Opportunities for new jobs in a zero waste economy

The Netherlands is seen as a ‘circular hotspot’ in Europe – a centre for knowledge and innovation in the field of the circular economy. Dutch cities have taken the lead in the transition to a circular economic model in the way of innovation, tendering, urban design, and materials management. Rotterdam is one of these frontrunners, and has the most ambitious objectives of all. By 2030 the city wants circularity to become common practice, aiming to reduce primary resource use by 50%. In achieving this, Rotterdam seeks to create 3,500 to 7,000 jobs that contribute directly to the circular economy.

Time for action
In line with its entrepreneurial character, Rotterdam is well-placed to roll up its sleeves and make the investments necessary to initiate a large-scale transition to a circular economy. To understand where the focus should be, at the end of 2017 Rotterdam initiated a project to map the next steps needed to inspire the circular transition within the city.

This project consists of three consecutive phases:

Phase 1: The current state of the circular economy in Rotterdam and possible Interventions
It is essential to first review the current state of the circular economy in Rotterdam. The research focuses on four key sectors that are definitive for a circular Rotterdam: construction, consumer goods, agri-food and green flows, and healthcare. The primary outcome of this phase of the project is to create a long list of possible interventions that can contribute to the zero-waste ambitions of Rotterdam and generate circular employment.

Phase 2: Stakeholder workshops
In the second phase of the project we invited the key stakeholders in and around the city to three stakeholder workshops. This phase is to better understand the interests, motivations and needs of different stakeholders for the transition to a circular economy, and to identify possible ways for cooperation or to discover ways in which the City of Rotterdam can provide support.

Phase 3: Cost-benefit analysis
The final phase of the project is to choose which interventions identified in the second phase are the most promising for Rotterdam, and to take them to the level of practical implementation. We carried out a cost-benefit analysis for the interventions, gaining insight into the required investments, policy adjustments that may be required, and collaborations that must be set up for successful implementation. We also calculated in more detail the circular economy and employment benefits of these interventions. In this phase we have produced a roadmap with practical steps that can be taken, explaining our recommendations for the various stakeholders about what they can do to contribute to the realization of the circular vision of Rotterdam.

More information:

Report Rotterdam Circular