The Interreg MED Green Growth community has created 4 Thematic Working Groups (TWGs) as a tool to facilitate cooperation, synergies and communication within its 14 modular projects to aid in the quality, efficiency, scalability and replicability of the project results. The themes of the TWGs were established in alignment with the EU Circular Economy Action Plan’s indicator framework for monitoring the progress towards a Circular Economy. The White Papers on Circular Economy are a result of these TWGs and present the contributions of the Interreg MED Green Growth community and their efforts in transitioning towards a circular economy in the Mediterranean.
The factsheets are a 2 pages summary of each White Paper.
White Paper 1 – Make more with less: Resource Efficiency
The White Paper displays the issues tackled by the TWG1 related to resource efficiency mainly in the agro-food sector as well as in urban areas through the implementation of the Smart City Concept. This white paper focuses on the difficulties for companies to measure their environmental footprint and resource efficiency; the use of predominantly low-cost, low-tech, labour intensive and rudimentary equipped greenhouses; the lack of energy efficiency and renovation of EU buildings; and describes the solutions proposed by the projects involved, demonstrating the benefits of resource efficiency for both the environment and the economy.
White Paper 2 – Towards Circular Towns and Cities: Green & Smart Public Services
The White Paper addressed issues linked to the inclusion of sustainability and circular economy criteria for green public procurement and provision of public services, by which public authorities seek to procure goods and services with reduced environmental impact throughout their life cycles. The white papers shows the challenges addressed by the TWG 2 on the limited integration between environmental and economic criteria in public procurement; the need for enhanced capacities among private actors related to eco-innovation and green energy to participate in green e-tenders; and the lack of mobility data at the city level due to a reluctance toward data sharing and the high costs for data aggregation and management; and it provides solutions for green public procurements.
White Paper 3 – Zero waste: problems become opportunities in Waste Prevention & Management
This White Paper promoted solutions leading to the reduction of both organic (livestock) and inorganic waste, but also to map out technologies, systems, and strategies for proper waste management. The white papers illustrates the issues face by the TWG3 such as the over-production and over-application of slurry and manure with high nitrogen content and the need to treat it; and also the lack of treatment of agro-food waste, both organic and inorganic. The document highlights the contributions from the projects to stress the importance of the full utilization of resources throughout their life cycle to realize a circular economy.
White Paper 4 – Fit for a circular future: Competitiveness & Innovation
This White Paper implemented and assessed solutions for promoting competitiveness and innovation of Mediterranean SMEs for a Circular Economy, including issues linked to smart specialization, public-private partnerships and innovative funding, among others. It highlights the main issues tackled by the TWG4 such as a lack of effective clusters for companies and stakeholders to connect, work together and transfer innovations; the limited access to tools, services and funds for SMEs to drive innovation; limited consumer awareness and interest in “green” and “circular” products and services; and provides solutions to transform businesses toward innovative and circular economy models in the Mediterranean region.
White Paper 5 – Synergies for Green Growth
A transversal White Paper (5) displays the horizontal approach for the cooperation on Circular Economy and Green Growth in the Mediterranean, the challenges, the success factors and the lessons learned.