2016 EU-Taiwan Green Summit

2016 台歐綠色貿易高峰論壇
Taipei, 10 November, 2016

Note: This is an abridged version. To read the full report, please click HERE.

The Green Trade Project Office(GTPO) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs(MOEA) and the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) under the framework of the European Business and Regulatory Cooperation (EBRC) programme co-hosted the “2016 EU-Taiwan Green Summit: Moving towards a Circular Economy and Sustainable Trade.” The summit successfully gathered experts from Europe and Taiwan to discuss the idea of “cradle to cradle”, namely, the transformation and the rebirth of the waste through the dialogue between the public and private sectors, in order to march together towards a circular economy and sustainable trade. 

Guests of honour

Ms. Mei-Hua Wang (王美花), Vice Minister of Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA)

Ms. Madeleine Majorenko, Head of European Economic and Trade Office (EETO)

Mr. Chin-Rong Lin (林欽榮), Deputy Mayor of Taipei City Government


Dr. Kuo-Shuh Richard Fan (樊國恕), Professor of National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology

Dr. Lih-Chyi Wen (溫麗琪), Deputy Director of Green Trade Project Office, MOEA

Mr. Andreas Gursch, Sales Director Taiwan of Schueco International (Beijing) Co., Ltd


Mr. Vincent Tseng (曾正忠), Consultant of PHILIPS Taiwan

Dr. Harvey J. Houng (洪榮勳), Senior Advisor of Environmental Protection Administration (EPA)

Mr. Gwenole Cozigou, Director for Industrial Transformation and Advanced Value Chains, Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission

Dr. Karin Peters, Chief Advisor of Section for Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, Danish Environmental Protection Agency

Mr. Charles Huang (黃育徵), Chairperson of Taiwan Circular Economy Network

Ms. Ju-Wen Lin (林茹雯), Manager of Da Fon Environmental Technology

Mr. Francois Jenny, Managing Director of Incineration of SUEZ Recycling & Waste Recovery Asia

Mr. Gordon Yu (余金龍), Chairman and CEO of eTouch Innovation Company Limited

Dr. Hwong-Wen Ma (馬鴻文), Professor of Graduate Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Taiwan University

Mr. Leo Tseng (曾昱豪), Business Development & Sales Manager, Umicore Marketing Services Taiwan

Dr. Chiu-Ping Li (李秋萍), Deputy Director of Green Technology Research Institute, CPC Corporation, Taiwan

Mr. Nicolas Buttin, Co-Founder of Wiithaa & Circulab

Dr. Jin-Rong Cheng (鄭錦榮), Director of Chemistry and Environment Laboratory, Taiwan Power research Institute

Dr. Martin Edlund, CEO of Minesto

Mr. Jim Tai (戴英傑), General Manager of REMONDIS Taiwan

Opening remarks

In her opening remarks Ms. Wang Mei-Hua, the Vice Minister of MOEA, first greeted all the distinguished guests and then proceeded by sharing her views on how Taiwan can benefit from circular economy. Improving the environment, reducing air pollution and waste are all very important issues - even president Tsai Ting-Wen addressed them in her inauguration speech. Ms. Wang believes the European companies can help Taiwan address them through introducing best practices from the circular economy model. Exploring the possibilities of reusing products as resources promises improvements for the environment and for the business sector alike. Ms. Wang hopes this summit could bring to all the attendees some new perspectives on how to best deal with transitioning to circular economy.

Ms. Majorenko from the EETO started her speech with a reflection of the current population growth and its unsustainable strain on natural resources. According to Ms. Majorenko one of the greatest assets of circular economy is the possibility of combining environmental protection with economic benefits. She believes the current approach of taking, using and disposing of products is no longer sustainable and circular economy helps us rethink these patterns and introduces a sustainable alternative, based on a smarter use of resources through recycling and minimizing waste.  For a successful transition we need to rethink not only the production process, design and our daily habits, but the whole industrial system so it can behave more like an eco-system.  She believes the circular economy raises the quality of products, benefits the job market, the economy, our society and, of course, the environment.  In embracing the circular economy the EU has already started forging its way to a more sustainable future and is keen to engage in international cooperation with partners like Taiwan, who can offer insights and valuable experience in areas such as advanced industrial waste monitoring and management systems. In her concluding remarks Ms. Majorenko cordially invited Taiwanese researchers and companies to join the Horizon 2020 project that was set up to support research and innovation, as well as the SMEs on their way to the new economic model. She further invited the participants to join the next day's EU-Taiwan Green Fair and expressed that it is events like this that give us the opportunity to share ideas and embrace the circular economy.

Next we were addressed by Mr. Daniel Calleja in a video message produced specifically for this occasion. Mr. Calleja expressed his delight to see the EU-Taiwan cooperation taking another step forward towards circular economy. He reminded us that circular economy is a challenge that the EU is very keen to promote, because it brings economic, societal as well as environmental benefits.  Minimizing waste, innovation, creating revenue and improving competitiveness through collaboration on circular economy will change our business model for the better, so all sectors of economy, including SMEs, and society can reap the benefits. Instead of consuming beyond our capabilities, we can create a virtuous cycle in which one industry's waste becomes another's raw material, thus creating a bridge between competitiveness and sustainability. Mr. Calleja also stressed that while circular economy is industry-driven, the role of policy makers is also very important, which is why summits like this are so valuable: they bring together people from all sectors and Mr. Calleja believes this is a good starting point for a joint effort in saving our planet, creating jobs, making our economic growth sustainable and our industries competitive – all at the same time. In pursuit of this goal there are many possibilities for Europe and Taiwan to cooperate in advancing this collaborative, circular economy.

The next speaker, deputy-mayor of Taipei City Government Mr. Chin-Rong Lin, reflected on president Tsai's inaugural speech and the highlighted importance of circular economy for Taiwan, as well as for Taipei City. While good governance is a pillar for any kind of development and governmental agencies such as the EPA, and the department for economics and urban development are the key elements, he urged us not to forget the roles of academia and industry in promoting innovation. Mr. Lin expressed his enthusiasm to hear the success stories from various countries in topics such as not only recycling waste, but turning it into a valuable resource. Taipei with its science parks and recycling facilities is already tackling these issues, while projects such as creating eco-friendly communities in Shizidao can help us think about new ways to integrate circular economy into our daily lives. With the final thanks to the presenters Mr. Lin concluded the opening remarks.

All the honoured guests were then invited to the stage for a group photo, before proceeding to the next part in which Mr. Vincent Tseng, consultant of PHILIPS in Taiwan, talked about the innovative business models based on the PHILIPS experience. From Mr. Tseng's experience, the social enterprises in Taiwan are very keen to take the societal and environmental factors into their business model equation, however he also acknowledged that start-ups are often faced with and even brought down by many detrimental mechanisms. To avoid the initial setback, Mr. Tseng first emphasized that recycling not only brings benefits to our planet, but also means not being affected by the rise of prices for raw materials. Circular economy also brings many niches, for big Taiwanese corporations and SMEs alike. The first niche is selling services instead of products. Selling a service means paying more attention to the suppliers, the product design and quality of the manufacturing process, the components and also the business partners, to make sure the products are valuable even after they are sold. To get a hold of that value, businesses need to apply the so-called reverse logistics. Despite being harder to organize than forward logistics and requiring some initial capital investments, in the long run it brings many benefits. With some modifications, it can be applied to all the different industries, making sure all the links in the production chain work together and consequently benefit together. This is particularly important because most companies are not able to provide the end to end integration, so collaborative business models are more appropriate. New business model, design, reverse logistics and collaboration thus represent the four enablers of circular economy. Mr. Tseng further explained that there are many cycles within the circular economy, ranging from collecting, sharing, maintaining, reusing and redistributing, refurbishing to recycling, and trying to stay in the innermost cycle brings most benefit, however outer cycles are important as well to achieve zero waste business model. He again emphasized that managing the whole range of circular economy is often too big a challenge for one single company, so instead they should focus on developing a business model for one of the stages, for example circular supply chain, sharing platform, providing a service instead of a product, managing the product life extension or recovery and recycling. To show us the growing presence of collaborative business models in various areas, Mr. Tseng  shared a graphic with companies that specialise in providing space (AirBnB), transportation (BlaBla Car), money (Kick Starter), goods (Etsy), food (Spoon Rocket), and services (Elance o-Desk), followed by an expanded list of companies. While business models like this gained popular support fairly quickly, selling product as a service requires re-educating the customers, showing that cheapest price is not always the best. The companies need to change the budgeting and KPIs, as well as attract more support from the government in procuring large scale services, instead of just products. To illustrate this point better Mr. Tseng gave us an example of PHILIPS model of selling the lighting service instead of light bulbs and equipment. Other similar success stories include companies such as GM, DSM, SolarCity, etc.  Ellen MacArthur Foundation gives a good example of different business models like regenerate; share; optimise; loop; virtualise and exchange and many well-known companies have already adapted at least one of these. In Taiwan universities such as NTU serve as a great springboard for new entrepreneurs, and many other SMEs follow the lead in reusing, refurbishing, service provisions, etc.  In the last part of his presentation Mr. Tseng focused on the circular activities at PHILIPS ranging from lighting services and medical equipment services, refurbishing used products, retrieving spare parts and finally recycling of materials. Through their light-as-a-service project PHILIPS equipped Amsterdam Airport Schipol terminal buildings, making sure there are benefits for the user in terms of lower energy consumption and for PHILIPS through owning the products and being able to introduce them back into its circular model at the end of the contract. Another project provided Georgia Regents Medical Center with refurbished medical equipment, reducing the cost for the hospital and by extension increasing the access to medical care for patients. PHILIPS has also been introducing recycled plastic into manufacturing of consumer products and their hope is to increase this proportion in the future. In conclusion Mr. Tseng highlighted some of the challenges for circular economy such as transition to and organizing the aforementioned business models, dealing with ownership issues, increasing public procurement of circular businesses, providing incentives for refurbished products, promoting and developing reverse logistics and promoting closed loop business partnerships. Mr. Tseng remains positive that all of that can be managed through connecting to other frontrunners of circular economy.

After rewarding Mr. Tseng's informative presentation with a round of applause, we proceeded on to the first session. 


Session 1: EU and Taiwan Policies on Circular Economy and Green Trade

Topic 1: Circular economy – Stimulating the Next Green Treasure Competitiveness of Taiwan

Speaker: Dr. Harvey J. Houng (洪榮勳), Senior Advisor of Environmental Protection Administration (EPA)

Mr. Houng first reminded us of the shortcomings of the still prevailing linear economy, namely excavation of raw materials and discarding the products at the end of their first life. However he observes that more and more people have started acting on the knowledge that this kind of a model is neither efficient nor sustainable, and are instead promoting the transition to circular economy. Mr. Houng thinks that the Netherlands are a good example of a country that is already benefiting from reduced CO2 emissions, savings from reduced usage of natural resources, water and land as well as increase in the job market. To complement Netherland's success story, Mr. Houng's presentation focused on the steps Taiwan has already taken. In 1997 they have established the control centres that monitor the waste flow in Taiwan to prevent illegal dumping, using the internet technologies, GPS tracking and BAR coding. Compared to other Asian and even the EU countries Taiwan started its path to minimizing waste relatively early, which can be seen in the size of the huge database. The next step forward is using these waste databases for creating resource databases, transforming the waste control centres to resource distribution centres. In 2013 Japan initiated the tripartite network meetings between Taiwan, Korea and Japan to discuss such challenges. Next year's meeting will take place in Taiwan and Mr. Houng hope this will be another opportunity for fruitful discussions.

In addition to mandatory waste separation for all residents of Taiwan, the government launched several policies to reduce the amount and toxicity of waste. Furthermore the so called "4 in 1" recycling program introduces extended producer responsibility by including and linking the community residents, recycling industries, local governments and recycling funds. In addition to that they have set up a website for auctions and exchanges of second hand products, as well as started with environmental education in primary schools. Science parks play an important role in developing and promoting circular economy. Mr. Houng introduced us the Kaohsiung Science and Technology Park, where they have done extensive work on integration of cross-industry waste and material flow systems. The new 3R waste policy focuses on restricting excessive packaging, usage of plastic shopping bags and disposable tableware and restricting the mercury and cadmium content of batteries. In industrial waste recycling they focus on recovery of precious materials, introducing organic matters as fuel, incineration, pyrolysis, gasification and anaerobic fermentation. Another point on their agenda is the removal and rehabilitation of landfills to reclaim land. Mr. Houng also presented the Cradle to Cradle certified product system that evaluates the following 5 categories: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy, water stewardship and social fairness.  

As far as innovative business models Taipei has already successfully introduced the YouBike system, while companies such as Mudjeans, Zerox and PHILIPS all serve as good examples of new business strategies. To even further promote competitiveness of Taiwanese industry we need a clear green decree that would include certain standards for the secondary raw material application, secondary material product promotion and safety regulations. Above all there is a great need for a policy with long term goals that would encourage systematic change, friendly environment and integration of various regulations that have been implemented until now. Mr. Houng also thinks it's important to develop green finance like credits, bonds and build a green market system. All of these measures of developing a circular economy mechanism can benefit people by increasing the job market. In his concluding remarks

Mr. Houng once again stressed the importance of developing new business models, invite in the key industries and from there expand the economic scale. To do all that we need collaboration between policy-makers, businesses, market, education system and the people.

Topic 2: The New European Circular Economy Package

Speaker: Mr. Gwenole Cozigou, Director for Industrial Transformation and Advanced Value Chains, Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission

Mr. Cozigou looked back on the last June's meeting between Deputy Director General Peltomäki and MEA's Minister Lee, when they discussed EU and Taiwan's shared challenges and opportunities, including the transition to circular economy.  Pleased to see the both sides are willingly trying to make a step forward, Mr. Cozigou presented EU's ambition for its transition to a fully functional and profitable circular economy. Linking the EU's agendas for jobs and growth with their energy and climate policies, the DG Environment and DG GROW joined forces in formulating the Circular Economy Action Plan. Through more than 50 key actions it addresses the whole economic cycle from production, consumption, waste management, secondary raw materials, to the needed investments and innovations. Combined with regulatory clarifications, guidance and promotion of best practices the Plan represents a wholesome approach to the issue of transition to the new economic model. The sectoral activities include regulations on organic and waste-based fertilisers, minimal requirements for reuse of wastewater irrigation, strategy on plastics, etc. It also addresses the Sustainable Development Goals to halve the per capita food waste by 2030.

The biggest value of this action plan is that it is not only an environmental necessity, but also makes economic sense - Europe and Taiwan both share the same issue of being relatively poor in natural resources, and circular economy efficiently addresses that. This can be proven by many businesses that have already started integrating circular processes into their production, some examples can be found through the Industrial Symbiosis programmes developed in many EU Member States. Mr. Cozigou believes that it is exactly this economic sense that makes circular economy's case more successful: he predicts waste prevention, eco-design, reuse and similar measures could bring net savings of € 600 billion, or 8 % of annual turnover for businesses in the EU, while reducing total annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2 to 4 %.

To bring all of this about, the EU is now working on creating the right conditions for transition. To better support the circular economy, the EC introduced a proposal to modify the waste legislation, including measures such as reducing the amount and improving the percentage of recycled municipal and packaging waste, while at the same time phasing out landfills and avoiding overcapacity in residual waste management. The proposals leave enough flexibility to the member States, fixing the same objectives but also leaving sufficient time periods for all the states to manage according to their current situation. Realizing that the EU alone cannot make the world economy circular, said Mr. Cozigou, emphasizing that eco and waste crime incomes for global mafia have been estimated at 230 billion EUR for this year, and thus clearly showing the need for more joint efforts. The EU has therefore encouraged more cooperation within the UN, G7 and G20.

Furthermore, Mr. Cozigou emphasized, we need to make sure the interests of producers, users ad recyclers become aligned in their preferences for more durable, repairable and resource-efficient products. On this issue, the EU is examining how such criteria could be taken inot account in the already existing legislation on Eco-design. In promoting the products among the consumers, Mr. Cozigou stressed the importance of testing programmes to analyse consumers' preferences and labelling, such as the EU Ecolabel, to help the consumers make an informed decision. As he mentioned in the beginning of his speech, one of the most important aspects of the new plan is linking the environment and the industry, therefore the EU will pursue development in quality standards for secondary raw materials, improve tracking of chemicals of concern and simplify risk management measures limiting unnecessary burdens for the recyclers. Last but not least, the EU is keen to support innovation, for example through the project Horizon 2020, Innovation Deals, etc. The EU has reserved over €650 million EUR for this area on top of other EU, national and regional support mechanisms.

In his conclusion Mr. Cozigou expressed his enthusiasm on exchanging ideas and intensifying cooperation with Taiwan. 


Topic 3: A Circular Approach on Nutrient Management in Agricultural Production – the Danish Case

Speaker: Dr. Karin Peters, Chief Advisor of Section for Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, Danish Environmental Protection Agency

Dr. Peters from the Danish Environmental Agency presented her country's long-standing tradition of using a circular approach to managing manure. This practice is anything but new, however it represents an important link in the wholesome approach to the circular economy.

Historically the manure has been used as a fertilizer and as such as an important resource of nitrogen and phosphorus, improving the soil structure and reducing the costs for mineral fertilizers. Different types of manure include slid manure, liquid manure, slurry (all animal excreta) and deep litter (animal excreta and large amounts of straw), with slurry most frequently being used as a fertilizer. However, using manure also raises important questions of gas emissions, water pollution and acidification, so dr. Peters explained how Denmark is handling these issues.

Numerous cases of oxygen depletion and dead fish in the 1980's brought about an increase in awareness on water pollution, so in the following years  Denmark has come up with several action plans to reduce nitrate, phosphorus and organic matter runoffs to water resources. In addition they have also introduced annual national monitoring of aquatic quality for ground and fresh water. Due to the national action plans and the EU nitrate directive from 1991 they have observed an average reduction in nitrate leaching of 43% in the period from 1990 to 2013. In practice livestock farms are required to obtain an environmental permit that ensures harmony between the number of animals on the farm and the area available for manure application as well as sufficient storage tanks for extra manure. In Denmark they only have one crop a year and the rules for application of manure were designed with this characteristic in mind. Liquid animal manure can therefore only be used before harvest and after February 1st, when the crops are there to absorb the nutrients. When the grounds are covered with snow, frozen, flooded or water-saturated, application of manure is forbidden. Slurry broad spreading is also banned due to the ammonium emissions and instead liquid manure needs to be injected to the soil.

Concerns about health risks and hygiene of using manure are not an issue in Denmark, due to its long standing tradition and the regulations on animal diet, storage of the manure, prohibition of mixing it with human excreta and using techniques that minimize generation of aerosols. Compliance with these regulations is secured through inspections carried out by local municipalities. The inspections are systematically planned every 1 to 6 years, carried out by using check lists and finalised with an inspection report that is when necessary followed by enforcement. Other benefits of using manure include biogas and currently 8% of animal manure is used for this purpose, with an expected increase up to 20% by 2020.

Dr. Peters invited all interested in this topic to visit the Ministry of Environment and Food in Denmark website to learn more on this topic. She concluded by stating that environmental technology is a part of the solution. 


Topic 4: Towards a Circular Taiwan

Speaker: Mr. Charles Huang (黃育徵), Chairperson of Taiwan Circular Economy Network

Mr. Huang first thanked the ambassador of the Netherlands in Taiwan for all the help and encouragement of closer collaboration between Taiwan and the Dutch office. He then expressed his appreciation of the previous presentations, saying the speakers already addressed much of what his original presentation was about.

To avoid repeating what had already been said, Mr. Huang revised his presentation to focus more on what he called the cultural changes we need to make in order to fully embrace circular economy. In his opinion, the reason why Taiwan or any other country can find itself feeling defeated when addressing the issues of environmental degradation is the way we tend to look at individual issues, instead of designing a wholesome approach. Instead of fixing the past suboptimal solutions, we should create something new to better address this issue. Mr. Huang pointed out that before the industrial revolution people already lived in a circular economy, meaning we are just trying to bring back something that already worked for us, but we also need to improve it to fit the present situation.

To Mr. Huang circular economy represents a national development plan that promotes economic growth, employment, environmental technologies etc. - it goes beyond just the industry and the environment. To implement the new business models, we need a paradigm shift about how economy works, go back to the zero-waste mind set. We need to take steps such as replacing the right of ownership with the right to use; we need to start selling services instead of products and the manufacturing process needs to reflect the extended product ownership. Companies also need to start collaborating among themselves but also with other actors (such as industrial parks and other research facilities) on closing the loop in the circular economy. Last but not least, Mr. Huang called for a change in governance.

The presenter then proceeded with his views on how to best implement these new cultures in Taiwan. Collaborative culture has been mentioned in president Tsai's speech when she talked about integrating all levels of Taiwanese society into circular economy. Industries, academia and the government need to all work together in creating profitable models. Waste management is a good example, because in Mr. Huang's opinion there's a lot to be improved in treating waste as a material. Government's help is needed with designing and implementing the regulations and while Taiwanese government is working hard on revising the current legislations, which has proved to be a time-consuming process, so instead Mr. Huang suggested to focus on designing a brand new set of regulations, possibly together with the EU and other partners. With the help of new technologies and innovations, the involvement from all sectors of the society, support from the academia, businesses, media and the government, circular economy can be successfully brought about. Mr. Huang thus seems the circular economy as a cultural change that would bring us from linear economy and the transitional recycle economy to the circular economy. We need to go from the independent competitiveness to the interdependent collaborative business models. If we make sure the resources stay in the (local) cycle, we can create more jobs and make sure everyone profits.

In his concluding remarks he emphasized that being less bad does not mean we are already good. To learn more about how to launch circular economy, Mr. Huang invited us all to research more concepts like blue economy, biomimicry, cradle to cradle, industrial ecology, bio refining, regenerative design and other similar solutions. 

Panel Discussion

Moderator: Dr. Kuo-Shuh Richard Fan (樊國恕), Professor of National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology


1. Dr. Harvey J. Houng (洪榮勳)

2. Mr. Gwenole Cozigou

3. Dr. Karin Peters

4. Mr. Charles Huang (黃育徵)

The first question was regarding Taiwan's development on policies or projects promoting solar and offshore wind energy and biogas. Dr. Houng explained that all the 24 large scale garbage incinerators in Taiwan have built-in electricity generators. Together they could provide close to the same amount of electricity as one nuclear reactor. In addition Mr. Huang believes Taiwan has enormous reserves in the field of biogas as most of the organic materials are still treated as waste. Analysis conducted by the Taiwan Circular Economy Network has shown that solving this issue would provide 100 mid-sized facilities with work. He also pointed out that promoting such relatively cheap solutions as biogas used to be more difficult due to the electricity tariffs; however with the tariffs going up there is more and more potential in using biogas. Dr. Peters shared the Danish experience where the government has supported using biogas for electricity production to replace natural gas by subsidizing plant developments and imposing higher tariffs on natural gas.

Secondly Mr. Cozigou addressed the question about the EU packaging system and the challenges of implementing the circular economy model in the EU. First he stressed the importance of performance when choosing the packaging material and to be aware of the industry-biased analysis when relying on life-cycle analysis of for example glass, paper and plastics. Secondly Mr. Cozigou highlighted the commission's problems of tackling the various legislations. In the past the approaches were too sector-specific, however this issue has been tackled by the latest action plan that has been developed in collaboration between the environmental department and the trade and industry department. After all, the new action plan needs to ensure a business-oriented answer to the present challenges. He also explained that the directives are merely guidelines while regulations require compliance, and this should be kept in minds when dealing with the number of different member states. Furthermore there are still challenges at the regional and local level, because of the bigger scale of outreach that is needed for successful implementation. Last but not least Mr. Cozigou called for more international cooperation, since fragmented market is not compatible with an all-inclusive model of circular economy.

Third question asked for an example of how circular economy can improve local employment rate in Taiwan. Mr. Huang explained it through an example of waste management for biogas electricity production. The needed facilities and manpower include local plants to collect manure, food scraps and other organic materials that can be turned to biogas. Building, maintaining and operating the plant would create jobs while at the same time encourage community and other sectors to join in the new spectrum of activities. This could also help attract the young people back to their communities and their innovative ideas would create a momentum for this economic model. One of the niches that could help create job opportunities is also improving local water supply systems.

In the next question we asked Mr. Tseng from PHILIPS to talk about the challenges the company encountered on its way to developing a successful circular economy model. He said that instead of challenges he prefers to talk about ways to enable the environment to adopt these business models. If a company originally sold products and then finds itself changing the agenda towards selling services, there are several possibilities to start with new project. Mr. Tseng used an example of city governments that plan to change the light bulbs, for which they would need to buy the large amount of bulbs. If a company wants to sell the whole service instead of just the supplies, the government might get suspicious, then it is important to first see what changes would be welcomed by the business partners and explain the new model in a way that it makes sense to them. Shouldering the maintenance is one of the points that could gain trust in this new business approach. The second thing that according to Mr. Tseng needs to be addressed is the design of the product that now needs to correspond with this business model: the products need to perform well long-term and refurbishment needs to become an integral part of the company's operations. These are the changes PHILIPS has made in its operations all around the globe, including the lighting services and refurbishing medical equipment. This last one is especially important since it can bring the otherwise expensive and unaffordable medical equipment to smaller, regional hospitals and this helps improve the health care services.  

To answer the next question regarding odour issues, Dr. Peters explained that closed systems for raising pigs make a big change. These facilities need to be equipped with well-maintained chimneys and ventilation systems. Any further complaints about the smell can be addressed through requirements on minimum distance between the production site and the neighbours. On the other hand there are open systems like dairy kettle and fur farms and in this case there are more regulations to prevent any odour-related inconvenience for the neighbours. 

The last question of this panel discussion asked the participants to comment on the one very visible issue in Taiwan – plastic bag consumption. Dr. Houng admitted this is a very big problem that has been addressed in a couple of policies, however there is still much to be improved. The options that are currently under consideration are increased recycling of clean plastic bags, incineration and different ways to limit the use like charging money.

Session 2: Innovative Recycling and Waste management

Topic 1: Green Choices of Innovative Recycling Challenge in O2O Mode.

Speaker: Ms. Ju-Wen Lin (林茹雯), Manager of Da Fon Environmental Technology

Da Fon Environmental Technology is focusing on the recycling stations. The recycling stations tend to be open and messy and this is why Da Fon would like to establish a new image of them. The company also helps people recycle their vehicles cars or mottos. Da Fon recycles materials (especially plastics) for businesses and also has an international trade business and a business group for innovation. What is new in the Da Fon way of creating and designing its products is the fact that they work on that particular issue of separating plastics. Thus, the plastic shopping bags produced by Da Fon are made by a single type of plastic, so that the plastic can be completely recycled. However, the presentation speech focuses on the green innovation. 

Ms. Lin gave an overview of the circular economy concept's evolution. She identified three main time periods that marked the transition. The break with the tradition occurred in 2005-2007, when the recycle bin innovation management became the new competitive advantage. Then, in 2008-2010, in order to expand the market scale, new trade innovative methods and cloth build multiple access came up. Now, and since 2010, there is a particular focus on investing in the R&D resources and on developing sustainable recycling business models.  

Focusing on creating a resource recycling ecosystem approach and looking forward to a zero to zero (O2O) integration, Da Fon Company plans to provide multiple convenient, effective and friendly services such as waste car; home appliances recycling; household and industrial recycling; logistics platform; house demolitions; international trade components. Moreover, Da Fon plans to establish a Green factory in Taiwan next summer. This is going to be like a tourist attraction: people will have the opportunity can come and see how products are disabled and how components can be reused.

At the end of her speech, Ms. Lin played a video presenting the Zero Zero Platform.  


Topic 2: Recycling and Waste Recovery Technology

Speaker: Mr. Francois Jenny, Managing Director of incineration of SUEZ Recycling & Waste Recovery Asia

SUEZ is a global company present in 5 continents, with 83,000 employees, €15.1 billion turnover in 0215, 323,000 industrial and business customers, €74,000,000 invested in R&D and 2,000 national patents in 70 countries. In Asia, with about 8000 employees, Suez is managing 36 water contracts in more than 20 cities, providing domestic water to 20 million people, is building over 20 water and sewage treatment plants. Next to businesses in Taiwan et Macao, Suez is also operating and managing two of the world's largest landfill facilities in Hong Kong and the Asia's largest hazardous waste incinerator in Shanghai, providing environmental services to 11 Chinese industrial parks.

The business scope is to become the world's leading recycling & resource management specialist in particular fields such as cleaning & waste collection; specialist cleaning & waste disposal; organic waste treatment; landfilling; landfill restoration & aftercare; transfer solutions & sludge transportation; energy from waste; soil remediation; recycling & resource recovery; MSW & hazardous waste incineration.

Back to the roots of what the circular Economy is, Mr. Jenny referred to a research report to the European Commission published in 1976, "The Potential for Substituting Manpower for Energy" where Walter Stahel and Genevieve Reday sketched the vision of an economy in loops (or circular economy) and its impact on job creation, economic competitiveness, resource savings, and waste prevention. The report was published in 1982 as a book Jobs for Tomorrow: The Potential for Substituting Manpower for Energy.

Next, Mr. Jenny moved on presenting some of Suez's main waste management projects operating in Hong Kong, Suzhou, Shanghai, Taiwan (Kaohsiung) and France.

In Hong Kong, Suez developed an organic food waste treatment facility. The key figures for the this facilities are: 200 wet tons/ day of food waste, 5000 to 6000 tons/ year of compost, 1550 Nm3 of biogas production, 3 MW of Electricity and 3.2 MW of Heat Production. These all conduce to 18,000 tons of coal saving per year.

The Suzhou Industrial park is another example of waste management solutions (Suzhou, Mainland China). It treats 300 tons/day. What Suez did is that it has built a sludge dryer that allows us to dry sludge at 80% and use it. Doing so, the projects can save 12000 tons of coal per year.

Shanghai Chemical Industrial Park in Shanghai is another example of waste management facilities, dealing with hazardous waste. Hazardous waste is a major issue in Mainland China. Suez has implemented it in Shanghai Chemicals which is one of the biggest Chemical industrial parks in the world. The plant operates since 2006. It pretreats and finally treats by incineration all this hazardous waste and we generate steam.  The client is making savings in steam consumption which could have been generated by power plants. Key figures for the plant activity: 2 Rotary Kiln of 30,000 tons/year, 1 vertical furnace of 60,000 tons/year; 2,4 tons of steam per ton of waste treated and 50,000 tons of coal saving per year.

The Renwu WTE plant in Taiwan (Kaohsiung) is another example of waste management focusing on municipal solid waste. The plant treats 1350 tons of waste per day, it generates 36.5 MW power and provides 100,000 tons of coal saving per year.

The Vernea Plant in France works with all kind of waste (organic waste, biological waste, municipal solid waste, bulk items, industrial waste) thanks to the fact that the municipality of Clermont Ferrand, have done segregation collection of the waste. 

Mr. Jenny concluded by reminding that if the “linear” economy depletes resources on the one hand and accumulates waste on the other, then the “circular” economy, on its side, attempts to align industrial ecosystems with the operation of natural ecosystems in order to limit waste production and obtain a more prudent cyclical operation.        

Topic 3: A Sustainable Eco System to Perpetually Reduce Plastic Waste and Simultaneously Reduce Air Pollution While Creating Values

Speaker: Mr. Gordon Yu (余金龍), Chairman and CEO of eTouch Innovation Company Limited

As a solution for the current plastic waste, next to solutions like the reduction and the recycle, Mr. Yu proposes the R-ONE (Regenerative Oil % New Energy) method for the un-recyclable mixed plastic waste. Moreover, in order to reduce the future plastic waste people need to think about biodegradable and universal recyclable plastic solutions and to create new material replacing not only plastic but also the wood and paper using varieties of waste. For the un-recyclable mixed plastic waste Mr. Yu's company proposes an alternative to the traditional solution represented by the incineration. The alternative is the R-ONE method, a joint Taiwan and USA technology.

This method is addressing the global environmental tragedy represented by the great Pacific garbage patch (721,000 km2 size, 100 Million tons volume and 100% grow rate). Considering the grow rate, the world may have more plastic than fish in oceans by 2050. Thus, the R-ONE ship in the Pacific garbage patch aims to clean the oceans by turning plastic waste into Diesel, to reduce global warming by using less fossil-fuel based Diesel and to bring more economic development by creating lobs, ensuring cheaper transportation costs and providing more cargo space. 

Other than incineration and landfill, R-ONE provides an eco-friendly solution for un-recyclable plastic waste; reducing the burden for recyclers, users, EPA, as well as the entire ecology. When mentioning that the basic principle of the R-ONE is the pyrolysis, Mr. Yu added that this type of pyrolysis is different form the incineration method in many aspects: it can treat a wide range and mixed plastic waste; it requires no previous cleaning nor sorting; it can assure an continuous production; it provides a higher combustion efficiency (10-15% higher than CPC or Formosa Plastics); it provides a light and low sulfur content (less than 10 ppm; R-ONE’s Heterogeneous Catalysis Technology produces light, clean, low sulfur content fuel oil, meeting international standards) and it is a very low emission clean method (no secondary pollution, surpassing any petrochemical-based  oil refinery, and meeting any stringent international standards). 

Next he moved on mentioning other innovative solutions as it follows.

Based on a Taiwan technology, FPC (Fiber Particulate Composite) brings a solution for the bioplastic' problems, such as pricing, reuse and recycle issues, competition with food production for land, high impact to the environment etc. To create a new composite material from agricultural waste this is 100% bio-degradable and compostable. FPC can be used like a “plastic” compatible with any current plastic manufacturing methods such as molding. It is a new type of bio-composite material that shows a significant reduction in petrochemical plastic usage and greenhouse gas emissions. Its main features are: replacement of plastics; reduce the use of plastics; compatible with current plastic production methods; healthier than petrochemical based plastics; enormous effect preventing air pollution. Thus, production process of FPC is purely green, no artificial chemicals added, no pollution generated. The only by-product is clean water.

Other innovative solution is the Enzyme-Based Biodegradable Plastics (A joint India, United Kingdom technology). The peptide and enzyme technology (PEPLENE) is an additive which uses specific composition with other plant-based components in the form of a Masterbatch. The PEPLENE Masterbatch is added and mixed with plastics such as PE, PP, PS, or PET to form biodegradable petrochemical-based plastic pallet.

Another solution is a Combination of PEPLENE + FPC (a joint Taiwan, India and United Kingdom technology). FPC is also one of viable solutions for plastic waste or ocean debris processing, especially for low Diesel yield feedstock (or BioPlastics) such as PLA, PET etc., or PVC. R-ONE and FPC are the best solution for complete plastic Replacement/ Reduce/ Recycle.

Mr. Yu concluded by mentioning four policy recommendations for Taiwan, as it follows:

1. Biofuel Blending Mandates including R-ONE (to create a market for mixed-plastic waste. R-ONE operators will pay for the plastic waste (even Ocean plastic waste) by such mandate).

2. Composting Factory to Replace Landfill (Taiwan has stopped issuing new landfill permit, making incineration the only way of waste processing, such direction may stifle the adoption of biodegradable plastic since biodegradable plastic bag is classified as “un-recyclable”, which will be 100% incinerated. Composting Factory will be preparing for the adoption of biodegradable plastic, which will convert to organic fertilizer, a step closer to sustainable agriculture).

3. R-ONE for Developing Countries instead of Incinerator (Much cheaper, cleaner, eco-friendly, and sustainable alternative which hasn’t been available in the past).

4. EU & UN Support for Ocean Cleanup using R-ONE (Taiwan can’t do it alone without international cooperation and support).

Topic 4: Resource Sustainability and Green Transformation

Speaker: Dr. Hwong-Wen Ma(馬鴻文), Professor of Graduate Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Taiwan University

Dr. Hwong-Wen Ma started by referring to a BBC news report. On the 3th of September BBC News reveals the "true" material cost of development. In 2008, around 70bn tons of raw materials were extracted worldwide but just 10bn tons were physically traded. This means that 60bn tons of materials are wasted. According to Dr. Ma's analysis of this situation, this waste should be turned into a captured value. When so many materials are wasted, a very big burden to our environment is created. This forces us to continue to extract more and more resources. This wasted resources go as it follows: products discarded after use (80% of products), value lost in consumer goods sector (2.5 trillion a year), food wasted (30%-50%, costing $1-2 trillion a year) and P lost (57%). Only 5% of original raw material value is captured by recycling and recovery. Obviously, there is a huge amount of economic value wasted. Dr. Ma thus explained that innovation and technological solutions are required to bring this value back to our economy. Dr. Ma admitted the high costs of this necessary innovative technology and mentioned that is a more wise solution to pay now than to pay more later to stop the bad effects.

According to a McKinsey study (EMF, Sun, McKinsey, 2015), captured value can create a lot of value to our society ($1.8 trillion net economic benefits per year by 2030; 7 percentage points increase in terms of GDP in 2030; 48% CO2 emission drop by 2030).

Next the speaker moved on giving some general figures about the current awareness situation regarding the circular economy benefits. The circular economy concept's importance is more and more recognized nowadays. Difficulties still persist whether people are still very uses to the old economic model. In order to spread the idea and to start implementing a circular economy model, the concept is promoted by governments and international organizations worldwide. UNEP promotes the International Panel on SRM 10YFP on SCP; OECD works on the WG Promoting resource productivity Program; the EU promotes the circular economy Package and Action Plan EU 2020 Flagship Initiative on Resource Efficiency; Japan (one of the pioneers in Asia in promoting the circular economy) proposes the Sound Material-Cycle Society 3R initiative; China adopted its Circular Economy Promotion Law, USA focuses on Beyond RCRA, Materials Management in 2020).

In terms of strategy, Dr. Ma mentioned the very necessity of a Database that would to everyone to understand how to use resources, how do resources flow in every sector, where do they go, how are they wasted. This issue must be conceived from different approaches: from a multi-scale approach such as a macro (MFA, SFA indicators), a meso (industrial symbiosis, integrated chain analysis) and a micro level (business MFCA).

Dr. Ma concluded by highlighting the necessity of collaborating on circular economy practices and solutions. A very first step would be the creation of a collaboration platform to share experiences and inspire more innovative solutions.

Panel Discussion

Moderator: Dr. Lih-Chyi Wen (溫麗琪), Deputy Director of Green Trade Project Office, MOEA


1. Mr. Chen-Jung Hsiao (蕭振榮)

2. Ms. Ju-Wen Lin (林茹雯)

3. Mr. Francois Jenny

4. Mr. Gordon Yu (余金龍)

5. Dr. Hwong-Wen Ma (馬鴻文)


The Moderator introduced panellists once again and emphasized they are experts from both Taiwan and the European Union. Before the panel discussion, the moderator asked the organizing staff to finish playing the video about the Zero Zero Platform (video projected by Ms. Ju-Wen Lin).

The first two questions were addressed to all the panel discussants. They were asked to 1. Share some business models in the circular economy that they find impressive and inspiring; and 2. To discuss how can we struggle with the balance between environment protection and economic development?

Ms. Ju-Wen Lin considers that to implement the CE it comes down to the people and the marked that is composed by people. As for example, Da Fon decided to establish a platform first, in order to connect to the consumers, close the loop and make people understand what the circular economy means.

Mr. Chen-Jung Hsiao, the only Government representative in this panel, shared an experience related to a visit he made in a solar panel producer company in Germany. He highlighted the fact that the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Taiwan is promoting the recycling of industrial waste and the industrial production of solar panels and it guides companies to better use the materials and use the waste. This strategy is addressing the problems posed by the huge amount of waste produced in Taiwan (Taiwan is good at manufacture but it produces much waste, especially in the semiconductor industry). 

Mr. Jenny Francois mentioned a program ruled by SUEZ in Paris called "Plastic lab"
that provides plastic recycle facilities through Europe. The problem is that in Europe there are lots of companies using very complex formulations in terms of plastic, thus recycling cannot provide a solution for these plastic users. So, Plastic Lab is addressing this particular issue, by its research activities aiming to develop solutions for the needs of this kind of plastic users and thus to increase the recycling rate for the plastic.

Mr. Gordon Yu stated that the zero waste is a good business because in this business model no one is losing, everyone is happy. He expressed his conviction that the estimated 2 times more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050 can be turned into a resource.

Dr. Hwong-Wen Ma mentioned an example from the Netherlands where the construction industry uses a lot of energy and materials. In that case, the construction businesses work together, so the construction materials are rented to developers to build buildings. The visitors need to participate in the maintenance of the building so they can see how the partnership is created. This can inspire them other engagement opportunities between different stakeholders. This kind of platform or collaboration opportunity allows us to integrate different parties to adopt the circular economy principles and practices.  

The next question was for Ms. Ju-Wen Lin and when demanded to give more details about the functioning of the Zero Zero platform, she explained that the platform is actually a match making services. Every industry can come to the platform and look for company that can work with it. When some waste need to be transported, companies can find other companies that have vehicles that can serve for transportation of this waste. This way, the platform can provide details of how your waste is disposed.

The second question was about the incineration issue in Taiwan. Regarding this question, Ms. Ju-Wen Lin mentioned she is not an expert in incineration and suggested that Mr. Francois Jenny can give a more concrete answer.

The third question was about the restrictive Taiwan regulation system concerning the recycling and the incineration. Ms. Lin responded that she hopes for more support from the Taiwan Government in reshaping regulation in order to catch up with the European Union's model.

Next up were two questions for Mr. Chen-Jung Hsiao. When asked how can Taiwan implement the German case of circular economy business and integrate Taiwan in an international collaboration with European partners, Mr. Chen-Jung Hsiao mentioned that Taiwan needs increasing international collaboration platforms like the one proposed by the Da Fon Company. This will allow Taiwanese companies to match with other international companies. The second question referred to the Government role in the transition towards a circular economy. Mr. Hsiao stated that the Government needs to create a favorable environment to the spreading of these circular economy businesses and practices. It needs to provide technical support to businesses in their transition towards a circular economy.

The following question addressed to Mr. Jenny was about the waste coming out from the incinerator (ashes). When addressing this question, Mr. Jenny started by presenting a few figures: burning 100 tons of municipal solid waste generates 15-20 tone to bottom ashes, 1-2 tone fly ashes (this ash is usually a problem when talking about recycling) and 1 tone of ferrous metals. These figures are general figures and can change according to the local/regional context.  Mr. Jenny structured his answer in four major parts. He first started by mentioning that the only part which is not recyclable is the fly ashes. Second, he mentioned that it should be kept in mind is that there is no one unique solution. It always depends on the local context and on the different kind of waste. SUEZ helps local company to find solutions for the local context and incineration is not the only solution; there are plenty of other solution and most of the time the final adopted solution is a combination of solutions. Third, Mr. Jenny reminded us that, as a member of the international solid waste association, SUEZ promotes the triple R (reuse, reusing, recycling), which also shows that their first concern is not how to manage the waste but how to generate less waste. Thus, incineration is considered as part of the recycling process. Fourth, he mentioned that in Europe the countries that are the most virtuous in terms of recycling are also the ones who incinerate the most in the country, and this figures come from statistics. Concerning the bottom ashes, Mr. Jenny stated that SUEZ is very concerned in recycling it. SUEZ tries even to go further into the recycling process and to extract all the ferrous and non-ferrous metals and recycle them. This is a new process and Suez is implementing it within its pilot plants in Belgium where it collects nonferrous metals such as gold, silver that have a value and can be recycled on the market.

Mr. Jenny's answer was supplemented by Mr. Yu started by mentioning some ideas about the incineration, saying that, many people do not consider incineration as no part of recycling. Mr. Yu said he totally agrees Mr. Jenny's opinion: we need to reuse, replace and recycle. And if we do so, we do not need incineration.  He admitted that incineration is wrong because actually there are better ways to do that recycle. When asked about the micro plastic and plastic bags related issues, Mr. Gordon Yu said that we do not have the technology to collect the micro plastics yet. Meanwhile, he stated, we should use the available technology for the biodegradable plastic and increase the use of this technology in order to reduce the production of non-degradable plastic.  

Regarding collaboration with the EU side, there are many opportunities and many areas where Taiwan can share its expertise. In terms of how plastics can be turned into biofuel, Mr. Yu stated that Taiwan has the best technology to do so, mostly because it doesn't produce smoke. He also mentioned a beach cleaning activity conducted in March this year when a lot of waste was recovered and it can now be turned into clean fuel. Mr. Yu expressed his interest in sharing these types of technologies and ideas with the European partners but also the hope that the Taipei City Government will start to look for and even start to use the technology provided by its company. Another area where Taiwan can share its expertise is the processing of agricultural waste. Moreover, Mr. Yu mentioned that their alliance based in Hsinchu gathered several members doing their part in helping Taiwan achieving UN sustainable targets (MDGs). 

The last question was for Dr. Ma and it addressed the concerns on how Taiwan can duplicate business model from other parts of the world. When answering to the question, Dr. Hwong-Wen Ma first mentioned that one important step to take is to figure out where the waste comes from. To do so, we need to make use of all our knowledge and our technological resources and identify the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of this current linear economy. Secondly, he highlighted the need of a regulatory system designed to support the reverse logistics practices. Third, Dr. Ma shared his conviction that the technology needs to come back to people within a shared economy environment where people can work together. A chain would link different sectors: agricultural, manufacture sector etc. and will thus connect both public and private sectors. To just acknowledge the good examples and practices from other countries is not enough, strategies are required in order really implement them, said Dr. Ma. He concluded by expressing his call for international collaboration to establish a platform gathering consumers, designers, private and public actors to work together for the transition towards  the circular economy.

The moderator concluded saying that the next step to take is to replicate all this good practices we have heard and to adapt our regulatory system.

Session 3: Eco-innovation and Green Creative Projects

Topic 1: Materials for Circular Economy and for a Better Life

Speaker: Mr. Leo Tseng (曾昱豪), Business Development & Sales Manager, Umicore Marketing Services Taiwan

Mr. Leo Tseng, business development and sales manager from Umicore Marketing Services Taiwan opened the last, third session by giving a presentation on how Umicore fits into the circular economy model.

The company is working in the fields of global material technology and recycling and their business philosophy targets solutions for a wide range of hi-tech materials through their knowledge of chemistry, material science and metallurgy. He pointed out that metals have quite a unique characteristic that they can be recycled infinite amount of times without losing their value. To make sure these resources are not lost, Umicore recycles all of their own products once they reach the end of their life, thus closing the loop in efficient use of resources. Serving a variety of industries Umicore recycles and reuses precious metals from mobile phone batteries, electronics, automotive industry metals used in construction industry, optics etc. Not only is Umicore present across a wide range of industries, but also across the globe with the HQ in Belgium, an office in Taipei and facilities in Hsinchu that mostly serve the semiconductors industry in Taiwan.

Influenced by the global economic, social and environmental trends, the company has recently focused on the areas such as resource scarcity, clean air and vehicle electrification. They demonstrate their expertise in materials science, metallurgy and application know-how through recycling of metals, researching the potential of automotive catalysts and rechargeable battery cathode materials. All of these Umicore products are considered top quality on the global market and therefore it is not surprising that the company is a major supplier for lithium batteries. Not only do they supply them, after the 2006 EU guideline the company also recycles these batteries at the end of their life. This is just part of a broader activity called urban mining that the company is trying to become more and more engaged in, thus promoting an energy-efficient way of metal recovery.

Mr. Tseng further explained just how the company recycles the batteries. The UHT Technology allows them to process all kinds of lithium-ion batteries. These types of batteries generally present quite a challenge due to their structure that is a complex mix of materials including metals, organics and halogens. In their facilities that have been up and running since 2011, Umicore transforms all sizes of used batteries into metals and thus enables further usage in cathode powders for new rechargeable batteries. Their recycling process does not include any dismantling or crushing, thus avoiding the potentially hazardous pre-treatment. Through their advanced gas treatment they destroy all hazardous battery compounds. As such the process is safe for their workers, for the environment and at the same time cost-effective. The company's facilities have the capacity for processing 7000 mt/year and so far they are the only industrial lithium-ion battery recycler in the world.

At the end of his speech Mr. Tseng reminded us that not all recycling processes hold the same value. Low-tech recycling only enables low levels of recovery while at the same imposing high risks on the environment and health, but on the other side high tech processes such as the one designed by Umicore bring all the base and precious metal recovery efficiency, raised environmental standards and health benefits that circular economy business models are looking for. The UHT technology creates close to zero waste and closes the loop in battery production, so it can certainly be considered a shining example of circular economy.

Topic 2: An Approach to Sustainable Development in CPC

Speaker: Dr Chiu Ping Li (李秋萍) Deputy Director of Green Technology Research Institute, CPC Corporation, Taiwan

Ms Li started her presentation with a remark that CPC Corporation is often connoted with the '"pollution", for that, she hoped after this presentation, the general public can understand what the company does, and to even improve the pre-existed image about CPC.

She presented five ongoing projects executed by Green Technology Research Institute – solar energy, low VOC coating system, long life energy, new green process for biodiesel use, LED lighting system - and emphasized that the other departments in CPC are also working on different project towards "nuclear free homeland 2025".

First project is on solar energy, the project is under the supervision of Ministry of Economic Affairs.  In the coming two years, CPC intends to facilitate 250 gas stations with solar power. The role which Green Technology Research Institute plays is to ensure, improve and maintain the quality of the solar power system. She then agreed with the previous speakers from the summit that if businesses can utilize their materials to their maximum capacity, this will contribute to resource efficiency.

The second project is on low VOC coating systems. According to the number provided by Ms. Li, in 2008, the annual total VOC production was 8161 tons. However, until 2015, it only produced 3668 tons. Efforts were made by all CPC departments in order to lower VOC production. The biggest achievement made contributing to lower VOC production is to close down one of the factories.

As for coating, this process also creates a large amount of VOC, she reported that in 2008, the annual total VOC production regarding to coating is 210 ton. Until last year, VOC production decreased by 160 tons comparing to 2008. The importance of coating matters to public safety. For the past ten years, all coating process must follow protocol in order to prevent corrosion. Alternative ways of coating may lead to even more cost and issues. Thus, Green Technology Research Institute is now working on decreasing VOC production by replacing the six layers of coating system with silicone hybrid system.  By applying silicone hybrid system, the VOC production will be cut half (40% to 20%), and it will meet the international standard. The requirement for VOC to meet international standard has been put into regulations in People's Republic of China, but not yet in Taiwan. Furthermore, the system proposed holds better against corrosion than the previous system. CPC is actively promoting its newly developed bio-based green paint. Especially for coastal factories, employing green technology is essential for its facilities to stand against fouling.

Besides lowering VOC production, saving energy is equally important. CPC bases its energy-saving performance on the wavelength of solar reflectance. The thermal insulation material which CPC employs outperforms the other commercial products by 20% on its solar reflectance.

Next she moved on to introduce another project: new green process for biodiesel use. Biodiesel was banned in 2014, the director of CPC at the time decided to make use of biodiesel by turning it into bio-plasticizers. In most occasions, bio-plasticizers are made from vegetables oil, however, vegetable oil has low compatibility with PVC. CPC developed a greener process by using ionic liquid. The advantage of utilizing ionic liquid comes in line with the idea of lowering VOC production, and additionally this stabilizes insulation, strengthens electrochemical windows, and makes possible non-flammability.

The fourth project is on long life energy storage system. She referred back to solar power system, which had been proposed three years ago together with long-life energy storage system. Thanks to the anode material imported by ITRI, LTO not only has low volume change, it is also long-lasting, and can perform well in low temperature environment. Within 90 minutes it can be fully charged, compare to other commercial products. This way, energy is saved and used efficiently. CPC is also looking at developing energy storage system in street lights. Street lights have the potential to contain wind and solar power, hopefully next year CPC will be able to set up 100 lights in Chiayi.

The last project is on LED lighting system. All the CPC gas stations are changing their lights into LED lights. Next year, CPC is going to work on explosion proof lighting.    

Topic 3: How to Accelerate Circular Economy for Companies? Circulab Methodology: Using Games, Teambuilding and Design Thinking as Tools for Acceleration and Shared Understanding

Speaker: Mr. Nicolas Buttin, Co-Founder of Wiithaa & Circulab

Mr. Nicolas Buttin started by explaining the origins of the name of his company. "WIITHAA" comes from the name of a bird Australia who naturally behaves by collecting and reusing leaves, shells and other natural elements from its close environment. By giving this explanation, Mr. Buttin highlighted the necessity to inspire from the nature in order to find solutions for our contemporary issues. Inspired by the nature, WIITHAA has two major activities: training & support (1) and design & eco-conception (2).

When comparing linear and circular economy, Mr. Buttin highlighted the very low rate of recycling nowadays in Europe (around 30%) and the necessity to urge the transition towards a reuse-repair-remake economy model. According to his vision, the circular economy has economic (creation of shared value), environmental (make the notion of waste disappear) and social (creation of new jobs locally) opportunities. He stated that, in order to take advantage of these three main opportunities, we need to focus on four main areas of innovation such as the technology, the business, the humans and the nature. Mr. Buttin highlighted once again the importance to inspire from the nature saying that the nature gives us solutions that we cannot foresee because the whole system thinking is difficult for he human beings 'one. The human brain thinks linear, Mr. Buttin said, and the problem is that it is not natural for the brain to think circular (like ecosystem). Saying so, he highlighted the fact that the first thing to change is our way of thinking. WIITHAA's methodology is also explained in a book named "Activer l'économie circulaire" written by Nicolas Buttin and Brieuc Saffré (not translated in English yet).

The WIITHAA methodology is called Circulab and its logo is represented by a snail shell, showing what exactly the nature does: it does not only turn circular, it also continuously adds new elements. Organized in three days, the Circulab trainings usually start by an research day (Explore), then it continue by educational games (Play) before to start imagine concrete solutions (Build). This way, the Circulab team manages to come from an idea to a pilot project. The WIITHAA's partners, as mentioned by Mr. Buttin, are French and foreign companies such as L'Oréal Paris, Ikea, Holcim, Suez, Peugeot, BNP Paribas, Axa, Nespresso, Altarea Cogedim. Besides the collaboration with the partners, WIITHAA continuously expands its own network worldwide and it is now implemented in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, France, Luxembourg, Norway, Spain, Turkey and USA.


Topic 4: Energy Storage and Management of Green Energy Smart Home

Speaker: Dr. Jiin-Rong Cheng (鄭錦榮), Director of Chemistry and Environment Laboratory, Taiwan Power Research Institute

Mr. Cheng's presentation highlighted the key research on renewable energy conducted by him and his colleagues. For Taipower, the main focuses of renewable energy are wind power and solar power, and Taipower also plays the biggest role in providing and developing such energy. The management for renewable energy is also important for the Research Institute to look at.

He divided his presentation in four sections: motivation, objectives, experimental contents and follow-up studies.

At the end of 2012, the Research Institute developed a kind of battery called VRFB (vanadium redox flow battery), made of the recycled materials from our power generation plants, different from any batteries we know about. VRFB is served to save large current energy than the usual ones. Besides developing VRFB, he mentioned the importance in cooperating with other related devices, which includes the green energy smart home. Inside the Green Energy Smart Home (GESH), there are three testing areas that record all the data.

Green energy supply is different from the traditional (70% fuel energy 20% nuclear power 10% recyclable energy). If we increase recyclable energy to 30%, it might create more conflicts with the electric grid. For instance, PV from solar power may differ due to day and night light; wind power may fluctuate due to Taiwanese seasons.

He then went back to further explanation on GESH, the three areas are: auxiliary power SOFC testing area, energy storage battery & power management testing area and load management demand response testing area.

More studies are yet to be followed regarding the development process of VRFB, the promotion the program and practical action and resource utilization of coal ash-green building material. So Taipower will continue to develop green energy and ecological technology aiming turn Taiwan into a green and ecological island.


Topic 5: The Deep Green Innovation – Untapping Low-Velocity Tidal Resources

Speaker: Dr. Martin Edlund, CEO of Minesto

Dr. Martin Edlund speech presented Minesto's technology and the reasons why the collaboration with Taiwan on this sector and with this technology is exceptionally clever.

According to Dr. Edlund presentation, Minesto is actually flying a kite under water. The system is attached to the seatbelt or to a platform on the surface. Then, when the ocean currents, or the tidal currents, are moving they are pushing the wind and then the kite flies exactly like a battle kite. It is a very dynamic system. This is activating the turbine (a fix turbine) and produces energy. The turbine is actually moving in a shape of "8".

While presenting the technology, Dr. Edlund stressed that the ocean energy is a huge, global opportunity, mostly because the currents are moving all over the planet (continuous ocean currents that would give us continuous energy production and a very stable system). For the renewable energy sector, it is commonly accepted that if we keep going with wind and solar is ok, but if we add the ocean energy we will have probably replaced the fossil fuel energy. Moreover, it is actually said that the moving waters on the Pacific side of Taiwan are exceptionally good (e.g. Kuroshio Current) for this technology that we have been developed for the last decades.

When referring to previous energy storage presentations, Dr. Edlund mentioned that what is good with this technology is that is both predictable and reliable. He explained the importance of these two features by saying that one of the most common needs of the client is to be allowed to plan its strategy and its consumption.

Even though there are few actors involved in this industry (ocean currents energy), the main challenge for this technology is how to find the costs. It is difficult to convert electricity in an economic way. The flows in this technology are both slow and low. Saying so, Dr Edlund highlighted the fact that Minesto, as a small high tech company, is struggling to attract investors. The company has also developed some strategies allowing it to reduce costs, such as the possibility to pick the energy up from the water and serve it onshore instead of having to do it in the water.

When talking about the importance of saving materials, Dr. Edlund mentioned that the weight of the system is about 20 tons for a half of megawatt (20 tons for 1 megawatt). Compared to other renewable energy needed machines, the Minesto's one is substantially less heavy because it uses less steal.

In his conclusion, Dr. Edlund mentioned that Minesto's first choice to implement out of the EU and the United Kingdom is to go to Taiwan. He expressed his thankful and stated that he finds it rewarding to collaborate with Taiwanese experts and engineer. Minesto is thus looking forward to implementing long term collaboration with Taiwan.


Topic 6: Waste to Green Resources – the Last Mile of Linear and First Step of Circular Economy

Speaker: Mr. Jim Tai (戴英傑), General Manager of REMONDIS Taiwan

Mr. Tai started his presentation with a short introduction of REMONDIS, the biggest recycling company in Germany that has also been working on waste management in Taiwan for over 20 years.

First Mr. Tai showed us photos of different waste that can be found in Taiwan and emphasized that REMONDIS sees all of these as resources. He explained that in Taiwan, even after 20 years and more of recycling efforts, recycling does not automatically mean reusing. He shared his observations that as oil prices dropped in 2015, meaning the virgin materials became cheaper than recycled materials, thus making it more difficult to convince people about the benefits of using the latter. To solve this issue, the recycling mechanisms needs to be change to better fit in the circular economy model of reusing and zero-waste production.

Mr. Tai explained that the current model of producing, consuming and then disposal or incineration pollute our environment, however if we change our model, we will no longer be producing carbon emissions and other pollutants and instead produce materials and thus economic benefits. Mr. Tai then replaced the consumerism model with sustainability model and explained that if we need to extract oil, gas and coal, we also need to think about what to do with the carbon by-products. According to REMONDIS experience, carbon can be turned into renewable energy and resources. In an effort to do this, REMONDIS has partnered up with Mercedez-Benz, demonstrating how REMONDIS is striving to recycle as much as possible.

To further demonstrate that Mr. Tai's complemented his short but very informative presentation with a video titled "Lippewerk" about REMONDIS Lippe plant that can be found online in the company's library. The video show all the various recycling facilities and operations REMONDIS engages in, including recycling and recovery of earthworks, industrial waste, minerals, plastics and medical waste; processing of metal slag, chemicals and timber; production of biodiesel, white minerals, binding agents, biomass power plant, and the list goes on. Each year they receive more than 1.6 million tons of residual materials and turn them into over 1 million tons of raw materials, while the rest is used for electricity generation. Their facilities provide jobs for the people, profit for the business, raw materials for other industries and all the while save the environment.

The video and the presentation both showed how circular economy principles are being successfully applied to the biggest recycling plant in Europe. With this Mr. Tai concluded the last session of the summit and we proceeded to the final panel discussion. 

Panel Discussion

Moderator: Mr. Andreas Gursch, Sales Director Taiwan, Schueco International (Beijing) Co., Ltd


1.          Mr. Leo Tseng (曾昱豪)

2.          Dr. Chiu-Ping Li (李秋萍)

3.          Mr. Nicolas Buttin

4.          Dr. Jiin-Rong Cheng (鄭錦榮)

5.          Dr. Martin Edlund

6.          Mr. Jim Tai (戴英傑)


The first set of questions for Mr. Nicolas Buttin was about the difference between the recycling economy (considering that in Taiwan recycling is very well developed comparing to other Eastern Asian countries) and the circular economy. When addressing this question, the moderator invited Mr. Buttin to also give some details about his workshop activities related to the circular economy topic. When answering to the question, Mr. Buttin highlighted the fact that the circular economy is much more than recycling. Circular economy encompasses elements such as energy and other social aspects that are not related to recycling. Recycling is just about materials and materials are not the only thing that matters in this process. Recycling is only the last phase. Saying so, Mr. Buttin called to the necessity to focus and to think from the very beginning of the process, to think about the ingredients that we use. Recycling is important but today is only 30% (in Europe), maybe in the future will be 50% but we cannot reach 100% if we not put the rights ingredients in the first place. When asked about how he explains this difference during his workshops, Mr. Buttin mentioned that he tends to use as little theory as possible, because he wants to be very pragmatic. His clients are coming from different business sectors (engineers, marketing persons, traders etc.), they do not seem to be concerned about theory and they focus more on the practical aspects of the business. In order to make these persons to join the process, Mr. Buttin designed the game that he presented during his speech. Using a business language, the game allows these people to understand the circular economy process. This way, he manages to keep these persons engaged in the process, even the ones that are not concerned about sustainability. What he focuses on is to make business people to understand that circular economy is about economy. This is what is great about the circular economy concept, is that it encompasses both ideas of sustainability and economy so that it can attire business people more easily.  

The second question for Mr. Buttin came from the audience. The public wanted to know how exactly Circulab works with the companies. When addressing this question, Mr. Buttin mentioned that the first step is to do some collective research (through the game) that allows them to collect knowledge. In some cases this first step can also allow the client's company staff to get a better understanding about the company's functioning.  As a second step, the Circulab team tries to set up a plan, to find some ideas to cut some costs, to mutualize some resources and find new opportunities.

The moderator thanked to Mr. Buttin for his answer saying that he considers that the Circulab methodology is a very open idea that could be very welcome here in Taiwan. 

Next question was for Dr. Edlund regarding the implementation stage of the Minesto underwater kite project and the investment costs. Dr. Martin Edlund mentioned that the company was founded in 2007 and it has absorbed around US$ 40 million up until now to mature the technology. Since three years back Minesto has a cooperative scale unit running in Northern Ireland, and is now developing the first commercial scale Wales. One of the main reasons of why Minesto was working in that context and close to Wales is really related to the European Union. The investment is very substantial, especially when it is related to the risks. The collaboration of some of the European tax paying money, the structural funds and the subsidies from the European Union represent all an absolutely necessary component for a lot of new EU technology to really come alive. So the whole policy around changing to circular economy needs to be put very high on the agenda. Without subsidies, without even tax punishments for people that do not behave and with reward system this transition will take too long. Minesto is now building full scale it will take substantial more investments. But having proven it with this funding Minesto had it is a very good start to attract more capital and to move on.

Someone from the audience asked Mr. Tseng why does Taiwan not have a recycling plant for batteries, such as the one Mr. Tseng presented during his speech. The presenter mentioned that it depends a lot on the scale of the economy and currently there are no companies in Taiwan doing the recycling of li-ion batteries. However, Umicore collaborates with batteries companies in Taiwan.

Next question was for Dr. Chiu-Ping Li. Considering that both Taipower and CPC Corporation Taiwan generate a huge amount of waste and that this waste is not treated by other companies, the question was about how these companies treat the waste. Dr. Chiu-Ping Li mentioned that the waste generated by Taipower is waste originated from coal and that, indeed, Taipower does not have a dedicated company in treating these ashes. Thus, the company provides it to different cement companies in order to use it in the fabrication of cement; it also provides it to construction companies. Dr. Li added that, however, CPC company and Taipower have very complicated and different varieties of waste products and thus different types of vendors who can process our waste.

Last question of the EU-Taiwan Green Summit was for Mr. Jim Tai. When asked what is to be done in Taiwan in terms of political or societal changes in order to facilitate the transition to a greener and circular economy, Mr. Tai said that there are two major actors that can help: the people living in Taiwan and the Taiwanese Government. According to Mr. Tai, the people need to help in creating, promoting and adopting this new way of thinking: waste is a resource. The Government needs to understand that waste can be combined together and be transformed in resources and that this new approach could also help the transition towards "nuclear free homeland 2025".

With this the very informative and dynamic day of the EU-Taiwan Green Summit 2016 came to an end.