Known for its vast mountains and beautiful landscapes, Kyrgyzstan is a major destination in Central Asia for nature-lovers from around the globe. While tourism is a strong economic pillar of the country, it comes with trade-offs such as resource depletion and pollution. Through the EU Switch-Asia project PERETO, we are engaging with Kyrgyz national and local institutions to introduce and enhance sustainable tourism practices that lead to a more resilient future.

In particular, PERETO’s focus is on introducing sustainable consumption and production (SCP) measures to the local tourism sector as well as to local consumers, decision makers and financial institutions. Among the measures introduced are  energy and resource efficiency ones. To achieve this, the project works both on raising awareness among consumers by inspiring and supporting behaviour change, but also by introducing highly efficient and clean technologies to hotels, restaurants and cafes (the HoReCa sector).

In collaboration with local banks, PERETO is supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the sector to invest in green technologies, such as heat pump water heaters and solar panels.

Exploring sustainable tourism best practices through a study tour

To promote partnerships and knowledge exchange between Europe and Kyrgyzstan on sustainable tourism, PERETO recently organised a study tour that brought together Kyrgyz policy- and decision makers to several EU cities such as Brussels, Leuven, Antwerp, The Hague, and Rotterdam.

During the tour, Kyrgyz representatives had the chance to experience first-hand some of the European best practices in energy and resource efficiency (ERE) and sustainable consumption and production (SCP).

The delegation met with experts from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Partnerships and the Environment within the framework of the SWITCH-Asia programme and learned about relevant EU sustainability projects.

“This study tour has allowed us to become familiar with the diversity of green solutions that are successfully implemented in various social setting,” said Mrs. Benazir Nurlanova, Chief Expert in the Presidential Administration of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Networking with European stakeholders

Relevant tourism actors were involved in the study tour and knowledge exchange, including the European consumer organization (BEUC), the Association of Hotels, Restaurants, Pubs and Cafes in Europe (HOTREC), and numerous city tourism departments.

Nurzat Abdyrasulova, President of Unison Group, a PERETO project partner, highlighted: “The tour was an important opportunity to establish connections with European organisations and to gain valuable knowledge on sustainable tourism development that will help advance sustainable tourism in Kyrgyzstan.”

As a result of the study tour and within the framework of the PERETO project, the Kyrgyz delegation will facilitate the development of a national roadmap for sustainable tourism. The roadmap will provide guidance to all actors within the tourism sector on how to promote sustainable tourism in the country.

For further questions, please contact Kartika Angraaeni. 

Energy is essential in our everyday lives. However, peaking energy prices have increased levels of energy poverty and insecurity for many communities around the globe. The situation is particularity dire in sub-Saharan Africa. In countries like South Africa, 47% of the households face energy poverty, spending as much as 27% of their income on energy*. In Botswana, up to 75% of the rural population has no access to clean energy for cooking and in Namibia up to 64% of the rural population has no access to electricity**.

Through an EU-Africa industry-research partnership, the SteamBioAfrica project is tackling energy poverty and insecurity in Southern Africa. Focusing on Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, the project uses an innovative technology of superheated steam (SHS) systems on woody biomass from invasive and encroaching bush species to generate a clean and affordable solid biofuel.

In early 2023, the superheated steam (SHS) biomass processing technology, which is the heart of the SteamBioAfrica project, was installed at the Cheetah Conservation Fund site in north-central Namibia and the system is planned to become operational within the second half of 2023.

In collaboration with the project partners, the CSCP identified technical and business-related gaps and needs in local skills and workforce and designed a technical and business-related training and capacity-building programme to be delivered to farmers (landowners) and harvesters, and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) respectively. The programme included Train of the Trainer (ToT) sessions that were carried out in Namibia in March 2023, for our project partners to implement the training and capacity-building in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.

Stakeholder engagement activities with local financial institutions, policymakers and MSMEs have been initiated to facilitate dialogue and foster collaboration for the development of a solid biofuel value chain. The goal is to promote the development of inclusive and sustainable business models, particularly targeting youth and women-led MSMEs and develop an innovative financial toolbox to enable the participation of local stakeholders throughout the value chains of the solid biofuel.

Check out the SteamBioAfrica overview video to learn more about the project!


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The SteamBioAfrica project is an EU-Africa industry-research partnership supported by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Programme.

The CSCP is particularly focused on the development of downstream value chains for the long-term commercialisation of the solid biofuel. The key goal is to enable the integration of environmental and social innovation along the value chain, facilitate the participation of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises and increase the access of vulnerable groups to clean and affordable energy.

For further questions, please contact Kartika Anggraeni or Adriana Ballón Ossio.

Imagine developing innovative solutions to tackle emergency situations, but when it comes to their implementation a series of practical challenges emerge. How best to account for the uptake and mainstreaming of effective novel technologies by the key actors who will be using them? The PathoCERT project, through its pilot cases and multi-stakeholder engagement processes, tackles this, enabling not only the testing of developed technologies, but also facilitating co-development and feedback mechanisms thanks to its Communities of Practices (CoPs) approach.

An efficient response to waterborne pathogen contamination events requires a high-level of coordination among all actors, from those in charge of the command to those operating on the ground. Applied technologies and tools need to facilitate the effective deployment of first responders’ responses during these events.

In April 2023, the first earthquake simulation exercise of the PathoCERT project took place in Granada, Spain. Over 230 first responders – ranging from civil protection, medical services, firefighters, the police and regional and municipalities – participated and had the opportunity to experience the innovative components and functionalities of the PathoCERT technologies. The simulation took place in two different emergency situations: one involving a damage in the water supply network resulting in water contamination; the other simulated a landslide affecting the city’s water treatment plant.

As a follow up to the day-long exercise, all local actors and first responders came together with the consortium partners in three Community of Practice workshop. Through a combination of written feedback and plenary exchanges, they had the opportunity to provide detailed feedback on each PathoCERT technology and its respective functionalities.

Following a three-year long period of work on the development of new tools, the real-life exercises combined with the Community of Practice discussions are a key milestone of the project not only to test their efficiency but also collect valuable feedback from relevant local and regional actors.

For further information, please contact Francesca Grossi.

The complexity of the food industry has so far been a hurdle to food waste reduction. On the positive side, due to this complexity, the food industry generates an above-average amount of data that can now be harnessed through disruptive approaches such as Artificial Intelligence (AI). Through the digital marketplace, the REIF project wants to enable a value-added network for the food industry to create synergies and use AI in ways that benefit the industry, the environment, and society alike.

The AI services offered on the marketplace, can help actors implement various measures for the respective value-added stages along the entire supply chain. For example, retailers can apply optimised machine control or dynamic pricing systems to prevent waste. In addition, AI services can facilitate communication between actors and enable efficient exchange flows on forecasts and analyses.

The REIF digital marketplace also includes various options such as sales forecasts based on weather data, holiday-related information or economic expectations. This allows the prices of goods with a relevant best-before date to be calculated dynamically and their waste at the retail point to be significantly reduced due to timely sales.

Ultimately, AI ​​supports decision making as to which products should be produced, in what order and in what quantities. The mixing of ingredients can also be controlled in a more resource-saving and targeted manner in order to further reduce food waste by increasing the best before date and product quality.

As part of the REIF consortium, the CSCP has worked on positioning the AI marketplace as a powerful platform to combat food waste among key stakeholders.

Watch our explainer video to learn how the REIF project places AI as an enabler for less waste and more sustainability in the food sector.


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For additional information on how REIF is supporting users, suppliers and experts to network, find suggestions, and tackle food waste with the help of AI, please visit the project website.

The REIF project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Protection.

For additional questions, please contact Nicolas Barthelmé.

Beyond competition on the field, sports like football are a powerful way to change things for the better on a larger scale. Our KochCup project wants to capitalise on the popularity of the 17th men’s UEFA Football Championship (EURO 2024) to raise awareness and mainstream environmentally-friendly food. How? Through organising a competition of sustainable recipes that will run before and during EURO 2024. The call for entries is open now!

The competition, which is supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), is primarily aimed at German trainee chefs. From May to end of July 2023, culinary trainees can submit their seasonal, regional, and plant-based recipes to the KochCup project and become part of the competition.

How tasty, healthy, and sustainable a recipe is will be decided by an interdisciplinary jury of food and environmental experts as well as professional chefs and sport scientists on the basis of various criteria. For example, recipes should be as far as possible plant-based, organic, seasonal, regional, and should produce as little food waste as possible.

The winners will have the opportunity to take a master class with star chef Stephan Hentschel & Friends. All winners from the preliminary rounds and the finals will receive awards and their recipes will be featured on the project website, in the media and on social media.

“Sustainability and resource-saving management play a major role in the hospitality industry, which is why they have also been given more space in our new training programs. In the KochCup project, the trainees can put their creative skills in the spotlight as part of the 2024 European Football Championship and thus stimulate guests’ and professionals’ appetites for innovative, delicious and sustainable food.”, notes Sandra Warden, Managing Director at the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (DEHOGA) and vocational training expert.

“As patron of the KochCup, I would like to motivate trainees not only to create fancy and delicious dishes, but also to think about tomorrow in the process. Being able to cook with a plant-based approach is no longer a trend, but a culinary direction that you need to have in your portfolio as a chef or cook. Just like in top-class sports, practice makes perfect! And that’s exactly what the KochCup provides an important impetus for.”, adds Anton Schmaus, Michelin-starred chef, head chef of the German national soccer team, restaurateur, author and concept developer.

For additional information on the competition, please visit the KochCup website.

For further questions, please contact Alexander Mannweiler.

Photo by Jeff Siepman on Unsplash.

Circular Economy, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and digital tools offer companies vast opportunities to make their value chains more sustainable and resilient for the future. Through webinars, workshops, and trainings, our WertNetzWerke project is supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to make such aspects an integral part of their business. In this new podcast, CSCP Project Manager Thomas Wagner explains how – check it out!

In the podcast, listeners will learn why Circular Economy is worthwhile for SMEs, how they can take first steps to integrate circularity in their work, and what are some of the best practices from companies that have successfully transformed their business models. The podcast also discusses sustainable digitalisation and how it can support companies to transform and find their way in an ever-changing world.

“Companies should prepare to design their products differently, offer them in new forms and provide customers with differential information about their products in order to comply with national and international regulations and strengthen consumer rights.”, notes Thomas Wagner.

Are you an SME looking for inspiration and guidance on your transformation path toward a digital, sustainable future? Check out  the podcast now!

You can listen to the full podcast (episode 7) here!

For a detailed read on sustainable digitalisation, download our WertNetzWerke e-book “Sustainable Digitalisation for SMEs – Opportunities, Priorities & Success Factors”. To find out more about eco-design and circular strategies, check out the Circular Economy Guide. For details on a best-practice example, read the story of the German backpack company FOND OF.

If you would like to learn more how the CSCP is supporting SMEs to transform their business models as part of the WertNetzWerke, reach out to Thomas Wagner.

Many consumer products pose significant waste management challenges and end up in landfills or incinerators after the use phase. From Circular Economy and waste management perspectives, such products can be considered ‘headaches’ when it comes to recycling and reducing residual municipal waste. At the workshop ‘Headache fractions in mixed municipal waste’, organised as a side event at the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF), we will discuss the issues at hand and what needs to change to increase recycling and promote circularity.

The workshop will draw on learnings from a European Environment Agency (EEA) study, conducted by the European Topic Centre on Circular Economy and Resource Use. The study analysed product categories such as beverage cups, e-textiles, furniture, mattresses and others, which are considered challenging with regard to their end-of-life management. The report looks at product groups which today are:

Some of the identified challenging factors include consumer attitudes, complex structures and materials and/or the presence of harmful substances to health and the environment. Identified solutions include the reduction of complexity and favouring of non-toxic materials at the design stage and/or extended producer responsibility (EPR). Such solutions could support major EU Green Deal goals, including zero-pollution.

Throughout the session, we will discuss the findings of the study and jointly reflect on implications and leverage points for better management of such products in order to increase recycling and promote circularity.

Event: “Headache fractions in mixed municipal waste” – WCEF side event
Date: 11 May 2023
Time: 14-15:30 CEST
Format: Online
Language: English

For more details, please have a look at the programme here. To join the event, please register here.

For additional questions, please contact Rosalyn Old.


In the context of rising raw material prices, uncertainties in supply chains, and increasing regulatory pressure, the topic of Circular Economy is becoming the focus of many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). At the event “Circular and Digital: Innovations for Sustainability in Companies and Value Chains”, co-organised by the CSCP and the Center for Innovation and Technology in North Rhein-Westphalia (NRW) – ZENIT,  we will discuss how digitalisation can support the circular transformation in NRW – join us on 4 May 2023!

Digitalisation can be a force for good when it comes to achieving greater sustainability. In the context of the Circular Economy, it is not only important for production processes, but also for all other aspects of the value chain, from material procurement to consumption and disposal/recycling processes.

But if you are an SME, where do you actually start, how do you successfully design circular business models, and what role do new approaches to digitalisation play in supporting these sustainability processes?

Together with a panel of experts and business representatives, we will deep dive into these questions as well as present and discuss possibilities and advantages of Circular Economy approaches in the value chain. During the three-hour event, we will also look into possible formats that need to be developed in order to accompany SMEs on their way to Circular Economy.

Arne von Hofe, CSCP Project Manager will hold an impulse talk on digital technologies and the implementation of Circular Economy approaches in SMEs.

The event’s panel will be moderated by Jürgen Schnitzmeier, Executive Director at ZENIT GmbH.


The event is aimed primarily at manufacturing SMEs in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Event: Circular and Digital: Innovations for Sustainability in Companies and Value Chains (Zirkular und Digital: Innovationen für Nachhaltigkeit im Unternehmen und in der Wertschöpfungskette)
Date: 4 May 2023
Time: 16:00-19:00
Place: ZENIT gGmbH, Mülheim and der Ruhr, Germany
Language: German
Cost: Free of charge

To join the event, please register now!

For further questions, please contact Thomas Wagner.

On December 2022, at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD-COP 15) , the United Nations adopted the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, with 23 new nature conservation targets for 2030. These targets should now also be implemented in Germany. To this end, the German government is currently updating the National Strategy on Biological Diversity (NBS), a process in which governmental and non-governmental stakeholders are expected to be actively engaged.

The decisions of the CBD-COP 15 are also highly relevant for businesses. The Digital Dialogue event, organised under the umbrella of our project UBi – Business & Biodiversity, will therefore focus on the following question:

Event: From Montreal to Germany – What do the New Global Biodiversity Targets Mean for Business?
Date: 24 April 2023
Time: 13:00-15:00 CEST
Place: Online
Language: German
Cost: Free of charge


To join the event, please register here.

The Digital Dialogue is organised by Biodiversity in Good Company, a UBi project partner.

For additional questions, please contact Alexander Mannweiler.

While digitalisation has so far been implemented in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) mainly on a piecemeal basis, the next step toward the digital sustainable transformation can only be taken in collaboration with other companies and actors. The workshop “Rethinking Cooperations: Networks Create More Value & Sustainability”, 25 April 2023, will connect views from science and technology with those of businesses and identify collaboration pathways that create added value for all parties involved – don’t miss it!

Organised by our WertNetzWerke digital centre, the all-day workshop will look into questions, such as: How can Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools like ChatGPT or augmented and virtual reality spaces like the metaverse help create added value in companies? How can this enable networking and collaboration and help actors advance on their sustainability journeys?

Are you a company about to take your next big step in digitalisation and looking to discover new impulses for collaboration? Then, register now to join our workshop!

Event: “Rethinking Cooperations: Networks Create More Value & Sustainability”
Date: 25 April 2023
Time: 10:30 – 17:30
Place: University of Hagen Campus, Hagen, Germany
Language: German
Cost: Free of Charge

For the complete agenda, please visit the WertNetzWerke website.

For further questions, please contact Thomas Wagner.