Knowledge Hub

The Knowledge Hub is an interactive resource centre, which gathers useful information for Vocational Education and Training teachers and professionals from companies who seek for knowledge and inspiration on zero waste and circular economy. Here, you will find scientific and “grey” literature, standards and legislation, books, good practices, case studies, presentations, videos, software, methods, tools and other relevant resources.

Development of a guidance document on best practices in the Extractive Waste Management Plans – Circular EconomyAction
Development of a guidance document on best practices in the Extractive Waste Management Plans – Circular EconomyAction
English
Author:
Eco-Efficiency Consulting and Engineering Ltd., WEFalck, Pöyry Finland Oy, Botond Kertész, CRS Ingenería
Published:
2019
Sector:
Cross-sectoral
Type of resource:
Book / Guide / Handbook / Report
Country: General
Target Group: Professionals from companies, VET teachers and trainers
free
In this report the best practice sthat contribute to a Circular Economy in Extractive Waste Management Plans (EWMPs), are being identified.
Best PractisesCircular economyEWMPs
The Circular EconomyA review of definitions, processes and impacts
The Circular EconomyA review of definitions, processes and impacts
English
Author:
Vasileios Rizos, Katja Tuokko and Arno Behrens
Published:
2017
Sector:
Cross-sectoral
Type of resource:
Article / Scientific Article
Country: General
Target Group: Professionals from companies, VET teachers and trainers
free
This paper reviews the growing literature on the circular economy with the aim of improving our understanding of the concept as well as its various dimensions and expected impacts. On the basis of this review, it attempts to map the processes involved and their application in different sectors.
Circular economyDefinitionsImpactsProcesses
A multicriteria facility location model for municipal solid waste management in North Greece
A multicriteria facility location model for municipal solid waste management in North Greece
English
Author:
Erkut, E., Karagiannidis, A., Perkoulidis, G. and Tjandra, S.A.,
Published:
2008
Sector:
Cross-sectoral
Type of resource:
Article / Scientific Article
Country:
Target Group: Professionals from companies, VET teachers and trainers
Up to 2002, Hellenic Solid Waste Management (SWM) policy specified that each of the country’s 54 prefectural governments plan its own SWM system. After 2002, this authority was shifted to the country’s 13 regions entirely. In this paper, we compare and contrast regional and prefectural SWM planning in Central Macedonia. To design the prefectural plan, we assume that each prefecture must be self-sufficient, and we locate waste facilities in each prefecture. In contrast, in the regional plan, we assume cooperation between prefectures and locate waste facilities to serve the entire region. We present a new multicriteria mixed-integer linear programming model to solve the location–allocation problem for municipal SWM at the regional level. We apply the lexicographic minimax approach to obtain a “fair” nondominated solution, a solution with all normalized objectives as equal to one another as possible. A solution to the model consists of locations and technologies for transfer stations, material recovery facilities, incinerators and sanitary landfills, as well as the waste flow between these locations.
EnvironmentLocationMultiple criteria analysisMunicipal solid waste
An economic instrument for zero waste, economic growth and sustainability
An economic instrument for zero waste, economic growth and sustainability
English
Author:
Greyson, J
Published:
2007
Sector:
Cross-sectoral
Type of resource:
Article / Scientific Article
Country: General
Target Group: Other, VET teachers and trainers
free
f global problems such as climate change and waste remain unresolved, society can choose either to continue attempting to incrementally reduce wastes and lessen impacts, or to consider a more ambitious approach that paradoxically may be easier to implement. This paper suggests how an approach designed to prevent waste and other global impacts could be based upon the established practices of precycling, circular economic policy and recycling insurance. A new economic instrument called ‘precycling insurance’ is proposed, so that decision-making can be led by the market rather than by prescriptive regulation or educational campaigns. The approach gains relevance now that China is developing a national ‘Law on the Promotion of the Development of Circular Economy’.
InsurancePreventionRecyclingSustainable Economic growthSystems thinkingZero waste
The heterogeneous skill-base of circular economy employment
The heterogeneous skill-base of circular economy employment
English
Author:
Martijn Burger, Spyridon Stavropoulos, Shyaam Ramkumar, Joke Dufourmont, Frank van Oort
Published:
2019
Sector:
Cross-sectoral
Type of resource:
Article / Scientific Article
Country: General
Target Group: VET teachers and trainers
free
This paper examines the opportunities and risks of employment, skills and education that are related to a circular economy (CE) in the United States. Combining occupational skills and education data with a newly introduced definition of CE employment, we compare circular- and non-circular-oriented occupations in terms of skills and abilities. Building on the seminal paper by Consoli et al. (2016) and looking at all occupations within a broad range of CE-related industries, we detect and address heterogeneity in job requirements within the CE. We distinguish core activities within CE employment – focusing on renewable energy, repair, re-use of materials and the sharing economy – from enabling activities, which are focused on management, design, and ICT-applicability of the CE. While core CE-activities generally require more manual and technological skills, enabling activities, in contrast, require more complex cognitive skills. Neither core nor enabling CE sectors, however, are entirely cohesive in terms of skill requirements. Part of the education and skills demand is identifiably driven by ‘circularity’, particularly with regard to technical skills for the core of the CE. This may require specific education and training programs for future development of the CE.
Circular economyGreen jobsKnowledge baseOccupationsSkills
Green, circular, bio economy: A comparative analysis of sustainability avenues
Green, circular, bio economy: A comparative analysis of sustainability avenues
English
Author:
D.D'AmatoN.Drosteb.Allen, M.Kettunen, K.Lähtinen, J.Korhonen, P.Leskinen, B.D.Matthies, A.Toppinen
Published:
2017
Sector:
Cross-sectoral
Type of resource:
Article / Scientific Article
Country: General
Target Group: Professionals from companies
free
Despite their evidently different assumptions and operationalization strategies, the concepts of Circular Economy, Green Economy and Bioeconomy are joined by the common ideal to reconcile economic, environmental and social goals. The three concepts are currently mainstreamed in academia and policy making as key sustainability avenues, but a comparative analysis of such concepts is missing. The aim of this article is thus to comprehensively analyse the diversity within and between such concepts. The results are drawn from a bibliometric review of almost two thousand scientific articles published within the last three decades, coupled with a conceptual analysis. We find that, for what concerns environmental sustainability, Green Economy acts as an ‘umbrella’ concept, including elements from Circular Economy and Bioeconomy concepts (e.g. eco-efficiency; renewables), as well as additional ideas, e.g. nature-based solutions. In particular, Circular Economy and Bioeconomy are resource-focused, whereas in principle Green Economy acknowledges the underpinning role of all ecological processes. Regarding the social dimension, Green Economy is more inclusive of some aspects at local level (e.g. eco-tourism, education), while there is an emerging discussion in Bioeconomy literature around local processes in terms of biosecurity and rural policies. When considering weak/strong sustainability visions, all concepts remain limited in questioning economic growth. By comparing the different sustainability strategies promoted by these concepts we do not advocate for their substitutability, but for their clarification and reciprocal integration. The findings are discussed in light of the concepts' synergies and limits, with the purpose to inform research and policy implementation.
BioeconomyCircular economyGreen economyLatent dirichlet allocationMachine learningSustainability
The circular economy, design thinking and education for sustainability
The circular economy, design thinking and education for sustainability
English
Author:
Deborah Andrews
Published:
2015
Sector:
Cross-sectoral
Type of resource:
Article / Scientific Article
Country: General
Target Group: VET teachers and trainers
paid
The origins of the Linear Economy – the ‘take-make-use-dispose’ model of consumption – date from the Industrial Revolution and the global economy developed around this model. Various social, economic and environmental factors mean that it is no longer sustainable. A radical new model – the Circular Economy – is being advocated but as yet it is not widely practiced. This paper proposes that designers are crucial to the development of this new economic model; furthermore, this model facilitates education for sustainability and enhances employability.
Circular economyEducation for sustainabilitySustainable design and manufacture
The European Economy: From a Linear to a Circular Economy
The European Economy: From a Linear to a Circular Economy
English
Author:
Bonciu, Florin
Published:
2014
Sector:
Cross-sectoral
Type of resource:
Article / Scientific Article
Country: General
Target Group: Professionals from companies, VET teachers and trainers
free
For quite some time a profound preoccupation for many economists, politicians, environmentalists, sociologists or philosophers looking towards the coming decades consisted in searching for a new paradigm of development and growth that is feasible within the given limits of planet Earth. There are already widely accepted concepts like "sustainable development" or "low-carbon economy" that seem right but not enough. Such concepts seem to address the effects and not the causes. In this paper we analyze a broader approach that places human activity into a long term historical perspective, namely the circular economy. This new development paradigm, supported by the European Union, is, in fact, an "old" one moved upwards on a dialectical spiral so that it connects and resonates with the spirit and realities of our times. The conclusions reflect optimism concerning the success in large scale implementation of the circular economy concept in the European Union and worldwide and thus in taking advantage of opportunities rather than wasting resources by opposing the ineluctable changes.
Circular economyDevelopment paradigmEuropean economyLinear economySpirit of our times
REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS on the implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan
REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS on the implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan
English
Author:
EC
Published:
Undetermined
Sector:
Cross-sectoral
Type of resource:
Book / Guide / Handbook / Report
Country: General
Target Group: Professionals from companies
free
In December 2015, the Commission adopted a Circular Economy Action Plan1 to give a new boost to jobs, growth and investment and to develop a carbon neutral, resource-efficient and competitive economy. The 54 actions under the action plan have now been completed or are being implemented, even if work on some will continue beyond 2019. The EU Monitoring Framework for the Circular Economy2 shows that the transition has helped put the EU back on a path of job creation. In 2016, sectors relevant to the circular economy employed more than four million workers3, a 6% increase compared to 2012. Additional jobs are bound to be created in the coming years in order to meet the expected demand generated by fully functioning markets for secondary raw materials.
Circular economyEurope
Achieving Zero Waste through Community Based Action: A study of community recycling organisations across New Zealand
Achieving Zero Waste through Community Based Action: A study of community recycling organisations across New Zealand
English
Author:
Zero Waste Trust
Published:
Undetermined
Sector:
Cross-sectoral
Type of resource:
Book / Guide / Handbook / Report
Country: General
Target Group: Professionals from companies, VET teachers and trainers
paid
Zero waste is a concept that everyone should subscribe to. It is often criticised as being unachievable or too costly to implement. However, in the same manner as a Health & Safety manager subscribes to zero accidents on his site rather than say a 40% accident rate. I believe we should aim for the thing we actually desire, a replication of Mother Nature with minimal environmental damage, and let’s see how near to it we get. In New Zealand 74% of councils now signed up to Zero Waste, some with deadlines as early as 2015, and several are already reporting waste diversion from landfill of 60-80%. This philosophy, and the high diversion figures, is what prompted me to apply for the Winston Churchill Fellowship. I wanted to investigate Zero Waste further to see if the UK too should be adopting a similar policy rather than a “lets just meet the targets set for us by national government” and “zero waste is impossible” attitude that many councils in the UK have. The Zero Waste Trust and local community pressure appeared to have played a major role in the take up of the Zero Waste concept by local councils. Therefore I was keen to visit the Trust to gain an overview waste management in New Zealand and meet as many of the community organisations across the country aiming for Zero Waste as possible. My tour of New Zealand was done between October and December 2006 and also took in some interesting council and private waste operations.
CommunityNew ZealandRecycling
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