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Job search for Dutch circular economy

AMSTERDAM: January 24, 2017. With the Netherlands committed to a circular economy by 2050, Dutch social enterprise Circular Economy and Rotterdam-based Erasmus University are conducting research into defining the key jobs and skills that will enable the transition.

Currently 8.1 percent of all jobs in the country are based on circular principles that ensure the use of resources to guarantee the highest level of long-term economic, environmental and social value.

Circular economyWith 70 percent of all global resources used in cities and 50 percent of the world's population living in urban areas, Circle Economy is developing a Dashboard that measures the circularity of cities and regions.

The dashboard aims to quantify the key elements of the circular economy, such as employment, resource efficiency, air quality and climate change and enable cities to link the circular strategies they are implementing with explicit data.

Annerieke Douma, director Programme and Business Development for Circular Economy said: "Implementing the circular economy is as much about people as it is about resources and sustainability."

To accelerate the transition to complete circularity, defining key roles will need to be adapted and developed, she explained: "The first three are the architect to design for the future, the appliance technician to extend the lifetime of products, and the courier to enable reverse logistics processes for circular businesses."

In October 2016 a partnership of AkzoNobel, the Port of Rotterdam, recycler van Gansewinkel, Air Liquide and technology company Enerkem, announced plans to build a waste-to-chemicals plant that would produce methanol from synthesis gas generated from residual waste.

The plant will be based on technology developed by Enerkem to create the methanol for conversion into acetic acid used for fibres and adhesives, thickening agents and dimethyl ether – a clean propellant gas. The result will be a facility providing a sustainable circular replacement to sourcing from fossil fuels.

According to Erasmus University research, current governmental commitments are only able to achieve half of their climate goals, prompting the need for extra effort in order to stop the earth's temperature from rising more than 1.5 degrees above its current state.

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