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Enabling the transition to a circular economy

Norway and the EU are prioritising a circular economy agenda to deliver the next generation of jobs, growth and investment. But how can we enable this transition to a circular economy?

Chair Jasper Steinhausen and Susie Jahren during the Circular Economy Conference 2019 in Langesund. Photo: SINTEF

This was the central question during the Circular Economy Conference 2019, which took place in Langesund, Norway, last week.

Day 1

Over 80 participants gathered in Hotel Skjærgåden Monday the 3rd and Tuesday the 4th of June, in order to learn more about "Enabling the transition to a circular economy". The conference started with lunch, followed by presentations of Hydro, Yara, GreenLab Skive, Infinitum, Virke, NTNU and SINTEF. Linda Therese Wiik from Hydro told us more about when circularity works and when it is more of a struggle for example, and Ivar Horneland Kristensen from Virke shared his ideas on how policy and governance are essential tools to enable a circular transition. In the afternoon, we had a sunny boat trip to Herøya Industry Park, followed by a conference dinner at the hotel.

Day 2

The second day of the conference started with a "wake-up call" from Helsinki. Cathrine Barth from Circular Norway shared the highlights of the World Circular Economy Forum in Helsinki, followed by presentations of the Norwegian Fashion Hub, DiFi, Regnskap Norge, Innovation Norway, Equinor and Nord university. Hans Christian Ellefsen from Regnskap Norge taught us more about accounting and taxing regulations for example - Do they stimulate or hinder the transition to a circular economy? And Jørn Paus gave us "a look into the future" by sharing Equinor's ideas on how our energy infrastructure will look in a circular society. The conference ended with a presentation of Eili Vigestad Berge from the Norwegian Parliament, telling us more about the status and progress in the Norwegian Parliament when it comes to circular economy.

Moving the wheels of circularity

– During the conference, we had three main topics, tells Susie Jahren, project leader of the conference and leading the SINTEF interdisciplinary team working on challenging and supporting Norway to a circular transition:

  • Circular economic boundaries in action, key learnings from the forefront
  • The old and the new circular economy enablers
  • And facilitating the transition to a circular economy

– The presentations on these topics really helped us to get "more weaponry in the battle to get the circular wheels moving". As was highlighted during the conference, top leader development and circular competence is one of today's biggest barriers. We have streamed all presentations, and hope these will be actively used inside organisations to promote circular strategies, says Susie Jahren in SINTEF.

Presentations, videos and photos

Here you can find the conference presentations, video stream of each presentation, summary video of Day 1 and 2, and conference photos:

More information is available on the conference website as well.

Book - Introduction to circular economy

During the conference, we launched the Norwegian version of the latest book of Walter Stahel. Walter Stahel is widely recognised as one of the key thinkers of the circular economy and the founding father of the performance economy. His latest book "Circular Economy - A User's Guide" sums up more than 30 years of research in this field.

Click here to open the book

The conference was hosted by SINTEF, NTNU and Nord university. We would like to thank everyone who joined the conference and are looking forward to next year. Lets continue the dialogue on enabling the transition to a circular economy!

Published 12 June 2019
Senior Business Developer