Our first workshop in the "Circle Scan Kongsvinger Region" took place on 15 October. Facilitators were Circle Economy from the Netherlands together with Circular Norway.
Those who participated in the phase 1 workshop represented the municipalities (industry, technical managers and procurement, KS company), the county municipality / regional council, academia / knowledge industry (SINTEF, Statistics Norway, Høgskolen innlandet, Klosser Innovasjon) and local service providers and companies (GIR, 7Sterke ).
The workshop was started by Eva Snare, the initiator of this project. Eva is business manager in Nord-Odal municipality. It was after attending Circular Economy Hotspot Glasgow in November 2018 that she understood how much interest a region can have in carrying out a project according to the Circular Scan method.
Since then, the County Governor of Hedmark has supported the project with 1 million. Phase 1 started in full June 2019, and the entire project will last for approx. 12 months. The main focus is on the value chain for the construction industry.
From linear to circular
Ilektra Kouloumpi from Circle Economy started by explaining a bit about what circular economy is. It can easily be explained as a conversion engine for sustainable consumption and production. Today we live mostly in a linear world where goods become waste. In the circular economy, we want to extend the life of resources and preserve them in circulation for as long as possible. Recycling fails to contribute to this change alone.
The construction industry includes many sectors
In the Kongsvinger region, employment and value creation in the construction industry are of great importance, according to Jordi Pascual from Circle Economy. If you look at the entire value chain, it includes several sectors - forestry and mass extraction, processing and production, real estate investors, contractors, transport and logistics, energy, water and waste management.
In total we have found approx. 200 players with more than 3 employees in 16 relevant sectors / industries. The value chain has a great influence on the total use of resources in the region.
The goal for the first phase of the project has been to get an overview of actors, initiatives, challenges, political goals, strategies and guidelines in the value chain. We have sent out surveys and conducted in-depth interviews with the most important actors.
It turns out that most people know what circular economy is, but lack it in their strategy and business plan.
Initiative categorized according to 7 principles
Circle Economy uses 7 key principles to explain circular economy, and based on this they have categorized the circular initiatives that are taking place in the region. Based on these principles, Julia Koch, Circle Economy, could conclude that the business community in the region uses many renewable resources, but that there is little focus on technology.
After discussions based on graphic illustrations of the value chain, partners and initiatives, several new circular potential initiatives emerged.
Examples are: creating networks for better collaboration, focus on municipal / regional / county municipal procurement, marketplace for circular materials / resources, including more circular economy in education and better pricing of recycled materials.
Several of these initiatives respond to the challenges highlighted by survey participants.
The next phase of the project starts now
Going forward, the focus will be on analysis of material flows. We want to get an overview of the material flows (in and out) in the value chain, to be able to see what there is a lot of, and what has the potential to be used elsewhere in the value chain. If you want to contribute knowledge or data to this, we encourage you to contact one of us. We would also like tips on others who can contribute to the data base, e.g. industry associations, authorities and the research community. Workshop 2 will be in February 2020.
Project manager in Circular Norway,
Business Manager in Nord-Odal Municipality,