Headlines and press releases tell us policymakers and business leaders are focused on accelerating the transition to a circular economy. But what exactly is it they are all speeding towards? At its the heart the circular economy is about transforming how materials are used and produced to eliminate wastage. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) points to its goal of ‘closing the loop between raw materials, products and wastes so that materials remain in use and consumption of finite resources is reduced’. While countries and sectors would likely say something similar, the lack of an ‘internationally-agreed definition’ is slowing down progress in ‘designing informed strategies’, the UNECE said.
Plastic, plastic, plastic everywhere! Not a place you can turn to without being greeted by the sight of plastic. Plastic is a doubled edged sword. It is very much a part of our lives, being a packaging material for many of the products we consume and also being a primary or secondary raw material for many items including electronics, furniture, motor vehicles, planes and ships. Its affordability and availability makes it the natural go to for manufacturers and producers seeking to maximize return on investment.
Entrepreneurs love taking “no” as a challenge, as if the right combination of savvy and stubbornness can overcome any obstacle. It’s why, against the odds, Kate Hudson went after an elusive herb called amla. This happened early into Hudson’s latest business, InBloom, a line of plant-based powdered supplements she launched in August 2020. The amla plant is native to India and believed in Ayurvedic medicine to promote overall wellness and longevity, and Hudson’s team had spent months working on the formula for an amla-packed, immunity-boosting blend they hoped to introduce later this year.
EIT Climate-KIC, EIT RawMaterials, EIT Digital, EIT Food, EIT Manufacturing and EIT Urban Mobility have created a Cross-Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) action aiming to strengthen the collaboration of their activities related to the circular economy. A coordinated and efficient collaboration between the different KICs will help the EU achieve its Circular Economy Action Plan. The initiative aims to establish discussions among the KICs to find ways to develop a joint offer around circular economy and improve coordination with the Commission on this issue. It will also strengthen collaboration with other relevant stakeholders, support the European Institute of Technology in discussions with the Directorate-General for the Environment of the European Commission and facilitate the access to markets for innovative solutions developed in participating KICs.
This interview is the first of a series of interviews that I am conducting with eco-theatre professionals over the next couple of months. Thierry Leonardi has been working for culture for the last 25 years. He has been the Lyon Opera Ballet General Manager from 1995 to 2015 and the sustainability officer of the Lyon Opera from 2008 to 2015. Since 2016 he has worked as a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) consultant with cultural organisations, helping them to formalize and implement their sustainability strategies and road maps. He is a member of the labelling committee of French CSR label Lucie26000.