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Disclaimer: The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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The CESAR Project – Circular Economy Skills and Awareness Raising is a KA202 Project (Strategic Partnerships for Vocational Education and Training) funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, which started in October 2020 for a period of two years.

The partnership consists of 7 partners from 5 different countries (Finland, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain), with a common commitment to raise awareness for Circular Economy among the educational and training communities.

Foreword

The material has been compiled in 2021 with an aim to:

  • Raise awareness regarding Circular Economy and its benefits.

  • Promote awareness among teachers and students about greener methodologies

    and approaches.

  • Establish student initiatives to investigate local and regional problems that require

    sustainable and/or circular solutions.

  • Improve students' skills within circular economy, helping to prepare the future

    workforce for the challenges of transitioning from a linear economy to a circular economy.

Part A

INTRODUCTION TO CIRCULAR ECONOMY

Our planet’s natural capital is over-used, reducing its future regenerative capacity.

What's Circular Economy?



Circular economy is the opposite of linear economy.

Linear economy, which modern society has been practicing since industrialization, means that products are manufactured, used, and discarded.

Circular economy is a sustainable way of living, where emphasis is placed on resources that are already in use - as little new material as possible is derived from the nature reserves. This applies to both professional and private life.

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In an ideal circular economy, little to zero waste is formed.

Looking beyond the current “take-make-waste” -extractive industrial model, a circular economy aims to redefine growth, focusing on positive society-wide benefits. It entails gradually decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources and designing waste out of the system. Underpinned by a transition to renewable energy sources, the circular model builds economic, natural, and social capital. It is based on three principles:

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  • Design out waste and pollution

  • Keep products and materials in use

  • Regenerate natural systems

What's Circular Economy?

The philosophy of Circular Economy consists on the replacement of open production systems, based on a linear consumption model, where resources are targeted, extracted, processed and transformed into waste after consumption, by closed systems that reuse resources and conserve energy. These systems are regenerative, where resources, waste, emissions, and energy losses are minimized through the slowing, closing, and narrowing of resource and energy loops.

This concept is based on 3 principles.

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  • Preserving and enhancing natural capital.

  • Optimizing yields from the resources in use.

  • Fostering system effectiveness (minimizing negative externalities).

(Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2015)


  1. Most business models developed under these three principles can be categorized according to the ReSOLVE framework, developed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation:


  • Regenerate - Actions that preserve and improve Earth’s biocapacity, renewable energy and materials, reclaim, retain and regenerate health of ecosystems, return of recovered biological resources to the biosphere.

  • Share - Actions that keep product loop speed slow, maximize utilization of products by sharing them among users, reuse products throughout their technical lifetime, prolong life through maintenance, repair and design for durability.

  • Optimize - Actions that increase the performance/efficiency of a product, remove waste in production and the supply chain, leverage big data, automation, remote sensing and steering.

  • Loop – Actions that keep components and materials in closed loops and prioritize inner loops.

  • Virtualize – Actions that deliver utility virtually.

  • Exchange – Actions that replace old materials with advanced non-renewable

    materials, applying new technologies.

UNDERSTANDING THE CHANGING NEEDS: FROM LINEAR TO CIRCULAR ECONOMY

Circular economy plays an important part in enabling as many people as possible to have an opportunity to live a good or at least tolerable life, far into the future. We must learn to live in a more sustainable manner.
During recent centuries, the human population has lived as if the earth's resources were infinite. A lot of waste has been dumped, resources are at risk of running out and the environment has been placed under constant burden. The economy has been linear. When the concept of sustainable development was coined in 1987, it was begun to realize that we need to review how we use resources so that they can also meet the needs of future generations.

Circular economy is a paradigm shift where we move from an open or linear system to a closed system where raw materials circulate.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO INCLUDE CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN VOCATIONAL EDUCATION?

Regarding Circular Economy, the key lies within professional life. As private consumers we can do a lot, but in the end, regardless of industry, the actions we take within working life is where the greatest impacts can be created for sustainability.

THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY AND THE UN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

The Circular Economy is strongly connected with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and holds particular promise for achieving multiple SDGs, including the following:

6 – Clean Water and Sanitation;

7 – Affordable and Clean Energy;

9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure;

11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities;

12 – Responsible Consumption and Production;

14 – Life Bellow Water;

15 – Life on Land.

CIRCULAR JOBS ON CIRCULAR ECONOMY

Employment opportunities directly related to Circular Economy are trending. Regardless of industry, we can all have an impact on our ecological footprint in our daily work – minimizing our negative footprint and emphasizing our positive handprint. Circular jobs can be divided into three different types:

core, enabling and indirect circular jobs.

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Core circular job

Enabling circular job

Indirect circular job

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A core circular job is an occupation that is immediately related to one or more of the core strategies of circular economy. This includes for example jobs in repair, waste and resource management, and renewable energy.

An enabling circular job is defined as an occupation that supports circular activities and enables circular economy. These jobs are essential for circular economy and are for example within the field of education, technology, design, and leasing.

An indirect circular job does not have an immediate connection to circular economy but provides for example services to the core strategies of circular economy.

Part B

BUILDING BLOCKS OF CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN VET

1. Eco-Design

What's Eco-Design

According to NI Business info, “Eco-design means producing goods and services that meet your customers' needs while:
• using the minimum levels of resources
• having a minimum impact on the environment and society
Eco-design involves designing or redesigning products, services, processes or systems to avoid or repair damage to the environment, society and the economy.
Eco-design is present all around us - in sustainable flooring, green energy heating systems, eco-friendly packaging, and even recyclable products.

Eco-Design Principles

Eco-design principles

There are ten core environmental considerations at the heart of eco-design:

  • using materials with less environmental impact
  • using fewer materials overall in the manufacture of products
  • using fewer resources during the manufacturing process
  • producing less pollution and waste
  • reducing the environmental impacts of distributing products
  • ensuring that products use fewer resources when they are used by end customers
  • ensuring that products cause less waste and pollution when in use
  • optimizing the function of products and ensuring the most suitable service life
  • making reuse and recycling easier
  • reducing the environmental impact of disposal

You should evaluate your product or services according to these principles and their environmental impact, as well as the potential for improvement or change.


Eco-design can entail collaboration between several industries or companies.

One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure.

When should you consider eco-design?

Project with large environmental impacts or natural resource use are the best candidates for an eco-design transformation. However, you can apply eco-design principles even in the smallest of projects by making sure that you:

  • maximize the use of sustainable materials
  • use the least amount of energy necessary
  • design a product so that it can be recycled or reused at the end of its lifecycle”

Eco-design is the production of products and services that satisfy the customers’ needs, while simultaneously using minimal resources and having as little as possible impact on the environment and society.

Linear model

Circular model

Best Practice Case 1

EcoUp

“We help the construction sector in the green transition”


EcoUp is a Finnish company that produces Ekovilla; a carbon-neutral thermal insulation made from recycled wood fibers. The wood fibers originate from old newspapers collected in the region of the plant. Ekovilla stores CO2 in durable structures for decades, and after that, Ekovilla can be further recycled in several ways.


Examples of Eco-Design

IKEA’s Kungsbacka kitchen is also made from recycled plastic bottles and wood.

Nestlé recently announced it will sell Haagen-Dazs ice-cream in reusable, double- walled steel packaging.

Adidas-Parley shoes and clothes were born out of a partnership between the sports company and the eco-awareness organization.

Malongo Ek’Oh Espresso Machine (2013 EcoProduct Award for Sustainable Development): programmed anti-obsolescence design, modular, easy to repair, solid materials, European manufacturing, economical in electricity consumption, recyclable (75%).

quesTions
To Think About!

#1: What is Eco-Design?

#2: What do different eco-labels mean and how can we make sustainable choices?

#3: What is the true cost of fast fashion?

#4: What mistakes were made designing this product?

Part B

BUILDING BLOCKS OF CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN VET

2.Life-long Materials and Products

"From cradle to cradle for a better world! "


“Cradle to Cradle is all about design – designing in a way where everything we do has a positive impact. Imagine if all the things you see were good for people and planet, and that every time a company made these products, they were creating good.”

Bridgett Luther


Co-founder and former president of the Cradle-to-Cradle Products Innovation Institute

In 2002, Braungart and William McDonough published a book called Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, a manifesto for cradle-to-cradle design that gives specific details of how to achieve the model.

In the cradle-to-cradle model, all materials used in industrial or commercial processes—such as metals, fibers, dyes—fall into one of two categories: "technical" or "biological" nutrients.

Technical Nutrients, in the Cradle to Cradle model, are strictly limited to non-toxic, non-harmful synthetic materials that have NO negative effects on the natural environment, they can be used in continuous cycles as the same product, without losing their integrity or quality, they can be used over and over again instead of being "downcycled" into lesser products, ultimately becoming

Biological Nutrients are organic materials that, once used, can be disposed of in any natural environment and decompose into the soil, providing food for small life forms without affecting the natural environment.

The Cradle-to-Cradle model is based on the notion of ecosystem, thus meaning that all materials cycles have to be considered in relationship to the ecology of the specific territories as, for example, organic material from one country or landmass may be harmful to the ecology of another country or landmass.

C2C models

Steel

Steel is a C2C material. The cycle of steel is closed, and steel can be both recycled and upcycled.


In theory, all new steel could be made from recycled steel. However, this is not practically feasible due to the long life of steel products, given steel’s strength and durability. Around 75% of steel products ever made are still in use today.

Steel’s durability is one of the key properties that make it a sustainable material. Not only does steel ensure long product life, but it also allows the reuse of countless products, from paper clips to rail and automotive components.

Some examples
of Buildings and other structures made from steel

Basilica of San Sebastien in Manila

Completed in 1891 is the only prefabricated steel church in Asia.. Sections were manufactured in Belgium and shipped to the Philippines where the church was assembled.

New York’s Brooklyn Bridge

The world’s first steel bridge to carry traffic. Over 130 years later it still carries over 120,000 vehicles a day.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

The bridge contains over 53,000 tonnes of steel waiting to be recycled. None of these structures are scheduled to be replaced in the foreseeable future.

C2C models

Cork

Video

Cork is a renewable natural material. Its extraction does not cause any negative impact and does not require cutting down the tree, since cork oaks have the ability to regenerate the cork bark that has been removed and its extraction does not cause contamination, as it is done carefully by hand.

A cork oak forest has the capacity to set 6 tonnes of CO2 per hectare per year!

Mediterranean cork oak forests capture more than 14 million tonnes of CO2 each year.

Focus on Products

Products play a key role in the economy, serving society's needs and contributing to people's identity. Designing products better, extending their useful lifetime and changing their role within the system will be crucial for the development of a circular economy.

Product design determines to a large extent the:


a) longevity
b) reparability
c) recyclability


Product design therefore determines the circularity potential of a product.

The European Environment Agency provides sound, independent information on the environment for those involved in developing, adopting, implementing and evaluating environmental policy, and also the general public.

Best Practice Case 1

CRADLE TO CRADLE IN THE CLEANING SECTOR: GREEN CARE PROFESSIONALS

The brand green care PROFESSIONAL provides worldwide the first comprehensive Cleaning and Care Range with the Cradle-to-Cradle CertifiedTM GOLD certificate. Cradle to Cradle® is based on the design of green care PROFESSIONAL cleaners for biological or technical cycles. The challenge is in planning the product’s progress through a closed material cycle, which means that product materials should be suitable for a safe and complete return to the biosphere or for recovery and good quality reuse.


We present 4 cases of business model based on the Cradle-to-Cradle Model and, consequently, on the use of Long-Life Materials.

Best Practice Case 2

CRADLE TO CRADLE IN THE FURNITURE SECTOR: HOW THE BUSINESS MODEL CHANGES

An increasing number of floors covering manufacturers are working according to the Cradle-to-Cradle principles.
An example is offered by Tarkett, the first wood flooring producer in Europe with Cradle to CradleTM certificate.
Made with 100% positively defined materials, Tarkett’s DESSO EcoBase® carpet tile backing has achieved Cradle to CradleTM Gold-level certification, with Cradle to CradleTM Platinum level for material health.

Cradle to Cradle Cycle Certification Awarded Criteria

questions
to think about!

#1 How many C2C Certification Worldwide?

#4 How May C2C Certification in your country/region?

#3 To what sectors could the Cradle model be applied in your region?

#4 Can you find a local best practice and describe it?

#5 Describe 1 Technical Nutrient and 1 Biological Nutrient present in your territory

#6 Focus and reflections on the socio-cultural determinants of product's end-life duration


Part B

BUILDING BLOCKS OF CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN VET

3. Regenerative Resources

What are Regenerative Resources?

Regenerative means rebuilding or restoring something that has been destroyed. Regenerative resources are thus those resources that have a restorative and positive effect on the environment.

This may involve resources contributing to the restoration of climate change, soil depletion or eutrophication of seas and lakes.



Instead of having a negative or neutral impact on the environment, regenerative resources have a positive and rebuilding impact on the environment. It could be resources that:

  • store carbon dioxide
  • remove nutrients from overfed waterways
  • agriculture based on returning nutrients and carbon dioxide to the soil instead of depleting the soil and removing bound carbon dioxide from there.

The only way to curb resource consumption is to find alternative resources, i.e., regenerative resources.

initiate change to achieve a circular economy

Best Practice Case 1

An inspiring example from Finland

Using a combination of a side-stream material as the main raw material and a product storing carbon dioxide (CO2) for a long time is anticipated to become very competitive when comparing the environmental footprint of a new biomaterial against the existing commercial solutions of today.

Companies such as Metsä Group are making massive investments to find new ways to support the use of underutilized side-streams into long-lived, value-added products.

Best Practice Case 2

ECOLAN: “2021 IS A RECORD YEAR FOR ASH FERTILIZATION IN FINLAND”

The company Ecolan processes ash originating from energy production into fertilizers and earth construction materials.


Juha Ahvenainen, the company’s CEO, explains that there is global interest in restoring nutrients to forests in the form of ash fertilizers. Ecolan produces fertilizers and construction materials from ash generated in the burning of biomass, coal, or peat in the energy industry.

Read more

Part B

BUILDING BLOCKS OF CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN VET

4. Waste as a Resource

“Europe generates large amounts of waste. Waste is not only an environmental problem, but also an economic loss. On average Europeans produce 481 kilograms of municipal waste per year. An increasing share of this is recycled or composted, and less is sent to landfill”

“Can we change the way we consume and produce in order to generate less waste, while using all waste as a resource?”

"Waste: a problem or a resource?" - EEA 2014

Europe's waste streams

In Europe, the EU waste legislation is strongly connected to waste management changes. The European Waste Framework Directive (WFD) delineates a waste management hierarchy:

It aims to prevent waste generation as much as possible, to use waste that is generated as a resource and to minimize the amount of waste sent to landfill.

Ready for some statistic data?

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Waste affects ecosystems and our health.

A poor waste management can severely affect Ecosystems. The marine ecosystem is one simple example, where the ingestion and entanglement of waste represents severe threats to marine species.

Economic loss and burden to the society

.When the ‘residues’ are discarded, all the inputs (land, resources, energy, labour, etc.) used in its extraction, production, dissemination, and consumption phases are also lost.

What if we could use waste as a resource and, in this manner, decrease the necessity for extraction of new resources?

EU’s Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe defines, as a key objective, the use of waste as a resource.

Watch

questions
to think about!

#1 Did you know that the biggest fraction of municipal solid waste, in many countries, is kitchen and gardening waste?

#2 Did you know that in the EU, an estimated 20% of the total food produced is lost or wasted (FUSIONS, 2016), while 33 million people cannot afford a quality meal every second day (Eurostat, 2018)?



According to the European commission


“food is lost or wasted along the whole food supply chain: on the farm, in processing and manufacture, in shops, in restaurants and canteens and in the home. The reasons for food waste vary widely and can be sector-specific”.

know more

Consumers and industries can play an important role in reducing food waste. Often with minimal effort, food waste can be reduced, saving money, and helping to protect the environment.

E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the EU and less than 40% is recycled.


What is e-waste?

Electronic and electrical waste, or e-waste, covers a variety of different products that are thrown away after use. This includes:

• Large household appliances, such as washing machines and fridges;
• IT and telecommunications equipment;

• Consumer equipment and photovoltaic panels (video cameras, fluorescent lamps);

• Small household appliances (vacuum cleaners, toasters).

Electronic and electrical equipment contains potentially harmful materials that pollute the environment. Furthermore, most of rare minerals needed in modern technology come from countries that do not respect human rights.

The new circular economy action plan from European Commission has, as one of its priorities, the reduction of electronic and electrical waste.


https://environment.ec.europa.eu/topics/circular-economy/first-circular-economy-action-plan_en


Best Practice Cases

Preventing food waste


. Cases 1-3

Best Practice Case 1

TOO GOOD TO GO APP –DENMARK/INTERNATIONAL

Founded in 2016, Too Good To Go's mission is to reduce food waste, allowing establishments to sell food in excellent condition for consumption and giving to the application users the opportunity to consume meals and food in a conscious and tasty way, contributing to a more sustainable world.

Best Practice Case 2

REFOOD – PORTUGAL /INTERNATIONAL

REFOOD aspires to a new world where everyone has the food they need; where all the food produced will primarily feed people; where citizens actively participate in the management of the precious resources of the community, and where everyone assumes the power, right and obligation to transform the world into a better place.

Best Practice Case 3

FRUTA FEIA (UGLY FRUIT) – PORTUGAL

The Fruta Feia cooperative arises from the need to reverse the tendencies of standardization of fruits and vegetables that have nothing to do with issues of safety and food quality.

This project aims to combat market inefficiency by creating an alternative market for "ugly" fruit and vegetables altering consumption patterns. A market that generates value to farmers and consumers.

Best Practice Cases

Re-use / Recover plastic waste

. Case 4 & 5

Best Practice Case 4

DECATHLON / QUECHUA - INTERNATIONAL

Did you know that Quechua hiking fleeces are made from plastic bottles?

A product thought through (or redesigned) with an eco-design approach that still fulfils the same function as a conventionally made one, while additionally offering an environmental benefit: an eco-designed running t-shirt remains before everything else a good running t-shirt!

Best Practice Case 4

DECATHLON / QUECHUA - INTERNATIONAL

Best Practice Case 5

ADIDAS - INTERNATIONAL

At Adidas, they are changing the game with innovation.
In 2015, Adidas introduced the first ever running shoe made from upcycled plastic waste - the beginning of their partnership with Parley for the Oceans. That first shoe marked a turning point for Adidas - it symbolized change for not only Adidas, but for the fashion industry as a whole.



Best Practice Case 5

ADIDAS - INTERNATIONAL

Best Practice Cases

E-waste

. Case 6 & 7

Best Practice Case 6

EXCESS MATERIALS EXCHANGE (EME) – THE NETHERLANDS

Excess Materials Exchange (EME) is an innovative online platform which allows companies to buy and sell excess material through matching demand with surplus supply that would have otherwise been wasted.


EME is determined to accelerate the global transition to a circular economy – and play a part in creating a more viable planet. By showing the financial and ecological value of materials. By challenging companies to design and produce their goods in a more efficient and circular manner. And by making matches. A whole lot of matches.

Best Practice Case 6

ADIDAS - INTERNATIONAL

Best Practice Case 7

NIMBLE - USA

Nimble is a USA company that produces Tech products from sustainable materials. Nimble uses sustainable materials, like recyclable aluminium and plant-based bioplastics. The products are super sleek, featuring soft-touch TPE which requires less energy to produce, and are also 100% free of plastic packaging and harmful inks and dyes.

Best Practice Cases

Organic waste

. Cases 8-10

Best Practice Case 8

Sweden is turning its waste into gold

Best Practice Case 9

LISBON COMMUNITY COMPOST – PORTUGAL

LISBOA A COMPOSTAR

Lisboa a Compostar is a project aimed at providing training in composting, offering a home compost bin to residents who have space to install it and continuous support by Câmara Municipal de Lisboa (Lisbon Municipality) to residents who show an interest in reducing their domestic waste, producing fertilizer that can be used in their patio, backyard or garden.

Best Practice Case 9

LISBON COMMUNITY COMPOST – PORTUGAL

LISBOA A COMPOSTAR

Best Practice Case 10

DUTCH VILLAGE GETS POWER FROM PIG POO

Almost 250,000 tons of pig manure will be converted into biogas .

The small village of Zenderen, in the east of the Netherlands, will soon harness the big power of pig poo. At Elhorst-Vloedbelt, a former landfill site, approximately 250,000 tons of pig manure will soon be converted into biogas and raw materials in a manure biogas plant.

“The methane from manure is put to good use by producing the renewable natural gas. This way, the methane is not released into the atmosphere. The manure does not remain in the stables and goes to the manure digester as fresh as possible.”


questions
to think about!

#1 Does Waste affect our Health?

#2 Is Incineration the best way to reuse plastic and promote circular economy?

#3 Can high tech products be reused or recycled?

#4 Mum always says: eat everything because there are people starving. However, there is nothing I can do about the food that I don’t want to eat. Is this true?

#5 Can industrial waste be reused?



Part B

BUILDING BLOCKS OF CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN VET

5. New Business Models

“Shift from a linear to more circular business model.”

A business model describes the way business is done and consists in a set of assumptions and models on which an organization will work in order to create value for all stakeholders on whom it depends, and not only for its customers.

The business model is often defined by three core activities that relate to value:


2. Value creation and delivery

“how is the value provided?”

The product or service’s specific features and the distribution channels;

3. Value capture

“how does the company generate value?”

Cost structure and revenue streams.

1. Value proposition

“what value is offered to whom?”

The product or service offering and the target customer;

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Three core activities related to value are the basis of the Business Model Canvas, one of the tools most worldwide used to build business models.

As an example, in the case of an online multiplayer game, the value of play online with other players is offered, and the game is the specific way this value is created. The value is delivered by means of a digital platform, and the value is captured by the price of sold items (registration, adds, especial features, etc.) exceeding the cost of making, delivering, and updating the game.

The Business Model Canvas allows the company to sketch or develop business models (new or pre-existing), constituting in practice as a visual map that contains nine blocks to be filled out, as shown in the figure

Use of remanufactured car parts in the automotive industry

The automotive industry has well established systems of collecting car parts like gear boxes or doors from crashed or end-of-life cars and using them to remanufacture defective or damaged cars. To achieve this, the industry uses existing networks of dealerships and car repair shops to organise the retrieval of still functioning parts, and redeploying them to other car repair shops.

Repairing and reselling electronics: capturing value ignored by others

In the electronics sector, the high speed of innovation and product renewal has created major opportunities for circular business model innovation by actors outside the value chain. Reuse shops and online platforms for smartphones and tablets have been stepping into the value gap created by consumers buying new products while their old ones are still functional. They capture the value that still resides in older electronics, often after some repair or refurbishment, and share it with their customers.
A particular example of such a gap-exploiter model is the model used by a reuse company in Sweden that offers smartphone repair and replacement services to insurance companies

Precious metals: from mining to recycling business models

Several companies that used to have a business model based on the mining and processing of ores to produce precious metals, have successfully implemented circular business models.

While their value capturing strategy is still targeted towards selling large volumes to world metal markets, their value creation strategy has, partly of fully, shifted towards the sourcing of waste metals, for free or for a fee, instead of virgin ores.

Can be defined as “business models that are cycling, extending, intensifying, and/or dematerialising material and energy loops to reduce the resource inputs into and the waste and emission leakage out of an organisational system.

Example of Cycling

Decommissioned industrial robots can be reused in small and medium enterprises (SMEs), where their reduced purchasing cost enables a viable way to increase productivity through automatization.

Example of Extending

Patek Philip builds upmarket mechanical watches that last for a long time and have a timeless design that has not changed considerably over the past decades.

Example of Intensifying

Car sharing can reduce idle times of cars and driven mileage per user significantly compared to a conventional ownership-based system.

Example of Dematerialising

Offering services or product service systems instead of physical products to fulfil the same function for the user can reduce the number of produced products while enhancing the customer experience at the same time.

Best Practice Case 1

R8 Project: The Cork Food Box

“REDUCING PLASTIC CONTAINERS AND SINGLE USE MATERIALS WITH CORK POLYMER COMPOUNDS”


A group of students from the Master’s in Chemical Engineering at University of Coimbra, Portugal, mentored by a teacher, started in 2020 an entrepreneurial project based in a circular business model. The “R8 Project: The Cork Food Box”, aims to develop, produce and commercialize a set of containers of different dimensions, for transport and consumption of food, drinks and coffee, made by a cork polymer compound (CPC) based in a combination of cork with a biopolymer.

Info

The Business Model Canvas developed by the project team

Best Practice Case 2

GET GROVER
“Less products… more experience”

Grover is German start-up, based in Berlin, that offers a subscription / “rental” platform for various technological products: mobile phones, smartphones, tablets, consoles, cameras, etc.


Grover's motto is "reinvention of consumption", moving from purchase to simple product rental. Using the platform is simple, after registering on the website, the desired product can be rented and at the end of the rental period it can be exchanged, or returned, as needed by the customer.

This business model is an example of the dematerialisation of the economy and the growing potential of providing services instead of products.

Best Practice Case 3

ResQ

Rescuing the leftovers of Restaurants, Coffees and Grocery Stores

The start-up ResQ Club has developed an online service to respond to the challenge of food waste, bringing together about 200 restaurants in Finland in the provision of a new service. The idea is to provide meals that are over the activity of Restaurants, Coffees and Grocery Stores, at lower prices.


According to the company data they save monthly more than 200.000 portions, what is equivalent to 500 tons of CO2 emissions saved every month.

Best Practice Case 4

MUSGO Design
Upcycling: Transforming wood from old homes in design pieces


In its execution MUSGO resort to the reuse of wood furniture, doors, floors and structures of old Portuguese houses that have been restored, giving them a new life. In addition to the care in the selection of the materials used, including biological varnishes, they also boost local production (small-scale and family businesses), the manual nature and the subsistence of professions that are falling into disuse. On the other hand, the manufacturing process is done consciously and respecting the ecosystem, without polluting the environment.


Best Practice Case 5

Splosh

How re-thinking the business model for cleaning products can influence design


With Splosh, instead of buying new bottles filled with product on a weekly basis, customers purchase a one-off ‘starter box’, containing a range of simply designed bottles. Inside each bottle is a sachet of concentrated liquid – customers just add warm tap water to create cleaning products that Splosh claim clean with comparable effectiveness to competitors. These bottles can be used repeatedly, with refill sachets delivered in boxes through the post.
If the bottle is reused 20 times, it means 95% less packaging waste.


Part 1

Brainstorm of circular business model innovation, relating the value issues with the general strategies for circular business models. For that you may use the matrix tool proposed by Geissdoerfer et al.

Part 2

Brainstorm of circular business model innovation, relating the value issues with the general strategies for circular business models. For that you may use the matrix tool proposed by Geissdoerfer et al.

questions
to think about!

#1 The business idea and the business model are the same thing?

#2 It’s mandatory to use a specific tool to design a business models?

#3 What is the difference between a linear business model and a circular business model?

#4 Can we transform a liner business model in a circular one?

#5 How can we create value with circular business models?

#6 What means circular business model innovation?

#7 All the business models presented as circular are indeed circular?



Part B

BUILDING BLOCKS OF CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN VET

6. Digitization

The European Commission’s Communication "A new skills agenda for Europe: Working together to strengthen human capital, employability and competitiveness" proposes ways to address the skills challenges that Europe is currently facing. The aim is for everyone to have the key set of competences needed for personal development, social inclusion, active citizenship, and employment.


The European Digital Competence Framework for Citizens1, also known as DigComp, offers a tool to improve citizens’ digital competence. In the fields of education and training, and employment, there was a need to have a common reference framework of what it means to be digitally savvy in an increasingly globalised and digital world.

Main dimensions of DigComp 2.0

The Digital Competence Framework for Citizens is structured in four dimensions. Dimension 1 and 2 represent the DigComp conceptual reference model (see Table 1 – grey background). The process of updating DigComp is advancing in two phases. This document describes Phase 1: the update of the “conceptual reference model” - in other words, updating the competence areas, the competence descriptors and their titles.



The two-phase process to update the DigComp Framework to version 2.0

The Digital Competence Framework for Citizens is structured in four dimensions. Dimension 1 and 2 represent the DigComp conceptual reference model (see Table 1 – grey background). The process of updating DigComp is advancing in two phases. This document describes Phase 1: the update of the “conceptual reference model” - in other words, updating the competence areas, the competence descriptors and their titles.



Different uses require different types of implementations

Since its inception, the DigComp framework has been well received and taken up by various stakeholders. This versatile instrument is used for various purposes. In this section, and as illustrated in Figure 2, we categorise three different uses the framework can have in the context of education, training and employment as follows.



Purpose of use: Assessment tool

Tools for assessing one’s own digital competence constitute one of the most visible areas of all DigComp implementations. Various stakeholders have operationalized DigComp as a publicly and freely used tool. One of the first implementations is an online test called Skillage. It was developed by Telecentre Europe to assess young people’s understanding of ICT in an employment setting. The test results in a “Skillage Report” that can be used to help improve skills within the local Telecentre network.

1. Purpose of use: Assessment tool

PRACTICAL EXERCISE: AUTODIAGNÓSTICO DE COMPETENCIAS DIGITALES

1. IKANOS

2. DIGCOMP TEST FOR EDUCATORS

3. CIRCULAR ECONOMY AND DIGITALISATION

Info

Following the European DIGCOMP methodology, several digital skills self-diagnosis tools have been developed. Choose the one you find most appropriate as a basis for your digital skills and perform a DIGITAL SKILLS SELF-ASSESSMENT.

Green Economy

The United Nations defines the Green Economy as one that "results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcity". This brings together the three concepts of sustainability: social, economic, and environmental. A value-based approach to nature, the environment, human well-being, and economic development. Green economy is one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcity.


Circular and digital economy

Many of the development aspects of the circular economy are supported by digital developments. For example, creating services around products is one of the ways of immersing in a circular economic system. Transforming products into services means that the product cycle is not exhausted, that it generates employment throughout its consumption phase and that return and therefore reuse and/or recycling is ensured.

Best Practice Case 1

Nice to eat you – Encantado de comerte

Reducing food wastage




Paraphrasing the well-known Anglo-Saxon greeting Nice to meet you, Nice To Eat You is a young initiative whose aim is to channel and recover, through a web application available for mobile devices, the huge amount of food in good condition that ends up in the rubbish bin on a daily basis. The aim is to create a network of sustainable businesses that promote responsible consumption.
Gabriel Ramas: "Without technology, it would not have been possible to come up with an idea like this one. Finally, the Nice to eat you web-app took off in December 2018 with around 40 collaborating businesses in Madrid."


Best Practice Case 2

Surus inversa




Surus Inversa is a company that offers sustainable solutions to manage the international sale of goods and assets discarded by other companies - equipment, industrial machinery, disused facilities, complete plants, surplus production, demolitions, waste, etc. - through a digital auction platform, which can be accessed from anywhere in the world. A website for "second chances" because anything that is no longer of use to someone else, there is always a buyer who might be interested in it. A new piece of equipment may not be affordable, but a second-hand one is. SCRAPALIA's second chances website makes its catalogue of reusable goods available to the secondary market.

Best Practice Case 3

InnoWEEE Project

A second life for electronic equipment




The collection of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) currently takes place through a complex chain that can leave space for illegal parallel channels. It is therefore necessary to improve the traceability of material flows and support cultural change through a reward system for virtuous behavior. The InnoWEEE project intends to boost the collection of such waste through appropriate awareness and operative campaigns.

ReCircular

What is the Impact Measurement Methodology?


The Methodology for Impact Measurement of recircle is the tool that we have developed to measure the value that our users generate with the recovery of residues carried out. It is a tool that calculates indicators such as the reduction of carbon footprint, water footprint, cumulative energy demand and increased life expectancy. This has already been integrated into our online platform.

Part B

BUILDING BLOCKS OF CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN VET

7. Collaboration and Changes in Human Behavior

The transition towards a circular economy cannot be achieved by any single actor it requires collaborative efforts across the value chain, involving individuals, the private sector, different levels of government and civil society. It also requires the change in thinking, elaborating new circular solutions and of behaviour of companies and especially individuals.


Municipalities and policy makers need to put down the foundations to make change possible, by providing the necessary infrastructure, creating a political environment and regulations that incentivize innovation for change.

Learning material

Task 1

Describe in your own words, what is shown in the chart. Can you imagine , that this form of economy is beneficiary to the environment and for a better future? Why or Why not?

Task 2

Describe in your own words, what is shown in the chart. Which difference can you see? Think about why circular economy might be better for the future and environment?


Task 3

Looking at a typical day, in what situations are you producing waste? Name a few products and their components, which are thrown away after usage.

More to know

1 – Green Dot (Grüner Punkt)

Can be found on products, when the producer already paid a fee for the recycling of packing according to the EU guideline 94/62/CE from 1997 and does not have to take the used or empty packaging back himself. This system was developed by the Duales System Deutschland GmbH.

More information: www.gruener‐punkt.de

2 – Crossed out bin

Can be found on any electrical device according to the WEEE‐guidelines (Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment). It shows the consumer, that these devices can not be disposed with the usual household waste.

More information: https://eur‐lex.europa.eu/legal content/DE/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32012L0019


3 – One way deposit symbol

Can be found on one-way packaging of drinks, like cartons, cans, PET and some glass bottles. Since 2003, the consumer in Germany pays a deposit for products carrying this symbol and when returned to the shop, the deposit will be refunded.

More information: https://www.verbraucherzentrale.de/wissen/umwelt‐haushalt/abfall/fragen‐und‐antworten‐zum‐einwegpfand‐dosenpfand‐11505

4 – The Blue Angel (Der Blaue Engel)

Can be found on products and services being especially environmentally friendly. Anyone (producer, consumer) can recommend a product or service to Federal Environment Agency in Germany to award the symbol. The symbol is not certifying an entire harmlessness, just indicates that the product or service is more environmentally friendly than others in that product category.

More information: www.blauer‐engel.de

ial

Partners

User Guide

As with the book version of the manual, the digital manual is divided into several sections.
Each section includes various interactive contents and activities.
The symbols below were used in the digital version, to indicate quick access to some of these contents and activities:

Access to the book version of the manual.

Access to a link with the topic under study.

Access to additional information.

Access to Youtube video.

Zoom in the image or interactive image.

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