In order to improve the understanding of the concept of Circular Economy, the Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS) published a report on April 7, which reviews definitions, processes and impacts in different sectors and the value chains.
The conclusions of the report are very interesting:
• The Circular Economy has achieved wide appeal among the academic, political and business sectors, but its interpretation and application have been very diverse. Although some definitions and interpretations focus on aspects of physical and material resources, others go further and discuss a major transformation of the economic system that involves various sectors and issues that go beyond material resources and waste.
• Available studies take different approaches when calculating impact, making it difficult to compare results from different sources.
• There is a need at EU level for greater clarity on the areas and sectors that fall within the scope of the Circular Economy. This can help avoid confusion, as well as support the preparation of studies that provide consistent messages about the potential effects that Circular Economy could generate.
• In order to avoid simplistic messages, for each case of applying a circular economy process to a sector, all parameters that play a role in the overall sustainability of the circular process that has to replace a linear process must be carefully considered.
• It is important to provide clarity on the expected impact across sectors on employment. This would also assist policymakers in designing well-targeted transitional policy measures to manage negative impacts.
• Although the effects on employment of the Circular Economy in terms of the number of jobs have been analyzed in several studies, evaluations of other social and employment impacts seem to be less present in the literature.
• Indirect effects on the economy (e.g., value chain impacts and / or changes in consumption patterns) need to be understood to estimate overall impacts at EU or national level.
From LIFE Sarmiento we take note of these conclusions and support their consideration by researchers and policy makers, who are designing new policies for the arrival of the circular economy to civil society.
In this link you can consult the published report.
The 15th National Congress of Recovery and Recycling organized by the Spanish Federation of Recovery and Recycling (FER) will take place on 15 and 16 June. These days have been consolidated during the last years as the meeting point of the sector in Spain.
The organization has already closed the program, which will feature some of the largest international experts in recycling. From LIFE Sarmiento we encourage all the agents of the sector to attend, for being an opportunity not only to learn about technological developments, but also to become aware of the needs that exist both in Spain and in the rest of Europe.
You have more information on this link.
The European Environment Agency, together with Zero Waste Europe and Friends of the Earth Europe, have asked EU member states whether they will support the much-needed proposals to boost EU waste policy in the negotiations they will held in Brussels in the coming weeks to promote an open and transparent decision-making process and a complete transition towards a circular economy.
Policymakers and NGOs, together with a growing number of industries, agree that the shift to a “circular economy” – where waste generation is prevented and products are reused or recycled – is the best solution for the Planet and for business.
The ongoing negotiations in Brussels will determine the future of EU waste laws in the 28 member states and will reveal whether the EU is ready for the transition to a circular economy.
The senior representatives of the Member States will meet this month to define the position of the Council of the European Union. At the end of May, the three EU institutions – the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council – will enter into the final interinstitutional negotiations before agreeing on the final text of the new EU waste laws.
As a result of the study, an interactive map of EU waste policies has been drawn up to monitor the ongoing negotiations, which can be found here
The process of chipping the vine shoots is on progress.
After the weather conditions (rain, snow) have improved, the technicians and working on the chipping process, which will be finished before the end of May. The vine shoots are placed in the collecting areas and, once the process is finished, they will be transported to the composting site to finish the process.
Initiatives from around the world will gather at this annual meeting organized by the EU to share their experiences of sustainable work within a circular economy model.
With the slogan “Green Jobs for a Greener Future” the EU Green Week will start on 29th May. Every year there is a debate on European environmental policy, which is increasingly oriented towards the development of a circular economy model that will allow for the maintenance of the value of products, materials and resources to reduce minimum generation of waste.
The current focus on European policies is generating significant changes in the European economy including the labor market. And this will be spoken of. About the creation of new jobs through business initiatives that are developing new sustainable business models, expanding their markets and adapting innovative solutions for an efficient use of resources.
According to EU Green Week sources, despite the economic crisis of recent years, the environmental goods and services sector has created new jobs. There is a growing real demand for innovative skills that requires skilled and qualified people, thus becoming another important issue to address: demand for new types of “green skills” in different european professional sectors.
A scientific study advices about the global warming impact on wine production with the disappearance of the current suitable zones for its production.
This is a research work carried out by scientists from different universities and organizations from countries such as the United States, Chile and China. It states that Climate Change will have a direct impact on ecosystems affecting different species, but it will also affect indirectly to land uses as a result of habitats loss, focusing specifically on the effects on wine grape production.
According to this study, due to Climate Change, the suitability of the current main wine-producing regions will decrease by 2050 between 19% and 73% (depending on the area), moving these crops to higher elevations as can be seen on the world map generated from this data.
Experts announce that this situation can lead to possible conflicts related to land uses and the fresh water ecosystems, so they warn about the necessity to make efforts of adaptation and conservation on agriculture, like preventive measures to face these possible effects, which could bring about a significant change in the current agrifood industry model and lead towards self-sufficiency and food security.
This is recognized by the European Compensation Network (ECN) in a piece of information published in which it estimates the direct jobs that could be generated from processing unused biological waste.
The ECN affirms that taking into account the potential biomass of unused municipal waste (64 Mt), more than 50.000 direct jobs in rural areas would be created in the biowaste sector, and up to 16,000 in urban areas.
According to this report, the biological waste used already generates around 90.000 direct jobs, mainly in rural areas reaching 70.000 direct jobs.
The organization that makes these data visible, the ECN, has as its main objective to promote sustainable systems of organic waste management, supporting the circular economy and the creation of local jobs, while wishing to contribute to safeguarding the soil for future generations.
LIFE reWINE promotes the reuse of bottles in the wine sector to reduce waste generation, greenhouse gases and production costs.
This initiative, which has been recently presented, aims to demonstrate the feasibility of a sustainable system of collection, cleaning and reuse of glass bottles in the wine sector, identifying barriers and opportunities, as well as evaluating the main environmental, technical aspects and economic benefits derived from the pilot system.
The wine industry is one of the most affected by climate change, so new techniques and strategies are needed to reduce the carbon footprint in the sector. In the case of LIFE reWINE, the initiative is even more meaningful in view of the fact that, currently, there isn’t any available system for the recovery of wine packaging, as opposed to other sectors where such a network exists.
LIFE reWINE system involves all the links in the distribution and consumption chain, from wineries to restaurants and final consumers, considering the whole process of the bottle, from its labeling to its recovery and recycling, with a forecast of recovery of about 100,000 bottles until June 2019. This is also intended to help raise awareness and achieve qualitative and quantitative objectives of waste prevention.
The Institut Catalá de la Viñya i el Vi (INCAVI) hosts the conference “Uniting efforts towards the reduction of phytosanitary products” in the control of mildew and powdery mildew in vine plantations.
It is a meeting that aims to show the results of the LIFE FITOVID project obtained from the application of different management schemes for the control of mildew and powdery mildew of the vine. These conclusions have been drawn from the impact of the reduction in the use of plant protection products in the production of grapes, must and wine, and include their consequences from the environmental, economic and health areas.
The meeting will begin on Wednesday, April 5 at 10:00 am at INCAVI in Vilafranca del Penedès (Barcelona), and will affect the improvement of efficiency in treatments and the correct realization of them, as well as the good state of the applicator machinery, also showing the reduction in the costs of phytosanitary products and the saving of fuel.
Polytechnic University of Catalonia and the University of the Basque Country, together with companies from the Tecnalia group (Neiker / Azti) are participating in this date.
Scientists from Europe have taken soil samples from all over the continent to better understand the main threats they face and to get preventive measures.
Soil specialists, biologists and agricultural engineers work together from the Joint Research Center (JRC) to advance this research that seeks to understand in a integral way what is happening under our feet, and to analyze challenges such as erosion, pollution, biodiversity and urbanization.
The analysis of the 25.000 samples taken so far will allow the study of the physical, chemical and biological properties of soils that have been selected to try to give a homogenous representation of all European countries so that the EU will can better determine policies for an appropriate management of soils.
JRC intends to advise farmers on good practices to be followed to stop the one that arises as the main problem, soil erosion. Among the advice that these specialists emphasize are the reduction in tillage practices, after the harvest leave the plant residues on the field and protect grass margins.
‘El Segura, a river full of life‘ is the title chosen for the documentary that carries out a tour of the biodiversity of its section in the Region of Murcia.
Many people have participated in the presentation, having the opportunity to know the peculiarities of its great biodiversity, as well as the need for conservation of this ecosystem.
The documentary also reflects the important cultural, economic and social legacy of the river thanks to the agricultural and industrial uses developed around it.
The documentaty was produced by Integra Foundation, in collaboration with ANSE Association and Segura River Basin Authority through the LIFE + SEGURA RIVERLINK project.
It is presented as an alternative to the current model of production and consumption, and it is growing. These are some of the conclusions that can be drawn from the first report on Circular Economy made in Spain by the Cotec Foundation for innovation.
And this model presents the potential to solve environmental challenges, while opening up business opportunities and economic growth.
The publication gathers and analyzes the available indicators of this economic model, based on the maximum use of resources, and proposes the creation of a roadmap to know where to start and how far.
The report also analyzes the current situation of the Circular Economy in Spain and its main actors, reviews the policies developed in this regard and includes successful examples of Circular Economy developed by companies and entities in Spanish territory.
Conducted by the UNESCO Chair of Sustainability of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), in collaboration with the International Recycling Association (RECNET) and the Association for Sustainability and the Progress of Societies (ASYPS).
The first steps of the process have begun. Technicians and farmers of the Nuestra Señora del Rosario cooperative work hand in hand to remove the vine shots and transport them to collection centers.
There, wastes that were previously burned producing environmental problems, will be cleaved to begin their process of transformation to compost.
This is an action that aims to implement new practices that are more sustainable and beneficial to the environment, while trying to demonstrate the advantages of a system of community management of vine shots.
The collection will continue until all the farmers have finished their pruning work, streamlining the process with the transfer in batches to the processing area.
LIFE SARMIENTO brought together the members of “Nuestra Señora de El Rosario” Cooperative in the Bullas Wine Museum last Thursday November 17th. The Sarmiento partners had the opportunity to introduce the project activities and request the collaboration of farmers to collect pruned shoots and participate in demonstration activities.
The workshop was attended by more than 40 farmers, who raised their views on the project and posed some technical questions.
Two members of the LIFE Sarmiento team, Sabina Romero from Microgaia Biotech and Eva Navarro from EuroVértice Consultores, attended a meeting for Climate Change Mitigation projects in Brussels on October 3-4, as approved in the 2015 Call-for-Proposals.
A number of EASME reps, the agency in charge of the LIFE Programme, and NEEMO, the team in charge of project monitoring, explained the duties and requirements of the programme throughout the project developments.
Some time was also dedicated to networking and sharing of experience for the 13 projects approved in this overriding topic.
On October 11, Microgaia Biotech, “Nuestra Señora de El Rosario” Cooperative and EuroVértice, as partners of the LIFE Sarmiento Project, met for the first time in the Cooperative facilities in Bullas (Murcia, Spain).
During this meeting, partners reviewed the project actions and the roles of each partner, and defined the tasks for the upcoming months.
On November 21-22, LIFE Sarmiento Coordinator Sabina Romero attended the World Bulk Wine Exhibition (Amsterdam), presenting the pruned vine shoot management system and the composting process of the project. This is the eighth occasion on which this event has been held and has grown as the major gathering in the bulk wine business. It receives also the participation of professionals that study, develop and work with a wide range of vine-related commercial applications.
The DOP Bullas vineyards (Region of Murcia) innovates with more sustainable practices in the management of vine shots.
The LIFE Sarmiento project was created with the aim of minimizing CO2 emissions due to the burning of pruning waste, replacing its current waste management practices for others more beneficial to the climate.
In addition to being an innovative solution to this environmental problem, the initiative improves the soil conditions in arid zones through transforming the pruning remains into compost and its later incorporation into the soil as an organic improvement.
In this way a double task is performed. On one hand, the revaluation of these residues by transforming them into by-products, obtaining a quality compost with biostimulating properties. On the other hand, contributing to the stimulation of a Circular Economy that directly and positively will impact in the territory where the action is carried out.
The project is granted the European Union through the Environment and Climate Action Program (LIFE). The total budget is 835,020 euros. The companies Microgaia Biotech, Eurovértice and the cooperative Nuestra Señora del Rosario are participating in that initiative which will have a duration of four years (until the end of 2020).