Press release: The Public Waste Agency of Flanders and the Flanders' Materials Programme win the Circular Economy Award at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos

winnaar the circular awardsLast night at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting (WEF) in Davos (Switzerland) “The Circulars” were awarded. “The Circulars” are an initiative of The Forum of Young Global Leaders, in cooperation with Accenture and Fortune Magazine. “The Circulars” awards the best and the most inspiring projects for a circular economy. In the category “governments, cities and regions” the award went to the Public Waste Agency of Flanders (OVAM) for the Flanders’ Materials Programme. The award was presented to the Flanders’ minister for the environment Joke Schauvliege, by Crown Prince Haakon of Norway. As the coordinator of the Flanders’ Materials Programme, the Public Waste Agency of Flanders (OVAM) would like to dedicate this award to all her partners who, since 2011, have been involved in making this ground-breaking programme a success.

Since 2015 this award is being organised in the margin of the WEF summit in Davos. It recognizes and rewards the best projects contributing to a circular economy. In the category ‘governments, cities and regions’ the Public Waste Agency of Flanders was nominated together with the City of Sydney (Australia), The National Zero Waste Council (Vancouver, Canada), The City of Citrus Heights (California, USA) and Redisa (Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa).

The jury with, among others, “Cradle to Cradle” author William McDonough, Ellen MacArthur and former EU-commissioner for the environment Janez Potçnic, awarded the award to the Public Waste Agency of Flanders for the Flanders’ Materials Programme.

In her report the praise of the jury went to:

  • The dedication of the Public Waste Agency of Flanders in her strife for sustainable materials management and the circular economy;
  • The impressive amount of projects and initiatives that are being executed and initiated within the region under the wings of the Flanders’ Materials Programme;
  • The cooperation between a vast number of stakeholde rs and economic sectors within this comprehensive programme whereby the right culture c ould be created for a successful shift to a circular economy.

The Flanders’ Materials Programme was founded in 201 1 with the purpose of transforming the region of Flanders into a sustainable future-proof economy where material-cycles are being closed. This way we will significantly minimize our impact on the environment and reduce the dependency of our economy on natural resources.

The Flanders’ Materials Programme was founded and is coordinated by the Public Waste Agency of Flanders but the success is that of many fathers. The Flanders’ Materials Programme is an example of successful co-creation and co-ownership. Business-sectors, research institutions government and environmental organisations all cooperate within this programme to achieve its goals. This cooperation is situated on three planes:

  • an extensive list of actions and projects in the field (Agenda 2020);
  • long term visioning (Plan C);
  • and policy-relevant scientific research (Summa).

Because of this unseen cooperation, The Public Waste Agency of Flanders would like to dedicate this unique award to all partners and stakeholders who, since the beginning of the programme have contributed to its goals. Especially the members of the steering committee: Technology Federation Agoria, the Belgian Federation for Chemistry and Life Sciences Industries Essenscia, the Belgian Federation of Environmental Companies Febem, research and Technology Organisation VITO, the Universities of Leuven, Gent, Hasselt and Antwerp, the Flemish Building Confederation , The Department of Economy, Science and Innovation, Enterprise Flanders, The Federation for a better Environment, Plan C, SuMMa, the Policy Research Centre for Sustainable Development, Public Governance Flanders and VEA.

More information about The Circulars can be found on: www.thecirculars.org