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09:20-10:50 Session Plenary 1: Plenary Session
Evangelos Grigoroudis (Technical University of Crete, Greece)
Location: Room 1
Jacqueline Cramer (Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht, Netherlands)
Building a Circular Future A Dutch comparative study of mattresses, concrete and textile

ABSTRACT. To transition to a circular economy entails a system innovation in which all relevant actors need to change along with it. The government has an important steering role to play in this transformative process. However, in addition to public governance, the transition to a circular economy can be accelerated through network governance. This involves steering networks of willing actors who come together and foster cohesion in building a circular future. This paper addresses the question of how network governance can be practically implemented. Based on Dutch experiences in three different product chains (mattresses, concrete, and textiles), ten guiding principles for building a circular economy will be formulated. Data was collected through longitudinal action research conducted by the author of this paper from 2016 to the present. The analysis relies on relevant documents, reports from all meetings, and personal observations. The three cases are compared based on their evolution over time, action plans, and the involvement of actors. The analysis reveals that the execution of the three circular initiatives follows a four-stage process that is both sequential and cyclic: 1. Preparing the circular initiative; 2. Developing one or more joint business cases; 3. Scaling up a successful circular initiative; 4. Mainstreaming the circular initiative. This four-stage process should not be viewed as a linear journey towards improvement, as it requires multiple rounds of more far-reaching enhancements while avoiding technological lock-in. Thus, the transition should be seen as the implementation of an ever-increasing number of meaningful building blocks on the path to a circular economy, rather than a sudden and radical system change. As shown in Figure 1, the three product chain initiatives followed a similar trajectory, although at different speeds. The mattresses case exhibited the most accelerated progress, followed by concrete and clothing. At various stages, each initiative focused on specific activities necessary to achieve the established goals.

Figure 1: Model to implement circular economy in product chains

The first step is to identify actors that can drive change. Initially, it is challenging to determine which actors are genuinely interested in participating in the change. When there was a high sense of urgency to embrace circularity, it was easier to identify the key actors. In the three product chain initiatives, relevant actors were mapped out during the execution process. They were categorized as prime actors, complementary actors, and supportive actors. Prime actors, in general, have the ability to steer the transformational change process towards scaling up and mainstream adoption. However, if they are hesitant to do so, the process may stagnate. At that point, the national government must eliminate fundamental barriers to enable mainstreaming. In the case of mattresses, relevant actors were identified during the circular economy lab organized at the beginning of the scaling-up phase. It became evident that producers played a crucial role in the change process. Scaling up would have been hindered if 70% of producers were unwilling to participate in a voluntary Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) initiative. Fortunately, an agreement on EPR implementation was reached among prime actors. In the Concrete Agreement, representatives from various segments of the concrete chain, including sand and gravel extraction, concrete mortar, prefabrication, concrete goods, binders (cement), demolition, recycling, contractors, builders, architects, as well as the government and research institutes, were involved. In the clothing case, a distinction exists between international big fashion labels that produce fast fashion and innovative start-ups and scale-ups aiming for slow circular fashion. Innovative fashion brands act as intermediaries. As long as the big labels do not embrace circular strategies, they remain the dominant prime actors. The slow fashion movement is gradually growing but has not yet attained enough strength to become a major player in the market.

Comparing the three product chain initiatives reveals the need for similar tasks to be carried out. However, the amount of work and time required for each task varies among the initiatives. During the implementation of the action plan, actors could not strictly follow a predetermined set of activities. In a fundamental system change, such as the transition to a circular economy, experimentation is crucial. It is not a project with a predefined plan from start to finish but a flexible process that requires adaptability, learning, and responsiveness to new situations. While aiming for ambitious goals, it is important to approach each goal step by step. This process can be likened to a journey where the destination is clear, but the path is undefined. The specific context in which the change occurs varies from case to case, including the type of innovations needed, key drivers and prerequisites, and the involved parties. However, the general approach to steering towards a circular economy remains similar. Network governance can assist the government in accelerating the transition to a circular economy. However, it is important to note that public governance remains crucial, especially during the transition from the building phase to the scaling up phase. The analysis of the three product chains concludes with ten guiding principles for building a circular economy through network governance, which can be applied not only in the Netherlands but also elsewhere.

Adisa Azapagic (The University of Manchester, UK)
Systems, Life Cycles and the Circular Economy: Identifying Sustainable Solutions

ABSTRACT. The concept of circular economy has emerged in response to the need for decoupling the economic growth from resource consumption and environmental impacts. Aiming to maximise resource efficiency, it represents an alternative to the current linear ‘take-make-use-dispose’ economic model. The circular economy concept rests on three fundamental principles: i) preserving and enhancing natural capital; i) circulating products and materials at the highest utility as long as possible; and iii) designing out negative externalities. Therefore, transitioning to a circular economy will require a systemic change across supply chains, involving both technological and business model innovations. This in turn will necessitate a whole systems approach and life cycle thinking to capture and address the complex interrelationships between different aspects of a circular economy. One of the complexities is that ‘circular’ does not necessarily mean ‘sustainable’. Hence, we need to be able to understand the full implications of a switch from the ‘linear’ to ‘circular’ economic models. Focusing on environmental impacts of that switch, this presentation will discuss how we can measure the ‘circularity’ on a life cycle basis and what that may mean in practice, considering examples in the food, energy and plastics sectors.

10:50-11:20Coffee Break
11:20-13:20 Session 1A: Waste management, recycling and circular economy
Lorna Bennet (Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, UK)
Location: Room 1
Rosie Hornbuckle (University of the Arts London, UK)
Kate Goldsworthy (University of the Arts London, UK)
Laura Knight (University of the Arts London, UK)
Almost Circular: Six Systemic Actions for Polyester
PRESENTER: Rosie Hornbuckle

ABSTRACT. While the use of recycled polyester has increased in the performance and fashion textiles sectors, these materials are largely derived from packaging recyclate, which doesn’t tackle the complex issue of recovering value from the many thousands of tonnes of polyester fibres which make it to landfill each year1. Fibre regeneration technologies are coming online that aim to recover high quality polyester from mono-materials and blends, however, there are still numerous challenges to achieving the ideal of ‘circular polyester’. This systemic review looks at the challenges to achieving circular polyester from the perspective of stakeholders throughout the polyester lifecycle. Semi-structured interviews and co-design activities with 20 industry stakeholders were conducted to reveal their view on the main steps needed to achieve circular polyester. This research was conducted by design researchers as part of the Business of Fashion and Textiles Technology Creative Research & Development Partnership UK (BFTT), funded through the Creative Industries Clusters Programme (CICP) by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI). The broader aim of the research funding was to support industry in the adoption of technology for economic development, which included ‘green growth’ or sustainability. The focus of this ‘work package’ within the broader project was to explore the role of regenerative technologies in achieving circularity in synthetic fashion and textiles. For this study co-design methods were utilised alongside the interviews to co-create a system-map for the current and future state of polyester from multiple perspectives. A roadmap was also co-created to make explicit the steps participants felt were necessary to reach this future potential. Finally, the maps were validated through a focus group between participants and researchers. The maps were visualised by Author 3 to communicate the research to wider audiences. One of the main outcomes that we will focus on in this paper are six opportunities in policy, research and industry to work towards the concept of polyester+. 

Pankaj Ravindra Gode (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway)
Eli Fyhn Ullern (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway)
Ottar Michelsen (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway)
Paritosh Deshpande (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway)
Learnings from failures to implement circular economy: a case study of three industries

ABSTRACT. If economic growth is not decoupled from the current mode of resource consumption, by the year 2050, humankind might use three times as much biomass, fossil fuels, minerals, and ores as we do today (UNEP, 2011). Circular Economy (CE) is perceived as a promising solution to these growing resource exploitation challenges. CE also promises to deliver a range of economic, environmental, and social benefits (Palafox-Alcantar et al., 2020; Velenturf & Jopson, 2019). CE also minimizes the use of raw materials, improves resource management, and reduces waste production (Velenturf et al., 2019). It allows businesses to redesign their goods and services to cut down on waste and related impacts (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017). When a component that contributes to value creation reaches the end of its useful life, it also provides the opportunity to extend its lifespan and keep the materials used in its production within the economy (European Parliment, 2021). But despite such a range of benefits, there seems to be a striking gap between awareness and implementation of CE (Grafström & Aasma, 2021; Kirchherr et al., 2018; Liu & Bai, 2014) that demands a credible explanation. We argue that one of the main reasons behind this lack of implementation is the current value chains are not designed for circularity, i.e., circularity is not added during value chain design but at a later point in the end-of-life management of products/components, thereby limiting its implementation potential. To explore this phenomenon further, the case study analysis of an established industrial cluster is conducted, and the findings are compared to derive lessons for the emerging sectors. Through the case study analysis, we hypothesized that emerging industries could learn from the shortcomings of established industries in their pursuit of sustainable circular management. In proving the hypotheses, we conducted a case study analysis of two established industries- aquaculture and fishing and one emerging industry – offshore wind. The first two industries are referred to as ‘established’ industries in terms of CE implementation, as the problem of waste management is well known and learnings from the waste management sectors are available. Whereas, offshore wind is referred as an ‘emerging’ industry because most of the offshore wind farms haven’t reached end of their lifespan and large scale decommissioning will start at the end of this decade (Kruse et al., 2019; Spyroudi, 2021; Velenturf, 2021). The research question asks, ‘how can we best use learnings from the implementation of CE practices in established industries for the sustainable growth of emerging industries?’ To answer this, an in-depth empirical view of these industries is carried out by analyzing empirical findings gathered through semi-structured interviews, survey questionnaires from different types of stakeholders over the years, and document analysis. Preliminary analysis of the aquaculture and fishing industry revealed the following barriers in the implementation of CE: lack of waste volumes; lack of accurate data on waste volume prediction; the presence of multiple small & medium scale actors with limited global outreach; underdeveloped CE strategies; lack of quality and scalability of recycling technologies; low-cost of linear economy solutions such as landfill and energy recovery compared to their circular counterparts; issue in developing localized supply chain; inability to sell recycled/ repurposed products in local markets; the presence of various actors and lack of collaboration in them; complexity in data sharing; lack of regulations to push for CE; the role of physical distance over which resources/ waste travels; lack of information on environmental degradation of product quality of the component. We found the similarities in the systemic challenges in achieving circularity at the industrial scale for the established industries provided critical insights to emerging industries such as offshore wind. Moreover, we also found the barriers to the implementation of CE change with respect to the time and maturity level of the industry. We conclude that such knowledge from failures can be critical and may inspire early-stage planning in emerging sectors to realize sustainable circularity. As a remedy to this systemic problem in CE implememntation, we call for holistic, system-level change where CE strategies are implemented and perceived in the early design stages of components and are an integral part of the value chain, as well as considering the dynamic nature of the barriers while implementing CE strategies.

Yuting Xie (City University of Hong Kong, China)
Liang Dong (City University of Hong Kong, China)
Recycling Issues in Solar Power – Case Study in Beijing, China

ABSTRACT. Urbanization within energy transition that aims to use renewable energy to replace fossil fuels takes the responsibility to mitigate climate change impacts by meeting the zero-carbon emissions target. However, the issue of recycling renewable energy such as recycling materials for construction and energy generated by solar power challenges the successful energy transition. Throughout works of literature, citizens’ awareness, technology limitations, and financial support, are three factors causing challenges to impact the efficiency of recycling renewable energy under current urban development conditions. The specific challenges made by the three factors on recycling issue for solar and hydropower are that 1) people lack the awareness of recycled energy generated and materials of construction for solar panels, 2) currently limited techniques could not support the sufficient recycling of solar power and its facilities, and 3) the governmental and organizational financial support focus more on constructing solar power facilities instead of their recycling. Accordingly, this chapter argues that successful energy transition requires policy guidance to solve the three challenges mentioned to sustainably promote the development of urbanization. This chapter focuses on the case study of Beijing by using qualitative research methods to collect and analyze data regarding solar energy development to show how the three factors form the issue of recycling. Overall, this chapter generates useful recommendations for further policymaking and implementation regarding the recycling of solar panels. Thus, in turn, this chapter could positively contribute to exploring the opportunities in promoting successful energy transition and sustainably developing urbanization.

Joao Ribeiro (Brunel University London, UK)
Daniel Dias (Brunel University London, UK)
Bertrand Delpech (Brunel University London, UK)
Hussam Jouhara (Brunel University London, UK)
Evina Katsou (Brunel University London, UK)
Water-Waste-Energy Nexus modelling to support the implementation of Circular Actions: Industrial water and energy consumption
PRESENTER: Joao Ribeiro

ABSTRACT. Globally, water demand is estimated to increase from 3500 km3/year in 2000 to approximately 5500 km3/year in 2050. Population growth, urbanisation, migration and industrialisation are the main drivers to pressure freshwater resources. In fact, the industrial sector overall water consumption is projected to increase by 400% in 2050, generating severe consequences on the local environment and ecosystems. Another resource highly consumed by the industrial sector is energy. In 2019, the world industrial sector consumed 9 566 TWh of energy for manufacturing products, while in Europe, the industrial sector consumes around 26% of the total energy needs. Moreover, it contributes to significant GHG and other detrimental substance emissions to the environment. To decouple imprudent resource consumption from economic growth and development, CE has been promoted with the objective of achieving resource efficiency, reducing waste production and improving environmental, economic and social sustainability. The WWE nexus through a CE framework was applied to measure key technical interventions in an industry to demonstrate gains in circularity and monetary value. By identifying circular actions (reduce fresh water withdrawal, natural gas consumption and waste emission) promoted by the interventions, gains were observed on all fronts. In fact, the study demonstrated that it was possible to reduce non-renewable energy sourcing and potentially cover all freshwater requirements with recovered water.

Lorna Bennet (Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, UK)
Katharine York (Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, UK)
Review of Circular Economy Drivers and Case Studies
PRESENTER: Lorna Bennet

ABSTRACT. Offshore wind power has been an environmental drive and a focus for decarbonisation for many years. Now the industry has become established and is progressing on a significant growth trajectory, the growing scale of offshore wind brings new sustainability challenges and attention is shifting from concentrating purely on reducing the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE), to how the industry can adopt circular economy at its core.

There are many factors influencing each company’s decision to pursue more sustainable and circular economy business practices, which are also leading to implementing policies and procurement processes to encourage action from their supply chains. This study provides a review of the drivers for implementing circular economy practices in the context of operational and end of life decisions; supply chains and emerging markets. Stakeholders have been engaged from across all levels, from Owner Operators, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and Technology Developers to academia. The perceived drivers and barriers were correlated, along with policy and practices that have been implemented to provide a multi-perspective review.

Following these interviews across various stakeholders, there is a clear opinion that governmental intervention has the potential for creating the maximum uptake of circular economy practices. Specifically, regulation, legislation and even new laws can be implemented to promote more sustainable, circular economy principles that can be promoted through tax incentives or fines and strict governance. The EU's Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), is one step towards encouraging companies to consider sustainability more seriously.

A number of companies are taking action towards more sustainable and ethical business practices without the need for legislative interventions, with some wind farm developers seeing it as their duty for the “green energy” industry to do all they can to retain and further the reputation of the sector. Some produce regular sustainability reports and promote their corporate Net Zero targets, climate pledge, sustainability priorities, action areas and policies openly on their websites. Some policies that are being enacted include:

Delaying the decommissioning or repowering of an offshore wind farm until the necessary vessels required for the operation are available with an alternative sustainable carbon free fuel or power supply (e.g. electric, hydrogen, ammonia, biofuel, etc.). Tendering for sustainable solutions for equipment and materials when decommissioned. Tendering for materials to be reused or recycled close to the site, to reduce emissions from transportation. Collaboration towards research projects to find more sustainable end of life solutions. Requiring full material traceability with respect to human rights, modern slavery, environmental and carbon emissions regulations and standards.

The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (ORE Catapult) have also developed several case studies of companies working in the field of circular economy to collect views and address current challenges, such as those detailed in Table 1.

Table 1. Circular Economy business case studies

ACT Blade Alternative wind turbine blade materials Replacement for damaged blade and support repowering as blades can be lighter or longer

Anecto Repair and refurbishment wind turbine power electronics Reduce waste and emissions; retain material value and keep assets operating for longer

Cedeco Alternative solution to grouted connections in offshore wind farms Significantly reduce operational time, emissions and material requirements

Gen2Carbon Carbon fibre material recovery and recycling Reduce waste and emissions; retain material value within the supply chain

GreenSpur Alternative wind turbine generator, using Rare Earth free materials Reduce reliance or rare earth materials

Reekie Machining In-situ machine for large component repair and remanufacture. Reduce waste and emissions; retain material value and keep assets operating for longer

Renewable Parts Refurbish and remanufacture wind turbine mechanical components Reduce waste and emissions; retain material value and keep assets operating for longer

Rosehill Polymers Recycling waste tyre materials from the automotive sector into new high value products Reduce waste and emissions; retain material value within the supply chain

The study will give an overview of the primary data collection of the above mentioned stakeholders across the industry and draw findings and recommendations for the way forward from selected case studies.

Aranza Rodriguez (INTA, Argentina)
Gloria Rótolo (INTA, Argentina)
Roberto Cerchione (University of Naples Parthenope, Italy)
Renato Passaro (University of Naples Parthenope, Italy)
Advances in the characterization of circular practices related to agricultural systems in Argentine Rolling Pampa
PRESENTER: Renato Passaro

ABSTRACT. The Circular Economy approach can be applied to different sectors, specifically in the agrifood supply chain, such as the agricultural one, referred to as Circular Agriculture. In Argentina, this sector has significant relevance in the economy, mainly in the pampas region, which concentrates more than 84% of maize (Zea mays L.), soybean (Glycine max L.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) production, as well as 63% of cattle livestock. Agricultural production in this area is characterized by the current linear model of production and consumption and has brought negative environmental consequences. The Circular Economy in agriculture (Circular Agriculture), proposes principles and criteria for conserving and restoring natural resources, optimizing the processes to design cycles, to preserve and improving biodiversity and re-using/repairing or recycling our waste. However, the implementation level of these practices in the agricultural systems (AS) scale of this region, has not been relieved. Our objective is to identify the circular practices implemented in the primary production stage of the grain supply basin of Monje’s area related to an agricultural Cooperative. The Agri-Cooperative sector is an important stakeholder in the grain business of Argentina, and a key for implementing the transition towards a circular approach. Agricultural systems or agroecosystems of the grain supply basin related to the mentioned Cooperative, are located in Monjes’s district (32º22’02’’ lat S y 60º56’08’’ long W), in Santa Fe province, within the pampas region of Argentina. Moreover, Monje's Cooperative is applying circular practices and has a strategic location in this area because of its proximity to the main grain/soybean oil export harbour of Latin America. From July 2020 to March 2021, we addressed semi-structured surveys to AS associated with the Cooperative in order to assess resource management, land use, crop-livestock rotations, cover crops (CC) inclusion, management of several residues, and outputs. This survey was based on the results of a systematic literature search to identify the most important criteria and practices of circular agriculture in this area. Those were organized in criteria and subcriteria in order to establish a hierarchy. We selected 4 criteria to evaluate the circularity: Biodiversity, Soil health, Crops and livestock integration and Waste management. From each criterion were also selected sub criteria, for example, the sub-criteria for biodiversity were crop rotation, species richness within CC, species richness within pastures, area of natural grasses and area not allocated to agriculture. Once weighed by applying the AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process), these criteria and sub-criteria will be used to evaluate the circularity degree of each AS and make decisions about those most circular. The items assessed were collected from AS whose farmers trade 100% of their products with the cooperative. The survey was performed through personal and distance meetings (due to preventive and mandatory social isolation caused by COVID-19) using virtual or wireless communication tools.During this search, it was found that most of these criteria selected to evaluate circularity within the circular agriculture approach, also agree with those applied in regenerative agriculture establishing their coincidences and differences.The surveyed farmers were 52 out of 57, and most of them have only crop systems (69 %). The total area worked is 18.000 hectares, of which 5600 are located in Monje’s district. The 70% of the total land is rented, whereas in Monje’s area 50 % is rented. From the results we also identify the most important criteria and practices. Results also showed that 32% of the AS, use crop rotation (a three-year-old rotation with soybean, corn and wheat/soybean of second occupation). Even though a few AS can apply some circular practices, it is a starting point to improve the circularity in the region. Finally, once the weighted criteria about circular practices were obtained (in process) we will have a better picture of the future action to take locally regarding to the sustainable development of the AS and the region.

11:20-13:20 Session 1B: Circular economy and green strategies
Ana Mat Said (University of the West of Scotland, UK)
Location: Room 2
Alessandro Seravalli (Sis.Ter GeoSmart Lab, Italy)
Paola Caselli (Urban Planning srl, Italy)
Assessment 2030 like policy support decision tool
PRESENTER: Paola Caselli

ABSTRACT. Actions following political choices increasingly require concreteness and pragmatism. There are no indefinite or inexhaustible resources and timeframes, which requires choices based on actual priorities. The availability of tools to support decision-making is therefore essential, especially in the current context. Positioning a municipality against the goals of the 2030 Agenda is therefore a useful method as it compares the territory with the strategic sustainability goals defined internationally by the UNO in 2015. Understanding on which SDGs the territory is weakest, fragile or lagging behind constitutes an objective element of comparison on which to focus resources and activities with a view to improvement. The assessment2030 is a methodology that has turned into a tool, developed by the GeoSmart lab together with Urban Planning srl.

Sotiris Apostolopoulos (Neapolis University Pafos, Cyprus)
Georgios Deirmentzoglou (Neapolis University Pafos, Cyprus)
Andreas Masouras (Neapolis University Pafos, Cyprus)
Marios Psychalis (Neapolis University Pafos, Cyprus)
Circular economy support policies in Cyprus towards sustainable development

ABSTRACT. Addressing the problem of overconsumption of natural resources has forced economies and societies to seek, also through circularity, change of the current model of production and consumption. In this respect, the circular economy has gained particular interest from all those who have the responsibility for drawing up sustainable development policies. This study aims to capture the degree of effectiveness of circular economy policies in the Republic of Cyprus as well as to shed light on potential problems, obstacles, failures and good practices. Furthermore, qualitative research was conducted through semi-structured interviews with central government and local self-administrative executives who have the responsibility for policy-making and the accountability for the management of financial instruments. The present primary survey highlighted the political will to support the circular economy and identified existing issues and barriers. Additionally, it indicated that there is a gap between the above political intention and the practical implementation of the policies that are being put in place. The findings of the study add evidence to the international literature on the policies implemented for the transition to the circular economy, through the views and experiences of central government and local self-administrative executives who pursue policies regarding the circular economy. Moreover, the findings can be useful for Cypriot and European decision-making centres. They can also be a potentially valuable tool for the business world as enterprises organise their transition to the sustainable development model. The circular economy promises more entrepreneurial opportunities and by this fact has gained much traction lately among investors and generally the interest of the business people.

Evi Viza (University of the West of Scotland, UK)
Ana Mat Said (University of the West of Scotland, UK)
Andrew Hursthouse (University of the West of Scotland, UK)
Assessing public policy on enabling circular economy in Scotland: the case of curb side collections

ABSTRACT. The aim of this project is to develop a better understanding of the ‘causes’ of fly-tipping incidents in 32 local authorities around Scotland, namely, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Perth, Dumfries, Scottish Highlands and a few more. The project involves:

1. Mapping existing practices across Scottish local authorities of bulk uplifts (costs, implementation income generation) and also of fly tipping data (volume, types, location hot spots and costs). 2. Raise awareness of the issue and its impact to the public . 3. Strengthen capacity for research and knowledge exchange by developing strong interdisciplinary relations (academia, community, policy makers) 4. Providing ongoing mentorship for early-career researchers to build research capacity.

It will examine whether existing policies enable or hinder the move towards resource efficiency and circular economy. Stakeholder mapping exercise to identify key areas of influence/gaps will provide direction for service optimisation. The outcomes of this project will act as a foundation to offer guidance on how to develop more effective strategies aimed at reducing and preventing fly-tipping cases in Scotland. This includes improving the public policies and raising public awareness.

Margarita Ktistaki (Technical University of Crete, Greece)
Evangelos Grigoroudis (Technical University of Crete, Greece)
Green Balanced Scorecard and Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis: An Application in a Municipal Water Supply and Sewerage Company

ABSTRACT. The development and implementation of new “green” management tools that may help the assessment of environmental performance and strategy is major challenge in modern business organizations. Such tools should be able to consider the vision of an organization and translate its environmental strategy in a set of specific measurable activities. This paper adopts the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) approach, developed by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton, which is strategy evaluation tool for monitoring business strategies and implementing if necessary corrective actions. BSC is not only a performance measurement and strategy evaluation tool, but it can also serve as an internal or external communication tool. It provides a “balanced” measurement system that considers: a) financial and nonfinancial data, b) internal and external indices, and c) leading and lagging indicators. In the context of environmental performance assessment, current literature reveals alternative forms of environmental BSC, such as Eco, Green or Sustainability BSC. Public organizations are nowadays under increasing pressure to apply effective management tools. Although the BSC model may be considered as useful management approach, its application should consider the non-profit nature of the social service sector. For example, several scholars claim that the financial focus of the BSC conflicts with the mission-oriented nature of non-profits, while particular attention should be given when studying the intangible capital (human or intellectual) of such organizations. This is the main reason why, despite the increased adoption of the BSC methodology by numerous business organizations during the last decade, limited case studies concern non-profit organizations (e.g., public sector, educational institutions, healthcare organizations, etc.). In particular, the development, implementation, and evaluation of a strategic plan is one of the most important weaknesses of the public administration. During economic crisis, the necessity of both increased efficiency and fair and transparent procedures by the public sector is increased. The main aim of this paper is to develop a Green BSC framework for a municipal water supply and sewerage company. The mission of the municipal company is the core element of the proposed Green BSC, while four main dimensions adapted for “green” goals are considered: financial, customer, internal process, and learning and growth. Furthermore, a set of quantitative measures that play the role of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) derived from the organization's strategy, have been assessed for each of the previous evaluation dimensions. The KPIs may be considered as a tool of metrics that shows how the organization is likely to perform over the medium and long term. An effective set of KPIs should be clearly measured, quantified, and easily influenced by the organization, while they should be able to provide meaningful results and highlight potential improvement actions. KPIs, should also serve as an important communication tool. The green performance evaluation of the municipal corporation is based on a target-based multicriteria decision aid (MCDA) approach, while Rank Order Centroid (ROC) weights have been used for estimating the importance of the evaluation indicators. This approach is able to take into account the preferences of the management of the organization regarding the achievement of the defined strategic objectives and the prioritization of the targets. The main results of the proposed approach are focused on the evaluation of the overall scores for each one of the main dimensions of the BSC methodology (i.e., financial, customer, internal business process, and learning-growth). These results are able to help the organization to evaluate and revise its strategy, and generally to adopt modern management approaches in everyday practice.

Mattia Maeder (Technical University of Munich, Germany)
Magnus Fröhling (Technical University of Munich, Germany)
Systemic implications of recycled content targets
PRESENTER: Mattia Maeder

ABSTRACT. Recycling is a crucial circular economy strategy. Using recycled content in new products reduces the need for primary materials, often leading to lower environmental impacts. Hence, European Union regulators proposed introducing mandatory recycled content targets. Examples include targets for a minimum amount of recycled content in packaging plastics (European Commission, 2022) or large lithium-ion batteries (European Commission, 2020). Companies have formulated voluntary recycled content targets in parallel with these regulatory proposals. A previous study by Kahlert and Bening (2022) finds that voluntary pledges by companies in the packaging sector for the use of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) may not suffice to match anticipated PET demand – particularly in a scenario of increased demand from other sectors, such as the automotive or textile sectors. Thus, the interaction between multiple sectors requires further investigation to understand the systemic implications of recycled content targets.

Taking the automotive sector as an example, some carmakers have announced voluntary recycled content targets to produce new cars. Although minimum recycling rates are mandatory for end-of-life vehicles in the EU (European Commission, 2000), sufficient quality and availability of recycled content to produce new cars are uncertain due to challenges with closed-loop recycling (Ortego et al., 2018) and the unknown whereabouts of end-of-life vehicles (Bhari et al., 2021). In the case of materials with limited availability of recycled content in the system, the automotive sector’s increasing use of recycled content may lead to less recycled content for other sectors, which may need to switch to primary materials. One sector may increase the circularity and reduce the environmental impacts of its products – while the circularity and environmental impacts in the whole system remain unchanged.

Our work consists of two parts. First, we analyze recycled content targets as a public policy instrument. To that end, we review the academic literature and collect examples of recycled content targets in different jurisdictions. We seek to create a framework that provides an overview of the relevant parameters of such targets. We interview industry experts to validate the framework in an iterative process. Second, we elucidate the systemic implications of recycled content targets. In a case study of the automotive sector, we conduct material flow analyses and life cycle assessments under multiple scenarios. To collect data and define plausible scenarios, we interview industry experts from multiple stages of a car’s life cycle (supply chain, production, use-phase, and end-of-life) and experts from other sectors (e.g., packaging, textiles, and construction). In our analysis, we differentiate between materials (e.g., steel, aluminum, and plastics). With our results, we seek recommendations and best practices on how recycled content targets in individual sectors can be complemented and improved to achieve system-wide benefits.

Roido Mitoula (Harokopio University of Athens, Greece)
Agisilaos Economou (National Technical University of Athens, Greece)
Giorgos Karagiannis (Harokopio University of Athens, Greece)
Circular Coastal Tourism and Sustainable Development: Case Study Nestos Delta, Keramoti Lagoon and Thasopoula Island in the Region of Eastern Macedonia - Thrace (Greece)

ABSTRACT. The present paper refers to coastal tourism, related to marine activities such as boat and sailing trips, cruises, water sports, etc. The aim is to investigate the conditions for the development of circular sustainable coastal tourism and the opinion of tourists/visitors on related issues. As a case study, the area of "Nestos Delta, Keramoti Lagoon and Thasopoula Island" in the Region of Eastern Macedonia - Thrace is chosen. First of all, it is noted that from all the alternative forms of tourism development, sufficient material resources flow into local communities. Given the multiple islands and the extensive coastal zone of Greece, the issues of coastal tourism are of increased interest, since they contribute a large percentage to the Greek tourism economy. Coastal tourism already contributes to a large extent to job creation and local development, especially in remote areas and with limited economic activity, such as that of the case study. Next, the concept of circular coastal tourism is clarified, which is an alternative form of tourism with high potential for development and employment, covering the context of national strategic development (as formulated by experts on the issues of alternative forms of tourism). Questions are raised regarding scientific issues and the relationship of circular tourism as a special form of controlled tourist development in the area in question. There is evidence that almost all areas that are partially on the coast or are in close proximity to the sea, are directly affected by coastal tourism. In order to answer the main questions of the paper and to investigate the conditions and possibilities for the development of circular coastal tourism in the region, a survey was carried out aimed at tourists/visitors in the region. For the needs of the research, a questionnaire was created composed of twenty-two (22) closed-type structured response questions, which was anonymous and distributed to 180 people. The survey was carried out in the months of July, August and September 2022. The questionnaire was addressed exclusively to adults, although there were also many children and teenagers as visitors. Regarding the main results, the respondents stated that incentives should be given to develop a high percentage of small and medium-sized enterprises in the region and to implement innovations in the provision of services. Emphasis was placed on the issue of special skills and the qualifications of hospitality and catering staff. A large percentage of the sample mentioned as important the issue of the implementation of strategic planning hospitality at all levels, with the aim of environmental protection and general sustainable development. Consumer-tourists, to a large extent, prefer areas where there are controlled actions of tourist development and respect for the natural and man-made environment, with a focus on controlled tourism-ecotourism. It is noted that the results show a particular sensitivity to the issues of waste management, water management, and the protection of the natural landscape. From the answers it is found that tourism demand can be affected by the increase in the income of consumer-tourists. This also proves the theory that as incomes increase, the demand for tourism products or services also increases, which is not the case with goods or services of other products, where very often, while incomes increase, the needs and choices of consumers change. According to the sample, respondents wish to be informed online about all topics and services related to their trip. They believe that businesses should be organized with online techniques to promote their products, including campaigns to highlight the region's sustainable ecotourism activities. The paper concludes with interesting conclusions and proposals. An important conclusion is that in order to ensure sustainable coastal tourism, strategies related to the general protection of environmental issues should be implemented in the area of Delta Nestos, the Lagoon of Keramoti and the Island of Thasopoula. It is suggested that both hospitality and catering businesses and other stakeholders (mainly environmental protection) prepare studies, developing new sustainable business models, with the aim of "Sustainable Coastal Tourism". The use of innovative ecological products is considered imperative, which can contribute to strengthening the response capacity of the tourism sector and in combination with the utilization of the local ecotourism development potential. Finally, the paper concludes with a record of the reasons that hinder and inhibit the dynamics of ecotourism development, as well as the prospects for sustainable ecotourism development. It is proposed that the development strategies that will be implemented aim to improve accessibility, connectivity and the promotion of the research areas, not as a local product but as a "paradise" for investment action, in order to promote overall sustainable development.

11:20-13:20 Session 1C: Transportation and circularity co-organized with ENIRISST- ENIRISST PLUS
Dimitrios Dimitriou (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece)
Location: Room 3
Georgios Tsironis (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece)
Aristi Karagouni (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece)
Dimitrios Dimitriou (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece)
Kontantinos P. Tsagarakis (Technical University of Crete, Greece)
A LinkedIn Investigation of Sustainability in the Transportation Sector for the EU-27 Countries

ABSTRACT. Sustainability has been a topic of growing interest over the past years with many governments, organizations, and companies trying to reach the SDGs set by the European Union. The major challenge of implementing more sustainable practices within the corporate environments is still in the foreground probably even in higher demand due to the intense environmental degradation and the strict deadlines related to the decarbonization and shift toward greener production systems. Thus, in this work, we investigate the wider “Transportation” sector through the prism of sustainability by collecting and analysing publicly available data on the LinkedIn social media platform. More precisely, 1640 LinkedIn profiles registered as “companies” have been mined and analysed providing valuable insights regarding the business mapping of companies with a “transportation” orientation in the European Union with only 250 of them including “sustainable” keywords in any part of their profile (15.2%). Additionally, we selected only companies with a staff range of over 200 employees, aiming to gain insights from medium SMEs and large organizations/companies which usually acquire more resources and technological tools.

The preliminary analysis showed some interesting results regarding the geographical distribution of those companies with 415 of them, having their headquarters outside of the European Union. The leading countries are Germany (206), the United States of America (191), France (143), the Netherlands (110), and Italy with just under 100 companies (98). From a macroscopic point of view, “Transportation/Trucking/Railroad”, “Information Technology & Services”, “Logistics & Supply Chain”, “Electrical & Electronic Manufacturing”, “Computer Software”, and “Mechanical or Industrial Engineering”, are the dominant industry sectors with 426, 132, 121, 67, 65, and 61 company profiles, respectively. Furthermore, we provide detailed industry and geographical insights per individual cluster defined according to the staff count as a size index (201-500, 501-1000, 1001-5000, 5001-10000, 10000+). Finally, the descriptive statistics of the followers for each cluster give a good overview of the social-business impact of the studied companies.

Aristi Karagkouni (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece)
Triantafyllia Karampini (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece)
Emmanouil Petrakis (Researcher, Department of Economics, DUTh, Greece)
Maria Sartzetaki (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece)
Evaggelos Drimpetas (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece)
Dimitrios Dimitriou (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece)
Evaluation Framework for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy towards Circular Economy: The case of Transport Operators

ABSTRACT. The concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has risen in prominence among top executives in business and evolved into a topic of concern on a worldwide scale. In order to create sustainable growth and acquire a competitive edge, businesses are making attempts to include corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs into their vision and mission statements. Studies on CSR indicate that a favorable correlation exists between the financial performance of businesses and their performance on social issues. CSR increases value for a company by reducing costs and risks while also providing an advantage over rival businesses. Businesses that are successful include social concerns into their fundamental operating principles as well as their overall business plans. In other words, engaging in CSR is crucial and critical for a company's long-term growth and sustainable operation. In this framework, transport operators are required to achieve a balance between their financial performance and the social implications they have on their stakeholders, within the context of their business. This is necessary in order for then to remain profitable. Transport operators should take on the objective of societal input such as the preservation of the environment, the creation of economic value, and social caring in order to reinforce their competitive advantages and ensure the development of a sustainable industry. As a direct consequence of this, they regularly carry out CSR operations in order to fulfill the requirements of their stakeholders. This paper deals with the development of a new structured approach for evaluating transport operators’ CSR strategies towards circular economy principles and sustainability. According to a systemic approach, the effective implementation of CSR strategies, based on the viewpoints of both internal and external stakeholders, are evaluated for a group of transport enterprises. The key objective deal with the illustration of how this approach can help transport operators manage CSR strategies under the framework of sustainability. Conventional wisdom is to provide the evaluation analysis framework for evaluating CSR strategies in capital-intensive transport hubs.

Aristi Karagkouni (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece)
Anastasia Saridou (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece)
Athanasios Vavatsikos (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece)
Dimitrios Dimitriou (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece)
Evaluation Framework for the Strategy of Regional Airports towards Circular Economy: The case of Alexandroupolis Airport

ABSTRACT. In a competitive business environment, a series of decisions should be linked to strategic data leverage. This paper deals with the presentation of the key components for developing a data driven management tool to evaluate the asset operators’ tendency towards sustainability goals and circular economy concept adaptation. The analysis is focused on transportation and supply chain infrastructure operators, where the capital-intensive business environment can be significantly impacted by out-of-date decisions. By adopting a System of System (SoS) approach a dedicated literature review highlights the key areas for action and depicts the areas for innovation. The analysis highlights the Key Performance Indicators for reviewing the benefits of circular economy for regional airports, especially airports serving remote destinations. Key objective is to support decision makers in terms of providing the methodological framework of a data-driven management system (platform) based on the development of intelligent services to support decisions for operators and large enterprises managing transportation systems and critical transportation infrastructure. Conventional wisdom is to present the key components for an intelligent data-driven sustainability assessment system for the different groups of potential users in transport sector, which addressing the stakeholder’s expectations, shareholder’s prospects and management abilities to response. The research outputs will provide essential messages for managers and decision makers towards business intelligence, circular economy benefits that are linked with corporate management performance in the sectors of transport and supply chain.

Dimitrios Dimitriou (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece)
Aristi Karagkouni (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece)
Appraisal of Corporate Performance towards Sustainability in Supply Chain: The case of Airports

ABSTRACT. Within the last decade, a series of international agreements and actions have been set forward with the aim of strengthening the world’s response to climate change. At the heart of the action stands the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Businesses and enterprises have a significant role to play in this change, since their activity significantly burdens the climate. At the same time, the internal practices concerning the employees, production and distribution process as well as policies towards contractors and suppliers could make the difference to attain the SDGs concerning sustainability and climate change. With the eyes to the European Green Deal’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, the European investment bank is supporting governments and businesses to adopt innovative solutions towards sustainability. Companies need appropriate systems to monitor and regulate their own behavior in order to identify whether or not they are effectively reacting to the concerns of stakeholders, as well as to communicate and show the outcomes that have been achieved. Sustainable development can be achieved by striking a balance among environmental, social and economic needs. Stricter legislation, added pressure on organizations and corporations lacking in efficient waste management, concern about climate change, are among the many instances that exemplify society’s expectations with regard to sustainable development. In terms of the linkage between sustainability and the business environment, the use of strategic management is becoming increasingly important to the field of sustainability studies and practice. As the expectations of stakeholders for environmental, social and economic corporate performance continue to rise, many companies are engaging in a variety of sustainability actions for meeting those expectations and gaining a competitive advantage by integrating sustainability into their strategy, as well as their organizational processes and structures, mostly associated with total quality management. This paper deals with the evaluation of transport operators’ evaluation performance, by developing a comprehensive modelling framework for evaluating corporate performance both towards the key dimensions of sustainable development as well as the sustainability strategy implemented. The key objective of this research is the evaluation of corporate performance, with an emphasis on quantitative assessment of sustainable development dimensions related to environmental sustainability comprehensiveness, technological efficiency transition and contribution to socioeconomic development. Special consideration is given on the proposed evaluation framework’s applicability in transport infrastructure with similar operational characteristics in the same or different country or region and throughout a specific period of time, in order to support stakeholders and decision makers in sustainability strategy formulation, implementation and monitoring. The assessment methodology is based on a comparative analysis between corporate performance and sustainable development dimensions. According to a systemic approach, the role of sustainability in transport business ecosystem is depicted, providing evidence that its linkage with business performance is a major challenge for planners, managers and decision makers towards business resiliency and competition. Conventional wisdom is the development of a tool for assisting airport operators in terms of effective decision-making in the fields of strategic planning and performance evaluation, with emphasis on sustainable development.

Aristi Karagkouni (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece)
George Sklias (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece)
Maria Sartzetaki (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece)
Evaggelos Drimpetas (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece)
Dimitrios Dimitriou (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece)
Regional Interoperability Observatory towards Business Intelligence and Sustainability: An analysis for transportation and supply chain

ABSTRACT. Because the business ecosystem in which organizations act, function, and regulate is continuously changing and evolving, making predictions, forecasts, and scenario assessments has always been required. Especially in recent years, when innovations in technology and outside forces like climate change and epidemics have worked as catalysts for functional changes in the market, management, and the level of service that is delivered to clients. Because of this, the term "business resiliency" is used in modern management to encompass a wider range of issues than the traditional evaluation of financial performance alone, and it also includes the internalization of risks that result from external variables such as weather. This is because the traditional evaluation of financial performance alone has been the sole focus of management in the past. An evaluation of the impact that these components have on the ecosystem of the business is what is used to construct a baseline for risk assessment. Under the framework of operational contingency, product line continuity, and financial productivity, new facets of strategic and business planning are being brought to the forefront for consideration. Organizations in the transportation industry that are unable to react quickly to changing conditions and that do not have plans in place to mitigate future risks, or, to put it another way, that are unable to predict the future with a high degree of accuracy, are characterized as being unresilient and are consequently driven to extinction as a result of market forces. In this context, the development of Intelligent Transportation Facilities is being driven in large part by a fundamentally important motivation: the promotion of accuracy for future predictions in the medium- and long-term time horizons. Because of the complexities of today's international business environment as well as the globalization of the transportation industry, there has been a significant increase in demand for the transportation sector. As a result, the sector has been able to attract a significant amount of capital in order to satisfy the ever-increasing demand. On the other side, these innovations have resulted in the generation of massive amounts of data, which in turn has resulted in an overwhelming requirement to extract accurate, relevant, and usable information from this data. Research infrastructures are essential tools for supporting the creation of strategies for planning, management, and decision-making in the transportation sector ecosystem. This is necessary so that the ecosystem can adapt to new scenarios in the future about which we have limited understanding. In addition, business analytics is necessary in all functional lines and in all sorts of companies, including master and business planning, finance, marketing, human resources, and manufacturing. This requirement applies to all types of businesses. In the transportation industry, small business units all the way up to huge multinational enterprises and national organizations are expected to engage in scenario planning that is founded on correct data. This requirement applies to all aspects of the industry. It is essential that research infrastructures (RIs) be viewed as long-term strategic investments at all levels of government. These investments must also be deeply rooted in society. Research infrastructures are essential not only for enabling and developing excellence in their respective scientific domains, but also as key players in the development of competitiveness across a broad perimeter. Without a shadow of a doubt, Research Infrastructures offer long-term benefits to society as a whole, irrespective of the size of the RI in question or the scientific field of expertise it focuses on. This paper deals with the analysis for developing digital services to support policy making, strategic and business planning and decision making in the transportation sector. The main goal is to determine the methodological framework for developing a data-driven management system (platform) based on the creation of intelligent services to aid decision-making in the transportation sector. The value of data-driven services in the real world is handled using a System of System (SoS) approach for managing an ecosystem of raw and complex data, providing a large network of services aimed at supporting decision systems and applications in terms of infrastructure accessibility, supply chain business development, service evaluation and data integration in the context of destination marketing, with emphasis on the critical region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace in Greece. The paper's findings highlight the essential areas for establishing an architecture for data-driven systems to assist decision support systems towards sustainability through the development of artificial intelligence (AI) and business intelligence tools (BI), which provide significant analyses over a series of performance indicators for supporting business planning and financial performance monitoring. Conventional wisdom is to provide state-of-the-art research outputs for managers, planners and decision makers towards business intelligence and corporate strategy in transportation sector.

Panagiotis Zikos (iLink New Technologies, Greece)
Stathis Vlachos (iLink New Technologies, Greece)
Despina Tomkou (iLink New Technologies, Greece)
Georgios Tsironis (iLink New Technologies, Greece)
The INCODE (INtelligent COllaborative DEployments) European Project: Logistics and Transport quality value chain application area
PRESENTER: Panagiotis Zikos

ABSTRACT. The INCODE project solutions are introduced as key enablers for an open and trusted cloud-native programming platform poised to tame the emerging dynamicity of distributed and heterogeneous private edge infrastructures (seen as a combination of intelligent edge node and diverse types of smart IoT devices with processing capabilities over programmable data plane resources). The INCODE project aims at innovating and creating a wide-open, secure, and trusted IoT-to-edge-tocloud compute continuum that will realize the true potential of edge intelligence. To this aim, the INCODE (INtelligent COllaborative DEployments) project will design and develop an open platform for the deployment and dynamic management of end-user applications, over distributed, heterogeneous, and trusted IoT-Edge node infrastructures, with enhanced programmability features and tools, in four different Application Areas. The platform will do so by implementing innovative design approaches and will constitute a fully-integrated infrastructure under the cloud–managed INCODE architecture. INCODE will contribute to the wider scope of reinforcing Europe’s position in the market of next-generation smart systems (sensors and devices) integrated into an evolving Internet of Things and cyber-physical ecosystems with strong capacities at the edge. In this context, iLink participates in the project as an Application Area 1 leader and use case owner. More specifically, the mission is to provide end-to-end solutions in Logistics and Transport quality value chain. For this reason, six different use cases have been designed from the participating partners under AA1: • UC1: Location of Internal Entities (workers, forklifts, packages) • UC2: Collision Avoidance • UC3: Truck location and Route Optimization • UC4: Real-time Cargo Monitoring • UC5: Internal Resources Optimization – Scheduling • UC6: Authentication and Verification The outcomes of this project are expected to be, among others, the significant improvement of working safety standards, optimized asset management, and reduction of resources in every stage of the supply chain. The aforementioned targets can be reached through several key actions such as the evaluation of smart logistics scenarios at the terminal stations, optimized loading and unloading scheduling, knowledge-based decision-making, estimation of the most efficient route according to multiple data inputs, and real-time data regarding cargo status through the utilization of IoT sensors, 5G networks, and state-of-the-art software architecture. The specific Application Area raises major opportunities in terms of developing sustainable and circular practices, tools, and innovative products or services. After the project's completion, it is expected to have considerable progress in our expertise, innovation, and competitiveness.

13:20-14:20Lunch Break
14:20-16:20 Session 2A: Waste management and sustainability policies
Nikolia Stoikou (ecoinvent Association, Switzerland)
Location: Room 1
Nikolia Stoikou (ecoinvent Association, Switzerland)
Avraam Symeonidis (ecoinvent Association, Switzerland)
Emilia Moreno-Ruiz (ecoinvent Association, Switzerland)
ecoinvent database as a tool for waste modelling, Life Cycle Assessment, and Circular Economy
PRESENTER: Nikolia Stoikou

ABSTRACT. Modern production and consumption patterns call for more sustainable and efficient management of natural resources. The concept of Circular Economy (CE) is designed to regenerate and preserve natural capital, eliminate waste and pollution, and circulate products and materials. Circular principles aim to tackle global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution [1]. Even though the concept is acknowledged as a key element of sustainable development [2], its implementation does not necessarily lead to reduced environmental impact. Therefore, it should be combined with suitable tools and methodologies to fully assess all the implications of switching to circular business models [3]. ecoinvent is the world’s most consistent and transparent life cycle inventory (LCI) database. It currently includes more than 19,000 reliable LCIs and is updated and maintained yearly. The database covers a wide range of industrial sectors such as agriculture, construction materials, chemicals, plastics, energy, forestry, wood, fuels, metals, infrastructure, wastes, textiles, transport, pulp and paper, water, etc. It is used worldwide by thousands of users from academia and industry as a decision support tool, and for the implementation of studies, such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Green House Gas (GHG) reporting, Environmental Product Declaration (EPDs), Sustainable Product Design, Corporate Sustainability Reporting, etc [4] [6]. With regards to CE, the ecoinvent database facilitates the environmental impact assessment and hotspot analysis of circular products and systems by transparently depicting how materials and resources flow through supply chains. Moreover, it supports circular design by enabling the creation of multiple production scenarios of the same product and the assessment of their environmental performance. In addition, the waste sector within the database aims to close the gap between raw materials and recycling. It contains the management of more than 300 wastes generated in a wide variety of sectors. The sector can be subdivided into solid waste management (SWM) and wastewater treatment (WWT). SWM covers treatment, recycling, and disposal (landfilling) activities, while WWT covers the treatment of wastewater. The geographical coverage for both SWM and WWT includes more than 50 countries across the globe. Therefore, ecoinvent allows users to turn waste into a valuable resource by comparing multiple reusing/recycling/recovery/disposal scenarios, while evaluating the potential burden being shifted to other impact categories, such as water and energy consumption. Given that CE highlights the constant recirculation of products, components, and materials for as long as possible [5], it is considered of high importance to ensure that this process is performed safely and with a higher level of resource quality. The ecoinvent database enables the assessment of resource scarcity through several Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) methods (depletion of energy, mineral and natural resources, water scarcity, etc.) to prioritize the conservation of critical raw materials and resources. It also contains a variety of toxicity assessment methods (freshwater, marine and terrestrial ecotoxicity, human toxicity, etc.) to ensure that constantly recirculated resources are as non-toxic as possible and avoid refeeding industrial loops with a plethora of hazardous chemicals. To further amplify circular principles in the ecoinvent database, a variety of future projects are being assessed and developed. Future goals aim to strengthen the reusing, sorting, recycling, and recovery processes of different waste fractions, such as various plastic polymers, paper, paperboard, metals, glass, etc. This presentation aims to provide an overview of the ecoinvent database to guide users on how to use it properly to enhance circular assessments. Benefits and best practices are addressed. Newly implemented projects and ideas are presented to highlight the future paths that ecoinvent intends to follow on the topic of CE. The presentation is also intended to serve as a platform for discussion and as a starting point for further engagement and knowledge transfer between the ecoinvent association and the circular economy community.


[1] Ellen MacArthur Foundation - a, 2023. What is Circular Economy?, Circular Economy Introduction, The Ellen MacArthur Foundation Available at: https://ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/topics/circular-economy-introduction/overview [Accessed 15. 03. 2023] [2] Geissdoerfer, M., Savaget, P., Bocken, N. M. P., & Hultink, E. J. (2017). The Circular Economy – A new sustainability paradigm? Journal of Cleaner Production, 143, 757–768. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.12.048 Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0959652616321023 [3] Ellen MacArthur Foundation - b, 2023. Life Cycle Assessment for the circular economy, The Ellen MacArthur Foundation Available at: https://ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/life-cycle-assessment-for-the-circular-economy [Accessed 15. 03. 2023] [4] ecoinvent database, 2023. Ecoinvent Association Available at: https://ecoinvent.org/ [5] Ellen MacArthur Foundation – c, 2012. Towards the Circular Economy, Economic and business Rationale for an accelerated transition, The Ellen MacArthur Foundation Available at: https://ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/towards-the-circular-economy-vol-1-an-economic-and-business-rationale-for-an [Accessed 16. 03. 2023] [6] Wernet, G., Bauer, C., Steubing, B., Reinhard, J., Moreno-Ruiz, E., and Weidema, B., 2016. The ecoinvent database version 3 (part I): overview and methodology. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, [online] 21(9), pp.1218–1230. Available at: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s11367-016-1087-8 [Accessed 20. 02. 2023]

Zhaowen Liu (Delft University of Technology, Netherlands)
Daan Schraven (Delft University of Technology, Netherlands)
Martin de Jong (Erasmus University Rotterdam / Fudan University, Netherlands)
Marcel Hertogh (Delft University of Technology / Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands)
Mapping the transformation of the municipal solid waste infrastructure system in Almere, the Netherlands
PRESENTER: Zhaowen Liu

ABSTRACT. Climate change and environmental degradation have brought unprecedented transformational pressure on human society. Cities are struggling not only to meet the production and consumption needs of expanding populations but also to deal with the growing and complex residential waste. Under this circumstance, an integrated Municipal Solid Waste Infrastructure System (MSWIS) is needed to serve the circular economy and sustainable development goals. In this study, we gained insights from Mission-oriented Innovation System (MIS) and Strategic Niche Management (SNM) to frame how niche innovations are created, scaled up, and institutionalized by the network of actors in developing an MSWIS. With this conceptual framework, we conducted an in-depth longitudinal case study of MSWIS development in Almere, the Netherlands (1976–2022). As a young reclamation city and a pioneer in Europe in the pursuit of zero-waste, Almere’s MSWIS has grown from zero to a highly developed level. The case reveals that in the development of MSWIS: (1) a clear-defined mission can mobilize more actors to commit to a shared vision; (2) the network of social organizations (e.g., municipalities, communities, and business associations) is central to moving the innovation from pilot to universal; (3) the interpretation of a mission (sustainable waste management) is adapted to the context and perception of the times (from "landfill less" in the 1980s to "incineration-energy" in the 1990s to "recycling and upcycle" after the 2000s); and (4) urban infrastructure is a very local, but also (potentially) cross-regional assemblage, where the realization of one mission is increasingly dependent on the support of the surrounding area and multi-mission thinking (e.g., integrated waste-energy-food missions). We concluded by discussing how policymakers and social organizations can engage inclusively in defining and achieving a future-oriented, people-centered MSWIS.

Alexandros Skondras (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)
Stefanos Nastis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)
Ifigeneia Skalidi (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)
Asterios Theofilou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)
James Gaffey (Munster Technological University, Ireland)
Robert Ludgate (Munster Technological University, Ireland)
Tracey O'Connor (Munster Technological University, Ireland)
Eleni Pappa (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)
Sergi Costa (BIOPRO Baden-Wuerttemberg GmbH, Germany)
Efstratios Stylianidis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)
A European comparative study of circular bioeconomy governance strategies and good governance practices for supporting local operators and innovation developers in the circular bioeconomy.

ABSTRACT. The circular bioeconomy is a new model for the industry and the economy, that involves using renewable biological resources sustainably to produce food, energy and industrial goods. It also exploits the untapped potential of biological waste, residual materials and wastewater following a cascading use. Over a decade ago, the European Bioeconomy Strategy was launched as the main governance framework to inspire the deployment of policies in the Member States. Since then, the steady progress to adopt strategic frameworks and good governance practices at the national and regional levels may have been accelerated by the European Green Deal (2019). Thus, a plethora of regional authorities in Europe currently pursue strategies to promote and expand their bioeconomies. As of November 2021, 194 regions in EU-27 had a strategic framework for bioeconomy in place or were in the process of doing so. That demonstrates the increasing recognition of the circular (bio)economy in the policy agendas. Due to its cross-sectoral nature, the political support to the bioeconomy currently spans from being set as a multi-sectoral governance model, to be embedded in circular economy roadmaps or other policies (S3, industry-, agriculture-, or environment-related).

This conference paper presents an overview of regional circular bioeconomy governance strategies and models in the EU-27. The literature review investigates potential assessment methods and evidence on the effectiveness and robustness of existing governance schemes in the EU. From the collection of a sample of circular bioeconomy governance case studies, a typology of regional bioeconomy governance models, along ten dimensions is created. This taxonomy distinguishes four bio-based transformation paths and two main governance functions, political support measures (enabling governance) and regulatory tools (constraining governance) with which regions can confront these challenges, to distinguish between the two fundamental political challenges in setting up an effective governance framework for a sustainable bioeconomy. Based solely on the three enabling governance mechanisms and the five constraining governance mechanisms identified, over 15 types of circular bioeconomy governance could be distinguished. Guided by the aforementioned framework, a qualitative content analysis of 20 circular bioeconomy governance strategies was conducted to provide answers to the topic of how well the individual regional bioeconomy strategies are designed to ensure the sustainable rise of bioeconomy in the regions. The analysis of the 20 regional circular bioeconomy governance models selected indicates that bio-based research and development strategies are present within 60% of the regional bioeconomy models selected, whereas enhancing the competitiveness of bio-based products through subsidies is present in 40% of the governance models and implementing awareness-raising campaigns to increase societal participation in bio-based transformation, including more responsible and sustainable consumption is present in 25% of the governance models. This research shows how many regions have set the goal of developing and expanding their bioeconomies, how local governments are providing comprehensive political support to their bioeconomies to achieve these goals, how regions address the enabling governance challenge and what is the level of the attention that the political management of conflicting goals has reached.

This research also investigated the different types of good governance practices which are developed from the aforementioned bioeconomy governance models. These good governance practices represent different supporting mechanisms or enablers of bioeconomy development. The collection of good governance practices was based on an expanded criteria for defining “good practice” which focuses on validation and uptake, transferability and replicability, and potential to deliverable positive environmental, economic and societal benefits for the regions. 75 practices were collected from across Europe covering a range of different instruments categorized as fiscal and financial instruments (24), regulatory instruments (7), information and advisory instruments (15), networking, collaboration, and joint planning instruments (20), voluntary instruments (3) and other instruments (6). The practices were collected from different territorial contexts, including urban, rural, peri-urban, coastal and uplands. In order to better define the practices and support their uptake and integration at the regional level, the typology developed above has also been applied to the inventory of good practices. From the analysis, the main transformation paths within the practices are linked to fossil fuel substitutions and less emphasis was given on paths regarding boosting primary sector productivity and achieving value creation and addition from biomass. A good balance of enabling government function options (1. awareness raisings to increase societal uptake, 2. investment in R&D, 3. subsidies for bio-based products) was seen within the practices. The presence of constraining government (i.e., safeguarding function of government) is less evident within the practices, and there was a lack of information about potential negative impacts of practices, which, considering the recent emphasis on the requirement for the bioeconomy to operate within the ecological boundaries of the planet, should be an important factor to consider. There was a notable lack of practices which identified as penta-helix, which, given the need for significant capital deployment to scale the bioeconomy is something that will be required. Information and support measures as well as Economic measures (price, taxation or subsidies) were the main driver measures for practices, with most practices identifying as either fully public, or public private, measures indicating that the government still plays a vital role as a driver of bioeconomy implementation in Europe’s regions.

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Actions programme under grant agreement No 101060504, project name: ROBIN. Views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Climate, Infrastructure, and Environment Executive Agency. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

Arvind Chauhan (Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
Wolfgang Kunther (Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
Ana Teresa Lima (Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
Recycling cement at the national scale – A conceptual model
PRESENTER: Ana Teresa Lima

ABSTRACT. Circular Economy (CE) is presented today as the way forward to achieving a sustainable and carbon-neutral society. But CE is poorly quantified today. CE rebound effects and cradle-to-cradle analysis are not accounted for, as well as changes to more circular consumption patterns (e.g. sharing). This limits our capacity to understand and quantify the extent to which CE practices contribute to achieving a carbon-neutral economy. We need case studies that accurately describe how and how much CE can contribute to this carbon reduction. This is particularly true for the construction industry. Construction materials use 50% of the minerals extracted and are responsible for up to 12% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Among the highly carbon-intensive construction materials in the market, cement can be singled out as one of the main emitters. Cement production is one of the most consumed products worldwide, with an annual global production that exceeds 4000 Mt. But cement is not the final application of the material. It requires the use of water and aggregates to form what we see around our infrastructure: concrete. Concrete is a composite material made from cement, sand, gravel water, and for special requirements, other admixtures and additives, and their recipes/proportions can be as complex as their value chains. But what are the CE options for concrete – and how can we finally close the largest CE loop of the chain? Can we recycle concrete, can we break down its components, to produce cement again? In this study, we have a mass balance approach to this question and try to answer it by using national Danish market data. The objective of this study is to track circular economy measures for the cement manufacturing industry in Denmark by understanding its value chain, identifying bottlenecks, and suggesting solutions to close the CE loops for the industry.

Acknowledgements: This research has been supported by the European Union's Horizon Europe research and innovation program, under grant agreement No. 101056862, CO2NSTRUCT project. This output reflects only the authors' view and the European Union cannot be held responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

Aiman El Machi (Cadi Ayyad Univresity, Morocco)
Rachid Hakkou (Cadi Ayyad Univresity, Morocco)
Mostafa Benzaazoua (Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Morocco)
Recycling of mine wastes in the construction sector for sustainability and the circular economy
PRESENTER: Aiman El Machi

ABSTRACT. Mine waste is generated during mining and minerals processing presenting thus the largest waste streams in the EU. The waste may originate from three main stages: mining, enrichment, and metallurgical processing. Each year, mining activities generate huge quantities of mine waste. The worldwide production per year of mineral wastes is estimated to be more than 100 billion tons. This enormous volume of waste could present severe environmental issues requiring serious decisions to adopt adequate management strategies. In the framework of sustainable development goals of the United Nations, as well as the implementation of the Paris Agreement, a wide range of minerals is used for green applications considering low-carbon technologies. The valorization of mine wastes is in a good agreement with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Mine wastes recycling could help to reach the SDG11 “Sustainable Cities and Communities” and SDG12 “Responsible Consumption and Production” by reducing the amount of produced waste. The management of mining waste in the present situation is based on the three linear economy basis 1-take, 2-make, and 3-waste. The enhancement of a circular economy (CE) concept in the mining industry is necessary to resolve the issues of environmental pollution and to minimize waste with the generation of economic profits. The initiation of a CE model into the mining sector could transform this industry to be sustainable. In addition, the mining industry has a high potential to move towards the CE approach using wastes at different life cycle stages taking on eco-friendly products. Even though the CE in the mining sector is still in an early phase, its development and implications are growing quickly in recent years. In another context, 55% of the world population occupies urban areas leading to the increase in urbanization, this % will rise to reach 68% in 2050 implying the depletion of natural raw materials by producing building products. Globally, around 10% of CO2 emissions are caused by the production of construction products, where cement presents about 85%. To minimize this negative effect, the European Commission pointed to decrease the emissions related to the construction sector by 90% in 2050. Thus, the employment of residues to replace raw materials in construction may be an efficient method to attain European Commission goals by producing eco-friendly building materials with low embodied energy. Furthermore, the major SDG addressed by implementing the CE in mining and construction/building sectors is responsible consumption and production (SDG12). Nevertheless, this strategy can positively affect multiple other goals, such as SDG7 for clean energy, SDG9, SDG6 for clean water, SDG8 for economic growth, SDG11 for sustainable cities, SDG3 contributing to good health and well-being, SDG13 and SDG15 for climate action and life on land. Mine wastes could be considered a sustainable source of alternative materials in construction applications. It was reported that these wastes were valorized as raw materials to produce clinker, bricks, aggregates, mortars, concrete, and geopolymers. Coal mine waste was used as raw material to formulate clinker encouraging the save 29% of fossil fuels used in kiln combustion. Ceramics applications could also present an important alternative to minimize the costs related to the management of mine tailings. In Russia, the overburdened rocks and tailings from open-pit coal mining and processing were recycled to produce ceramic bricks. The fired bricks application is mainly targeted by research allowing the immobilization of the pollutant elements in the ceramic matrix. It was demonstrated that coal mine wastes rocks could be used to produce fired bricks (100% substitution rate of natural clays). Liu et al. tested the feasibility of using these tailings instead of natural sand to produce sprayed concrete. It was proven that gold tailings from mining site in Quebec, Canada consists of 46% of coarse material like the conventional coarse aggregates and the remaining fraction is mainly fine aggregates. More recently, El Machi et al. studied the feasibility of using the stone-removal rejects from the pre-processing step as a full replacement of coarse aggregates in concrete. De Oliveira et al, used calcined tungsten waste mud as an additive in mortar formulation. Afterwards, copper mine tailings are used to elaborate geopolymeric bricks. With the aim of implementing an adequate CE policy in this case, it is compulsory for the construction and building sector to update laws and regulations, to enable the reuse of mining waste materials in the elaboration of alternative construction materials. A summary of the implementation status of CE in different countries shows that a global urge for such policy exists and some countries have reached a developed stage of implementation, while other countries remain at the beginning. However, that interest needs precaution as there is yet no systemized way to define if a certain CE strategy could contribute to sustainable consumption and production.

Patrizia Ghisellini (University of Naples Parthenope, Italy)
Ivana Quinto (University of Naples Parthenope, Italy)
Renato Passaro (University of Naples Parthenope, Italy)
Sergio Ulgiati (University of Naples Parthenope, Italy)
Circular Economy Management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) in Italy: Comparison and perspectives.
PRESENTER: Renato Passaro

ABSTRACT. In the last years, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) industry has increasingly gained importance within the Circular Economy (CE) context (Bressanelli et al., 2020).WEEE represents the waste stream with the highest growth globally (Favot and Grassetti, 2017) due mainly to the continuous and fast development of new technologies, decreasing prices and reduction of the lifetimes of the Electrical and Electronic Equipments (Apolloni et al., 2021; Zhang et al., 2019). The incessant growth of WEEE is raising relevant environmental and social concerns since they contain toxic substances that could be source of potential risks for human beings and the environment (Lahtela et al., 2022; Shittu et al., 2021). On the other side, its recovery offers relevant economic and environmental opportunities (Messmann et al., 2019). The first are mainly related to the overall value of raw materials included in e-waste (i.e., precious metallic materials, rare-earths elements), which have significant recycling potential. While the environmental opportunities lie in the possibility of minimizing the environmental footprint of primary production, from resource extraction to the logistic and manufacturing processes (Krikke, 2011; Quariguasi Frota Neto et al., 2010). Despite it, only a small percentage of WEEE is properly collected and recycled worldwide (Bald´e et al., 2017); hence, implementing effective strategies aimed at closing material loops appears to be urgent in this context. It is not surprising that the EU considers the regulation of the WEEE industry a priority on the environmental and CE agenda (Bruno et al., 2021). Unfortunately, data show that most European countries are far from the expected values for 2019 and highlight the need for improvements in various national collection systems (Eurostat, 2020). Based on it, this study study aims to evaluate WEEE collection and recovery systems in Italy at the regional scale, by means of qualitative face-to-face interviews to the most relevant stakeholders of the regional WEEE management system of Campania region. This study specifically focuses on the Campania region for three main reasons: i) its high population density (411 inhabitants per km2) (Leva et al.,, 2022); ii) its high consumption of Electrical and Electronic equipment (EEE); iii) its very low performance in terms of WEEE collected per capita, being the worst performing region in Italy, with around 3.62 Kg/per-capita in spite of its total number of Collection Centers being one of the highest in Italy (Italian WEEE Coordination Centre, 2021). Results show that the main barriers to collection in Campania Region (which explain the low collection rates compared to the average of Italy and the EU) is the low awareness of the citizens about the importance of collecting WEEE. On the other side, one of most important drivers to WEEE collection resulted to be educational programmes in schools for students and their families as well as constant communications campaigns to citizens to raise their awareness. In such a context, regional public authorities and policy-makers play a critical role in supporting and improving WEEE awareness as it is a crucial factor towards behavioural change (Interreg European Union, 2022) and a more successful WEEE management (Hasan et al., 2011). In particular, they should pay greater attention in the organization of communication and educational campaigns to sensitize citizens and make them more aware of the risks associated with the incorrect disposal of WEEEs given that the success of collection and recycling programs strongly depends on the active and sustained involvement of citizens (Torretta et al., 2013). Another important driver to WEEE collection, emerged from the interviews, is the availability of WEEE ecological island as well as additional collection points. This is in line with the previous literature that stressed on the role of infrastructures (e.g. creation of a proximity collection network) and operational aspects (e.g. hiring of experts and professionals) as essential factors in increasing WEEE collection rates (Favot and Grassetti, 2018; Bruno et al., 2021; Torretta et al., 2013). It is worth underlining that appropriate recycling behaviours can also be motivated through the provision of different recycling opportunities (e.g. mobile ecological islands, organization of specific initiatives and events) (Torretta et al., 2013; Meneses and Palacio, 2005). Hence, local administrations should work in this direction to create policies and infrastructures that allow for convenient and low-cost recycling of e-waste (Arain et al., 2020). In fact, the commitment of local administrations is another important driver towards higher collection rates confirmed in the interviews as well as by the official data. Finally, least but not least, crucial drivers to improving the WEEE recycling in the regional context will be the adoption of dedicated policies and economic incentives for the realization of new treatment plants. The results of this case study could contribute to identify new and unexpected barriers to WEEE collection and recycling and further confirm the barriers already discussed in the literature as well as suggest solutions or best practices to improve the performances of the formal WEEE management system of Campania and hopefully of the whole EU WEEE management system.

14:20-16:20 Session 2B: Economic policy, greenwashing and sustainability
Josep-Maria Arauzo-Carod (Universitat Rovira i Virgili (ECO-SOS) & INFER, Spain)
Location: Room 2
Sonila Gruda (Epoka University, Albania)
Erinda Imeraj (Epoka University, Albania)
Julinda Keci (Epoka University, Albania)
Influencing Factors of Circular Economy at Economic Growth: A Comparison of Western Balkan Countries with EU

ABSTRACT. Introduction: The circular economy (CE) concept has received considerable attention in recent years as a potential solution to address environmental challenges while promoting long-term economic growth. The circular economy promotes waste reduction, efficient resource use, and recycling, which can result in economic, environmental, and social benefits. The purpose of this research is to investigate the influence of the CE factors in the economic growth of Western Balkan Countries (WBC), which include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia, and compare them to the European Union (EU). For most of these countries, the CE takes on special importance; this in the context of its efforts during the European integration process, namely the approximation of national legislation with that of the EU. Furthermore, the consumption of raw material resources is reaching its final level and the negative effects are inevitable consequences of development, while the main opportunity is to determine research and models showing that the CE indicators can be turned into benefits and produce better GDP levels. Method: The research employs an empirical approach on a 10-years’ time frame. Quantitative data on circular economy indicators, such as share of energy from renewable sources, recycling rate of municipal waste, R&D expenditure by all sectors, environmental tax revenues, and resource productivity rates, will be collected from relevant databases, such as Eurostat, World bank, INSTAT, MAKSTAT, ASK, SORS, MONSTAT, BHAS and Eden Center, for both the Western Balkan countries and EU member states. The data will be analyzed using descriptive statistics, regression analysis, and data visualization techniques to identify patterns and trends in circular economy performance and economic growth. After the main tests of the data, the study utilize the the panel least square model to estimate the multiple linear regression coefficients employed in the regression model, and EViews software is used to complete the regression calculations. The goal of the study is to create a multilinear regression model with panel data that include economic growth as a dependent variable and six other variables as explanatory ones. Results: Firstly, the study brings an overview of each country of WB in regard to the attempts through the CE model adaptation. The research creates a multilinear regression model with panel data that include economic growth as a dependent variable and six other variables (share of energy from renewable sources, recycling rate of municipal waste, R&D expenditure by all sectors, environmental tax revenues, and resource productivity rates) as explanatory ones. As well, the results of the model will reflect a comparison between WBC in regard of the factors affecting growth. And finally, the study will provide a comparison between WBC and EU empirical results of literature. Conclusions: The findings of the study will add to the existing literature on circular economy and economic growth by providing insights into the influencing factors of CE in Western Balkan countries and comparing them to EU member states. The findings will highlight similarities and differences in circular economy performance and identify areas for improvement in Western Balkan countries to boost economic growth potential.

Greg Schneider-Maunoury (Université Sorbonne Paris Nord, France)
Is greenwashing a definition or only an hinderance of sustainable finance ?

ABSTRACT. This research paper aims at debunking the issue of greenwashing. So far, greenwashing is too often understood as a deifnition of greenwashing itself or as a simple binary issue stating whether the coroporate commmunication is right or wrong, moral or not. This research paper proposes an alternative analysis whereas greenwashing is defined as complex phenomenon. The theoretic grounds of this issue have been drawn and already partly used in the analysis of CSR (Balluci, 2022). This research paper aims at designing a prescriptive theoretical framework based on the concept of authentic communication of Jurgen Habermas. This theoretical framrk enables to assess in an integrated way corporate communication and regulations. Two examples of regulations analyses are provided in the empiric part of the research paper.

Meletios Bimpizas-Pinis (University of Sheffield, UK)
Andrea Genovese (University of Sheffield, UK)
Ben Purvis (University of Sheffield, UK)
Jose Bruno Ramos Torres Fevereiro (University of Sheffield, UK)
Oriol Valles Codina (University of Leeds, UK)
Marco Veronese Passarella (University of Leeds, UK)
Macroeconomic Models for Assessing the Transition towards a Circular Economy: A Review

ABSTRACT. At this moment, our modern economies face a number of challenges. The effects of the Covid-19 crisis require an extraordinary effort in order to achieve better economic performance and reducing unemployment, while, at the same time, ambitious environmental and social (such as inequality and poverty reduction, along with gender issues) targets have been adopted. The conventional route to achieving these goals has been to pursue economic growth. However, this has been a problematic strategy for several reasons: on the one hand, more growth might mean more environmental impacts; on the other hand, dominant economic policies have not been able to provide demand-side support. Prevailing responses to the first problem have been based on a hypothetical “decoupling” of economic output from environmental impact. However, this has been proven to be difficult to achieve. An alternative approach would be to reduce the pace of growth and to restructure economies around green services (post-growth); however, the potential dangers of declining growth rates might lie in increased inequality and in rising unemployment. Within this debate, the Circular Economy (CE) concept has recently gained traction among academics, practitioners and policy-makers. Proponents see the CE as a new paradigm that is able to square the circle of economy-society-nature interactions, replacing the current linear economic model with a new one that is restorative and regenerative by intention and design. The core idea is that, rather than discarding products that can be potentially reused/recycled, they should be re-employed in a cascade of subsequent or feedback uses. CE goes beyond the sole pursuit of waste prevention and reduction, and yearns to inspire technological, organisational and social innovation across and within value chains. While the underlying theoretical foundation of the CE concept has been debated for some time, being rooted in a wide array of academic disciplines and fields, it has only recently been pushed into public discourse, with media devoting increasing attention to it. This is accompanied by several attempts by national governments and international economic policy bodies aimed at developing strategies for the implementation of CE practices at micro, meso and macro levels. However, a critical evaluation of the CE paradigm, of its economic, societal, gender and policy implications, and of the outcomes of its implementation (e.g. which industrial sectors will benefit the most? Which social groups can be classified as winners and which one as losers?) has not been conducted yet. A direct consequence of this gap is that the political economy and geopolitics of the transition have been neglected in circular-economy studies. European, and, more in general, global productive systems, are fundamentally characterized by social and geographical specialization, where the international division of labor is driven by core-periphery, North-South relations, as well as by class, gender, and race lines, seeking to maximize profits along the traditionally designed linear supply chains. These generally unequal and asymmetric relations might seriously hamper the transition to a CE. To date, no studies have shed light on how such relations should be reconfigured to achieve circularity. Also, it must be acknowledged that the macroeconomic literature has not engaged so far, in a systematic way, with the structural change required by the transition towards a CE. As such, the economic feasibility of a CE, and the impact of CE-driven policies on common socio-economic indicators seem to be lacking a rigorous assessment. This represents an urgent and major gap in the literature that needs to be addressed; in particular, this review will provide an account of the current literature concerned with macro-economic models aimed at checking the feasibility of different CE policies, based on green growth and post-growth scenarios. As such, in this paper we develop a critical systematic literature review of studies that have used macroeconomic approaches to assess the (potential) socio-economic impact of the implementation of CE practices, looking in particular at the model characteristics, CE interventions considered, which socio-economic variables the literature has focused on, and highlighting the difference in the underlying assumptions embedded in the different studies developed. The paper will be organized as follows. Methodological notes will provide a report of how the relevant literature has been identified. Following a large-scale analysis of the literature, a systematic review of both neoclassical and alternative models used to simulate and assess CE practices will be conducted. The main gaps in current literature will be identified, along with promising alternatives to address them.

David Knäble (Offenburg University, Germany)
Maria Esther De Quevedo Puente (Universidad de Burgos, Spain)
Clara Pérez-Cornejo (Universidad de Burgos, Spain)
Thomas Baumgärtler (Offenburg University, Germany)
Circular economy implementation in companies: An analysis of its impacts on sustainable development and corporate reputation

ABSTRACT. Circular economy (CE) has gained significant attention in recent years due to its potential to address sustainability challenges while promoting economic growth (Stahel 2016; Korhonen et al. 2018). The CE emphasises resource efficiency, waste reduction, and sustainable production and consumption patterns and aims to replace the traditional linear economic model of production-consumption-disposal to a circular model of make-use-reuse-remake-recycle (Mhatre et al. 2021). According to Knäble et al. (2022) the CE is able to foster sustainable development on a macroeconomic perspective by providing a higher GDP, lower GHG emissions and lower unemployment rates in the country level. Also, companies all over the world are exploring ways to transition to CE business models (Elia et al. 2017; Schroeder et al. 2019; Nesterova 2022). The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has proposed four main CE business models: (1) circular supply models, using renewable energy (RE) instead of raw materials; (2) resource recovery models, recycling waste into secondary raw materials; (3) product life extension, repairing and remanufacturing products instead of throwing them away; and (4) sharing models, reducing demand for new products and raw materials through sharing and second-hand principles (OECD 2018). The aim of this paper is to present a comprehensive analysis of the effect of the CE on the three dimensions of SD and the influence of the business model on corporate reputation. Therefore, we analyse on company level the impact of the CE on the economic, environmental and social dimensions of SD, as well as on corporate reputation. The data is taken from Fortune and Refinitiv Eikon. In a first step, panel data analysis is performed using a sample of 1000 worldwide firms for the period 2013 to 2023. As dependent variables we use three variables to measure the impact of CE on each dimension of SD: Net income before taxes to measure economic impact, social pillar score to measure social dimension and C02 emissions to measure environmental impact. In the second part, we conduct a panel data analysis of a total of 620 companies for the period 2013-2023 to examine the impact of CE on corporate reputation. The dependent variable is the overall score of Fortune's "World's Most Admired Companies" ranking. As circular economy indicators, independent variables, we apply renewable energy use, waste recycling ratio, as well as the dummy variables policy water efficiency, policy energy efficiency, policy sustainable packaging, environmental products, policy environmental supply chain, policy emissions, policy eco-design products and the implementation / non-implementation of SDG 1 – 12 and 13. All the circular economy and sustainable development data is retrieved from Refinitiv Eikon, a financial data platform that provides financial and economic data for companies across the globe. We believe that our findings are going to be relevant for CEO´s, managers and decisionmakers aiming companies to transition towards a CE. Specially interesting are the three analyses in one single piece of paper that makes results comparable and increasing the scarce analyses of social impacts of CE (Korhonen et al. 2018; Schroeder et al. 2019; Padilla-Rivera et al. 2021). In addition, our study reveals whether CE performance has a positive or negative influence on the corporate reputation of the companies, which is why we can also address the question of possible greenwashing.

Josep-Maria Arauzo-Carod (Universitat Rovira i Virgili (ECO-SOS) & INFER, Spain)
Sustainability, local environmental behaviour and firm location decisions

ABSTRACT. This paper uses Mercantile Register data to analyse the location decisions of firms in Catalan municipalities (2010 and 2019). Using count data panel estimations, we focus on local sustainability characteristics. The identification of the location patterns and the effects of local environmental policies on firms belonging to different sustainability industries constitute a contribution to the empirical location literature. Our results help in understanding entry processes at local level and how both citizens’ environmental values and local environmental policies shape these. We show that i) firms locate differently depending on their sustainability profile and that ii) local environmental policies have stronger effects on the location decisions of sustainability-oriented firms.

14:20-16:20 Session 2C: Smart cities, CSR and environmental management
Dimitrios Paparas (Harper Adams University, UK)
Location: Room 3
Maria Markaki (Hellenic Mediterranean University, Greece)
Stelios Papadakis (Hellenic Mediterranean University, Greece)
Sustainable Corporate Responsibility: Reducing Emissions Across Global Value Chains

ABSTRACT. This research aims to set targets for reducing CO2 emissions across a company's value chain, focusing on mitigating Scope 3 emissions multipliers. Scope 3 multipliers denote the indirect CO¬2 emissions per monetary unit of the sector's output, emitted along the entire supply chain of the sector (i.e., to produce all the intermediate suppliers of the sector). While government policies and regulations can certainly promote emission mitigation, in the absence of a specific regulatory framework for businesses, it is ultimately up to them to take action to reduce their indirect emissions. Furthermore, The significance of sustainable corporate responsibility becomes heightened when we consider that certain companies' Scope 3 emissions make up a significant portion of their overall carbon footprint.

Sotirios Kavouras (Harokopio University of Athens, Greece)
Roido Mitoula (Harokopio University of Athens, Greece)
Panagiotis Kaldis (University of West Attica, Greece)
Panagiota Karametou (Harokopio University of Athens, Greece)
Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction Tools towards Circular and Resilient Cities

ABSTRACT. Nowadays Greece, like many other countries, is facing the impacts of global climate change. Climate change, among other factors, refers to long-term changes in temperature, sea level rise and extreme weather events that are largely caused by human activities such as burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and industrial activities. The aftermath of climate change for Greece over the last decade set a record of the largest and most severe natural disasters. Notable, among the deadliest and most destructive in the country's recent history were the wildfires in the Attika and the Ilia region resulted in the loss of 102 (Attika, 2018) and 3 (Attika, 2021), and 67 (Olympia, 2007) people respectively, dozen residencies and vast forested areas. Not forget the wildfires in Evia Island (2019) resulted in severe damage to forested areas and agricultural lands, and loss of residencies and businesses. All wildfires were fueled by extreme heat and strong winds which created favorable conditions for the fire to spread rapidly. Furthermore, the flash floods in Attica (2017) resulted in the loss 24 lives and extensive damage to residencies, roads, and infrastructure. These floods triggered by heavy rainfall and inadequate drainage systems. For Greece, the aforementioned tragic events served as a reminder of the increasing risks associated with natural disasters in the context of climate change and highlighted the need for better preparedness, prevention (circular economy, strengthening infrastructure, improving water management, protecting coastal areas, etc.) and response measures including early warning systems, evacuation plans and public awareness campaigns to mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis.

With the climate crisis looming large on the horizon the Circular Economy (CE) model can contribute to resilience by promoting resource efficiency, diversifying supply chains, reducing waste and pollution, etc. Closely aligned with the UN’s SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities, CE model and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) concept can work complementary and offer a significantly boost towards circular and resilient cities. DRR is the concept of reducing the risks and vulnerabilities of communities, infrastructure, and ecosystems to disasters which aims to minimize the loss of life, property, and promote well-being. A critical aspect of urban resilience which involves measures taken to prevent, mitigate, and prepare for disasters, as well as actions taken to respond and recover from disasters when they occur. DRR is served by tools, such a tool is the Quick Risk Estimation (QRE) tool, developed by United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) with the support of the European Commission and freely available for download from undrr.org since October 2017. The hazard indicator included in the QRE tool are aligned with 10 Essentials for Making Cities Resilient Scorecard in the context of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 – 2030 and the SDGs. Even though the QRE Tool is not a full scale risk assessment, rather a multi-stakeholder engagement process to establish a common understanding of risks and hazards, this Microsoft Excel-based tool aimed at improving risk awareness and support city stakeholders (city authorities, city planners, risk officers, and emergency response officials) in helping cities become circular and resilient by providing data, analysis, and decision-making support that can inform and guide resilience strategies. Potential users are guided to identify “most probable” and “most severe” risk scenarios for single or multi-hazards by manually scoring the likelihood of risks and rating exposure, vulnerability and response measures already undertaken on a 5-point Likert scale. Considering the above, the QRE produce a dashboard-style risk assessment advising the city’s risks and hazard (human and/or infrastructure), and their impacts by means of a risk matrix. A vast number of cities have reported using these tools in developing local DRR strategies.

In our study, in the context of a laboratory workshop among students facilitated in Harokopio University Athens (HUA) using UNDRR’s QRE tool participants manage to identify risks and hazards of various municipalities in the Attika region. The workshop also included presentations of resilient cities, and step-by-step instructions on how to use the QRE tool. Based on the QRE exercise for the examined municipalities were identified multiple hazards such as hydrological (floods), meteorological (heat wave), geophysical (earthquake), climatological (droughts), biological (air pollution, waste pollution). Upon the latter, the critical role of the 3R (namely Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) principles of CE model in enhancing urban resilience was discussed. Although the learnings from our study imply the easy-to-use interface of QRE tool to establish a baseline of risks and hazards, a limitation on its evaluation is that it requires sufficient quantitative data (city’s historical disaster data, disaster resilience-related and current measures) to validate the results. To this fact, even though our participants did manage to assess multiple open-source data respective their city that allowed them to have a comprehensive, however subjective, understanding of their city’s risks and hazards. To this end, future work proposes comparative analysis, in cooperation with city authorities to comment on our results. In addition, sponsored by HUA local level QRE tool training workshop to city’s stakeholders, for more sustain quantitative data the analysis of which will support further the adaption of measures to confront the current and projected impacts of climate change through establishment of resilience policies and strategies.

Anna Popa (University of Bucharest, Romania)
Could be ISO 14001 an efficient management tool for individual organization’s transition to Circular Economy?

ABSTRACT. The European Union has developed a set of milestones regarding environmental protection and the transition to a sustainable economy. To achieve the 2030 and 2050 Agenda, every nation must make significant changes and contribute to achieving climate neutrality and a circular economy. Over the last decades were developed a relatively large number of environmental standards and initiatives . This has occurred and is occurring for different reasons and different purposes. Driven mainly by market requirements, initially as a barrier for external competitors or as an increasing accountability requested by insurance companies. Nowadays sustainability or circularity seems to be common words, used easily by children also. The business sector needs more informational support and know-how to transition to a circular business model. The concept of circular economy is coming with a new perspective on what sustainability means based on a system that upcycles, recycles, and reuses and therefore eliminates waste, secures a reduction in resources and raw materials, has energy efficiency, and adds value to existing materials. All these elements are imperative in the transition to climate neutrality. Are we ready for this transition? Do we already have a model, a reference how to get started with circular economy? ISO 14001 is one of most well-known environmental certifiable standards around the world. If the certified organizations are already prepared to identify, manage, monitor and control their environmental issues in a “holistic” or systematic manner. Easy to be integrated with other management systems: quality, food safety, energy, health and safety, etc. When we are looking to find what circular economy is, in most of the situations we are finding Global, Regional or Local Action Plans regarding the willingness of the policy makers to decrease consumerism and pressure on natural resources, climate change mitigation or, much better, a way to transform somebody’s waste into somebody else gold mine. Or ISO 14001 is coming to assist the individual organizations, starting from the lower level being applicable to any organization, regardless of size, type and nature, and applies to the environmental aspects of its activities. ISO 14001 does not state specific environmental performance criteria, but well implemented provide a competitive and financial advantage through improved processes efficiencies, always looking to reduce wastes (environmental costs) and increased stakeholders confidence. ISO 14001 can help to bridge the gap between advanced knowledge demand for circular economy and existing skills and practices. The most important update of the last version of standard is life cycle thinking approach of classical environmental aspects from product or service design (from cradle) to end-of-life (to grave), looking for opportunity to find a new life of the same product or a new way to use it, making this organizations (small but numerous entities) to protect our environment proactively. Five reasons why ISO 14000 standards could support transition to circular economy: 1. Wide recognition of standard all around the world 2. Certified organizations area already prepared for a systematic approach and understand better their boundaries and opportunities regarding transition to sustainability. 3. Presence of ISO 14001 standard on Green Public Procurement procedures as pre-requisite / pre-qualification request, at least at the European level. 4. Integration of supplier’s chain into the organization’s business systems providing the information on traceability of concern throughout the life cycle of the products or services. 5. Environmental management competencies and skills already developed for ISO 14000 standards family and environmental legal requirements (environmental managers, environmental auditors, waste management specialists, other specialists). Last year’s global changes: climate change, pandemic crisis and resources depletion forced us to look better on how we are living, forced us more and more to be aware regarding our boundaries and limits. These challenges showed us that we can change our behavior and we are able to change ourselves in a way which can bring us closer to a Sustainable Future. We can use tools already known to reduce climate change and biodiversity loss, while exploring new perspectives of how our economy works with creativity and active involvement of people from organizational level.

Maria Bakatsaki (Technical University of Crete, Greece)
Hippocrates Manoudakis (University of Thessaly, Greece)
The impact of digital smart-city applications on the circular economy
PRESENTER: Maria Bakatsaki

ABSTRACT. In recent years, the role of digital applications in the transition from linear economy models to circular economy models has become an increasingly necessary determinant (Han, et al., 2023). Digital applications utilizing technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), immersive technologies, cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), neural networks and WEB 3.0 offer many innovative solutions. These solutions are implemented and leveraged not only by industry; they also have an impact on society by maximizing the benefits of circular economy models (Chauhan, Parida, & Dhir, 2022). In particular, digital smart-city applications contribute to the collection and exchange of data as well as towards the preservation of a city and the data analysis. By analyzing and monitoring such data, the transition of smart cities to circular economies is achieved by optimizing the fields of recycling, waste management, energy conservation, environmental protection, conservation of natural resources and social cohesion (Khaw-ngern, Klomkul, Peuchthonglang, & Khaw-ngern, 2021). It is nonetheless necessary to ensure that these digital applications are maintained and used in a sustainable way to achieve the goals of the circular economy. However, this objective has not been sufficiently investigated until now, as the subject of this paper. The research and applied fields of the circular economy and the corresponding digital smart-city applications are currently developing rapidly. This study presents the research work that has been produced on the impact and effectiveness of smart cities in the circular economy (Pagoropoulos , C. A. Pigosso, & C. McAloone, 2017). Issues such as barriers in the transition to the circular economy, strategic policy design, implementation processes, social integration, training and efficiency have emerged from the literature review and case studies on the subject of smart cities and the circular economy. The possibilities for digital smart city applications to create circular business models, improve resource efficiency, manage waste and promote sustainable consumption and production patterns were also explored. Moreover, the paper identifies some challenges and opportunities related to the implementation of circular economy practices in smart cities, highlighting the strategies for smart-city stakeholders in facilitating the transition to circular smart cities. The paper concludes with some theoretical and administrative implications, as well as a research agenda outline for the future.

Marco Ingrassia (University of Enna Kore, Italy)
Place-based strategies for Circular Cities: exploring the contribution of strategic planning approaches to drive circular transition of urban systems.

ABSTRACT. The transition towards circular economy models is a key strategy for achieving ecological reconversion of urban systems. The concept of Circular City explores multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary approaches and strategies to transition urban areas towards circular economy models. These strategies encompass multiple sectors such as mobility, food and biomass, consumer products, energy, construction, and building management. The territorial dimension plays a crucial role in implementing circular economy at the macro level of cities and regions. Integrated planning strategies that address economic, social, and territorial dimensions are essential for ecological transition. Place-based practices that involve local actors and valorize existing resources are fundamental to achieve these goals. Developing multidisciplinary analytical and interpretative tools is essential to understand which elements can facilitate or hinder the ecological reconversion of cities. In the field of Circular Economy, many studies focus on data analysis as a strategy to optimize flows of energy and material through the concept of "Urban Metabolism". This field of study is fundamental but not sufficient to describe the complexity of urban systems, which include social, economic, territorial, and environmental features, intertwined by non-linear relations. Strategic planning discipline defines systemic approaches based on the reading and interpretation of endogenous and exogenous elements, such as the SWOT matrix, to define objectives and strategies that can be applied successfully in local contexts through a place-based approach. In this context, this study aims to address two research questions: (i) How can strategic territorial planning methodologies be used to define objectives and strategies for the transition Circular City models? (ii) What are the appropriate principles and indicators to identify local strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) in relation to the transition towards Circular City models, with a place-based approach? The objective of this study is to identify conceptual and practical tools to analyze the capacity and potential of transition to Circular City models, based on strategic planning methods, and test them the case study of the city of Palermo (Italy), a medium-sized Mediterranean city characterized by low economic, social, and administrative capacity. The methodology is based on consecutive procedures. First, an integrative review of the “Circular City” paradigm is conducted to identify territorial principles and indicators related to different production sectors, namely mobility, food and biomass, consumer products, energy, construction and building management. Second, a study of Territorial Planning tools is developed to identify methodologies for the development of strategic analysis. Third, a SWOT procedure is proposed and tested in the case study of the City of Palermo. As result, the study introduces four transversal principles to describe social, economic and territorial strategies to drive transition to circularity in different but intertwined production sectors: (i) Re-localization and Distribution of production systems; (ii) Adaptivity and Regeneration; (iii) Multifunctionality and Proximity; (iv) Ecosystem regeneration and integrative approach. The first two principles can represent “drivers” of circularity, i.e. levers capable to activate circularity in urban contexts, while the late two are “enablers”, i.e. requirements that would represent a barrier to circular development. Furthermore, the study introduces key questions and indicators to build the Circular City SWOT analysis. The test on the case study of Palermo proves tits validity as approach to adapt to local contexts. In conclusion, this study provides a valuable contribution to the literature on Circular Economy and Circular City, identifying territorial principles and indicators to achieve circular of urban systems. The proposed methodology offers a practical tool for analyzing and interpreting Circular City models, and the experiment on the city of Palermo demonstrates its potential application at the local level. The study provides insights for policymakers and urban planners to develop effective strategies for transitioning towards circular economy models in urban areas.

Anne Velenturf (University of Leeds, UK)
Natanael Bolson (University of Cambridge, UK)
Joel Millward-Hopkins (University of Leeds, UK)
Fanran Meng (University of Cambridge, UK)
Paul Jensen (University of Leeds, UK)
Lorna Bennet (Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, UK)
Quantifying the case for policy and industry measures for sustainable, circular and resilient wind energy supply chains
PRESENTER: Anne Velenturf

ABSTRACT. Wind energy is set to grow steeply over the next decades, driven by climate actions to keep global warming under 2⁰C and a renewed focus on energy security. In 2022, there was 842 GW onshore wind and 64 GW offshore wind power installed globally. The compound annual growth rate for wind is 15% until 2027 (12% onshore, 32% offshore), adding 557 GW capacity – 550 GW onshore and over 130 GW offshore wind. At the same time, the first generation of wind energy infrastructure is reaching the end of its service life. Globally, onshore wind decommissioning rates are forecast to grow from 20 GW in 2022 to just over 100 GW by 2028 and ~1,000 GW by 2047, with decommissioning activities mainly concentrating in China, United States, Germany and India. Decommissioning rates for offshore wind are more modest, reaching ~5 GW by 2030, doubling to ~10 GW by 2039 and reaching ~84 GW by 2050, with a new decommissioning market emerging primarily around the North Sea basin starting mainly in the United Kingdom (UK) and later in Germany, and from 2025 in China. Resource use causes the largest environmental impacts of wind energy. Wind energy infrastructure is primarily made from foundation materials, such as steel, concrete, glass fiber, copper and aluminium. The growing scale of wind energy creates circular economy related sustainability challenges – such as increasing resource exploitation and competition, and underdeveloped solutions for decommissioned components and materials – and opportunities – such as design for durability and lifetime extension, material innovation, and growing end-of-use markets. Taking the UK as a case study of a mature and leading wind energy market, this presentation forecasts commissioned and decommissioned onshore and offshore wind capacity and quantifies the accompanying resource flows into and out of forecast wind energy infrastructure. These forecasts provide the basis for business cases for policy and industry measures required to increase the resilience and sustainability of supply chains through circular economy measures. In the UK, onshore wind capacity was forecast to grow slowly but consistently, while the growth pathway for offshore wind is steep and more dynamic (Figure 1); with growth forecasts, respectively, largely constrained or driven by government policy.

Figure 1: Wind energy commissioning and decommissioning in the UK in the period 2010-2050, with per annum rates in MW (left axis) and cumulative rates in GW (right axis). The demand for materials per year will grow at least three- to fourfold between 2020-2030: • Annual demand for steel will grow from 0.6 Mt p.a. in 2020 to 2.6 Mt p.a. in 2030, reaching a total input of 15.7 Mt while decommissioning will still be modest at 0.2 Mt. • Concrete demand will rise from 0.4 Mt p.a. in 2020 to 1.5 Mt p.a. in 2030, reaching a total input of 15.8 Mt, while decommissioning will be ca. 0.6 Mt. • Demand for fiber reinforced plastics will grow from 0.03 Mt p.a. in 2020 to 0.09 Mt p.a. in 2030, totaling to a 0.7 Mt inflow and 0.02 outflow. • Copper will grow from 0.02 Mt p.a. in 2020 to 0.08 Mt p.a. in 2030, reaching a total of 0.5 Mt, while 0.004 might be decommissioned by that time. • Demand for aluminium will grow from 0.06 Mt p.a. in 2020 to 0.02 Mt p.a. in 2030, when the total inflow will have reached 0.1 Mt and the outflow 0.003 Mt. This presentation will discuss circular economy measures that government and the wind industry can take, including through the coproduction of - and experimentation with - new circular business models, digital systems for greater data transparency along the supply chain, cross-industry benchmarking, establishment of collaborative ecosystems with all actors involved, and more ambitious government circularity targets, alongside supply chain support measures, e.g. to grow reuse and remanufacturing activity.

16:20-16:50Coffee Break
16:50-18:10 Session 3A: Circular business models consumer behaviour and environmental performance
Catriona Tassell (Imperial College London, UK)
Location: Room 1
Agnieszka Wójcik-Czerniawska (Warsaw School of Economics, Poland)
Zbigniew Grzymała (Warsaw School of Economics, Poland)
Circular economy as a sustainable development marketing tool

ABSTRACT. “Today, we understand better than our ancestors that the existence of all life on Earth – including our own – depends on the stability of the ecosystem. And if our ecosystem breaks down, even temporarily, the consequences for humanity will be catastrophic” [Mesarović, Pestel, 1977, pp. 45-46]. One of the tools conducive to environmental protection is the circular economy. The circular economy (also known as the circular economy and the circular economy) is one of the elements of the concept of sustainable development. Currently, it is most commonly described as an economy: "whose goal is to constantly maintain the highest value and utility of products, components and materials in separate biological and technical cycles, and its task is ultimately to decouple economic development from the consumption of scarce resources. This economy is designed not only to solve problems of lack of resources, but also to be a source of growth, create new jobs and reduce negative environmental effects, including carbon dioxide emissions” [Ellen MacArthur Foundation , 2015 ] . The circular economy paradigm began to develop in the early 1970s, when scientists, politicians and entrepreneurs gathered around the Club of Rome began research on the future of the earth's natural environment, its limited raw material resources and the place occupied by humans in the ecosystem. The result of this research was the first report prepared for the Club of Rome entitled "Limits to Growth" ( The Limits to Growth 1972 ). It was in this report that the idea of a circular economy emerged, where the authors of the report stated that: “Natural ecosystems can absorb many waste products of human activity and process them into substances usable, or at least harmless to other forms of life. However, when a waste product is released in large quantities, natural absorption mechanisms can become saturated. The waste products of human civilization can accumulate in a given environment until they finally become visible, annoying and even harmful. Therefore, larger consuming countries can learn how to recover and regenerate used materials. They can develop new methods to increase the durability of products made from scarce raw materials. They can introduce social and economic patterns of behavior that would meet needs while minimizing (rather than maximizing) the use and dissipation of the irreplaceable substances that man currently possesses” [ Meadows, Meadows, Randers, Behrens , 1973, p. 84-85] . As humanity, we behave as if we have forgotten that we are part of the natural environment. The essence of assessing our progress has become the size of broadly understood consumption, which also pollutes our natural environment. In a sense, we have stopped observing nature, which can come to balance when it is out of balance. As noted by JK Galbraith, “Environmental pollution resulting from both the production and consumption of goods, from the impact that a power plant has on the atmosphere, and the effects of neon lights on the eyes, from the impact of a steelworks on a nearby lake, and the effects of cars produced thanks to it, it is a pity such may be done individually or collectively” [Galbraith, 1979, p. 431]. Nature does not produce waste by itself. Used elements of nature then become part of it again. Nature shows us what a circular economy is all about. The environment, of course, became the model for inventiveness. Even the concept of jet engines is known in nature. In this way, by carefully observing and imitating it, we can adapt its mechanisms to our lives without destroying it. The purpose of the article is not to moralize humanity and show its mistakes or to assess our behavior towards nature, but to get closer to discovering the existing mechanisms that will show us remedies that protect the natural environment and at the same time allow for economic functioning, so as to give nature the possibility of its regeneration and at the same time achieve our economic goals, including through proper waste management. By observing the already existing economy, the authors propose, as far as possible, the introduction of a closed-circuit mechanism inspired by nature. The author noted that the key to this is to expand the importance of waste management, both municipal and industrial.

Catriona Tassell (Imperial College London, UK)
Marco Aurisicchio (Imperial College London, UK)
A novel hierarchy of actual consumer behaviour for reusable fast-moving consumer goods
PRESENTER: Catriona Tassell

ABSTRACT. 1 Background The circular economy (CE) is “an industrial system that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design” and offers the potential, among others, to reduce the detrimental impacts associated with single-use fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2013). In the CE, the most frequently cited strategies for impact reduction are reduce, reuse and recycle (Kirchherr et al., 2017), depicted and prioritised in models such as the waste hierarchy (UK Government, 2011) and the butterfly diagram (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2013). These models focus on the role of government and industry to deliver the strategies. However, across the purchase, use and disposal stages consumers enact many of the behaviours underpinning the strategies. This research investigates reuse and its relationship to reduce and recycle. Previous research has modelled expected reuse behaviour at different stages of the consumer journey (e.g. Camacho-Otero et al., 2020) and offered a hierarchy of expected consumption behaviours for waste prevention (Maitre-Ekern & Dalhammar, 2019). This hierarchy depicts each behaviour as a discrete entity despite the need for an integrated approach, where strategies are related across the product life cycle. The aim of this paper is to propose a hierarchy of actual consumer behaviours across stages of the product life cycle for reuse.

2 Method Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 30 UK consumers. Participants reported on their purchase, use and disposal experiences with 63 reusable FMCGs across the refill at home, refill on the go, return from home and return on the go models (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2019). The data were mapped using the behaviour chain method (Muranko et al., 2020). Moments in the journey were tagged according to the constructs in the waste hierarchy and other constructs leading to a new hierarchy.

3 Results Data analysis led to the hierarchy of actual consumer behaviours for FMCG reuse offerings in Figure 1. Use not is the most preferred in use behaviour, where consumers never use a product or stop using one (e.g. making the decision to stop shaving). This behaviour is closely aligned with reduction in the original waste hierarchy. At the next level, the use less behaviour entails consumers reducing the products they use (e.g. using toothbrush heads for longer than prescribed). The use as many times as possible and use little behaviours reflect consumers’ practices with reuse. Use more is the least preferred in use behaviour, where consumers increase the products they use (e.g. using multiple refillable beverage bottles). At the end of use, consumers replenish products themselves (e.g. topping up a hand wash bottle with a refill pouch); return products for continued reuse, where the provider takes on any remaining behaviours necessary (e.g. milk bottle delivery and collection); relinquish products for continued reuse by other consumers (e.g. selling a soda stream machine); or repair products for continued reuse by themselves (e.g. buying a replacement seal for a food container). Whilst these behaviours allow reuse to occur at its originally intended level, consumers also repurpose reusable products (e.g. using a cloth nappy as a cleaning cloth). The least preferred behaviour at the end of use is when consumers replace products, often connected to in use behaviours like use little or use more and resulting in products reaching the end of life sooner. All products eventually reach the end of life when consumers either recycle them, enabling a circular outcome, albeit at a lower level to reuse, or dispose of them as waste.

4 Discussion and conclusion The results provide a structure for prioritising actual behaviours across the consumer journey. Whilst the original waste hierarchy suggests that lesser preferred strategies relate more to the end of life (e.g. recycle, recover energy, and dispose), the hierarchy of actual consumer behaviour further differentiates between most and least preferred behaviours in use and at the end of use too. Further, whilst the waste hierarchy and other circular economy models focus on strategies expected to reduce impact through design (e.g. a reusable product), the results of this research prioritise the role of consumer behaviour in influencing the outcome of a strategy (e.g. using more reusable products than necessary). The results can help develop more successful reuse offerings that reduce impact through designing for better product and behavioural outcomes. Despite being developed in response to data on actual consumer reuse behaviour for reusable FMCGs, there is potential for the hierarchy to be used for other types of FMCGs and categories of product.

5 References Camacho-Otero, J., Tunn, V., & Chamberlin, L. (2020). Consumers in the circular economy. In M. Brandao, D. Lazarevic, & D. Finnvaden (Eds.), Handbook of the Circular Economy. Edward Elgar. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/337085214_Consumers_in_the_circular_economy Ellen MacArthur Foundation. (2019). Reuse - Rethinking Packaging. Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 1–43. https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/publications/reuse Foundation, E. M. (2013). Towards the Circular Economy, Opportunities for the consumer goods sector 2. Kirchherr, J., Reike, D., & Hekkert, M. (2017). Conceptualizing the circular economy: An analysis of 114 definitions. In Resources, Conservation and Recycling. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2017.09.005 Maitre-Ekern, E., & Dalhammar, C. (2019). Towards a hierarchy of consumption behaviour in the circular economy. Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law, 26(3), 394–420. https://doi.org/10.1177/1023263X19840943 Muranko, Z., Aurisicchio, M., Baxter, W., & Childs, P. (2020). Behaviour chains in circular consumption systems: the reuse of FMCGs. IS4CE 2020 Conference of the International Society for the Circular Economy, July. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341993317_Behaviour_chains_in_circular_consumption_systems_the_reuse_of_FMCGs UK Government. (2011). Guidance on Applying the Waste Hierarchy. In Department for Environment Food and Rrual Affairs (Issue June). www.defra.gov.uk

Anastasia Vayona (Bournemouth University, UK)
George Alexandris (Circular Economy Foundation, Belgium)
Heather Hartwell (Bournemouth University, UK)
Sotirios Ioannidis (Circular Economy Foundation, Belgium)
Human-in-the-circular-loop (HITCL): Toward the systematisation of a humanistic approach in circular economy ecosystems research
PRESENTER: Anastasia Vayona

ABSTRACT. Although there is widespread consensus in current research that the societal dimension is a key pillar of the circular economy, its treatment and study remain limited compared to other dimensions (Scarpellini, 2022). This could be attributed to the fact that the early definitions and studies of circular economy ecosystems were dominated by the technical and biological dimensions – or flows – as depicted by the seminal butterfly diagram (MacArtuhr, 2013). It is well advocated, however, by an overwhelming proportion of the CE research community, that human-made practices of (linear) production and consumption are mainly responsible for the environmental decline and finite resource demise (Kumar et al., 2021). As such, studying the human aspects and human factors that affect the transition to circular economy is of paramount importance, should a pragmatic and actionable sustainability solution be developed.

In this paper we introduce the concept of the Human-in-the-circular-loop, HITCL. Inspired by the well-known concept of Human-in-the-Loop (HITL) in computer science which studies the need and arrangements for human intervention and control in machine learning systems, this paper introduces and elaborates the term of Human-in-the-Circular-Loop (HITCL). HITCL places the emphasis on modeling and understanding the human perception and decision-making process when interacting within a CE ecosystem. More specifically, the scope of the HITCL concept covers those human aspects that can potentially influence circular economy loops. It studies human decision making in ways that can either hinder or support the transition toward a circular economy.

Spyridon Karytsas (Center for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving (CRES), Greece)
Theoni I. Oikonomou (Centre for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving (CRES), Greece)
Constantine Karytsas (Center for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving (CRES), Greece)
Examining citizens’ perceptions and behaviour towards circular economy practices in the construction sector

ABSTRACT. Climate mitigation models require a high level of technical accuracy to accurately reflect Circular Economy (CE) measures. Current climate mitigation models have to significantly progress technologically to address these CE technical aspects. This is the scope of the CO2NSTRUCT Horizon project. A framework for adding CE measures to the well-known open energy systems model JRC-EU-TIMES is proposed by the project. The framework focuses on the application of CE measures to the value chain of six carbon-intensive construction materials (i.e., cement, steel, brick, glass, wood, and insulation materials) and will include supplementary elements for the JRC-EU-TIMES model, taking into account citizen behavior toward CE and climate mitigation. Hence, one of the key goals of CO2NSTRUCT is to establish a technique for measuring citizen behavior on CE measures of the six construction materials and update the JRC-EU-TIMES model based on the corresponding findings. In light of this, it will be investigated how individuals perceive and act in relation to circular economy and climate change challenges. To identify gaps and opportunities in citizen behavior connected to climate change mitigation through a circular economy, the first stage in this activity has been to perform a literature assessment relevant to the project's themes. Following, the results of the literature review are utilized to construct a questionnaire focusing on citizens’ perceptions and behavior on circular construction materials and their contribution to CO2 reduction. The questionnaire is developed through a co-creation process involving all the partners of the CO2NSTRUCT project. The questionnaire will be utilized within a quantitative survey that will be conducted in nine European countries (project partners, plus Poland and Romania), involving 500 participants in each. The survey is expected to take place during the autumn of 2023.

16:50-18:10 Session 3B: Sustainable building and construction
Wolfgang Eisenreich (Technical University of Munich, Germany)
Location: Room 2
Rune Andersen (Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
Lotte Bjerregaard Jensen (Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark)
Targeting preservation strategies for buildings at risk of demolition: A visual MCDM framework
PRESENTER: Rune Andersen

ABSTRACT. The risk of demolition emerges when a building can no longer maintain its original purpose (Physical-, Technological, or Legal obsolescence) or becomes redundant due to changes in demand (Economic-, Functional- or Social obsolescence). Demolition of an existing building can be prevented through circular building adaptation such as refurbishment or adaptive reuse. This study aims to set up a combined MCDM and GIS method that calculates and visualizes buildings at risk of demolition. Overall, the framework shows that it is possible to identify outdated buildings and target circular design strategies toward buildings at high risk of demolition. Municipalities can thereby require building owners or investors to conduct feasibility studies to see if the demolition can be avoided through building adaptation or, if not, focusing on maximizing circular material utilization from future demolished buildings and thereby realizing the idea of ​​'the city as a material bank'.

Wolfgang Kunther (Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
Ana T. Lima (Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
The material recycling options and current research activities for the circular use of the construction composite concrete
PRESENTER: Wolfgang Kunther

ABSTRACT. Construction materials account for a large fraction of materials handled by humans, and a correspondingly large footprint, ranging from extraction/mining of raw materials, embodied CO2 through materials production /refinement, and waste of construction activities and demolition. Concrete, after water the second most used material globally, is a staple when it comes to infrastructure in general. It is a composite material made from cement, sand, gravel water, and possibly other admixtures and additives, and their recipes/proportions can be as complex as their value chains. Concrete can be understood as man-made geology as it is an artificial stone, which is ideally tailored to its functionality, but its components may differ in chemical composition and therefore have different properties. Additionally, the material may change according to its environmental conditions, which may reduce the circular economy (CE) options for reuse and recycling. Integrating CE principles in the construction sector would ideally lead to the material reuse of construction elements as this provides the biggest CO2 benefit. However, the material properties and their possible determine the lifetime, maintenance costs, and risk for owners, operators, investors, and construction activities. Reduce, reuse, and recycle, for example, have all different meanings for the design, maintenance, and end-of-life of concrete structures depending on the type of composite/concrete and the proposed reuse strategy. It is then crucial to understand concrete properties at the end of life so we can define appropriate CE avenues (reuse, recycle, etc). This manuscript explains the most common resources (cement, sand, gravel water, and other admixtures and additives) used, and their influence on the CE-relevant design choices which ultimately also define the possible reuse or recycling routes. Additionally, a literature overview of current research topics will be provided that allows insight into reuse and recycling options for concrete. This becomes increasingly interesting as the traditional linear economy practices are threatening the supply chain of seemingly abundant materials such as sand and water as well. Hence the transition from a linear to a circular economy might not only help with reducing CO2 emissions but resource uses, even though additional work/energy/CO2 will be required to produce first-grade recycling materials that can replace virgin materials 1:1.

Patrick Teuffel (Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands)
Patrick Teuffel (Circular Structural Design, Germany)
Drivers and restraints of a circular economy in the built environment
PRESENTER: Patrick Teuffel

ABSTRACT. see attached

Julinda Keci (Epoka University, Albania)
Erinda Imeraj (Epoka University, Albania)
Barriers, Drivers, and Stakeholders towards the Circular Economy: The Construction Sector Perspective in Albania
PRESENTER: Julinda Keci

ABSTRACT. Introduction: The circular economy concept is gaining worldwide attention as a sustainable approach to resource management and waste reduction. A move to a circular economy model is essential in the construction sector, which is known to cause significant environmental impact and waste. Albania, a developing country in south-eastern Europe, has a growing construction sector and faces many challenges in adopting circular economy principles. The study examines the barriers, drivers and stakeholders influencing the transition to a circular economy in the Albanian construction sector. Methods: This study uses a qualitative research approach that includes an extensive literature review and analysis of existing policies, regulations and practices relevant to the circular economy and construction sector in Albania. In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted with key stakeholders, including representatives of government agencies, construction companies, waste management companies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), to gather insights into the barriers, drivers, and stakeholder perspectives on the circular economy in the construction sector. Results: Barriers and drivers were grouped into five categories (economic, informational, institutional, political, and technological) and key stakeholders were identified. The results show several barriers to the circular economy in Albania's construction sector. Lack of awareness and knowledge of circular economy principles among stakeholders, including construction companies and policy makers, has been identified as a significant barrier. Limited financial resources and lack of access to finance for circular economy projects were also noted. In addition, the lack of clear regulations and policies related to circular economy practices in the construction sector and poor enforcement of existing regulations were identified as barriers. A lack of incentives for circular economy initiatives and the perception that circular economy practices can increase costs were also identified as challenges. Despite the obstacles, some drivers of the circular economy in Albania's construction sector have been identified. Raising awareness and knowledge of circular economy principles through awareness campaigns and capacity building programs has been identified as a key driver. Rising demand for sustainable building materials and practices, driven by green building certifications and consumer preferences, has also been identified as a driving factor. In addition, the potential for job creation and economic benefits from circular economy initiatives such as recycling, and reuse of construction waste was cited as a positive factor. Stakeholders impacting the circular economy of the Albanian construction sector were identified as diverse and included government agencies, construction companies, waste management organizations, NGOs and academia. Governments are recognized as key stakeholders in formulating and implementing policies and regulations, providing funding and incentives, and raising awareness of the circular economy. Construction companies have been identified as key stakeholders driving the transition to a circular economy through the adoption of sustainable procurement practices, waste reduction strategies, and circular business models. Waste management organizations and NGOs were found to play an important role in raising awareness of waste management and circular economy practices. Science is recognized to play an important role in providing research, education and technical expertise on circular economy concepts and practices. Conclusion: This paper sheds light on the barriers, drivers, and stakeholders of the circular economy in Albania's construction sector. Obstacles such as lack of awareness, limited funding and regulatory gaps exist, while there are also factors such as increased awareness, demand for sustainable materials and potential economic benefits. Stakeholders such as governments, construction companies, waste management organizations, NGOs and academia play a key role in the transition to a circular economy in Albania's construction sector. Policy makers need to create clear regulations and guidelines, provide funding and incentives, overcome barriers and raise awareness to promote circular economy practices in the construction sector. Cooperation and stakeholder engagement are also essential for a successful transition to a circular economy in Albania's construction sector, contributing to the goals of sustainable development and environmental protection. Based on our findings, we propose that adopting circular economy practices in the Albanian construction sector requires a concerted effort from all relevant stakeholders. Policies and regulations should be put in place to encourage circular economy practices, but public awareness campaigns should be launched to raise awareness among customers and other stakeholders. In addition, the Albanian construction industry should work to develop circular business models and work with waste disposal companies to build a circular supply chain. This overview provides insights for policy makers, practitioners and researchers interested in promoting a circular economy in the build environment in Albania and beyond.

16:50-18:10 Session 3C: Culture, sustainability and industrial growth
Evanthia Dova (Neapolis University Pafos, Cyprus)
Location: Room 3
Mahak Sharma (University of Twente, Netherlands)
Role of Circular Economy Factor to Achieve Supply Chain Resilience

ABSTRACT. This research work tries to investigate critical circular economy (CE) factors to understand if CE practices (CEP) can transform manufacturing units and help in making a resilient supply chain. In this line, authors have utilised five dimensions namely technical, financial, market, management and regulatory and environment. Authors have used mixed method research design in a sequential manner where qualitative is done prior to quantitative method. We have collected data from 25 experts from five firms situated in Badi (India). Analytic Hierarchy Processing (AHP) is used to find critical factors under each dimension. Finally, we have used Interpretive Structure Modelling (ISM) to find system actuator. This article sheds light on how CEP impact supply chain. Further, the results emphasize that “optimal pricing for remanufactured products” and “creates green image of remanufactured products” (under market dimension) are ranked two most critical factors while “Firm’s available resources is a source of advantage in this competitive business scenario” (under market dimension) are the least critical (Refer Table 1). ISM analysis highlights that “Integrated management systems and processes with the supply network” and “creates green image of remanufactured products” are system actuators. The study was conducted in a pharmaceutical manufacturing hub (Badi) of India which helps in generalizing the implications in similar sector and economy setting. However, countries like China have different resource availability and different governance regulations, hence future studies in this area should aim to address the limitations with self-reporting techniques, while also considering cultural differences that may affect supply chain resilience. Longitudinal & cross sectional surveys can be conducted to provide robust results in future works. This paper offers integrative and holistic implications for practitioners as well academicians looking for ways to improve resilience in supply chain. The findings suggest that companies should focus on building CEP. Customer willingness to pay for critical remanufactured spares which are obsolete in the market is also important to achieve sustainable results in long run. This study contributes to the existing literature by examining five dimensions and twenty-seven factors of CEP leading to resilient supply chain. The paper also adds new insights into the role of management systems and processes with the supply network as the key actuator for resilient system.

Evanthia Dova (Neapolis University Pafos, Cyprus)
Natia Anastasi (Neapolis University Pafos, Cyprus)
Angeliki Sivitanidou (Neapolis University Pafos, Cyprus)
Events, urban heritage and sustainability: identifying circular economy principles in the Charter for Mega-events in Heritage-rich Cities
PRESENTER: Evanthia Dova

ABSTRACT. With the Covid-19 pandemic apparently subsiding, mega-events are again drawing the attention of an international audience and, along with it, the interest of investors and cities as potential hosts. For a city, organizing a mega-event is an opportunity to acquire new infrastructure, attract the spotlight, and strategically reposition itself on the global map. More than the mega-event, which is, by definition, short-lived, it is this much longer-lasting impact on its space and life that a city -or a region- is actually after. However, excessive building and organizational expenses, social opposition and unviable “white elephants” have recently discouraged even large metropolises from bidding for large-scale mega-events (like the Olympic Games). Meanwhile, smaller mega-events (like the European Capital of Culture/ ECoC) are becoming increasingly popular, as they can also activate urban development, stir economic activity and enhance visibility with less social disruption, and in a more cost-effective manner, better-suited to a city’s historic character, present identity and future direction. Still, and regardless of scale and desired outcomes, mega-events also have considerable environmental effects as the result of increased energy use, noise and waste production, traffic and travel emissions, and possible threats to sensitive environments.

Acknowledging this tendency, the international research project HOMEE (“Heritage Opportunities/threats within Mega-Events in Europe”, http://www.tau-lab.polimi.it/research/homee/) was a multi-disciplinary collaboration that investigated mega-events and aimed to develop new policy tools for dealing with the emerging challenges in planning and implementing mega-events in heritage-rich cities. After conducting five in-depth retrospective case studies (Genoa 2004 ECoC, Milan EXPO 2015, Wrocław 2016 ECoC, Hull UK City of Culture 2017 and Pafos 2017 ECoC), and studying the Matera 2019 ECoC as it unfolded, the project generated a series of guidance and policy recommendations. The Charter for Mega-events in Heritage-rich Cities (http://www.tau-lab.polimi.it/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/HOMEE-Charter_FINAL.pdf), presented in 2021 and awarded a Europa Nostra prize in 2022, includes thirteen key principles organized under four themes relating to context, governance, community, and legacy. It aims to support heritage preservation policies and mega-event planning in future host-cities through knowledge sharing, and to assist multiple actors when bidding for, planning and hosting mega-events in sensitive historic contexts.

This paper attempts to link Circular Economy (CE) ideas and tools with the Charter for Mega-events in Heritage-rich Cities, to identify the areas of overlap and to trace potential directions of further development for the Charter. We adopt a double perspective of urban development and heritage management to understand how CE principles can be grafted onto the Charter’s key topics and enrich the sustainability component of its guidelines. The technical and environmental aspects of CE’s waste elimination, product/material reuse and nature regeneration (the R framework) can easily be inserted into the Charter’s guidelines on adapting the mega-event to the multiple dimensions of the host’s context, streamlining planning strategies and enhancing the role of material and immaterial heritage in mega-event planning. At the same time, by inserting the Charter’s viewpoint into the CE agenda, we propose a further extension of CE ideas towards institutional and social fields. Through widening governance structures to involve experts and local communities in all phases of a mega-event, and by paying attention to the sensitive aspects of heritage and its criticalities, a more integrated and efficient use (and reuse) of urban resources, both as built environment but also as social and cultural configurations, can be achieved.

Panagiotis Zikos (iLink New Technologies, Greece)
Stathis Vlachos (iLink New Technologies, Greece)
Despina Tomkou (iLink New Technologies, Greece)
Georgios Tsironis (iLink New Technologies, Greece)
The 5G-INDUCE European Project: Smart-safety proliferation as an Industry 4.0 Enabler
PRESENTER: Panagiotis Zikos

ABSTRACT. 5G-INDUCE targets the development of an open, ETSI NFV compatible, 5G orchestration platform for the deployment of advanced 5G NetApps. The project focuses on the Smart Industries vertical sector, the fastest growing and most impactful sector in the European economy and the developed Network Apps showcase adv advanced use case functionalities in different fields and with diverse performance requirements, in benefit of the industrial automation, productivity, safety, and security. platform’s unique features provide the capability to the NetApp developers to define and modify the application requirements, while the underlay intelligent OSS can expose the network capabilities to the end users on the application level without revealing any infrastructure related information. This process enables an application-oriented network management and optimization approach that is in line with the operator’s role as manager of its own facilities, while it offers the development framework environment to any developer and service provider through which tailored made applications can be designed and deployed, for the benefit of vertical industries and without any indirect dependency through a cloud provider. For the cause of this project, iLink developed a use case specifically oriented to working safety proliferation within industrial environments. The methodological framework consisted of diverse technologies, combined in such a way that delivers the best possible outcomes. More precisely, the Network Application includes 5 different components utilizing state-of-the-art software architecture (containerized algorithmic structure) alongside IoT UWB (Ultra-Wide Band) sensors acting as the primary data providers (UWB tags and anchors), and 5G technology. Investigating the application from the sustainability and circular perspective, there are studies that suggest a strong correlation between working safety and ethical working behavior as an enabler for the establishment of more sustainable and circular working environments (Shayganmehr et al., 2021). Furthermore, the strict networking requirements set in Industry 4.0 cannot be met without the unique capabilities of 5G. Nonetheless, the complexity of such technologies, coupled with a lack of knowledge, expertise, and infrastructure in the industrial sector, pose significant obstacles to achieving sustainable supply chain implementation. To address this issue, our project seeks to remove these barriers by providing the appropriate network infrastructure and an efficient software design through a user-friendly application interface. The application’s deployment provides accurate indoor positioning data, aiming at the location awareness of selected assets-entities (forklifts and workers). After performing numerous testing sessions both in the laboratory and Experimental Facilities (Whirlpool, Italy), the application presented satisfying results regarding the pre-set KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Indicatively, 100% of the entities mounted with IoT sensors have been identified and visualized properly on the administrator and mobile maps, while the collision detection component correctly estimated all the imminent collision incidents and raised audio and visual alerts to the mobile users (forklift drivers and workers).

Paula Trindade (LNEG - National Laboratory of Energy and Geology, I.P, Portugal)
Juliana Barbosa (LNEG - National Laboratory of Energy and Geology, I.P, Portugal)
Sofia G. Simões (LNEG - National Laboratory of Energy and Geology, I.P, Portugal)
Ana Teresa Lima (Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
European policies on Circular Economy and Climate Mitigation: synergies or antagonisms?
PRESENTER: Paula Trindade

ABSTRACT. 1. Introduction CO2NSTRUCT’s aim is to develop a framework that will augment a well-known open climate mitigation energy systems model, with highly detailed technology representation – JRC-EU-TIMES (hereafter named TIMES) - with Circular Economy (CE) measures. The framework will focus on implementing CE measures for the value chain of six carbon-intensive construction materials (cement, steel, brick, glass, wood, and insulation materials). The framework will apply several CE scenarios to understand the near-term (2030) and future (2050 and 2070) and ensure carbon neutrality by at least 2050. This will be used to understand current and future potential CE contribution in Europe to GHG emissions reductions and will be translated into sound and effective policy support information for climate mitigation.

With this regard, Circular Economy integration into climate action and policy is limiting the EU's advancement to achieve carbon neutrality as fast as possible. Thus, the identification and development of policy instruments and initiatives to help integrate the circular economy into climate action and policies is of primary importance.

2. Objectives The main objective of this paper is to review policy goals, measures and instruments across the following policy areas: climate, energy; environment (including CE) and industry. This review's objective is twofold: (1) to assess and characterise synergies and antagonisms among policy domains regarding CE and climate mitigation, and (2) to identify innovative and effective policy approaches for integrating CE into climate action. The analysis will focus on the EU+ policy level, with some incursions at Member State level (+UK) for the cases where best practices in integrating CE policies are identified. The policies assessment will feed into the climate mitigation scenarios for circular construction.

3. Conceptual framework and methodology In order to better clarify and characterize the interactions between the 4 policy domains, we developed a conceptual framework (fig. 1).

Figure 1. Conceptual framework for policy interactions

4. Preliminary results The very first finding in our research was that European policies or legislative frameworks of our analyses are composed of several different types of documents representing quite fuzzy areas: energy, climate, environment, and industry are interlinked, especially in what concerns to the circular economy. Thus, we needed to identify the most relevant documents/policies in each policy domain in a structured way. We found an umbrella policy, the European Union’s (EU) Green Deal the most suitable structure to be used, as it is an important and recent policy reform that consolidates various policy areas as the EU’s main new growth strategy aiming to deliver the policy reform needed for the EU’s economic growth and climate neutrality. Widening up the scope beyond Green Deal, and in order to have a complete picture of the policy documents related with CE, we looked at the European legislation platform to identify the documents that mentioned circular economy and each our policy domains: energy, and industry. Figure 2 shows this comprehensive set of documents divided by domain and type. Considering this big bunch of documents, we decided to focus on directives in force for each policy domain combined with the circular economy for a further qualitative assessment. After these preliminary results for the synergies, we used the official system of classification of European Documents (EuroVoc) to investigate where we could find antagonisms and CE and Climate Mitigation are allocated in the general legislative system. This part of the research is still under development. In the end, our aim is to have a clear picture of the interactions between Circular Economy and Climate Mitigation and how these are integrated in the other policy domains, with the aim of finding strengths and bottlenecks that can inform policy makers and ultimately CO2NSTRUCT climate mitigation scenarios for circular construction.

Figure 2. Comprehensive set of documents related with Circular Economy by domain and type