The circular economy neighbourhood

Sweden, like many countries, is pursuing the circular economy as a path to decarbonization, to the bio-economy and to ensure their economy has enough material resources. Apart from the climate emergency, pressure from population increases and rising standards are about to create inevitable material shortages. Still developing, the idea of circular economy begs us to envision a circular home, a circular neighbourhood and circular municipality. This article explores what a circular economy neighbourhood might look like, and how a cooperative model might help accelerate the transition in Sweden. The ideas may, of course, apply to other countries.

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146 clubs use neighbour power to force businesses to be planet friendly

Pivot Projects is a global project set up to bring actionable insights to COP26. Working with some colleagues from Pivot Projects we asked ourselves what the smallest unit could be of individuals working from the bottom up to bring societal functioning inside the doughnut framework.

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Concerns inventory: land and water management

  1. Cloud seeding from forest. Clear felling affects rainfall and cooling
  2. Poor soil water evaporation due to soil water content loss affects climate
  3. Air pollution
  4. Poor soil infiltration.
  5. Extracted water  exceeds replenishment
  6. Equity in Drinking water   
  7. Polluted Drinking water. 
  8. P and N are not recycled to agriculture, but emitted to surface water or stored on land as waste.
  9. Waste water plants do not recycle P and N.  
  10. P N emitted from waste-water treatment plant.  
  11. Impaired water with pollutants emitted to surface water
  12. P,N in runoff from agriculture
  13. P,N in runoff from forestry and other non-agricultural management practices
  14. CO2 emissions from water provision  
  15. Challenge to find sufficient water for agriculture, industry and households. 
  16. Water export via agriculture 

Regional authorities role in the circular economy

A circular economy is vastly different from a linear economy. When it comes to the resources that drive the economy, a linear economy is extractive whereas the circular economy is regenerative of its material sources. The current linear way we run our economy is using resources up at an ever-expanding rate. Before resource shortages overturn the economy we need to transition to the circular use of materials. But how do we get to the circular model? This article takes a high-level systems analysis approach to explore possible pathways, and hones in on the role of local authorities.

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Regional policy implications of the circular economy

As circular economy thinking takes hold among policy makers, civil servants and scientists, policy is tending towards circular as a strategy to reach environmental objectives.  Hopes are that  production systems will continue to deliver and indeed grow economically, but with far less material and fossil energy intensity. The Swedish Government formed its own Circular Economy Delegation last year and recently announced its national strategy for the Circular Economy  and 100 measures to transition to circularity.

Policy needs to align, but this raises questions. The economy is a complex adaptive system, and any intervention may cause the opposite of the intended effects. This article explores my own very personal reflections based on earlier work together with my recent work with the local university.  

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Not targets but U-turns: reflections on the IPCC report

Released today, the report, which summarises scientists’ understanding of what is happening with climate change, warns that Earth will unavoidably hit the critical threshold of 1.5°C warming due to climate change within the next 20 years. This is a combination of natural processes and human emissions. This is regardless of how radically global governments cut greenhouse gas emissions. This article urgently proposes a new framing approach: a pivot.

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Regional progress towards circular economy in Sweden

https://play.hig.se/media/t/0_b8yf9n1r

This interview, by Vojtech Vosecky from Circle-economy.com, looks at the results of a recent investigation by the University of Gävle into the status and training needs of regions in Sweden.

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2020: A year of tough realisations

For me, 2020 was the year I threw myself into the circular economy. Along the way I came up against a lot of really challenging things. Let’s look back on a year’s blogging together, with some sidetracks into things that I only just started to accept during the year.

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Indigenous leaders’ message about regenerative agriculture. We should listen

Regenerative Agriculture and Permaculture Offer Narrow Solutions to the Climate Crisis


Regenerative agriculture (Regen Ag) and permaculture claim to be the solutions to our ecological crises. While they both borrow practices from Indigenous cultures, critically, they leave out our worldviews and continue the pattern of erasing our history and contributions to the modern world.

While the practices ‘sustainable farming’ promote are important, they do not encompass the deep cultural and relational changes needed to realize our collective healing.

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Multi capital scoring: how to measure what matters in the circular economy

As circular economy thinking takes hold among policy makers, civil servants and scientists, policy is tending towards circular as a strategy to reach environmental objectives. Hopes are that production systems will continue to deliver and indeed grow economically, but with far less material and fossil energy intensity. This article explains why that might not be so easy and offers a way forward.

Circular economy thinking is taking hold among policy makers, civil servants and scientists alike. For example, the Swedish Government formed its own Circular Economy Delegation last year and recently announced its national strategy for the Circular Economy. Facing reduced material availability and rapidly reducing use of fossil fuels to align with the Paris accord, Sweden hopes that its production system will continue to deliver and indeed grow economically, but with far less material and fossil energy intensity. This article explores some of the theoretical and practical challenges of measuring what matters in order to help frame policy and effectively pursue  strategy.

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