10 M€ to support the Circular Economy in Europe

The EU’s largest National Promotional Banks and Institutions and the European Investment Bank launch a 10 M€ initiative to accelerate the transition to a sustainable and circular economy

Five European national promotional banks & institutions and the European Investment Bank (EIB) launched today in Luxembourg the Joint Initiative on Circular Economy to support the development and implementation of circular economy projects and programmes in the European Union (EU). This flagship partnership will target at least 10 M€ of investments over the next five years (2019 – 2023). The aim is to prevent and eliminate waste, increase resource efficiency and foster innovation by promoting circularity in all sectors of the economy.

The five national promotional banks & institutions are:

  • Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK – Poland)
  • Groupe Caisse des Dépôts (CDC – France) including Bpifrance
  • Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP – Italy)
  • Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO – Spain)
  • Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW – Germany)

The six partner institutions will combine their expertise, experience and financial capacity to better support the implementation of viable circular projects and programme approaches. The Joint Initiative on Circular Economy (JICE) will provide loans, equity investment or guarantees to eligible projects and develop innovative financing structures for public and private infrastructure, municipalities, private enterprises of different size as well as for research and innovation projects. JICE builds on the ongoing initiatives led by the European Commission to build knowledge through dedicated working groups and develop financing schemes.

The joint initiative will focus particularly on investments in the EU Member States that will help accelerate the transition to a circular economy. It will target all stages of the value chain and lifecycle of products and services:

  • Circular design and production: applying “reduce and recycle” strategies to design out waste at the source, prior to commercialisation.
  • Circular use and life extension: enabling the reuse, repair, repurposing, refurbishing or remanufacturing of products in use phase
  • Circular value recovery: recovering materials and other resources from waste, recovering waste heat and/or reusing treated wastewater
  • Circular support: facilitating circular strategies in all lifecycle phases, for example with the deployment of key ICT technologies, digitalization and services supporting circular business models and circular value chains.

Project examples:
To illustrate the type of projects eligible under the Joint Initiative for Circular Economy, here are some examples of projects already financed by the six partner institutions.

BGK (Poland)

PKP SKM in Tricity: PKP SKM in Tricity is the local railway carrier, operating on the very important railway line no. 250, connecting Tricity metropolitan area (Gdansk, Gdynia and Sopot) in the north of Poland. In 2012 BGK issued for this company bonds worth 235.400 € with 9 years to maturity. The funds obtained by the company were used as the own contribution to investment in refurbishment of 22 electric multiple units, which allowed to extend their lifetime by another 20 years.

Sklejka Orzechowo: BGK signed a 5.178.664 € investment loan for a new production line for plywood and blockboard production and for related infrastructure. The new production technology and resource loops to be introduced as part of the investment will result in sewage reduction, more efficient biomass use, reduced water consumption, heat recovery and reduced noise emission.

CDC (France)

PHENIX: Bpifrance, via its Smart Cities VC fund, co-led a 15 M€ financing round in PHENIX. The capital raised is used to accelerate growth throughout Europe, invest in the development of new digital services, including the launch of B2C mobile app (‘Phenix app’), and expand towards the management of other waste streams.
BDT – Terradona (France): CDC (Banque des Territoires), together with other public and private institutions, has financed the fundraising of the green-tech company Terradona, creator of Cliiink®, smart and eco-responsible solution for waste sorting. Proposed to local authorities, the innovative Cliiink® solution reduces the cost of treating their waste and improves the cleanliness of their agglomerations, while rewarding good sorters and boosting local trade.

CDP (Italy):

Ex Sadoch (Trieste): The urban regeneration project has concerned the retrofitting of a building complex with over 8,900 m2 that once housed the Saul Sadoch paper factory, a complex, built in 1957 and left unused since the 1990s. Besides the buildings, the project has also allowed the renovation and redevelopment of the surrounding formerly industrial area, which for a long time represented a space of abandonment and degradation. The project was carried out by the FVG Social Housing Fund, in which CDP Investimenti SGR has invested over 60 M€ through “Fondo Investimenti per l’Abitare” (FIA), real estate fund dedicated to social housing.

Ex Manifattura Tabacchi (Milan): A comprehensive retrofitting project of 90,000 m2 of abandoned public estate on a former industrial site, aimed at regaining a semi-central urban plot located close to the Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca. The project is being led by an SPV of which 50% of shares are held by CDP Immobiliare and in which CDP invested over 40 M€ to redevelop Edificio2.

EIB (EU-wide)

Novamont Renewable Chemistry: Novamont develops innovative bioplastics and biochemicals based on renewable resources, which are biodegradable and compostable. Novamont’s holistic approach and vision for the bioeconomy, where the business model includes local agriculture as well as the reuse of by-products, is producing positive results for material innovation.

De Lage Landen (DLL) Circularity Loan for SMEs and Midcaps: DLL refurbishes and leases second and third life equipment to companies. The DLL engagement will allow SMEs to save costs and invest in other areas while strongly contributing to the realisation of the circular economy objectives.

KfW (Germany)

Circular use of process heat: Traditional Bakery Müller Egerer had it production processes scrutinised by an energy consultant. KfW provided a promotional loan of 0,9 M€ and the company benefitted from a redemption grant of 150,000 €.

Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO – Spain)

Red de Calor de Soria – Biomass District Heating: Leading district heating project in Soria, Spain, wich using woodchip residue from local wood industry as fuel. The project supplies heat and water to more than 16,000 inhabitants and 8,000 homes. Total investment adds up to 20 M€ and ICO participates in a relevant proportion in equity through the FondICO Infrastructures fund. The amount of renewable energy supplied is around 80 GWh/year, saving CO2 emissions for more than 28.000 Tm/year, using local fuel and creating local jobs.

Recycling sea waste: Ecoalf is a circular economy start-up in Spain that collects marine debris from the bottom of the sea, treats it, and converts it into thread to make clothes and accessories. Its goal was to design the first generation of fashion items created with recycled materials that would have the same technical properties as the best non-recycled products, and be of equal quality and design, showing that continuing to misuse the planet’s natural resources indiscriminately is unnecessary.

Source: EIB