of the top countries in Europe in terms of start-ups per capita and ranks first in the Entrepreneurship Index by the WEF. The country is a world pioneer in providing public services online – 99% of all public services provided 24/7 online. Thanks to smart e-solutions, it takes only a few hours to start a company and minutes to declare taxes.   Estonia has a small population (1,3 m.) and territory (45,226 km²). Unlike other countries, the country is characterized by strong deurbanization tendencies in 15-years perspective. Another distinct feature of the Estonian society is so-called slow living approach: a large part of the population does not consider economic growth a priority[1]. These trends are enhanced by declining and ageing population (as of January 1, 2020, the share of people over 65 in the population structure of Estonia was 20.04% of the population) Ecological footprint per person is 7.1 gha, whereas biocapacity [2] is 9.5 gha per person, leaving a room for improvement. Approximately 71% of Estonia’s gross domestic product (by value added) is generated in the service sector, industries account for 25%, and extractive industries (including agriculture and mining) – about 4%, mainly oil shale. Estonia is the second largest emitter of CO2 per capita in the European Union and by far the most carbon-intensive economy among the OECD countries. The reason for that is oil shale, sedimentary rock that has been mined in Estonia for electricity generation since the fifties and, since recently, have also been used for liquid diesel fuel production. The country contains second largest deposits of oil shale (2.49 billion metric tons of shale oil) in the EU after Italy (10.45 billion...
Social Share Buttons and Icons powered by Ultimatelysocial