To demonstrate the contribution of the circular economy in practice, what better than a circular hotspot that hosts exemplary businesses and initiatives?
The Netherlands has for many years been a model pupil on the subject of the circular economy. In 2014 the city of Amsterdam even published an action plan to help it become a circular city.
The country will hold the presidency of the European Union in the first half 2016. It is taking advantage of the opportunity to promote the circular economy.
On July 8 Prince Carlos Duke of Parma - a member of the Dutch royal family - launched "The Netherlands Circular Hotspot". The initiative is run by a cooperative structure including 25 industrial partners, researchers and public bodies - Accenture, Akzo Nobel, KPMG, Philips, the municipality of Amsterdam... They all want to be circular economy ambassadors.
Their program has a highly symbolic name: RACE, which stands for "Realization of Acceleration of a Circular Economy" - a way of saying that we quickly have to establish a new resource-use model. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has lent it his official support.
A circular economy silicon valley
One of the major RACE initiatives is to establish a new district that will become "the biggest circular economy testing ground". It is located in a former industrial area on the outskirts of Amsterdam, near Schiphol Airport.
There will be 3,500 houses and 200,000 m2 of work space - all energy self-sufficient and built from recycled materials. The scheme also includes selective waste collection and the use of electric vehicles. An exhibition area will allow companies to present their circular economy innovations.
The challenge for the Netherlands is clear: to be recognized as "global frontrunner for the circular economy, by creating tangible examples and making circular economy a mainstream paradigm." (European Commission: the Netherlands pulls ahead in circular economy race)
Main picture: Amsterdam - Credit : Getty Images