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Join Our Webinar on 7 February 2023: Insights From Our sustainable.circular Programme

18. Januar 2023 - 10:15

Circular Economy efforts are not always on target with the desired sustainability results. Our programme, sustainable.circular was developed with this idea in mind: to ensure that developments toward a Circular Economy are guided by a clear objective to achieve greater sustainability. The first round of sustainable.circular focuses on identifying activities and instruments that bridge existing differences between sustainability and circular efforts in German small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

During the first phase of this round of the programme, a survey was conducted on the strategic approaches as well as needs within companies when it comes to closing the gap between circularity and sustainability. Aspects such as skills, management tools, and pre-conditions for change processes were analysed in detail. The results were discussed in follow up expert-interviews which generated additional insights and a future outlook. Learnings from these activities will be shared and discussed during the webinar.

In particular, the webinar will address the following questions:

  • Are circular approaches, business models, and products always sustainable?
  • Is sustainability in the future no longer conceivable without circularity?
  • What potentials and challenges do entrepreneurs see in implementing circular approaches?
  • What kind of support do SMEs need when it comes to implementing circular solutions?

Dr. Katharina Reuter, Bundesverband Nachhaltige Wirtschaft – BNW
Michael Kuhndt, CSCP
Sophie Herrmann, SYSTEMIQ
Dr. Florian Hofmann, Circular Society Platform

Date: 7 February 2023
Time: 15:00-17:00 CEST
Language: German
Cost: Free of charge
Registration: Join the webinar by registering here.

The first round of our sustainable.circular programme is supported and funded by the German Federal Environment Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt – DBU) and in cooperation with the Federal Association for Sustainable Economy (Bundesverband Nachhaltige Wirtschaft – BNW e.V.).

For further questions, please contact Mike Tabel.

The post Join Our Webinar on 7 February 2023: Insights From Our sustainable.circular Programme appeared first on CSCP gGmbH.

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Our weiter_wirken Project Launches a Community of Practice to Increase Impact

22. Dezember 2022 - 10:51

During the past two years, through our weiter_wirken project we accompanied more than 40 representatives of German civil society organisations (CSOs) and supported them in increasing the effectiveness of their projects. Based on insights from behavioural and communication sciences, the participants were trained to design and communicate behavioural interventions to achieve greater sustainability.

Looking back at two successful rounds of weiter_wirken, one participant noted: “By applying the content to our own practical project, we gained an intuitive approach to knowledge.”, while another emphasized that “Through this training, my project and I have grown and we are now repositioning ourselves in the organisation.”

In order to build a long-term network that enables ongoing collaboration, in November 2022 a weiter_wirken Community of Practice was launched. This way, former participants of the weiter_wirken project can continue to exchange best practices and generate new knowledge on topics of interest.

During the launch event, participants had the opportunity to exchange on the topic of “Transformative Education and Social Change”. Marie Heitfeld, policy advisor in education for sustainable development at Germanwatch e.V., presented the handprint perspective. On this topic, the CSCP and its partners have previously developed The Handprint, a tool for measuring positive sustainability impacts. Further training as part of the weiter_wirken Community of Practice will be organised by the Foundation Environment and Development North Rhine-Westphalia, a project partner.

weiter_wirken is a cooperation project between the Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP), ecosign / Akademie für Gestaltung and the Stiftung Umwelt und Entwicklung Nordrhein-Westfalen.

For further questions, please contact Jennifer Wiegard.

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Improving Emergency Response Technologies: Watch the PathoCERT Explainer Video!

14. Dezember 2022 - 12:44

Managing and responding efficiently to disaster situations, requires a high-level of coordination and cooperation from those in charge of the command through to the first responders on the ground. Emergency events linked to waterborne pathogen contamination are among those where stakeholder engagement is crucial to ensure the deployment of appropriate technologies and responses.

Our PathoCERT project is driving forward the development of novel and easily usable technological solutions, services, and governance mechanisms to increase the situational awareness and coordination of first respondents on the ground and key actors operating along the command and control chain, enabling them to rapidly and safely respond to threats. The preparedness level to effectively and timely react and operate in the occurrence of waterborne pathogen contamination events requires not only a set of tailored technologies, but also an effective coordination and collaboration among different stakeholder groups.

PathoCERT brings together those two lines of action connecting key actors with a series of novel tools and technologies. Over the past months, 19 Community of Practice meetings have been organised in the six pilot cities: Granada (Spain), Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Limassol (Cyprus), Thessaloniki (Greece), Sofia (Bulgaria) and Seoul (South Korea), engaging a total of approx. 383 participants between external stakeholders and project partners. The latest Community of Practice meeting took place in November 2022 in Cyprus and represented a key milestone. It was the first time that the PathoCERT technology outputs were presented to local stakeholders who were able interact with the tools in real time and provide direct feedback to the technology providers.

Similar Community of Practice meetings will follow up in 2023 combined with on-the-ground training activities and/or tabletop simulation exercise.

If you want to know more about multi-stakeholder engagement processes, check out the PathoCERT explainer video.

Further details on stakeholder management activities within the PathoCERT project are included in the project publications:

The PathoCERT project is funded under the European Union research programme, Horizon 2020 and runs until 2023.

For further information, please contact Francesca Grossi.

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Why Design Is Key for Positive Impact

14. Dezember 2022 - 10:56

Design is on everyone’s lips, so we asked our design team to share how they integrate design in our work. In this interview, Nikola Berger, Head of Creative & Communication and Eva Rudolf, Senior Designer at the CSCP explain how design can be a lever to achieve greater impact.

The CSCP lives by a holistic and impact-oriented understanding of design. Can you explain what this means in a nutshell?

Nikola Berger: Design has been an integral part of how we work for more than a decade: to translate research into language and visuals that can be grasped by a wide audience has supported our goal to mainstream sustainability and often sets us apart from other organisations in the field. Beyond translating, we use design processes (design thinking, service design, human and non-human centric design processes) to bring holistic sustainability perspectives to people in change processes—which is a core aspect of our work.

The majority of our projects have a change component, where design helps achieve solutions on many levels and through different means. Sometimes this happens in creative workshop formats that bring experience and interactive participation into the focus in order to support collaboration and inspire. We call it “getting unstuck!“ Other times we support impactful solutions by working with non-human personas to challenge fixed conceptions and open the door for new ideas.

Can you give us an example?

Nikola Berger: In our Sustainable Island Mauritius (SIM) project, our design team was tasked to support over 40 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop new products or redevelop existing ones more sustainably. Most of these organisations don’t have a product designer and consist of rather small teams that multitask to grow their business on an island with limited local resources. For this group, we translated the enormous amount of design resources that is now available (through many great organisations) into basic modules focused on values and impact closely linked to the local context. We started with sustainable design concepts but included the CSCP’s handprint approach. Then we created a co-creation process between SMEs and the tourism industry to work together to have a positive impact but our approach applies to any design process: A video summary shows a detailed account of our work in the SIM project, highlighting the co-creation process. In addition, our Creative Guide Book summarises our extensive work on the island for 5 years and shares some of the tools that SMEs can adjust and use based on their needs.

You mentioned the handprint approach, how does that apply to design?

Eva Rudolf: We start off with basic sustainable design principles, which means considering the whole lifecycle of a product (or a service, infrastructure, or system) and its impact across all stages. We take a look at the negative impacts of all lifecycle stages and try to reduce it as much as possible. This is key, but an additional aspect that we are trying to include is to also to consider what positive impacts (handprint) a product or the whole organisation/system can have.

In real contexts, how do you design for positive impact?

Nikola Berger: We should design with people and the environment in mind. Is this product (or a service, infrastructure, or system) needed? How will it make the world (someone’s life) better? Does it have to be a product or can we develop a service or experience? Then, as we develop sustainable products or services with the smallest possible footprint, we can consider the positive and regenerative effects we want to have. This often means that we need to collaborate, maybe with the community, across sectors, with civil society organisations (CSOs) and our clients.

So, basically, we need more design in our projects?

Eva Rudolf: Exactly! A lot of the things that we use, look at, or are surrounded by are made by humans. No matter if you use your mobile phone, read a newspaper, watch an ad, use an APP or commute to work – all these things and processes have been designed by people. To make it short, our world is permeated with design and this is what brings it to the centre of transformation processes, making design a key driver of change. To bring it to the sustainability field, it is claimed that about 80% of the environmental impact of a product or service* – in particular its resource and energy consumption along its entire value chain – are already determined in the design phase.

To fully leverage this potential, we advocate bringing experts from our creative network from various disciplines (e.g., product design, design for sustainable behaviour, design for sustainable social innovation, design for system innovations and transitions, and others) into projects and onto the table. For example, when we run a project where developing circular products/models is at the centre, a product designer in the mix of stakeholders is very important.

Across all our projects, we work toward achieving the goals and visions set in major frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or the EU Green Deal. All of these frameworks refer to design as a core tool in change processes.

For further questions, reach out to Nikola Berger or Eva Rudolf directly.

*Ellen MacArthur Foundation

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Our Sustainable Island Mauritius Project Received “Best Tourism NDC” Award at COP 27!

14. Dezember 2022 - 10:45

The number of tourists that Mauritius welcomes every year almost matches that of its 1.26 million inhabitants. This shows the importance of tourism for the country’s economic development. But how could tourism be used as a force for good and support Mauritius to become a “Green Destination”, a goal that the government aspires to achieve by 2030.

To make this happen, comprehensive strategies that reduce the footprint (negative impacts) while increasing the handprint (positive impacts) are essential. As part of the Sustainable Island Mauritius (SIM) project, the CSCP collaborated with the Mauritius Tourism Authority to promote sustainable tourism by demonstrating and scaling up mechanisms for improving sustainability impacts along the value chains. The project brought all relevant stakeholders together through capacity building programmes, networking activities, co-creation workshops, and awareness-raising campaigns.

In recognition of its work, the SIM project was awarded the prize “Best Tourism NDC Investment Initiative of the Year” at the African NDC Investment Summit & Awards at COP27 in Egypt. Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are targets that countries determine themselves to stop and mitigate climate change. The Sustainable Island Mauritius project has been awarded for its contribution toward circular, sustainable, inclusive, and regenerative tourism, supporting Mauritius to make substantial progress on its NDC targets. The shortlisted candidates included 100 projects from 43 African countries and all 5 African sub-regions.

The SIM project was funded under the Switch Africa Green Programme, implemented by the Mauritius Tourism Authority (TA) and the CSCP. The recently published final project report highlights promising solutions in the tourism industry that can support Mauritius to achieve the goal of becoming a Green Destination by 2030 as well as to increase its resilience toward global and local challenges, including climate change and biodiversity loss. You can find the full report in our library.

For further questions, please contact Kartika Anggraeni.


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Supporting Businesses to Achieve Their Biodiversity Targets

14. Dezember 2022 - 10:14

Businesses from all sectors, from pharmaceutical companies to agricultural corporations, depend on healthy ecosystem services as a prerequisite for their production processes. Our German Biodiversity & Business (UBi) project is supporting businesses to integrate biodiversity into their strategic planning and environmental management and develop goals that reduce biodiversity loss in the first place.

With the launch of its new website, UBi offers companies and business associations a platform where information and know-how are shared in order to support them make forward-looking decisions and find solutions that contribute to biodiversity protection and conservation.

UBi develops sector-specific biodiversity checklists, provides information on greening companies’ premises, shares concrete examples of sustainable supply chains, and offers relevant actors a network to engage and act.

Among others, the UBi website provides detailed insights into the topics:

The UBi website is also a platform to enable learning and exchange, including webinars, coaching sessions, lectures and further training as well as numerous networking events to come together on current relevant topics such as the new German supply chain act, deforestation free supply chains, ESG and other upcoming policies.

For further questions, please contact Ellen Land.

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Recycling of Multilayer Packaging: Engineering Struggle or Technological Innovation?

13. Dezember 2022 - 14:43

The potential of recycling multilayer packaging in Europe is not an easy topic. The packaging solutions are popular with major food manufacturers due to product safety and particular suitability for branding. However, multilayer packaging is prone to numerous challenges related to sorting, separation, and delamination at the end-of-life phase.

How can we increase the rate and recycling quality of multilayer packaging? Are new technologies on waste sorting, layer separation, and material recovery suitable for the waste management sector in Germany? Industry experts discussed these questions in a multi-stakeholder workshop in Cologne in November 2022. At the ‘Packaging Club’ meeting, the CSCP presented new technologies currently under development in MERLIN, an EU-financed project. This included robotic units for detection and sorting of flexible and rigid packaging waste, chemical delamination of the various layers, and recovery of PE and PET monomers.

Waste managers, recycling companies, research institutions, and industry associations discussed the innovation potential of these technologies and critically reflected on the economic and technological feasibility of adopting them for use in the German waste management systems. This feedback from the participants is key for the MERLIN project to gauge the interest, concerns, and reactions of potential end-users to MERLIN products and will help the project align its research and development focus with the demand.

In the following months, the CSCP will co-organise further Packaging Club meetings with international experts around Europe to create a holistic view on MERLIN technologies.

Do you want to participate in the next Packaging Club meeting? Are you interested in the results and first insights of this meeting? Email and we will keep you updated!

For further questions, please contact Fiona Woo.

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How to Create Consumer-Friendly Circular Packaging – Watch our Video Series!

13. Dezember 2022 - 13:45

Demands on packaging are increasing: it should be protective, stackable, informative but also practical, attractive and circular. To fulfil these requirements, consumers should be taken on board. That’s why understanding their behaviour is crucial, also in order to understand how behavioural challenges can be overcome.

Circular packaging – that is, packaging designed to be reused, recycled, or composted – is both a question of supply and demand. Of course, companies can and need to opt for the most sustainable packaging approaches. But what if certain types of packaging have a low acceptance level, leading consumers to break the loop?

In the “Club for Sustainable Packaging Solutions” as part of our Consumer Insight Action Panel, the CSCP has worked with retailers, manufacturers, recyclers, academia, civil society, and a consumer community to identify behavioural challenges of consumers when aiming to establish circular packaging solutions. Drawing from the Club member’s expertise, we digged deeper to better understand consumer behaviour and their underlying needs and reasons.

In this video series (in German), we present our findings to decision-makers in companies to encourage and enable them to package both sustainably and in a consumer-friendly way. The series comes shortly before the demand to offer reusable packaging for all to-go food and beverages sold in Germany becomes mandatory on 1 January 2023. The demand (Mehrwegangebotspflicht) is part of the new Packaging Act and obliges companies to offer reusable packaging that is not more expensive or worse off (higher overall product price, limited packaging sizes) than disposable alternatives. The CSCP is part of the Implementation Alliance for the regulatory request and actively involved in the question of how new reusable packaging solutions can also be accepted by consumers.

The video series includes practical and easily-digestible chunks of information (10-18 min per video), including the topic of re-usable packaging. Starting with the chicken-and-egg problem of responsibility for circular packaging, the series also covers packaging myths and complexities, approaches to multiple uses of packaging, and presents design and evaluation tools. Since the retailer’s point of view is always of central importance for manufacturers, we interview experts from two German retail companies in the last video.

The videos are in German and you can watch them by clicking on the respective links below:

The Consumer Insight Action Panel is a CSCP programme. This round of the Club for Sustainable Packaging Solutions was made possible with the support of the German Federal Foundation for the Environment (DBU).

For further questions, please contact Stephan Schaller.

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WertNetzWerke: A New Centre for Digitalisation and Circular Economy for SMEs is Launched!

13. Dezember 2022 - 12:53

Current key topics such as Circular Economy and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are becoming ever more important for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). One of the questions to consider is: How can SMEs use AI as a tool to innovate their business models and collaborate to create circular solutions?

The Centre for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises WertNetzWerke (Mittelstand-Digital Zentrum WertNetzWerke) launched in November 2022 under the umbrella of Mittelstand Digital, a network of competence centres funded by the German government to support digitalisation in SMEs. The new centre is a follow up of the recently-concluded Competence Centre eStandards, a Mittelstand Digital project in which the CSCP was a partner.

The WertNetzWerke competence centre will take a hands-on approach through practice-oriented formats and tools. The centre will launch value creation labs for information and training both in virtual set-ups (simulations) as well as through in-person networking. Moreover, a German-wide roadshow and dialogue formats will be organised to enable knowledge transfer.

As one of the six consortium partners, the CSCP will support SMEs with its expertise on Circular Economy, AI and the EU Digital Product Passport (DPP). The CSCP will facilitate  matchmaking and support SMEs in joint projects and initiatives with other actors.

“In the past years, we have seen an increasing interest by SMEs to engage in sustainability and Circular Economy. However, we often find a lack of know-how on how to start and what to implement. By facilitating collaboration between different stakeholders and supporting with digital solutions, we aim to enable SMEs to strengthen their business models and implement hands-on Circular Economy projects”, says Thomas Wagner, CSCP Project Manager.

Through workshops, webinars, and online tools such as the Circular Economy Guide, the new centre will support SMEs in designing and implementing Circular Economy projects.

During the first activities of centre, CSCP’s Mike Tabel presented solutions and best practices of recent years at the workshop “What helps on the way to more digitalisation and resource efficiency?”, hosted by the Institute of the German Economy (IW), while Thomas Wagner joined the “Basque Circular Summit” to exchange on an international level about sustainable Circular Economy, eco-design and the Digital Product Passport.

In addition to the CSCP, the project consortium includes 6 others partners: GS1 Germany, the German Association of Materials Management, Purchasing and Logistics (BME), the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT, the Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW, and the Wisnet Innovation Research Institute (w.i.r.i.).

The WertNetzWerke centre is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz – BMWK) and it will run for 3 years.

For further questions, please contact Thomas Wagner.

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Sustainable Cashmere: The Story of Mongolia

13. Dezember 2022 - 11:03

Based on traditional pastoralist livelihoods, the cashmere and wool sector is a key driver of the Mongolian economy and second only to the extractive industries. It is, however, facing challenges due to increased competition from foreign processors. In the past 4 years, our STeP EcoLab Mongolia project shared knowledge on social and environmental standards with Mongolian wool processors and cashmere herders. We supported them in implementing the newly-acquired practices as well as in communicating the value of sustainable Mongolian cashmere to European and global consumers.

The journey started in 2018 with a comprehensive assessment of the Mongolian wool and cashmere value chain. Herders as well as processors were involved in the analysis, yielding a thorough view on the sustainability risks and opportunities of the sector. The onsite assessment was complemented by an analysis on market demands as well as established sustainability communication instruments that could serve as guidance.

This assessment served as the foundation for the development of several capacity building formats, involving all relevant actors of the value chain and with a focus on linkages to other actors up- or downstream. By connecting the industry’s huge innovation potential with the sustainability demands of European and global target markets, first sustainable product lines were drafted.

In order to improve the industry’s sustainability performance in the long term, a voluntary code of practice (VCP) was developed with industry stakeholders. The document was signed by 18 companies, among them the leading Mongolian companies for wool and cashmere production. The aim of this VCP was ambitious: On one hand, the focus was to increase the sustainability of cashmere production and, on the other hand, to convert the business model according to criteria of established European cashmere sustainability standards.

To ensure that the roadmap defined in the VCP leads to more sustainable value chains, the new practices must be accepted by the market. To raise awareness, the project team worked with relevant stakeholders to develop a label to communicate the efforts of Mongolian cashmere producers to European consumers.

In 2020, the main stakeholders in Mongolia’s Wool and Cashmere sector joined forces as one exhibitor at the Première Vision, the world’s leading trade show for textiles and fibres. The sector put an emphasis on the uniqueness of sustainable, authentic nomadic farming practices and their high value products.

The European consumer demand for sustainable products is on the rise and aspects such as circularity need to be thought through wool and cashmere as well. Moreover, the implementation of a certification scheme for sustainable nomadic practices needs to continue and be further advanced. The CSCP project team is exploring ways to tackle these targets in our upcoming work.

For further information, please contact Pawel Zylka.

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Join the CSCP at COP 15 on the Links Between Biodiversity, Business, and Circular Economy on 12 and 13 December 2022!

12. Dezember 2022 - 10:31

Key global actors have come together at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference CBD COP 15, running from 7 to 19 December in Montreal, Canada, to jointly focus on commitments to tackle biodiversity loss and align action toward its conservation and restoration. The conference is a historic event expected to adopt the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), which includes a strategic vision as well as a global roadmap for the conservation, protection, restoration, and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems for the next eight years.

Government leaders will discuss 22 targets that will guide their activities to implement the new Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) roadmap.

The CSCP is at COP 15 in Montreal, with a focus on supporting biodiversity targets that are linked to sustainable consumption and production. For example, target 15 of the GBF maintains that “All businesses assess and report on their dependencies and impacts on biodiversity, from local to global, and progressively reduce negative impacts by at least half, moving towards the full sustainability of extraction and production practices, sourcing and supply chains, use and disposal.”

Our UBi project supports German businesses and business associations in integrating biodiversity into their strategic planning and taking action to achieve biodiversity goals, including the COP 15 targets. In addition, German companies are supported to introduce biodiversity criteria into their environmental management. The CSCP and the UBi project partner Biodiversity in Good Company are at COP 15 following relevant sessions on the links between biodiversity and business as well as engaging and exchanging with key global players.

Considering that resource extraction and the processing of products are linked to biodiversity loss, there is an urgent need to re-think how we produce and consume. Circular Economy is one of the main pathways to the transformative change we need and if implemented appropriately a lever to achieve the targets of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). Through Circular Economy projects and as a member of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP), the CSCP engages with all partners to strengthen the ties between biodiversity and Circular Economy.

At COP15, the CSCP will join the session titled “The Circular Economy as a crucial tool for biodiversity & climate”, organised by ECESP members (IUCN European Regional Office and Ellen MacArthur Foundation). The session will showcase the linkages of circular economy with biodiversity and how innovative economic models support to achieve the targets of the post-2020 GBF.

If you are interested in discussing the interfaces of biodiversity, business and Circular Economy, please reach out to Luis Esquivel at COP 15 or contact Cristina Fedato via email.

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