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Transition of Kaunas towards circular economy

Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production

The transition towards a more circular economy brings great opportunities for Kaunas city and its citizens. It is an important part of our efforts to modernise and transform the economy, moving in a more sustainable direction. There is a strong business case behind it which enables companies to make substantial economic gain and become more competitive. It delivers important energy savings and environmental benefits. It creates local jobs and opportunities for social integration. Cities will play an essential part in the transmission of the economy.

Our challenge
One of the most crucial factors enabling the transition to a circular economy is support for long-term circular ambitions at the right institutional levels. Without back-up and active support at the political level, promoters of circular economy initiatives will remain isolated and individual projects remain unconnected, hence slowing down circular developments in the city. This lack in knowledge on the circular economy seems to be prevalent both within local governments, as well as amongst market parties and civil society. Insufficient citizen awareness is a major issue to urban circular developments. These challenges require new solutions to ensure sustainability. These solutions are expected to generate significant change to several areas such as mobility, employment, production and consumption models, use of natural (non-renewable) resources, mature and emerging markets and business sectors. A shift towards a more circular economy will be crucial for the possibility to meet the United Nations 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Expected impact
A circular and sharing economy has environmental benefits as it decouples the economic development from the consumption of limited resources. As a result, it minimizes negative impact on the environment, and stimulates the development of innovations and new technologies. It creates employment opportunities and increases system efficiency. It also provides opportunities for businesses, but at the same time is a great challenge for both private and public sectors.

Target groups
Regional business, educational institutions, residents, municipality

Deadline for applications : 2020-12-31