The Circular Republic Festival – circular economy as a focus

The Circular Republic Festival focused in Munich in November on circular economy, expert opinions and innovations

Circular Republic Festival
Copyright by Bert Willer

Author: House of Eden

    • This year's Circular Republic Festival in Munich offered a diverse program, including exhibitions, discussions, workshops, start-up pitches and networking opportunities as well as expert lectures and further training opportunities
    • The festival was characterized by a variety of ideas and solutions, including recycling lithium-ion batteries, sustainable waste management and reusable shipping boxes. Both small start-ups and large brands such as BMW presented innovative approaches
    • The Circular Gap Report highlights Munich's high raw material consumption, which is four times the sustainable level. Nevertheless, it creates hope that material usage can be reduced by 43% through future-oriented measures in various industries

Lithium ion battery recycling. Sustainable waste management. Reusable shipping boxes. Keyword: circular economy. The Circular Republic Festival in Munich deals with precisely these topics and brings together entrepreneurs and experts from technology, industry and politics for the benefit of the circular economy.

Need for action in Munich

As part of this festival, the so-called Circular Gap Report published: According to this, Munich's average consumption of raw materials per person is 32 tons, this number is considered four times the level considered as sustainable. This means the city relies heavily on imports - an indicator of a poor environmental footprint. The solution: transform Munich and other large cities in a more sustainable direction. For this purpose, the Circular Republic Festival organized an event with Europe's largest start-up center Unternehmertum that was intended to inspire and educate people about the circular economy.

Circular Republic Festival

Copyright by Bert Willer

“The alarming results of the report show us the urgency of addressing the issues of material consumption and greenhouse gas emissions together - also at the city level. We are looking forward to exchanging our findings with the relevant stakeholders and thinking about how the circular economy in Munich can be strengthened,” says Dr Susanne Kadner, the co-founder and head of ecosystem of Circular Republic.

Versatile program items

To manifest the facets and possibilities of a circular economy, the Circular Republic Festival offered four days full of exhibitions, discussions, workshops, start-up pitches and networking opportunities. All lectures and further training opportunities from experts were also offered. Activities such as clothing swaps, repair cafés and dance performances also provided active variety alongside the lectures. With complete success: 500 participants took part in this event in total, and another 800 people registered in the live stream.

Start-up awards ceremonies

In order to make the small companies a little better known, an award was given to the participating start-ups. In the Circular Inputs category, for example, companies such as Protegg, Wellicious and Nabore, which produce new surfaces from leather and vegetable residues, won. An award was also presented in categories such as Product-as-a-service, Resource Recovery, Technosphere and Carbon, Textiles & Food.

But in addition to small start-ups, large brands such as BMW and L'Oréal also came together. Dr. Kristin Kiri Trier, General Manager Sustainability DACH, from L'Oréal, for example, gave a lecture on the decisions that a company must make in order to act sustainably.

New ideas and possibilities create hope

The Circular Gap Report also states that measures for the circular economy can certainly be forward-looking: material consumption could be reduced by 43% through innovations if all of the report's recommendations were implemented. These include improvements in the construction industry, food production, manufacturing processes as well as lifestyle and mobility. The innovations and restructuring at the Circular Republic Festival represent a confident basis for making Munich a more sustainable city.

It also depends on the individual

Sustainable actions by companies serve as the foundation of our circular economy. Only through responsible strategies can Munich and other large cities stimulate this type of economy. But you can also make a difference as an individual: If the people of Munich would adapt their individual lifestyle a little more sustainably, material consumption alone could be reduced by 10%.

Every step towards sustainability is a step in the right direction. This also includes seemingly insignificant things such as more controlled plastic consumption or recycling old products. We have all contributed to the climate crisis. Now it is up to us to fight against them together.

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