Over a period of three years, the PathoCERT project has developed user-friendly tools and technologies aimed at enhancing the awareness and coordination capabilities of first responders and key stakeholders within the command-and-control hierarchy during emergency waterborne pathogen contamination events. As the project draws to a close, a final European Community of Practice event will take centre stage in February 2024. The event will focus on distilling the lessons learned from the project’s engagement approach and pilot activities and translate them into policy recommendations that will actively support the widespread adoption of PathoCERT’s pioneering solutions.

The meeting will cover a range of topics exploring the intersection of technology, stakeholder engagement and policy recommendations. Participants will have the opportunity to embark on a journey of shared insights, explore common policy implications and key findings, and broaden perspectives on challenges and opportunities in water management. The project team and the event participants will also look into the future landscape of waterborne pathogen control and management.

The innovative methodology deployed in PathoCERT included a comprehensive stakeholder engagement strategy resulting in a total of 30 Community of Practice meetings organised across six pilot cities/regions: Granada (Spain), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Limassol (Cyprus), Thessaloniki (Greece), Sofia (Bulgaria) and Seoul (South Korea), coupled with direct pilot-testing field work. Through these events, a diverse range of stakeholders have had the opportunity to provide valuable feedback to technology developers and to engage in collaborative co-creation processes around existing management system practices, highlighting existing challenges and areas of opportunity.

Stay in touch with the project team Francesca Grossi and Dimitra Ioannidou for the date and related information and join the event for insights into the challenges and successes encountered by first responders and key stakeholders during waterborne pathogen contamination events.

The PathoCERT project is funded under the European Union research programme, Horizon 2020 and runs until 2023.

For further information, please contact Francesca Grossi.

The room in Berlin where the UBi Project Awards “The Supply Chain Lives” were announced in November 2023 was filled with biodiversity enthusiasts. An Ulm-based company that produces used clothing containers with green roofs where plants and insects happily co-exist and Berlin’s oldest blacksmith’s shop known for its lilac wood knife handles were among the awardees. The awards celebrated ten medium-sized companies from Germany and Switzerland that are taking a proactive role in integrating biodiversity in their operations and reorganising their supply chain management with biodiversity in mind.

Steffi Lemke, German Federal Minister for the Environment, who attended the ceremony, emphasized: “Shifting to nature-friendly business practices is not only ecologically necessary, but also pays off for companies, especially in times of scarce resources, disrupted supply chains and high raw material prices. It is therefore a win-win situation for both nature and companies if they integrate biodiversity more strongly into their management strategies. In the best-case scenario, the economy itself actively contributes to the restoration of destroyed ecosystems.”

The awards intend to promote and inspire businesses to take action for protecting and preserving biodiversity along the entire value chain with forward-looking supply chain management solutions.

The ten finalists of the second edition included: Upländer Bauernmolkerei – milk producer, DEFLEX – window, door, and façade accessories, etepetete – vegetable and fruit retailer, Heinrich GLAESER – textiles, Melitta Group Management – coffee and household products, PERÚ PURO – chocolate industry,  Rixdorfer Schmiede – blacksmith, Böck GbR – laser engraving, SCHWARTAUER WERKE – food industry, and Triodos Bank N.V. Deutschland – financial sector.

The awards “The Supply Chain Lives: Transforming Supply Chains, Integrating Biodiversity” was organised as part of the UBi: Business & Biodiversity project, which is funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection.

Additional information on the competition and the finalists can be found here (in German).

For further questions, please contact Alexander Mannweiler.

Image © Katja Zimmermann

The increase of both native and invasive woody species has been an ongoing challenge for countries across Southern Africa. Exacerbated by climate change, invasive bush outcompete other plants in the savanna ecosystem, overcrowding rangelands and competing with livestock for water. While this affects farmlands and rangelands in particular, it also poses threats to the environment, the economy, and society in general. By employing a novel superheated steam (SHS) technology, our SteamBioAfrica (SBA) project is working with key local and international stakeholders to convert the encroaching woody biomass into clean-burning solid biofuel and water. Through targeted training programmes, local micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are empowered to take a proactive role in ensuring a wide-scale acceptance of the solid biofuel by the local markets.

In autumn 2023, in collaboration with the project partners Ekasi Energy, Namibia Biomass Industry Group (N-BiG), and Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST),  the CSCP hosted stakeholder engagement and MSME training sessions in two locations in South Africa, Stellenbosch and East London.

Stakeholder engagement

Discussions among key stakeholders focused on the effective transformation of invasive species into valuable products for strengthening local as well as regional economies. The sessions revolved around the potentials of the SHS technology and solid biofuel to create viable business opportunities for local MSMEs. The new business opportunities and roles that women entrepreneurs can play in the process were also explored.

During the dialogue, key topics included the examination of current government policies, analysing market trends of potential competing fuels, and highlighting the unique attributes of the SBA solid biofuel. The sessions also delved into how to build on the ongoing initiatives by the South African government, such as the Working for Water (W4W) program.

Key insights included promoting sustainable harvesting and land management practices, integrating a value addition approach, and establishing markets for the resulting biomass to drive sustainable and effective land restoration. On the topic of funding, it was emphasised that several financing instruments for South African MSMEs are in place in the form of grants and loans. Leveraging these opportunities could significantly boost the wide-scale commercialisation of the solid biofuel and the adoption of SHS technology across the country. This will create new income streams and viable prospects for both households and businesses.

Moreover, the stakeholder dialogues elaborated on how to integrate local MSMEs into the commercialisation strategy. New business models that support the new technology and biofuel may strengthen the local livelihood of rural communities affected by invasive bush in South Africa.

MSME training workshops

The focus of the MSME training workshops is to empower startups and small businesses, especially those led by women and youth, by providing them with essential business skills to start and thrive in the biomass sector. In South Africa, these sessions incorporated eight modules designed by the CSCP, covering various topics such the development of business models, efficient business operations, financial management, marketing and communication, sustainability and circular economy.

During the training sessions, a gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) team from the Naimbia University of Science and Technology – NUST introduced gender-inclusive and socially equitable practices that businesses can adopt, aiming for a broader positive societal impact.

In Stellenbosch as well as East London, the MSME participants appreciated the training, expressing interest in further capacity building as well as in actively testing and marketing the solid biofuel.

Participation in the 2023 Tropentag International Conference

The SteamBioAfrica project was also represented by the CSCP in the Tropentag International Conference that took place in September 2023 in Berlin. Presenting the latest project results through, the team contributed to the current research and discussions on renewable energy and circular economy in a water-food-energy nexus, particularly in the global south. A summary of the SteamBioAfrica presentation at the conference can be found here.

For further questions, please contact Kartika Anggraeni.

To support the development of national bioeconomy strategies, 10 National Bioeconomy Hubs have been launched in countries across Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) as part of the CEE2ACT project. The hubs will be key to fostering collaboration between different stakeholders as the involved countries take major steps towards a circular future.

The CSCP guides the stakeholder engagement process in the project and supports the target countries in fully establishing their National Bioeconomy Hubs. These hubs, located in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia, represent a crucial move towards empowering CEE countries to develop circular bioeconomy strategies—a critical component in achieving climate neutrality.

The Hubs serve as dynamic exchange platforms involving multiple stakeholders, encouraging and enabling collaboration among members. Led by a Hub coordinator in each country, their primary goal is to support and shape the development of national bioeconomy strategies. One measure of success of the Hubs is their ability to bring together a wide range of stakeholders. In that regard, it was a notable achievement for the Polish National Bioeconomy Hub, for example, to have assembled around 55 participants from 40 institutions, effectively engaging representatives from all major stakeholder groups.

Some Hubs were launched with ministerial support. In Hungary, representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture were present along with research institutes, municipalities, universities, and related projects. In Serbia, participation from representatives of the Ministry of Environmental and Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, demonstrated the cross-sectoral commitment. Meanwhile, Slovakia’s exceptional turnout of 50 participants, including representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Regional Development, underscored the high level of political interest and commitment to bioeconomy initiatives.

Workshop participants were enthusiastic about the opportunities offered by the Hubs to learn and collaborate on national bioeconomy. They initiated dialogues on unique needs, motivations, and opportunities specific to each CEE2ACT country. For instance, the Polish workshop concluded with partners making statements of willingness to actively participate in the Hub, showing a collective determination to contribute to Poland’s bioeconomy strategy. Similarly, the workshop of the Romanian National Bioeconomy Hub was highlighted by the establishment of solid partnerships. The conclusion in Romania resonates with the broader theme: while partnerships are robust, there is a recognised need for continuous development.

As the CSCP continues supporting Hub coordinators in stakeholder engagement activities, the launch of the Hubs signifies a milestone for the project goal towards a more sustainable and circular future for the CEE region. The National Bioeconomy Hubs now stand as space for collaboration, innovation, and knowledge transfer, supporting the development of national bioeconomy strategies in the CEE countries.

The CEE2ACT project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe research programme and will run for three years (2022-2025), led by a consortium of 17 European partners.

For further questions, please contact Fiona Woo.

What strategies and interdisciplinary solutions do companies need in order to rethink their traditional ways of doing business? How can new business models with a strong sustainability perspective help companies remain competitive, anticipate challenges, and turn them into opportunities? Moreover, what kind of skills are needed to make such a transformation happen? If you’re interested in finding answers to these questions, don’t miss our international CATALYST project event on 29 November 2023.

The event will be a dynamic exploration of the sustainable future of business, with a keynote address by Wayne Visser from the Antwerp Management School. As a leading scholar in the field of business management, he will share his expertise through a thought-provoking address on “The Future of Business: Regenerating Nature, Society, and the Economy”.

As part of the CATALYST project, the plan for a comprehensive curriculum of 70 courses on the topics of business transformation, Circular Economy and sustainable leadership will be presented for the first time.

The curriculum will be developed by all project partners involved, with the CSCP leading the establishment of a German Centre for Vocational Excellence (CoVE) to create an educational offer that addresses personal and organisational development for transformation in German small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Event: CATALYST Project International Event
Date: 29 November 2023
Time: 18:00 CET
Place: Graz, Austria and online
Language: English

To join the event, please register here.

To learn more about the CATALYST project and its work, please visit the project website.

For additional questions, please contact Victoria Funk.

Potato rösti with beetroot, rich and creamy hummus, and topped with apples and walnuts; pumpkin rye risotto; pierogi with sauerkraut and wild mushrooms – these are some of the dishes that young chefs from around Germany prepared as part of regional cooking competitions organised by our KochCup project. Running ahead of and during the European Men’s Football Championship 2024, the goal of the project is to inspire and help mainstream healthy and sustainable food within the sports realm and beyond.

As part of the project, young chefs presented their competing recipes during four preliminary rounds in September and November 2023 in regional contests in Kiel, Frankfurt, Gelsenkirchen and Halle (Saale). The top three contestants (or teams) of each round will move ahead to the final competition scheduled for March 2024 in Berlin. Selected recipes will be presented to broader audiences as part of activities in the host cities of EURO 2024.

The on-site jury, consisting of chefs, dieticians, nutrition scientists, food bloggers and cooking influencers, selected the finalists based on taste, presentation, and cooking techniques. Before the recipes made it to the regional contests, they were evaluated based on a set of criteria, including if the ingredients were seasonal, regional, and predominantly plant-based and organic. Moreover, recipes were also screened regarding how easily they could be cooked in home conditions.

“You can learn a lot through a competition like this as it is not only about how a recipe tastes or how you present it on a plate. Rather, it is about considering its impact on the planet and on our health.”, one participant shared.

As a next step, all twelve finalists will have the opportunity to fine-tune their dishes and cooking skills in online coaching sessions with experienced chefs.

In addition, the finalists will have the opportunity to present their recipes online and collect extra points for the final in an online community voting beginning in 2024. The KochCup project is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety, and Consumer Protection (BMUV).

For additional information, please contact Jennifer Wiegard.

Sustainability efforts, including Circular Economy ones, cannot be achieved alone – this is what drives us at the CSCP: to identify and enable collaborations that make it possible for actors to create innovative solutions that have a real impact. In this episode of the podcast “Now it’s happening – the future of Circular Economy” (Jetzt geht’s rund – Zukunft Kreislaufwirtschaft), CSCP Executive Director Michael Kuhndt speaks to Anja Kuhn (Bergische Waste Management Association / Bergischer Abfallwirtschaftsverband) about the power of collaborations.

In the podcast, Michael explains how in the last 17 years the CSCP has collaborated with around 3,000 partners around the globe to make consumption and production more sustainable. In his own words: “Sustainability provides innovation processes with purpose in order to make products and/or service portfolios climate positive, enrich biodiversity or become fully circular.”

Discussing the topic of Circular Economy in particular, Michael emphasises the role of consumers when it comes to moving from the take-make-dispose logic and being able to truly close the loop. He explains what a process of behaviour change means in this context and describes why it is crucial that sustainable products are the easier choice compared to non-sustainable products. In the podcast, he gives the example of how a civil society organisation, a multi-national company and the CSCP are partnering up on a consumer campaign to achieve lower washing temperatures in Germany. You can read more about the #wirdrehenrunter campaign here.

Michael also emphasizes that sustainability (and circularity) need “places” to showcase what is possible, highlighting the example of Metabolon as a place that shows what can be done with waste and how it can be rethought as a resource. In his view, such places should be established across cities and regions.

The episode “You are stronger if you drive innovation to together” (Wenn man zusammen Innovation betreibt ist man stark) is available to listen/download in German.

Listen to the podcast now!

The podcast is hosted and produced by Metabolon / the Bergische Waste Management Association (Bergischer Abfallwirtschaftsverband), a strategic partner of the CSCP. The CSCP is a member of the roundtable Circular Economy in North Rhine Westphalia which is led by Metablon.

For further questions, please contact Michael Kuhndt directly.

When we think of Circular Economy, we predominantly mean circular production and, to a lesser extent, consumption. Often, this is tied to a narrow economic perspective. However, for Circular Economy to truly be used as a means to greater sustainability, we need to expand the concept beyond the purely economic realm and integrate social and economic solutions together.

With the concept of the circular society, a new paradigm is rapidly gaining traction that rethinks the role of society in the emerging circular world. To this end, important questions arise: How can we ensure to include everyone in a fair, inclusive and meaningful way? What steps are needed to enable people to endorse circularity and live up to its principles in their day-today-life? Moreover, how do we align specific circularity goals to the sustainable development goals?

The Circular Society Forum is a yearly platform for relevant actors to come together, discuss, and engage on the topic of the Circular Society. This year, the CSCP takes an active role in the forum by hosting a panel discussion on the role of cities and regions in Germany (and beyond) in actively supporting and advancing the idea of the Circular Society. For this purpose, we have invited experts working for or with cities and regions around core topics of the Circular Society, such as citizen participation, sustainable development or the Circular Economy.


Event: Circular Society Forum
Date: 29 September 2023
Time: 10:00 – 11: 30
Place: Online
Language: German
Cost: Free of charge

To join the session, please sign up here. To find out more about the programme, please go here.

The Circular Society Forum is organised by the Hans Sauer Stiftung and BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg and is funded by The German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU). The event is hybrid, with on-site sessions in Berlin and online ones. You can find further information on the summit website.

For further questions, please contact Alexandra Kessler.

Climate change and biodiversity loss are major crises we face today. Circular procurement can contribute to mitigating climate change and preserving biodiversity through prioritising sustainable products and services.

The European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP) Leadership Group on Circular Procurement and the Leadership Group on Biodiversity and Climate will bring together key stakeholders in an inclusive dialogue on how to foster circular procurement as a catalyst for biodiversity and climate resilience.

“Put simply, circular procurement is the process by which products and services are purchased in accordance with the principles of the circular economy, and it should function as part of the wider sustainable procurement strategy of a particular organisation. Two main pillars of circular procurement are: boosting circular supply chains by increasing demand for circular products, materials and services and promoting new business models based on innovative and resource-efficient solutions.”, explains Cristina Fedato, Head of Sustainable Products and Services team at the CSCP.

You can read more about the strategic role of circular procurement here.

During the #EUCircularTalk, city representatives will share their experiences on integrating circular procurement strategies, calculating scope 3 emissions, and using circular procurement to achieve their climate and biodiversity goals.

BioOrg, a trailblazer in cleaning buildings with bacteria, will share their circular procurement process experiences and criteria for ensuring sustainability and eco-friendliness.

Adding an international perspective, a guest speaker from outside the EU will provide a critical assessment of the environmental impact of certain technologies, such as electric cars and battery manufacturing.

Following speaker presentations, a panel discussion and a Question & Answer session will allow participants to raise questions, share thoughts, and engage with the speakers.

Register now to join the event!

Event: #EUCircularTalk “Circular Procurement: Catalyst for Biodiversity and Climate Resilience”
Date: 20 October 2023
Time: 10:00-12:00 CET
Place: Online
Language: English
Cost: Free of charge

The #EUCircularTalk “Circular Procurement: Catalyst for Biodiversity and Climate Resilience” is organised by Circular Flanders, Rediscovery Centre, IUCN, Kolding Kommune, and the CSCP, within the framework of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP).

The CSCP is an ECESP Coordination Group member and a regular member of numerous ECESP Leadership Groups.

For further questions, please contact Cristina Fedato.

In a rapidly evolving business landscape, it is imperative for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to remain receptive to fresh ideas and innovative approaches that can revamp their business practices. As part of the first round of our sustainable.circular Programme, the objective was to empower SMEs to adopt sustainable circular approaches, ensuring their continued competitiveness.

During the course of the first round, the project team and the involved companies delved into topics such as, how to ensure that circular approaches are sustainable and discussed the potentials and challenges that entrepreneurs face when integrating circular approaches into their operations. A series of case studies conducted during the programme highlight key areas where SMEs require additional support to fully adopt circularity.

The case studies reveal that the challenges vary, ranging from company culture to knowledge deficit to product or service-related difficulties. A compilation of the case studies, including potentials and next steps is available for download.

CSCP’s sustainable.circular programme was created to ensure that efforts to achieve a circular economy are guided by a clear objective to achieve greater sustainability.

The first round of our sustainable.circular programme is supported and funded by the German Federal Environment Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt – DBU) and carried out in cooperation with the Federal Association for Sustainable Economy (Bundesverband Nachhaltige Wirtschaft – BNW e.V.).

Are you interested in exploring ways how to close the gap between circular and sustainable in your business context? Reach out to Mike Tabel.