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Global ‘socially-inclusive’ circular economy ‘Action Hub’ launched

From Circular.

A new Circular Action Hub connects global sources of finance with ambitious and scalable local projects to support and accelerate circular waste management action.
Non-profit organaisation, BVRio, has launched its Circular Action Hub, an online platform that sets out to connect circular economy projects and initiatives with investors.

Through the Hub, BVRio also introduces the Circular Credits Mechanism – a system of performance-based payments for environmental services of circularity, that aims at fostering inclusivity and wider social participation.

Circular Action Hub was originally created to host projects from the 3R Initiative founded by BVRio, Verra, Nestlé, Danone, Tetra Pak.

BVRio is now expanding the Hub to promote a wider range of projects with various funding needs, waste materials – including plastics, beverage cartons, metals, glass, tyres, e-waste – and activities such as waste collection and recovery, recycling, capacity building and technology development.

Mauricio Moura Costa, CEO of BVRio, said: “BVRio is proud to launch the Hub. We see it as an important piece of the circular economy ecosystem, connecting and supporting a wide range of actors that play important roles in this space.

The Circular Action Hub can play an important role to facilitate funding to support such initiatives and improve social justice inside the system
“In particular, we are glad to have designed an inclusive system that removes barriers to entry and gives access to smaller initiatives, such as the waste picker cooperatives that operate all over the world”.

Recognising that there is a huge diversity of circumstances, technologies, and approaches that can be used by projects in different parts of the world, the Hub does not assume that a ‘one size fits all’ approach can be defined at the outset, BVRio says.

Instead, it adopts a ‘learning-by-doing’ approach and strives for continuous improvement of its requirements based on the experience learned with participating projects.

To guide this learning process, an Advisory Group was created with representation from both the ‘buy-side’ as well as technical, scientific and social sector organisations interested in the social and environmental quality of the initiatives promoted. Confirmed participants include the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Yunus Environment Hub, Women in Informal Employment – Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), WRAP UK, Waste Aid, Regions for Climate Action (R20), Nestlé, The Sustainable Manufacturing and Environmental Pollution (SMEP) programme of UK’s DFID, and others. Circular Action Hub is also a member of the PREVENT Waste Alliance.

‘Strengthening and empowering’
Christina Jäger, Managing Director, Yunus Environment Hub, said: “Yunus Environment Hub is committed to support and develop social business solutions contributing to a circular economy.

“We focus particularly on solutions that are strengthening and empowering marginalised people working as waste pickers and informal businesses in the plastic waste value chain.

“The Circular Action Hub can play an important role to facilitate funding to support such initiatives and improve social justice inside the system”.

Joao Souza, Senior Programme Officer IUCN, said:  “As biodiversity losses increase, due to the impact of insufficient or inadequate waste management, specifically of plastic pollution, IUCN is thrilled to collaborate with the Circular Action Hub to ensure it promotes positive environmental impacts in ecosystems currently threatened by waste pollution.”

‘Effective and socially-inclusive’
At the time of the launch, more than 100 projects from 35 countries are in the process of listing their initiatives in the Hub, with an aggregate capacity to recover more than 300,000 tonnes of waste materials from the environment.

Circular Action Hub expects this volume to increase substantially after the platform starts to connect initiatives with financial supporters and demonstrate the Hub as one more solution to the circularity challenge.

In addition, the Hub has also included a series of projects with strong social impact, such as those creating economic opportunities for refugee camps in collaboration with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Kenya Red Cross (KRCS), as well as with waste collector cooperatives in Brazil and India.

BVRio hopes Circular Action Hub will become an effective and socially-inclusive circular economy mechanism enabling the cross-boundary support of projects through direct performance-based payments for the environmental services of collection, sorting and appropriate destination of waste materials that today pollute our environment.

BVRio is a non-profit organisation founded in 2011 with the objective to create and promote the use of market mechanisms to facilitate environmental objectives.

Originally created in Brazil, BVRio today operates internationally and has offices in Brazil, United Kingdom, Switzerland, China, Ghana, and Indonesia.  BVRio’s work is focused around four ambitious goals: climate change mitigation, sustainable forest management, sustainable agriculture, and circular economy.

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