The challenge

Resource extraction, production and consumption come with high CO2e emissions. This applies to products, materials and even water. Consequently, products and resources should be kept in circulation for as long as possible through reuse or recycling.

A transition to a circular economy can provide CO2e reductions extending far beyond single sectors and national borders. By looping resources through reuse and recycling, the CO2e emissions associated with extraction, production and use of ...

Resource extraction, production and consumption come with high CO2e emissions. This applies to products, materials and even water. Consequently, products and resources should be kept in circulation for as long as possible through reuse or recycling.

A transition to a circular economy can provide CO2e reductions extending far beyond single sectors and national borders. By looping resources through reuse and recycling, the CO2e emissions associated with extraction, production and use of resources are reduced.

Some of the challenges when transforming to a circular economy are a lack of competitive, high-quality recycled materials, lack of standards and knowledge about the content and quality of used products and recycled materials. It is essential we alter our consumption patterns and stimulate demand for circular solutions.

Globally, the water sector accounts for 2-4 per cent of the world’s total electricity consumption and this amount will increase as more water is treated throughout the world. Energy-efficient technologies and a focus on CO2e reductions can reduce this number significantly. Direct emissions of methane and nitrous oxides from the water sector, especially related to wastewater treatment, are significant but can be reduced with new technology.

The potential

The overall vision of the climate partnership is for Denmark to be a world leader in circular economy by 2030. Denmark can lead the way to climate neutrality in 2050 and support exports of resource-efficient technology.

The water sector in Denmark has set a goal to become climate and energy neutral by 2030. In the waste sector, the goal is to recycle 90 per cent of all waste by 2030. Within circular economy, the potential for reducing CO2e emissions is great. For Denmark, converting to...

The overall vision of the climate partnership is for Denmark to be a world leader in circular economy by 2030. Denmark can lead the way to climate neutrality in 2050 and support exports of resource-efficient technology.

The water sector in Denmark has set a goal to become climate and energy neutral by 2030. In the waste sector, the goal is to recycle 90 per cent of all waste by 2030. Within circular economy, the potential for reducing CO2e emissions is great. For Denmark, converting to a circular economy is estimated to result in a reduction of approximately 7-9 million tonnes of CO2e in 2030 globally.

Exports of Danish water technology and knowledge encompass considerable climate potential. If the European water sector was as energy efficient as Denmark’s is today, it would lead to an estimated CO2e reductions of 1.7 million tonnes and extrapolated up to 30 million tonnes globally in 2030. A global energy and climate neutral water sector will result in sizable CO2e reductions worldwide.

Recommendations

01
Circular economy
  • Longer product life and increased reuse: Introduce circular design criteria
    into EU product policy, demand green and circular solutions through public
    procurement and increase access and incentive for repair and use of recycled
    models
  • Increased use of recycled materials: Create an efficient market for recycled
    materials using globally recognised standards for secondary materials. Standards create a level playing field and create confidence amongst users
    and consumers
  • Circular business models: Green Public Procurement should be a driving force for the transition to circular business models and solutions. The focus of
    public procurement should not only be on the acquisition price, but also total
    costs and entire value chains
  • Change to new materials: A shift to bio-based materials and substitution of unwanted chemicals where relevant requires research into and development
    of methods in the field of circular bioeconomy as well as strategies for sustainable use of chemicals
  • Reduced wastage: European and national strategies for waste reduction should present targets, tools and incentives to reduce waste from both households and companies
02
Waste
  • Increased and improved recycling of waste
  • Degassing from landfill
  • CO2e reduction from biogas plants
  • Phase out composting
03
Water
  • Reduction of direct greenhouse gas emissions in the wastewater sector
  • Increased energy efficiency in the water and wastewater sector
  • Avoid rainwater and unauthorised water in the wastewater system
  • Increased energy production via biogas and heat pumps
  • Export efficient water technology to achieve global impact

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The climate partnership for Waste, water and circular economy

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Cases

Turning wastewater into green energy

While wastewater treatment plants are considered as big energy consumers, Marselisborg Waste Water Treatment Plant has been transformed from an energy consuming to an energy producing plant, achieving an energy self-sufficiency of 150 per cent.

Closed loop in reuse packaging-as-service

The reuse packaging-as-service offers a new circular consumption model, reducing packaging and waste, thereby encompassing the potential to reduce Co2e emissions by up to 60 per cent when compared to single-use packaging.

CO2 emissions reducing tire recycling

Tyre recycling company Genan has turned an immense waste problem into a green opportunity – and can process and recycle up to 150,000 tyres daily worldwide.

A swan takes shape

A childcare centre in Gladsaxe is the first building that is constructed according to circular principles to be Nordic Swan Ecolabel certified. Reutilising materials from a demolished primary school, the construction of the circular childcare centre provides valuable learnings and inspiration for the Danish building sector as a whole on how to become more circular, sustainable and resource efficient.

The multi-functional forest

Afforestation prevents pesticides and toxins from seeping into the soil and polluting the groundwater and creating Elmelund forest secures a large percentage of Odense’s drinking water – arguably forever. The forest also enhances biodiversity and absorbs carbon dioxide, thus protecting the climate.

Sport om a sustainable surface

Danish company Re-Match has developed a fully traceable way of recovering and separating the different materials used to produce artificial turf, which can then be used in new artificial turf pitches or sold as raw materials to be used in other production cycles, making artificial turf a circular choice for sports pitches.

Denmark’s first circular social housing

The Danish not-for-profit housing sector is seeking to revolutionise social housing by creating projects constructed according to circular principles - projects like Circle House. The project’s objective is that 90 per cent of the project’s materials can be demounted and reused or resold without loss of value – so-called ‘design for disassembly’.

Reusing materials for The Resource Rows

The Resource Rows, a housing project consisting of 92 flats, demonstrate a radical reuse approach to materials that significantly reduce the construction carbon footprint.

Circular Copenhagen

While many know that the Danish capital Copenhagen has an ambitious target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2025, the city is also working actively to become a circular economy leader. To assist in attaining this goal, the city is focussing on upgrading the quantity and quality of its recyclables and tripling reuse.

Retrofitting conventional energy-intensive lighting with energy-efficient LED

A Danish Lighting manufacturer ha designed its lightning solutions to enable retrofitting of currently owned lamps to a more energy-efficient light source, hereby ensuring reuse.

Carlsberg will halve water usage at its largest brewery in Denmark

With the help of NIRAS 'experts, Carlsberg took an essential step towards completing its ambition to have zero wastewater in all its breweries.

Using rainwater to combat urban heat-island effect with Green Bus Stops

Cities in Poland have chosen to use a Danish nature based solution to reuse rainwater as a resource and contribute to the reduction of Urban Heat Island effect.

Contact

Confederation of Danish Industry
Iben Kinch Sohn
[email protected]

50%

Denmark’s water sector uses about half of the energy per m3 of water as the EU average

7-9

million tonnes CO2e reductions in 2030 globally

About the partnership

Chairman
Camilla Haustrup Hermansen, Deputy CEO, Plus Pack

Vice chairmen
Henrik Grand Petersen, CEO, Stena Recycling
Lars Schrøder, CEO, Aarhus Vand

Private partners

  • Confederation of Danish Industry
  • Danish waste & resource industry
  • DI Water
  • DAKOFA
  • Danish Waste Association
  • Danish Chamber of Commerce
  • Danish Environmental Technology Association
  • Association of Danish Water Supply
  • DANVA – Danish Water and Wastewater Association
  • Danish Construction Federation
  • Danish Plastics Federation
  • Danish Agriculture & Food Council
  • Local Government Denmark (KL)

Public partners

  • Ministry of Environment