CIRCULAR ECONOMY MAPPING SESSION
Within the framework of the Circular Economy Mapping Session (05-11 February) the Green Energy Innovative Biomass Cluster and the local representative of Enterprise Europe Network have organised a meeting with the stakeholders on the 5th of February 2018 in Sepsiszentgyörgy at Best Western Park Hotel. Green Energy Innovative Biomass Cluster and Enterprise Europe Network were the only organizations from Romania which joined the thematic mapping session launched by a London based organisation, in partneship the other regional clusters: Transylvania Textile & Fashion Cluster, Transylvania Regional Balneological Tourism Cluster, AgroFood Regional Cluster & Clusters Consortium from Transylvania.
The Circular Economy Club (CEC) is the international network of over 2,600 circular economy professionals and organisations in over 60 countries. The club exists to connect professionals and spur collaboration around the circular economy to accelerate the practicalities of embedding circularity. We believe that together we can have a higher impact. CEC is a not-for-profit, ran by volunteers from around the globe who would like to speed up the process of implementing the circular economy locally and globally.
Founded in London in 2014 by Anna Tarí, the club started as a platform to bring together the community of people working on circular economy, to share learnings, solve doubts, and run activities which have an impact at a local level in all parts of the world. The vision of the club is to form a global community of members who help advance the implementation of the circular economy in real palpable terms in their cities and organizations.
The concept of the circular economy applies non-linear, feedback-rich systems. Instead of throwing away products, their components and materials that they are made from, we reroute them into appropriate value chains (supply chains) – creating an economy in balance with nature. Ultimately we keep products and materials in use for as long as possible and design out waste. The circular model is restorative and regenerative by design, and aims to keep products, components, and materials at their highest utility and value at all times.
Why it is important to promote the concept of the circular economy?
We want to promote the concept of sustainable development & circular economy with our activities, because we want to build our region, not to destroy it. The objective is to create a liveable area and well-being in the Central Region (Transylvania) according to the Sustainable Development Global Goals. We would like to live in a liveable society, but do we acknowledge how it is possible? Are we aware of the fact that if we want to develop a sustainable economy we cannot disregard the social aspects and the environmental issues?
A bold new global agenda to end poverty and to fight the climate change by 2030 and pursue a sustainable future was unanimously adopted in September, in New York by the 193 Member States of the United Nations at the start of a three-day Summit on Sustainable Development.
The historic adoption of the new Sustainable Development Agenda, with 17 global goals at its core, was met with a thunderous standing ovation from delegations that included many of the more than 150 world leaders who will be addressing the Summit.
Ushering in a new era of national action and international cooperation, the new agenda commits every country to take an array of actions that would not only address the root causes of poverty, but would also increase economic growth and prosperity and meet people’s health, education and social needs, while protecting the environment.
The circular economy model offers a possible and viable way for this. The circular economy basically means that our activities must be organized in the same way as ecosystems from the nature, where actually there is no waste. In order to make a value from the waste in our "civilized" world, we need to collaborate with the various economic actors (businesses, public institutions, offices, educational institutes, organizations). The implementation is not easy, but the role of regional clusters is important here, because the clusters make connection between the economic actors to develop a specific area.
In the various fields of food, textile, wood industry, agriculture, etc. clusters make it possible to apply research in practice by turning it into a business cycle.
During the event, speakers from many areas have shared different insights, from academics, to high school teachers, researchers and experts alike. Many good initiatives have also been mentioned (self-retaining settlements, organic farming, reuse of whey ...), which we will try collect in a bunch in the future.
Lajos Vajda, president of the Green Energy Innovative Biomass Cluster, director of the Business Incubator and president of several other clusters, presented the role of clusters in the circular economy. He talked about the research opportunities of clusters. Then, Orsolya Bőjte (a scholarship student at the ELTE Márton Áron College) and collaborator of the InnoHUB co-working space presented the purpose of the event and the CEC organization from London and talked about the relationship between the circular economy and sustainable development.
Dr. Sándor Bartha, researcher, analyzed the circular economy, and mentioned some good practices, for example an insulating material from textile and wood waste.
Then, Lajos Vajda, director of the Business Incubator and president of several clusters, moderator of the event, encouraged the speakers to share their point of view regarding the circular economy and their activities. Ernő Köntés, who has a permaculture farm, Dr.Gyula Főcze, university professor, compared the differences between the old systems and nowadays system, and the connection of humans with nature from the past and the present. Ernő Köntés had an interesting opinion, he said that " change is not comfortable", therefore the process is very slow and difficult to change our systems. József Kasléder, also an organic producer, spoke about the sustainability of the rural life. They are members of the AgroFOOD Regional Cluster.
Zoltán Bakó, owner of Meotis company, presented their research about reusing the whey as energy drink. Csaba Birtan Tóth, deputy mayor, presented the activities of Tega and the process of selective waste collection in Covasna County. Boglárka Vajda, manager of the Green Energy Innovative Biomass Cluster emphasized the fact that the largest companies from the whole world, which represent the circular economy have innovative business models, for example the Airbnb, Uber, Skype.
Károly Szabó and József Levente Tánczos focused on the economic sustainability of the initiatives based on the circular economic model. In order to make these initiatives viable on the long run, there is a need to introduce them in the economic cycle. Annamária Szőke,director of the Berde Áron Economics and Public Administration Secondary School, presented her own research, during which sewage sludge was reused as a construction brick. Levente Miklós Bagoly, president of the Business Incubator and Sándor Bartha, boiler builder, also brought examples of good practices. An other topic was the utilization of agricultural and food industrial waste for energy purposes, promoted by the BioVill Horizon 2020 project (1 village 1 MW, Ghelinta and Estelnic as good examples). Lajos Vajda mentioned a research about the reuse of the food waste, as part of the strategy of theAgroFOOD Regional Cluster, through the STRING project (STrategies for the Regional INnovative Food Clusters).
Dr. Réka Incze representing the Sustainable Development Department of the line Ministry spoke about the development process of the Sustainable Development Strategy of Romania, and the availability of new research data in the balneological field. Enikő Mátyus, manager of the Transylvania Regional Balneological Tourism Cluster highlighted the importance of restoring the former bathing resorts and their potential as a model for implementing the Sustainability Initiatives based on the Circular Economy model.
Éva Gászpor and Mirela Sanda Bogyó, managers of Transylvania Textile & Fashion Cluster, consider the recycling of textile waste not only in the clothing industry, but also in the hospitality industry and in hotels, for example the tablecloths, bed sheets. Therefore, they invited to the event some fashion designers, Alpár Könczei and Ágnes Jánosi. They prepared a fashion show with the title of "Sustainable and eco-friendly fashion". The fashion show was created under the leadership of Erzsébet Mátyás and Enikő Gagyi, two professors at the Puskás Tivadar Secondary School. They involved some students (Könczei Bíborka, Csere Bernadett, Kelemen Tünde, Kismihàly Beatrix, Ràduly Mónika). Alpár Könczei made dresses from curtains, and Ágnes Jánosi designed universal clothes, to be used during sport and in freetime activities.
Péter Domokos, president of the Civil Society Organization of Géza Domokos, said that the direction would be good, but a larger target audience should be addressed in the future in order to advance the case.
The event ended with a networking lunch. The Circular Economy Club has provided the opportunity to organize the event in Sfântu Gheorghe, which has created a chance to meet many aspects. According to the organizers, this event was only one step in promoting the circular economy model, but it is a first step to launch processes that make the scene to a livable region.
7 February 2018 | Sfântu Gheorghe
Sustainable Development Week (ESDW)
The European Sustainable Development Week (ESDW) is an initiative to facilitate the organization of activities that promote sustainable development and make these efforts visible on a common platform. The recently adopted global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) articulates key issues that call for urgent action at all levels and by all stakeholders. The ESDW contributes to this ambitious, universal and transformative agenda by promoting the organization of bottom-up activities that have a thematic link to and support the SDGs. As such, the ESDW aims to raise awareness for the 2030 Agenda in Europe and calls upon local stakeholders to actively engage with sustainable development, in general, and the SDGs, in particular.
Activities will be able to be registered and viewed on this website. This will be a tool for organizers to promote their project and attract higher participation. Furthermore, they will gain access to promotion material (logos, posters, banners etc.) on the site, highlighting their participation in a concerted European effort for sustainable development.
The ESDW will act as an umbrella for existing national sustainable development weeks in France, Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic and will trigger new initiatives, activities and events in EU Member States and other European countries. To encourage inclusiveness and diversity, the registration for organizers is open to all forms of government agencies, research centres, educational institutions, museums, foundations, community organizations, associations, businesses and NGOs, as well as individual citizens, etc. The central criterion for eligibility to take part in the ESDW is that the proposed project / initiative addresses one or more dimensions of sustainable development and is not exclusively profit-oriented. This could include, but is not limited to: conferences, exhibitions, markets, film screenings, community activities, sustainable business initiatives and education projects.
The Environment Ministers of France, Germany and Austria have jointly presented the initiative of organizing an annual, European-wide sustainable development week at Environment Council on the 28th October 2014, where it was welcomed by the Commission and several Member States. Subsequently, the ESDW will be coordinated by the ESDN Office at the Institute for Managing Sustainability at the Vienna University of Economics and Business in Austria.
EU Sustainable Energy Week
GREEN CITIES FOR A GREENER FUTURE, 21-25 MAY 2018
The next edition of EU Green Week will explore ways in which the EU is helping cities to become better places to live and work. Showcasing policy developments on air quality, noise, nature and biodiversity, waste and water management, it will promote participatory approaches to urban development, networking schemes, and tools for sharing best practices, engaging local authorities and citizens, and encouraging them to share their vision of a sustainable future.
EU Green Week 2018 will include events across Europe, a high level conference in Brussels from 22-24 May 2018, and Opening and Closing events (21 and 25 May) to take place in the Member States. These High Level Opening and Closing events will have a particular prominence, setting the tone for the week's debates, and showcasing political conclusions at the end.
Registration for participants for the EU Green Week conference in Brussels will be open from the 1st April.