Moving Towards the Circular Economy: Irish Case Studies

Moving Towards the Circular Economy: Irish Case Studies

Moving Towards the Circular Economy: Irish Case Studies

 

There is increasing recognition of the potential benefits for economies and societies of adopting a circular economy, thereby maximising resource efficiency and environmental protection.[1] In December 2015, the European Commission adopted Closing the Loop: An EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy[2] to help European businesses and consumers to make the transition to a stronger and more circular economy where resources are used in a more sustainable way.

As part of its sustainability remit, NESC has begun a research project exploring circular economy practices in Ireland. These practices will be identified in Irish businesses but also in civil society, through community-led initiatives and the work of NGOs, social enterprises and co-operatives. This work will highlight both key enablers and barriers to their development as well as exploring their potential economic, social and environmental value. Ultimately a circular economy will be achieved when there is systemic change and this research will explore the emergence of sectoral or cross-sectoral systems that may allow a more comprehensive circular economy to emerge.

Dr Simon O’Rafferty will be working with NESC over the coming months to conduct case studies of circular economy practices. This analysis will draw on interviews with key players in each of the case studies and a small number of key policy stakeholders. It will explore the potential economic, environmental and social value of the practices outlined in the case studies. A report of key findings will be prepared and a roundtable event will be convened to discuss its conclusions before the end of the year.

[1] The Ellen MacArthur Foundation defines a circular economy as one that is restorative, and one which aims to maintain the utility of products, components and materials and retain their value (EMF, 2015). https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-economy

[2] EC (2015) Closing the Loop: An EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy. Brussels: European Commission.

Dr. Simon O'Rafferty

Dr. Simon O’Rafferty

Dr Simon O’Rafferty is an experienced Design Researcher specialising in design for social innovation, public service innovation and sustainability. 

He is currently a part-time Research Fellow with the EPA and the University of Limerick.

 https://www.linkedin.com/in/simonorafferty/

http://designfactors.ie/users/simon

 

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