Live Stream: circular economy forum 2024

The Belgian Presidency of the EU Council is pleased to play a pivotal role as a partner in the World Circular Economy Forum, reflecting the European Union's concerted efforts to transition towards a more sustainable and circular economy. To reach the climate goals a systemic change is needed and as President of the Council, Belgium will lead the European agenda towards a circular society at all levels of society and promote cooperation among the Member States to reach those goals.

During the WCEF2024 Circular Flanders, Walloon Region, Brussels Region and the federal government, will demonstrate how we evolved from experiments and frontrunners to a circular common practice in our companies, cities, knowledge institutes and citizens.

Registrations are closed.

 

 

 

 

Program 

8:30 - 9:30
Registration and Networking at SQUARE Brussels Meeting Centre
 
9:30 - 11:00
Plenary hosted by BE Presidency:
What governance is needed to achieve a new economic system? How do we measure whether the transition is happening quickly enough and in the right direction? High level speakers will address critical aspects of advancing circular principles. 
This opening sets the foundation for a day filled with insights and inspiration.
 
Chair of the Industry Competitiveness Council, Jo Brouns
Movie CE in Belgium
Setting the scene - Hans Bruyninckx
Panel - Moderator: Hanne De Coutere
  • Expert in the International Resource Panel, Hans Bruyninckx
  • Executive Director European Environment Agency, Leena Ylä-Mononen
  • Head of the Circular Economy Center, Karel Van Acker
  • Head of unit European Commission, Emmanuelle Maire 
  • Single Market, Production and Consumption (INT) Section President of the European Economic & Social Committee, Sandra Parthie
Surprise act
 
11:00 - 11:30 Break
8:30 - 9:30 Registration and Networking at SQUARE Brussels Meeting Centre
9:30 - 11:00
Plenary hosted by BE Presidency:
What governance is needed to achieve a new economic system? How do we measure whether the transition is happening quickly enough and in the right direction? High level speakers will address critical aspects of advancing circular principles. 
This opening sets the foundation for a day filled with insights and inspiration.
 
Chair of the Industry Competitiveness Council, Jo Brouns
Movie CE in Belgium
Setting the scene - Hans Bruyninckx
Panel - Moderator: Hanne De Coutere
  • Expert in the International Resource Panel, Hans Bruyninckx
  • Executive Director European Environment Agency, Leena Ylä-Mononen
  • Head of the Circular Economy Center, Karel Van Acker
  • Head of unit European Commission, Emmanuelle Maire 
  • Single Market, Production and Consumption (INT) Section President of the European Economic & Social Committee, Sandra Parthie
Surprise act
 
11:00 - 11:30 Break

11:30 - 13:00
Systemic Innovation: Drivers for a more Circular Economy in Belgium and Europe

The concept of a circular economy lies at the core of the innovation strategies across the three Belgian Regions. The imperative for groundbreaking, unconventional innovations, spanning both technological and non-technological realms (such as behavioural shifts), is essential at diverse levels to effectively propel the necessary shift. In this session research results, good practices and inspiring speakers will demonstrate the European systemic innovation.

 

Exemplarity law Sara Saqe - Brussels Economy and Employment 
Living Labs -Winnie Poncelet, VLAIO 
Infinitex Jolien Roedolf, THOMAS MORE
Unilin Panels - Caroline Van de Populiere - Unilin Panels 
Policies allowing systemic innovation - Philippe Larrue- OECD
Regional Innovation Valleys - Magdalena Cymerys - European Commission 
Circular Cities and Regions Initiative - Lucie Blondel -European Commission ()
Moderator: Lionel Fourdriner, CRMgroup

Procuring Change: Navigating the Circular Economy Through a Strategic and Social Lens

Public and private buyers play a pivotal role in promoting circular practices. The European Commission aims to mandate green procurement criteria in sectoral legislation, fostering circularity. Circular procurement, reported in the CSRD, aids private firms in achieving sustainability goals. Overcoming behavioural challenges is key. This session explores cases where authorities and companies successfully adopted social and circular procurement.

 

Welcome by Maria Nikolopoulou, EESC member

 

Panel 1: Vision and Strategic Implementation of Circular Procurement

PracticesStrategic procurement vision -Frank Geets, Het Facilitair Bedrijf: 
Viewpoint of a circular supplier -Anneke Lenaerts, TRANSMOOVE/NNOF
How to engage the sector - Jakob Lindvall, ALDAB
CSRD, scope 3 , Lina Svensberg, Compare
Moderator: Helena O'Rourke-Potocki, Iclei


Circularity4All Hierarchy, Cynthia Reynolds, Circular Economy Coalition


Panel 2: Socially Conscious Circular Procurement in Business Practice
Case Austrian Federal Railways: Ines Sturm, OEBB 
Circular and Fair ICT, Marieke Weerdesteijn, Rijkswaterstaat Nl.
Case Health sector, Katrien Vanderwee, UZ Gent: 
Role of social organisations , Jana Zurkova, RREUSE
Moderator: Anita Skog, Arctic Pioneers 


               Closing Remarks: Cristina Fedato

Embracing Circular Manufacturing: Adopting Repair Solutions

Manufacturing and repair will play a pivotal role in a global, circular economy. Various EU member states have experimented, learned, failed – but also succeeded. It is time to take stock of what works – and what can be scaled up to make repair truly mainstream. We’ll cover policies, business models, technology, skills and design for repair as fundamental transition paths. In a co-creative session, we let stakeholders and Member States learn and leap. If you feel energised to tackle these questions with us, join our session!

 

Introduction

The socio-economic effects of a strong repair economy - Cristina Ganapini, The Right to Repair Campaign

 

Testimonials

  • Developing winning policies for a repair economy - Karin Huber-Heim, Circular Economy Forum Austria & Kilian Kaminski, CEO of refurbed
  • Activating citizens through technology – Yoko Dams, VITO 
  • Forging partnerships in a circular economy – Charlotte Vanhoutte, Repair&Share 
  • Building local repair ecosystems - Geoffrey Van Humbeeck, aSmartWorld
  • From R-strategies to winning business models – Evi Bultinck, Atlas Copco

Followed by an interactive panel debate featuring the same speakers.

Mastering reuse of plastics in the circular economy?

Plastics can play a role in the future circular economy, but we will have to deal with this material carefully, minimizing impact on people and the environment. 
Join us for a deepdive into Belgian experiences on the reuse of plastic packaging and unravel the future of plastics in healthcare. What have we learnt, what is the way forward and which bottlenecks do we have to tackle?

 

Setting the scene: plastics in the circular economy, Werner Annaert, OVAM

 

Keynote: Making reuse the new normal, Els Dubois, University of Antwerp – ReuseLab

Retailer launches shelf ready returnable sixpacks, Tine De Pooter, DW Reusables and Lotte Krekels, Carrefour

Together building the Care Square, Ann Van Den Bosch, EnAdviS bv and Nick Sablon, Roche Diagnostics Belgium

Reducing single-use materials in medicine and healthcare - Evelien Kieckens, UZ Gent

From “reuse being impossible” to “reuse delivering value”, Tom Domen, Made

Moderators: Luk Umans and Els Herremans, OVAM

Company visits in Brussels (Fully booked)

Route 1: Circularium - Konligo – Dreamkitchen

  • Cirularium: over 20,000m2 of industrial space dedicated to local innovation and circular production in the city
  • Konlingo: reusable, eye-catching and durable pop-up structures for events that are installed in less than an hour.
  • Dreamkitchen: food for everyone, cooked with leftovers from the market. You will eat lunch here!

Departure at 11:00 at SQUARE, return around 14:00 (lunch at Dreamkitchen)

 

Route 2
Centre de Tri « Les Petits Riens »: social economy and sorting centre for textile products (6.000 tons per year) with a large robotic tipper. Visit is in French!


Departure at 11:00 at SQUARE, return around 13:30 (lunch at SQUARE)

14:30 - 16:00
Information Flows in a Circular Economy: Monitoring, Metrics, and Digital Evolution

Two focal themes within CE are the development of monitoring instruments and the potential of the digital transformation. What essentially binds these two themes are the search for and the needs of information. For this session we will highlight case studies about CE monitoring at country/regional level, at the city level, circularity assessments for companies, developments of digital product passports and more.

 

Keynote  Information in a Circular Economy, Karel Van Acker, CE Center

 

Panel 1: 
CE Monitor, Luc Alaerts, CE center
Circularity Metrics Lab, An Vercalsteren, VITO
Repair Index, John Wante, Cabinet Minister Khattabi 
Information exchange with consumers, Cyrille Regardin, Vandenborre
Moderator: Cillian Lohan, EESC

 

Panel 2: 
Opportunities of Digitalisation, Benoit Hucq, Digital Wallonia , 
Sensor data and AI to optimize circular production processes, Philippe Mack, PEPITe 
Artificial Intelligence to stimulate Circular Economy, Bart Dooms, VITO
Opportunities and challenges of Digital Product Passports, Emilie Bartolini, Avery Dennison
Moderator: Julie Leroy, Agoria
 

Circular Hubs: Multilevel Approach Creating Impact in Practice

The European Circular Economy Action Plan was a necessary legal step, but for a complete economic transformation, specific accelerator mechanisms like circular hubs are necessary. They embody a decentralised capacity for orchestration along the value chains and across geographical/administrative levels. The emergence of different types of circular hubs expresses the functional needs for system innovation: information and knowledge sharing, business development and partnering, industrial and logistic focal points and more.

 

Introduction by Ladeja Godina Košir - Founder and Executive Director @Circular Change & Co-Chair European Circular Economy Stakeholders Platform

 

Pitches

  • Einar Kleppe Holthe - Founder & CEO Natural State AS & Managing Partner & Strategic Project Leader @Nordic Circular Hotspot 
  • Lars Anders Joensson - Chief of innovation policy section @UN Economic Commission for Europe
  • Grazia Barberio - Head of Circular economy Section in the Sustainability Department and Coordinator of the Italian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform @ENEA
  • Milena Rmuš –  Secretary of Board for Energy Efficiency and Environment Protection @Chamber of Economy of Montenegro
  • Simo Karetie - Project Manager @Helsinki-Uusimaa Circular Valley 
  • Bart Volkers - Director @Circular Groningen 
  • Andreas Mucke, the General Manager of the Circular Economy Accelerator Circular-Valley Foundation – Wuppertal
  • Karl Vrancken – CSR Manager Indaver - Waste Managers Perspective  
  • Dina Padalkina - Founder and Chairwoman @Circular Berlin 
  • Julie Poppe – programme manager circular city Mechelen - Circular / Social Hub Circular Flanders 

Panel

  • Freek Van Eijk – Director @Holland Circular Hotspot and Co-Chair European Circular Economy Stakeholders Platform 
  • Brigitte Mouligneau - Transition Manager Circular Economy -@Circular Flanders  
  • Karel Vanderpoorten - Policy Officer European Commission, DG Grow – Social Economy 
  • Antonio Ferrandez Garcia - Policy Officer European Commission DG RTD
  • Lucie Blondel - Policy Officer European Commission, DG Research & Innovation

 

Moderators: Brigitte Mouligneau - Transition Manager Circular Economy -@Circular Flanders and Luca Polidori – Program Manager Circular Economy Hubs @Holland Circular Hotspot

Challenges and opportunities of the European Circular Economy Battery Industry

The session provides an in-depth exploration of the latest European advancements in circular battery technology. It delves into the regulatory landscape, spotlighting key objectives and targets for circularity and recycling. Through the presentation of three concrete business cases from European pioneer companies working on recycling, reuse and digital product passports, and a research point of view, it aims to illuminate success stories, while also offering a reality check on the practical applications of the set objectives.


During the panel discussion, speakers and audience will explore some of the most imminent dilemmas and discuss key challenges in terms of technological developments, environmental and social aspects, policy coherence, trade concerns and financial viability of circular battery business models throughout the battery value chain. 


 
EU Batteries Regulation, Rana Pant, DG ENV
Addressing Circular Economy and Sustainability of batteries and their value chain, Marcel Weil, KIT
Innovation in battery recycling, Justo Garcia, Orano
The challenges of repurposing of batteries, Catherine Lenaerts, Watt4Ever 
Piloting the battery passport in practice, Jyri Arponen, Sitra
Life cycle assessment research for circular batteries, Daniele Costa, VITO 
Moderator: Fabrice Stassin, Umicore/BEPA 

Towards a Circular Built Environment using Bio-Based and Reclaimed materials 

This session will take construction professionals through the learnings of European projects on improving the building process and design principles to drive the uptake of reclamation and reuse of building materials and components. Another challenge is the difficulty for biobased construction materials to be seen as equivalent for customary materials. Via several European cases this session will demonstrate how circular construction can become the new normal.

 

Setting the Scene
Research and design,Joost Declercq, archipelago architects 
Governance and Policy, Anne Paduart, Leefmilieu Brussel 
Reflection from Jiri Branka, cedefop and Jordi Thijs, student of PXL

 

Panel on Reuse, Reduce and Biobased construction materials
Reuse in new projects, Joeri Beneens, Beneens 
Logistics of reused materials, Gaspard Geerts, Rotor 
Most sustainable building is not built, Tim Vekemans, Re-st architects
Local value chains for bio-circular buildings, Rein Dessers, Kiemkracht
Negative carbon solution to insulate buildings, Christian Roggeman, Gramitherm 
Moderators: Michiel Ritzen, VITO and Chris Leinders, Hogeschool PXL

 

Closing word by Anders Ladefoged, EESC member

Company Visits Wallonia and Flanders (Fully booked)

Company Visits Flanders
For the company visits in Flanders, we will be heading to Mechelen, where the Circular Hub in the Mechelen region offers two very interesting site visits: Werfheide and Recupperij.

 

Werfheide: circular hub run by 28Rond ngo. In this circular hub you can find the following the following social-circular business and initiatives:

  • Klimaan:  Collaborative efforts for renewable energy and energy efficiency.
  • Kreate 3D: Focus on 3D design and product development with sustainable materials.
  • Coflab: Bio-circular incubator, including the valorization of coffee grounds through a local oyster mushroom farm and biolab.
  • SpruceGoose: Wood recuperation and circular team-building initiatives.
  • Stuifmeel: Artistic changemaker, conducting research to restore the symbiosis between humans and nature and organizing transformation workshops.
  • LBC: Offering courses in furniture restoration, upcycling, and craftsmanship.
  • Additional features: : biolab, multidisciplinary woodlab and a collection point for Den Brillenman and Supergoods.
  • The founders of ‘De Werfheide’ will be present, sharing their journey and offering insights and advice for those interested in launching their own circular hub.

De Recupperij: circular hub run by Ecoso, where you can find the following social-circular businesses:

  • Den Brillenatelier: Recuperation of old glasses, fixed by people facing employment challenges and sold at affordable prices.
  • DIGIbank: Aims to bring everyone online through courses, workshops, affordable internet, and hardware loans.
  • Regio greenTex: Collaboration in R&D for the textile industry to establish a systematic circular economy business model across the EU.
  • Recuplan: Circular construction market offering a diverse range of recuperated and local wood.

 Departure at 14:00 at SQUARE (after lunch), return around 17:30.

 


Company Visits Wallonia:

  • Composil: specialist in cleaning, refurbishing, and recycling of carpets and textile furnishings. On site, they will be able to simulate their cleaning process, explain their methodology and some figures on this new market
  • Mundo Louvain-la-Neuve: building made with reused materials. Rare and exemplary approach. The use of a recycled steel structure is the most impressive circular aspect of the Mundo LLN project. The visit will be carried out by someone who will concretely explain the difficulties encountered.

Departure at 14:00 at SQUARE (after lunch), return around 17:30.

11:30 - 13:00

Systemic Innovation: Drivers for a more Circular Economy in Belgium and Europe

The concept of a circular economy lies at the core of the innovation strategies across the three Belgian Regions. The imperative for groundbreaking, unconventional innovations, spanning both technological and non-technological realms (such as behavioural shifts), is essential at diverse levels to effectively propel the necessary shift. In this session research results, good practices and inspiring speakers will demonstrate the European systemic innovation.

 

Exemplarity law Sara Saqe - Brussels Economy and Employment 
Living Labs -Winnie Poncelet, VLAIO 
Infinitex Jolien Roedolf, THOMAS MORE
Unilin Panels - Caroline Van de Populiere - Unilin Panels 
Policies allowing systemic innovation - Philippe Larrue- OECD
Regional Innovation Valleys - Magdalena Cymerys - European Commission 
Circular Cities and Regions Initiative - Lucie Blondel -European Commission ()
Moderator: Lionel Fourdriner, CRMgroup

Procuring Change: Navigating the Circular Economy Through a Strategic and Social Lens

Public and private buyers play a pivotal role in promoting circular practices. The European Commission aims to mandate green procurement criteria in sectoral legislation, fostering circularity. Circular procurement, reported in the CSRD, aids private firms in achieving sustainability goals. Overcoming behavioural challenges is key. This session explores cases where authorities and companies successfully adopted social and circular procurement.

Welcome by Maria Nikolopoulou, EESC member

Panel 1: Vision and Strategic Implementation of Circular Procurement

PracticesStrategic procurement vision -Frank Geets, Het Facilitair Bedrijf: 
Viewpoint of a circular supplier -Anneke Lenaerts, TRANSMOOVE/NNOF
How to engage the sector - Jakob Lindvall, ALDAB
CSRD, scope 3 , Lina Svensberg, Compare
Moderator: Helena O'Rourke-Potocki, Iclei


  Circularity4All Hierarchy, Cynthia Reynolds, Circular Economy Coalition


Panel 2: Socially Conscious Circular Procurement in Business Practice
Case Austrian Federal Railways: Ines Sturm, OEBB 
Circular and Fair ICT, Marieke Weerdesteijn, Rijkswaterstaat Nl.
Case Health sector, Katrien Vanderwee, UZ Gent: 
Role of social organisations , Jana Zurkova, RREUSE
Moderator: Anita Skog, Arctic Pioneers 


 Closing Remarks: Cristina Fedato

Embracing Circular Manufacturing: Adopting Repair Solutions

Manufacturing and repair will play a pivotal role in a global, circular economy. Various EU member states have experimented, learned, failed – but also succeeded. It is time to take stock of what works – and what can be scaled up to make repair truly mainstream. We’ll cover policies, business models, technology, skills and design for repair as fundamental transition paths. In a co-creative session, we let stakeholders and Member States learn and leap. If you feel energised to tackle these questions with us, join our session!

 

Introduction

The socio-economic effects of a strong repair economy Cristina Ganapini, The Right to Repair Campaign

Testimonials

  • Developing winning policies for a repair economy - Karin Huber-Heim, Circular Economy Forum Austria & Kilian Kaminski, CEO of refurbed
  • Activating citizens through technology – Yoko Dams, VITO 
  • Forging partnerships in a circular economy – Charlotte Vanhoutte, Repair&Share 
  • Building local repair ecosystems - Geoffrey Van Humbeeck, aSmartWorld
  • From R-strategies to winning business models – Evi Bultinck, Atlas Copco

Followed by an interactive panel debate featuring the same speakers.

Mastering reuse of plastics in the circular economy?

Plastics can play a role in the future circular economy, but we will have to deal with this material carefully, minimizing impact on people and the environment. 
Join us for a deepdive into Belgian experiences on the reuse of plastic packaging and unravel the future of plastics in healthcare. What have we learnt, what is the way forward and which bottlenecks do we have to tackle?

Setting the scene: plastics in the circular economy, Werner Annaert, OVAM

Keynote: Making reuse the new normal, Els Dubois, University of Antwerp – ReuseLab

Retailer launches shelf ready returnable sixpacks, Tine De Pooter, DW Reusables and Lotte Krekels, Carrefour

Together building the Care Square, Ann Van Den Bosch, EnAdviS bv and Nick Sablon, Roche Diagnostics Belgium

Reducing single-use materials in medicine and healthcare - Evelien Kieckens, UZ Gent

From “reuse being impossible” to “reuse delivering value”, Tom Domen, Made

Moderators: Luk Umans and Els Herremans, OVAM

Company visits in Brussels

Route 1: Circularium - Konligo – Dreamkitchen

  • Cirularium: over 20,000m2 of industrial space dedicated to local innovation and circular production in the city
  • Konlingo: reusable, eye-catching and durable pop-up structures for events that are installed in less than an hour.
  • Dreamkitchen: food for everyone, cooked with leftovers from the market. You will eat lunch here!

Departure at 11:00 at SQUARE, return around 14:00 (lunch at Dreamkitchen)

 

Route 2
Centre de Tri « Les Petits Riens »: social economy and sorting centre for textile products (6.000 tons per year) with a large robotic tipper. Visit is in French!


Departure at 11:00 at SQUARE, return around 13:30 (lunch at SQUARE)

14:30 - 16:00

Information Flows in a Circular Economy: Monitoring, Metrics, and Digital Evolution

Two focal themes within CE are the development of monitoring instruments and the potential of the digital transformation. What essentially binds these two themes are the search for and the needs of information. For this session we will highlight case studies about CE monitoring at country/regional level, at the city level, circularity assessments for companies, developments of digital product passports and more.

Keynote  Information in a Circular Economy, Karel Van Acker, CE Center

Panel 1: 
CE Monitor, Luc Alaerts, CE center
Circularity Metrics Lab, An Vercalsteren, VITO
Repair Index, John Wante, Cabinet Minister Khattabi 
Information exchange with consumers, Cyrille Regardin, Vandenborre
Moderator: Cillian Lohan, EESC

Panel 2: 
Opportunities of Digitalisation, Benoit Hucq, Digital Wallonia , 
Sensor data and AI to optimize circular production processes, Philippe Mack, PEPITe 
Artificial Intelligence to stimulate Circular Economy, Bart Dooms, VITO
Opportunities and challenges of Digital Product Passports, Emilie Bartolini, Avery Dennison
Moderator: Julie Leroy, Agoria
 

Circular Hubs: Multilevel Approach Creating Impact in Practice

The European Circular Economy Action Plan was a necessary legal step, but for a complete economic transformation, specific accelerator mechanisms like circular hubs are necessary. They embody a decentralised capacity for orchestration along the value chains and across geographical/administrative levels. The emergence of different types of circular hubs expresses the functional needs for system innovation: information and knowledge sharing, business development and partnering, industrial and logistic focal points and more.

Introduction by Ladeja Godina Košir - Founder and Executive Director @Circular Change & Co-Chair European Circular Economy Stakeholders Platform

Pitches

  • Einar Kleppe Holthe - Founder & CEO Natural State AS & Managing Partner & Strategic Project Leader @Nordic Circular Hotspot 
  • Lars Anders Joensson - Chief of innovation policy section @UN Economic Commission for Europe
  • Grazia Barberio - Head of Circular economy Section in the Sustainability Department and Coordinator of the Italian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform @ENEA
  • Milena Rmuš –  Secretary of Board for Energy Efficiency and Environment Protection @Chamber of Economy of Montenegro
  • Simo Karetie - Project Manager @Helsinki-Uusimaa Circular Valley 
  • Bart Volkers - Director @Circular Groningen 
  • Andreas Mucke, the General Manager of the Circular Economy Accelerator Circular-Valley Foundation – Wuppertal
  • Karl Vrancken – CSR Manager Indaver - Waste Managers Perspective  
  • Dina Padalkina - Founder and Chairwoman @Circular Berlin 
  • Julie Poppe – programme manager circular city Mechelen - Circular / Social Hub Circular Flanders 

Panel

  • Freek Van Eijk – Director @Holland Circular Hotspot
  • Brigitte Mouligneau - Transition Manager Circular Economy -@Circular Flanders
  • Karel Vanderpoorten - Policy Officer European Commission, DG Grow – Social Economy 
  • Antonio Ferrandez Garcia - Policy Officer European Commission DG RTD
  • Lucie Blondel - Policy Officer European Commission, DG Research & Innovation
 

Moderators: Brigitte Mouligneau - Transition Manager Circular Economy -@Circular Flanders and Luca Polidori – Program Manager Circular Economy Hubs @Holland Circular Hotspot

Challenges and opportunities of the European Circular Economy Battery Industry

The session provides an in-depth exploration of the latest European advancements in circular battery technology. It delves into the regulatory landscape, spotlighting key objectives and targets for circularity and recycling. Through the presentation of three concrete business cases from European pioneer companies working on recycling, reuse and digital product passports, and a research point of view, it aims to illuminate success stories, while also offering a reality check on the practical applications of the set objectives. During the panel discussion, speakers and audience will explore some of the most imminent dilemmas and discuss key challenges in terms of technological developments, environmental and social aspects, policy coherence, trade concerns and financial viability of circular battery business models throughout the battery value chain. 


 
EU Batteries Regulation, Rana Pant, DG ENV
Addressing Circular Economy and Sustainability of batteries and their value chain, Marcel Weil, KIT
Innovation in battery recycling, Justo Garcia, Orano
The challenges of repurposing of batteries, Catherine Lenaerts, Watt4Ever 
Piloting the battery passport in practice, Jyri Arponen, Sitra
Life cycle assessment research for circular batteries, Daniele Costa, VITO 
Moderator: Fabrice Stassin, Umicore/BEPA 

Towards a Circular Built Environment using Bio-Based and Reclaimed materials 

This session will take construction professionals through the learnings of European projects on improving the building process and design principles to drive the uptake of reclamation and reuse of building materials and components. Another challenge is the difficulty for biobased construction materials to be seen as equivalent for customary materials. Via several European cases this session will demonstrate how circular construction can become the new normal.

Setting the Scene
Research and design,Joost Declercq, archipelago architects 
Governance and Policy, Anne Paduart, Leefmilieu Brussel 
Reflection from Jiri Branka, cedefop and Jordi Thijs, student of PXL

Panel on Reuse, Reduce and Biobased construction materials
Reuse in new projects, Joeri Beneens, Beneens 
Logistics of reused materials, Gaspard Geerts, Rotor 
Most sustainable building is not built, Tim Vekemans, Re-st architects
Local value chains for bio-circular buildings, Rein Dessers, Kiemkracht
Negative carbon solution to insulate buildings, Christian Roggeman, Gramitherm 
Moderators: Michiel Ritzen, VITO and Chris Leinders, Hogeschool PXL

Closing word by Anders Ladefoged, EESC member

Company Visits Wallonia and Flanders

Company Visits Flanders
For the company visits in Flanders, we will be heading to Mechelen, where the Circular Hub in the Mechelen region offers two very interesting site visits: Werfheide and Recupperij.

Werfheide: circular hub run by 28Rond ngo. In this circular hub you can find the following the following social-circular business and initiatives:

  • Klimaan:  Collaborative efforts for renewable energy and energy efficiency.
  • Kreate 3D: Focus on 3D design and product development with sustainable materials.
  • Coflab: Bio-circular incubator, including the valorization of coffee grounds through a local oyster mushroom farm and biolab.
  • SpruceGoose: Wood recuperation and circular team-building initiatives.
  • Stuifmeel: Artistic changemaker, conducting research to restore the symbiosis between humans and nature and organizing transformation workshops.
  • LBC: Offering courses in furniture restoration, upcycling, and craftsmanship.
  • Additional features: : biolab, multidisciplinary woodlab and a collection point for Den Brillenman and Supergoods.
  • The founders of ‘De Werfheide’ will be present, sharing their journey and offering insights and advice for those interested in launching their own circular hub.

De Recupperij: circular hub run by Ecoso, where you can find the following social-circular businesses:

  • Den Brillenatelier: Recuperation of old glasses, fixed by people facing employment challenges and sold at affordable prices.
  • DIGIbank: Aims to bring everyone online through courses, workshops, affordable internet, and hardware loans.
  • Regio greenTex: Collaboration in R&D for the textile industry to establish a systematic circular economy business model across the EU.
  • Recuplan: Circular construction market offering a diverse range of recuperated and local wood.

 Departure at 14:00 at SQUARE (after lunch), return around 17:30.


Company Visits Wallonia:

  • Composil: specialist in cleaning, refurbishing, and recycling of carpets and textile furnishings. On site, they will be able to simulate their cleaning process, explain their methodology and some figures on this new market
  • Mundo Louvain-la-Neuve: building made with reused materials. Rare and exemplary approach. The use of a recycled steel structure is the most impressive circular aspect of the Mundo LLN project. The visit will be carried out by someone who will concretely explain the difficulties encountered.

Departure at 14:00 at SQUARE (after lunch), return around 17:30.

16:00 - 17:30

Closing drink & matchmaking

16:00 - 17:30
Closing drink & matchmaking