Monday February 5th, 2018 admin

The Circular Economy: a new paradigm for future business opportunities

Due to changes in consumers’ perceptions, market expectations and considering natural resource constraints, major changes are taking place in the consumption and production chains. Circular economy thinking is fundamental to stay ahead of these changes.

In 2015 the European Commission itself put forward a package to help businesses and consumers shift to a circular economy approach. The proposals address the full lifecycle of products, from eco-design to consumption and waste management, also considering the reuse of secondary materials. To financially support this transition, the European Structural & Investment Funds (ESIF) allocated €5.5 billion for waste management. In addition, €650 million has been made available under Horizon 2020 (the EU funding program for research and innovation).

Circular economy is not only a trending topic, it is also a real and concrete opportunity to create a new generation of businesses that will help achieve a more economically and environmentally sustainable growth.

Circular Economy’s 5R principle: reduce, reuse, refurbish, repair and recycle

Circular economy is an approach to economic development designed to benefit businesses, society, and the environment. In contrast to the current linear model, the circular economy is based on 5 Rs principles: Reduce, Reuse, Refurbish, Repair and Recycle. Transitioning to a more circular economy, where the value of products, materials and resources is maintained for as long as possible and the generation of waste is minimised, is an essential contribution to develop a competitive, sustainable, low-carbon and resource-efficient economy. At the urban level, cities can play a substantial role in this transition.

Save the date!

The event “Circular economy 2030: new challenges and perspectives” will be held on the 20th of February, in Prato, @Museo del Tessuto, Via Puccetti 3. The initiative is promoted by the Municipality of Prato, PIN – Educational and Scientific Services for the University of Florence, The Urban Agenda of the EU on Circular Economy and ARCO.

The event will explore the national strategies, the innovations, and the local best practices related to the circular economy. It will allow the audience to go deeper into the meaning and the opportunities of this new paradigm of sustainability.

The Program

Morning | 9.00 am – 1.30 pm
The morning debate will be dedicated to the European policies, the national strategies and the role of the Municipality of Prato within the framework of the Urban Agenda for the EU on Circular Economy, with special reference to the link between sustainability and innovation.

Afternoon | 2.30 pm – 4.30 pm
The workshop “Circular economy for social cohesion“, promoted and organized by ARCO, will explore some funding opportunities within the framework of the circular economy and the components necessary to develop project proposals that combine circular economy and social impact.



>> Please note that the first round table will be in italian, the second in english.

Want to know more on circular economy?  >>>

Our current activities on circular economy

Within the EU’s “Urban Agenda: Circular Economy Partnership”, we consult with the Municipality of Prato, which is the Italian representative. The Partnership aims to stimulate the 5R circular economy principles with the aim to promote growth and job opportunities. Waste management, turning waste into resources, and resource efficiency are among the main issues being addressed. The Municipality of Prato is leader in the debates that have emerged regarding water’s status as a valuable resource and on sustainable buildings. We offer scientific and technical support especially on water treatment and reuse.

We have also started implementing the activities of the European project CYCLE, which aims to create a set of tools that support the introduction of circular economy competencies in adult training.

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