A 30-strong group of EPFL students came up with an impressive array of inventive ideas during the pilot Climate and Sustainability Action Week (CSAW), with the goal of making our campus – and society – greener and cleaner. Their ideas included an “Eco-Score” to rate the environmental impact of meals served at EPFL restaurants, a new digital currency and platform called Karma for exchanging goods and services within the EPFL community, and a web browser add-on called Web Citizens to combat misinformation and encourage critical thinking.
Green Pea is Italy’s first green retail park and to celebrate its inauguration, designer Cristina Celestina created Calatea Green – a chair made to follow the circular economy model! Calatea Green was born from the company’s original piece, Calatea chair which was given a sustainable design refresh. Calatea Green uses eco-friendly materials and organic aesthetics to fit in the Green Pea retail park. In fact, Celestina reinvented each element of the original Calatea chair’s design after becoming aware of the impact it had on the environment. The green chair’s padding is crafted from recycled PET fabric which is sourced from water bottles – it is both recyclable and compostable. For the legs, Celestina has used FSC-certified ash wood which was sourced from responsibly managed forests with controlled logging.
On May 25, delegates of the EU-27 in the EU Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCOPAFF) backed draft regulation aimed at setting EU baseline standards for the validation of insect frass as fertilizer, as part of the EU legislation on animal by-products. The regulation harmonizing the standards for insect frass in the EU will play a pivotal role in bolstering the competitiveness and overall growth of the sector, while enhancing its circularity potential and contributing to generating complementary revenues for insect producers, said EU trade group, the International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF). “We expect the standards to enter into force towards the end of this year,” said Constantin Muraru, spokesperson for IPIFF.
The transition towards a circular economy is among the core objectives of policy-makers at all levels of government. Yet, its full and effective achievement strongly depends on the readiness of all the societal and economic actors. In this regard, a growing mismatch between skills and labour needs can hamper both the transition as well as the possibility to exploit its great potential for employment and social inclusion. To counter this trend and facilitate the adoption of effective models by regions and vocational educational and training (VET) organisation, AER launched a dedicated webinar within the 2020 edition of the Skillman International Forum. During the first day of the Skillman International Forum (10-11 December 2020), AER held the webinar ‘Circular Economy: Opportunities and Needs in the Labour Market’.
What about leasing and hiring your outdoor furniture and fountains instead of buying? It makes sense if you’re a local council and want to be part of the circular economy. Queensland-based outdoor furniture manufacturer Urban Fountains & Furniture is on a mission to transition to a circular business. It’s come up with the idea of leasing rather than selling its water fountains to stop waste and save its customers’ money. According the company’s managing director, Simon Higgins, reducing waste has been part of the 20-year-old manufacturer’s DNA from the beginning. The company has always sought to design durable products without built-in obsolescence.