As part of the Berlin Re-Use Initiative, the online expert dialog on the recycling of gypsum took place on 26 November 2020. This expert dialogue, to which the Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection of the State of Berlin invited together with relevant associations and companies, was dedicated to important issues around gypsum recycling. Eighty-five people took part in the expert dialog.
Berlin is increasingly developing as a dynamic innovation field of the circular economy – a circular, resource-saving economy. (Social) innovations are no longer generated only in the field of waste recycling, but increasingly in the design and manufacture of sustainable products or with new business models. The event provides insights into current research on the development of the circular economy and the commitment of Berlin's innovators in this field.
Im Rahmen von sechs interaktiven Online-Veranstaltungen auf der Berlin Science Week wollen wir Themen und Ansätze mit herausragender Bedeutung für die nachhaltige Stadtentwicklung Berlins zur Debatte stellen. Von einem sozial gerechten Umbau der Wärmeversorgung über die Realisierung von Mieterstrom zu Strategien für eine nachhhaltige Datengovernance, Kreislauf- und Alternativwirtschaft werden wichtige Fragestellungen für eine sozial-ökologische Transformation der Hauptstadt thematisiert und im Dialog zwischen WissenschaftlerInnen und PraktikerInnen erörtert. Ein durchgehender Fokus liegt dabei auf Beteiligungs- sowie Verteilungs- und Gerechtigkeitsfragen von sozial-ökologischen Transformationen.
As part of the Berlin Re-Use initiative, the online expert dialogue on strengthening the reuse of furnishings and building components took place on October 6, 2020. The aim of the virtual expert dialogue was to bring together stakeholders from the construction industry, initiatives, DIY stores, demolition and disposal companies who are committed to the reuse of building components and furnishings.
Dwindling raw material supplies, shrinking landfill space and pressing climate change show that a fundamental rethink of how to deal with raw materials and waste is needed. The current linear economic model must change - away from the principle of "take, use, dispose" to circular economic activity. The ten speakers presented their re-use projects and shared their practical experiences. They discussed how re-use can be promoted in the construction and furnishing sectors and what obstacles need to be overcome. The 80 or so participants took the opportunity to ask questions and provide impetus for the discussion.
This ICARE-project online seminar served to discuss issues and relevance of the climate-resources-nexus among academic institutions. Mandy Hinzmann from Ecologic Institute, Dr. Thomas Gibon from Luxembourg Institute for Science and Technology LIST and Prof. Edgar Hertwich from Norwegian University of Science and Technology NTNU presented findings of recent research projects dealing with the nexus.
As part of the Berlin Re-Use Initiative, the online expert dialog on the rescue of returned textiles took place on 24 September 2020, with more than 60 interested participants. In a diverse program, 14 experts from various fields and industries presented and discussed the current status quo of problems with returns in the clothing sector from their respective perspectives, as well as potentials and possible starting points for dealing with returns that have arisen and for reducing or avoiding them in the future.
On 27 August 2020, the online expert dialog on "Strengthening the reuse of used ICT devices" took place as part of the Berlin Re-Use Initiative. The main purpose of the online dialog was to bring together stakeholders to jointly promote the refurbishment, procurement, repair and reuse of used ICT (information and communications technology) equipment in Berlin.
On 21 October 2019, the event "Re-Use Berlin – neue Perspektiven für Gebrauchtwaren" (new perspectives for used goods) took place from 6 to 9 PM in Berlin's Urania. Ambassadors of reusing from Berlin presented their "stories" and visions, while business, administration and civil society representatives discussed existing approaches and sustainable ideas. 100 people participated in the event.
There are numerous regulatory approaches for handling plastic products and plastic waste in various areas such as waste and recycling policy, marine protection or chemicals policy. During the workshop, Linda Mederake gave an insight into existing plastic regulations and initiatives at the international, European and national levels to reduce the amount of plastics entering the environment. She critically discussed what stages in the life cycle of plastics are targeted by political solutions and she also highlighted regulatory gaps.
The widespread use of plastics, the mass consumption of disposable plastic products and the longevity of plastics lead to a waste volume that can hardly be managed anymore. Many people are particularly alarmed by the pollution of the oceans by microplastics and plastic waste. Despite all this, the volume of packaging per capita continues to rise and has doubled over the last twenty years – to 213 kilograms in 2015. The intense public debate has also called for a political response: A European plastics strategy is currently aimed at banning straws and plastic tableware. But can this solve the environmental problem? How serious are the effects of plastic waste and microplastics on the environment? What are the right steps to take to reduce the impact on the environment and the use of plastics?
On 4 June 2019 was a workshop at the Federal Ministery for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) to discuss a proposal for a new guidance standard (ISO 14002-2) for managing water with ISO 14001.
The workshop served as a platform for information and discussion on the planned standard, bringing together interested experts from water management, water stewardship and environmental management, in and outside of the ISO community. The aim of the workshop was to refine the draft of the proposal for a new guidance standard concerning the scope, structure, conceptual approach and outline of ISO 14002-2.
The results of the workshop will be used to update the draft of the proposal before it will be submitted to ISO for an international approval process.
What kind of solutions are required to increase the market share of sustainable bio-based and circular products in Germany and Europe? Which products and product properties do consumers demand? What are the innovations that can be developed and what are suitable research and communication strategies? What role do local value chains and markets play? And how does a supportive regulatory environment look like?
The objective of transformative research is to find out, together with actors from the corporate sector, politics and civil society, how our economic and social system can be made more sustainable, and to jointly test possible solutions. Transformative research is thus also transdisciplinary - it involves actors beyond academia as equal partners. This kind of research involves certain methodological challenges and questions; some of these were discussed at the tF Symposium 2021: From Experiment to Mainstream. Martin Hirschnitz-Garbers and Christiane Gerstetter, both Senior Fellows at the Ecologic Institute, contributed to the online symposium, which was held in German language.
Training the next generation of environmental lawyers is crucial for ensuring that environmental law is complied with and can thus serve its function of protecting the environment. Christiane Gerstetter, Senior Fellow at the Ecologic Institute, co-moderated an online course for German and Russian students entitled "Ecolaw and ecoactivism in Germany and Russia".
On 4 and 5 February 2020, Ecologic Institute's McKenna Davis and Ewa Iwaszuk attended an expert workshop "Mobilizing up-scaling of Nature-based Solutions for climate change throughout 2020 and beyond" convened by the Directorate-General for Environment of the European Commission (DG ENV). McKenna Davis moderated a discussion on mobilising the biodiversity benefits of nature-based solutions (NBS) deployed for climate action.