First loop

In 1976 Walter Stahel and Genevieve Reday sketched the vision of an Economy in loops – a Circular Economy and its impact on job creation, economic competitiveness, resource savings and waste prevention. It was in the form of a research report to the European Commission in Brussels, called ‘The Potential for Substituting Manpower for Energy’. The report was later published in 1982 as a book “Jobs for Tomorrow, the Potential for Substituting Manpower for Energy”. And still today the factors from this report are commonly referred to as – the three pillars of sustainable development: ecologic, economic and social compatibility.

In 1982 the Product-Life Institute was formed as a not-for-profit, independent and virtual organisation domiciled in Geneva, Switzerland. It is the oldest consulting organisation on sustainable strategies and policies in Europe. With a main objective that is to open new frontiers of economic development towards a Performance Economy, which focuses on selling services / performance instead of goods in a circular economy, internalising all costs. To achieve this, it combines technical, system design and commercial innovation primarily within a regional economy and develops business models of remarketing goods (reuse), product-life extension of goods and components (e,g. remanufacturing and technological upgrading) in order to create local jobs, increase resource husbandry and prevent waste.

In a 1989 report to the Ministry of the Environment of Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart, entitled Long-life goods and material recycling, Stahel demonstrated the competitive advantages of longer product-life strategies in a loop economy, compared to recycling, and the impact of appropriate industrial design. The three case studies of this report are still shown on the www.product-life.org website and have achieved the highest numbers of hits in the past.

Please visit the homepage of the ‘Godfather’ of the Circular Economy’ – at the Product Life Institut and see Stahels exciting work most of it from before the real rise and spread of the internet – and maybe therefore unknown to many?

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Kalundborg Symbiosis, an industrial ecosystem

The Kalundborg Symbiosis is an industrial ecosystem, located in Kalundborg on ‘Sjælland’ in Denmark about 1 hour drive from København. Here the residual product of one enterprise is used as a resource by another enterprise, in a closed cycle. See how it works here. This Symbiosis came into being as a result of private conversations between a few enterprise managers from the Kalundborg region in the ’60s and ’70s. Yes, it is that old! Since then, it has developed based on good collaboration between employees of the businesses involved and is now a local collaboration where public and private enterprises buy and sell residual products, resulting in mutual economic and environmental benefits.

Now Kalundborg Symbiosis is increasing the use of surplus energy with a new biogas plant to convert residual energy from Novo Nordisk and Novozymes to green biogas. The establishment of the plant starts in March 2017, and will begin production next spring. The plant will convert about 300,000 tons of biomass residuals per year and produce about 8 million m3 green biogas – which is equivalent to the consumption of 5,000 households. The green natural gas from symbiosis project will also displace natural gas equivalent to 17,000 tons of CO2 per year. Read more here.

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Advisory Board on Circular Economy

The government will boost the circular economy and has appointed an Advisory Board comprised of 12 business leaders with Besenbacher from Carlsberg as chairman. Before the summer 2017 the Advisory Board is suppose to give the Government recommendations on how it can support Danish industry’s transition into circular economy and thus contribute to better recycling of materials and increase recycling, which can enhance growth and yield gains for environment and climate.

On the 23. of March a large group of people with different approaches to the area attended an all-day event with break out sessions and contribution to the forthcoming recommendations. A very intense and interesting day.

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UNs 17 SDGs at KADK

The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts: KADK – have chosen UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals: the 17 SDGs –  as their leading agenda for the next 3 years. That is a brave, vice and necessary decision, because it will prepare the students for the world that is coming. Even if we do not like it – WE NEED TO CHANGE HABITS, and the faster the better. The 17 SDGs is the work of all UNs 193 countries, that has agreed on, and worked out this new revitalized global partnership for sustainable development. Personally I am moved by the thought, that this was possbile and now we all need to act on this. KADK is doing their part by devoting to developing design and architecture that can contribute to a more sustainable world. Below a pix from the openning conference at KADK with among other interesting speakers; former UN Secretary General Mogens Lykketoft from Denmark.

In collaboration with Mandag Morgen Sustainia, KADK intends to show how the UN global goals can be realised in practice, whilst creating the basis for a new era of growth within Danish design driven by innovative solutions that respond to national and global problems.

And KADK is alone. More organisations and institutions are being inspireret by the 17 SDGs. Like the Norwegian Center for Design and Architecture, they have made ‘The Oslo Manifesto’. Check is out, join them.

 

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The Circular Way

In just one week I have attended 3 / three! conferences about sustainability and the circular economy in Denmark. Change is needed and this topic is hot.

The Circular Way

At the 24. of January in the heart of the Copenhagen at the Danish Parliament; Christiansborg Palace – the Danish Design Council and the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) hosted an afternoon conference about the role of design in the circular economy.  The Circular Way have the intention to let Danish companies know, that they can benefit from designers who can ‘think circular’, thus improving and optimizing their current production. It was done in a mix of inspiring talks from among others: Stephanie Hubold from Ellen MacArthur Foundations and the Danish politician Ida Auken, and students presenting the outcome of three Hackathons targeted different industrial.

 

 

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Nytårs OPRÅB!

KOM NU!  Brug dine indkøb – brug dine penge til at ’stemme med’. Virksomhederne har utrolig stor magt i vores samfund og verden. Men du besidder den ultimative magt, vær bevidst om det og brug den! Stem på virksomheder der gør en forskel, når du handler.

Jeg ved godt, at dette opråb nok virker desperat, men jeg synes egentligt at det er helt i orden, for situationen er alvorlig og kalder på det. Der er brug for HANDLING nu. Og pointen herfra er, – at det både er MIG og DIG og alle andre, der kan og skal gøre sit bedste for dermed at medskabe forandring. Den sker ikke uden os … dig og mig …

Vores forbrugsmønstre har skabt et ressourceforbrug som kloden ikke kan følge med i, og vi står derfor overfor MEGA store udfordringer og klart i kategori wicked problem. Og hvis du tænker; ‘åh, jeg er jo bare en lille lort i noget meget stort’ (Tor Nørretranders om mennesket i universet) – så har du ret, men hvis det så får dig til at tro, at du ikke kan gøre nogen forskel! Så er jeg ikke enig. For vi kan forener vores intelligens og bevidsthed og udrette det vildeste. Prøv bare at kigge bagud, – jo vi kan godt. Og det er netop derfor, at vi nu alle sammen skal bidrager, både med hjerne-kraft og købe-kraft, for sammen kan vi ændre kursen på vores fælles supertankers destination.

Husk – hvert skridt er på en vej. Hvert køb tæller.  Køb færre ting, i bedre kvalitet.

Rigtigt godt nytår. Make it happen in 2017

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Circular Economy conference in Herning, Denmark

walter-stahel

Walter Stahel was the keynote speaker in Herning, Denmark at the Circular Economy Conference at VIA, on the 28. of November 2016. Stahel is an icon within the circular economy mindset, since he has worked as founder and director of The Product-Life Institute in Geneva since its foundation in 1983, and here has invented the phrase ‘cradle-to-cradle‘ and is widely regarded as one of the world’s most eminent thinkers on the circular economy long before it was wonderfully framed by Ellen MacArthur Foundations. Walter Stahel continues today to promote the ideas through conference presentations and publications based on the first established consultancy in Europe devoted to developing sustainable strategies and policies.

At the conference also practical exampels from the circuar economy with the closed loop PE workwear and fashion garments by Dutch aWEARness was presented by the Dutch pioneer, Rien Otte, who explained about his work and made the words come fully alive with a fashionshow.

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In the evening after the conference I had the great pleasure of dinning with both of thise two foresighted and openminded gentlemens. Very honored, thank you.

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Slowdown fast fashion

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Illustration lent by Fashion Revolution

The fashion and textile industry is one of the most polluting and wasteful industries in the world with a high consumption of water, energy, chemicals and pesticides used for crop production, and all of this affects both the environment and the people working in the industries. But unlike many other industries, most of us actually have access to participate in changing the industry and this is already taking place …

Like in the US where more than 14 percent of consumers in 2016 looked for apparel and accessories made from natural materials, this is up from 12.9 percent the year before, according to a Euromonitor International survey. Shoppers looking for clothes that were reused or recycled rose 2 percent in 2016, and more millennials looked for “sustainably produced” apparel and accessories than any other age group. Read more about the development in the US here.

In Denmark we use the equivalent to 16 kg textiles per Dane per year – this being garments and house textiles and only half of it is will be either recycled or reused, where the rest will probably go into incinerators. In Denmark we used to produce textiles, but this production has been moved to cheaper manufactor places, like Asia, North Africa and Eastern EU, and yet the fashion and textile industry is still one of the country’s largest export industry. The industry employs about 10,000 people who design, develops and sells clothing and textiles and in 2012 exported for about 33 billion. Dkr. I see this as a great opportunity to shape the development and gain influence. – All designers please wake up, be aware and join forces.  – This is a great possibility.

For customers buying clothes, there are some basic guidelines that is good – and easy to follow, if you like be dress sustainable:

Choose to buy less and in high quality for the cloths to last long, and here think of both function and style while purchasing. Products designed to last long is a great start, since manufactoring the garments is the most polluting part of it’s lifespan.  That also gives you the possibility to sell it 2. hand if you no longer use the garment.

Look for garment with environmental labels, which in Denmark could be Svanen, Blomsten, GOTS, Oeko Tex, Ecolabel or other labels that certifies, that the products material and/or manufactoring has been made in a environmental friendly way.

Also remember to wash your garment at the lowest possible temperatur to save energy in the use phase, and when your textiles are used up, like totally finished and used up, then hand it in for recycling – for the fibers to be used again for new textiles. Yeha.

In short: – buy less and in good quality, products made from reused materials, or 2. hand – for ressources to be keeps in loops for a long as possible. And when you do no longer want it, then sell it 2. hand or pass it on, and when the textile is totally used up and finish – hand it in for recycling, for it to keep on looping OO

http://www.reclaimtowear.com/

http://www.ecap.eu.com

Bellow Adidas sneakers made from ocean plastic.

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Another View pop-up

Another View is a Danish fashion brand working for a – Clean and Fair fashion industry, based on Renewable and Recycled materials and new circular business models, where garments are only produced after you place your orders. Here Another View popped up at my place with their apparel collection and a talk about sustainable fashion and the chance to inter their community. Please watch 2.5 min. video here, – about the way they work – in Danish.)

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LAUNCH Nordic Summit 2015

Launchnordic

The LAUNCH Nordic Summit 2015 was held at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation, – in short KADK.

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For the 2. time people from the US and around the world gathered for the Summit to connect, share and network in the spirit of reaching sustainable solutions within this years challenge theme: New Materials & Feedstock. Experiences was shared by participants from last years and at the summit, we all took a look at the coming LAUNCH Nordic Challenge 2015 – that will be focusing on ‘New Materials & Feedstock’. This years work could fx. include innovative approaches to lower water and chemical consumption in production, use, and recycling of materials.

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LAUNCH Nordic was first created in the US in a strategic partnership, and now also comes in a Nordic version as a collaboration between IKEA, Novozymes, Kvadrat and Nordic Government Institutions with joined forces to spearhead the Nordic effort to drive system innovation and help identify and scale sustainable innovations in materials.

LAUNCH Nordic CHALLENGE2015  is now open for your innovation. Please imagined how to use fx. less water and chemicals in production, or try to think of a new system for sending plastic into recycling. Inter the Challenge and then if your innovation is ambitious and visionary, you may get chosen …

Read more about is here Launch Nordic Challenge 2015.

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