TCEN-led Delegation to Europe
TCEN led a delegation from Taiwan to several countries in Europe, including France, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg with the aim of gaining a deeper understanding of the execution of the circular economy in various nations, and represent the voice of Taiwan internationally. Luxembourg hosted the second Circular Hotspot after the first successful event in the Netherlands in 2016.
The delegation first visited Paris, a city aiming to become a world leader in Circular Economy. The city government has released a white paper that will act as the "Roadmap" to a circular economy. They are also inviting teams of innovators to solve the challenges that impede circularity.
The delegation also visited a small coal-mining town in France, called Loos-en-Gohelle. The town has begun the transition from coal-mining to green energy, after the mines were closed in 1990. The citizens have had to work together to make this transition possible, changing their mindset and jointly deciding on policy changes, to eliminate pollution and reduce unemployment.
After visiting France, TCEN travelled to Luxembourg to attend the Circular Hotspot for the second time.
After the first successful circular economy hotspot mission in the Netherlands, the second three-day circular economy event was held in Luxembourg in 2017. Luxembourg will use circular economy principles in order to enhance economic competitiveness, as well as introduce the concept into other aspects like public policy and local urban planning.
The delegates in attendance convened at the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg to listen to lectures by financial experts from the European Union, and members of European banks. One of the primary focuses of the events was to invite representatives from companies that were able to integrate circular economy into their business models, in order to demonstrate the application of CE principles. Another focus of the lectures was how to overcome the challenges to the circular economy and facilitate the transition from linear to circular. William McDonough, one of the first to espouse the principle of Cradle to Cradle, also gave a speech to the attendants at the event.
After the event in Luxembourg, the delegation travelled to the Netherlands, one of the world's most developed circular economies. The Dutch region of Venlo is the world's area to embrace the principles of Cradle-to-Cradle on a large-scale. The buildings in the area are trying to change the business models behind construction, and move away from the linear model.
The delegation also met with Dr. Olaf Blaauw, a key promoter of the circular economy in the Netherlands, to discuss the progress and vision of Park 2020.
Afterward, the delegates went to Instock for lunch, a restaurant which recognized the great deal of food that went to waste from supermarkets, and set out to create meals from the food that would otherwise have been thrown away.
Finally, TCEN and others from Taiwan visited De Ceuvel, an abandoned shipyard north of Amsterdam. The city has converted this polluted industrial site into a "playground for innovation and creativity", with a focus on sustainability.