Cities in the Netherlands sign deal for a circular economy
On the 11th of October, during the Dutch National Summit on a Circular Economy, government officials, along with businesses and think tanks came together to sign a deal.
The City Deal: Circular City
The deal has been signed by eight cities in the Netherlands (Amsterdam, Almere, Apeldoorn, Haarlemmermeer, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Venlo and Dordrecht), with others keen to join, that focuses on transitioning to a circular economy.
Amsterdam, was the first city to begin research on the idea of cities turning towards circular economies two years ago.
In response to climate change and resource efficiency, the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region (AMR) aims to lead the movement by implementing changes in the next 10 years that will fulfil their vision for 2025.
The AMR will focus specifically on finding solutions to tie up loose ends in energy, water and material resources through circular redesign.
Defining a circular economy
A circular economy differs from the traditional linear economy in that it aims to reduce waste and pollution by recycling resources, and retaining their value for as long as possible, rather than disposing of them after use.
Linear economies are often thought of as bringing in wealth through sales transactions, yet according to Dr Jacqueline Cramer, Strategic Advisor of the Utrecht Sustainability Institute, and member of the Amsterdam Economic Board, seven billion euros could be saved in the Netherlands alone if we were to shift to a more circular economy.
She also claims that business could profit from creating employment and promoting innovation which would come as a direct result of loosening dependence on importing resources by producing locally.
Circular economy examples
Steps are already being taken to reach targets:
› Amsterdam is working with the Waste Energy Company to change over from the incineration of waste, to the reuse and recycle of household and company waste. They have begun by phasing out incinerators by initially replacing them with more energy efficient ones.
› In Almere, they are prioritising a circular economy by setting up a recycling and upcycling station and getting the most out of their biomass. They are also launching Floriade in 2022 which will be a model green city promoting zero waste and local food production.
› Haarlemmermeer aims to become a bio-based economy using Cradle 2 Cradle construction, which aims to use raw materials rather than synthetic.
› Even the Port of Amsterdam is taking a stance by recycling metal, scrap metal, rubble, e-waste amongst along with other projects and businesses that will act as engines for economic growth in the near future.
If you are interested in learning more about a circular economy, there are plenty of workshops and events you can attend at Circle Economy, a social enterprise that accelerates the practical and scalable implementation of the circular economy.