EduZWaCE (Education for Zero Waste and Circular Economy)

Project timeline: 2018-2020

The primary goal of EduZWaCE Strategic Partnerships is to support collaboration, the exchange of information and good practices, enabling stakeholders to deepen and spread out knowledge, develop and reinforce networks, increase their capacity to operate at transnational level, and share and confront ideas, practices and methods.

The project tackles social inclusion by helping to address diversity and promote –in particular, through innovative and integrated approaches– equality, including gender equality, non-discrimination and social inclusion through education and training (ex., training for representatives in the waste reuse/repair centres).The capacity building activities will enhance the access, participation and learning performance of disadvantaged learners, and will support new approaches to reducing disparities in accessing and engaging with digital technologies in formal and non-formal education, including gender differences in relation to ICT.
The project will enhance the VET–business partnerships, aimed to promote and build up key competences of VET teachers and learners (lifelong learning, non-formal and informal), raise awareness in governments (local, national and regional), and spread results through project platform, the partners, networks, and the media. The stakeholders as well as VET educators, do not have enough knowledge and skills required for the transition to ZW&CE. Therefore, we have decided to broaden their competences and skills by facilitating cooperation and learning of ZW&CE principles, methods, benefits, and good practices towards ZW&CE. We shall offer them information to guide students through this fast developing area in a form of a Course structure. The information is of great value for the global economic development, increased resource efficiency and environmental protection.

Structure and methodology

EduZWaCE will develop an innovative, open educational resource (OER) in the form of a platform  and content for lifelong learning needs, enabling VET teachers to adapt a general framework to different groups of students and sectors. By focusing on the EduZWaCE model (requirements, principles, methods and co-creation of solutions), the Course will prepare the students to get qualified as ZW&CE Managers and ZW&CE Technicians and for implementing the ZW&CE strategy of any sector and size business Professional learners’ will have the chance to log in into the platform, use the diagnosis tool and present their case studies, based on pre-established formats and provide selected information to other users, that will allow them to cooperate and co-create CE solutions. The project is complementary to previous projects carried out by partners and other organisations, dealing with CE, and to the activities of the UN, EC, Ellen MacArthur Foundation and other CE initiatives.
Focus 1 utilisation will address professionals from companies, local authorities, and other stakeholders. 
EduZWaCE Knowledge HUB  In individual chapters, the course will address: (a) CE related legislation and standards, the EU and national strategic documents and related scientific literature and reports, (b) Selection of existing methods, tools and practices; (c) Case studies and good practices on resource efficiency, eco-design, waste prevention, reuse and recycling.
EduZWaCE Online Course  – the VET course will focus on the topics and priorities of the new CE Package and its Action Plan, and will put it into practical context. The focus will be on the action to “closing the loop” of product lifecycles through better design, greater reuse and recycling, and economically beneficiary business models and will approach four essential components:
1. Production processes – the Course will cover the principles of resource efficiency, and cleaner production and will provide the methods, principles and tools for materials efficiency and waste prevention in companies.
2. Product design – the Course will address concepts such as life cycle thinking, the principles of eco-design and it will provide good practice examples on how to make products more durable and easier to repair, upgrade, remanufacture, and dismantle.
3. Value creation in Circular Economy –new oppprtunities for businesses through closed loop supply chanins and reverse logistics
4. Diagnosis Tool and Co-creation of CE solutions – this section will be created for users to log in, present their own case studies based on pre-established formats, and interact with other learners/users for identification and co-creation of CE solutions.

Focus 2 utilisation will address technicians and workers from reuse/repair/recycling centres and will consist of training materials (dismantling schemes, repair methods) for repairing/reusing/treating/dismantling different types of waste such us: plastic, waste of electric and electronic equipment, batteries, wood, etc.

Work planning and timetable

The results of the project will have 6 parts, developed successively during the 24 months:
1. EduZWaCE Knowledge HUB based on literature, norms review and case studies. Literature and legislation about waste, zero waste concept, critical raw materials, CE will be collected. The list will contain European and national legislation, EU and UN information, standards, books, articles, good practices, case studies, YouTube presentations, freeware software, under the creative commons license. Special attention will be devoted to Ellen MacArthur Foundation reports (e.g., “Towards the Circular Economy” (20122014), “A Circular Economy Vision for Competitive Europe” (2015). The structure of the Knowledge HUB will be defined to be logic and easy to use, the platform will be accessible free of charge for all users, based on log-inn.
2. EduZWaCE skill card sets (Focus 1 and Focus 2) for further certification. The two skill card sets will illustrate the skills & competences profiles to fulfil ZW&CE Manager and ZW&CE Technician job profiles. The skill sets will describe the competences in terms of skill units (U-a list of certain activities that have to be carried out in the workplace), which are themselves defined by skill elements (E-description of one distinct task or work method). Each element consists of a number of performance criteria (S-description of the minimum level of performance a participant must demonstrate in order to be assessed as competent) and an expected level of cognition. In designing the skill card sets we will start from identification of similar courses, inputs of target groups and direct interaction, identification of the existing gaps, scenario analyses of potential success/failure of the new course on the market. The two skill card sets will be delivered in Excel format with a detailed description.
3. EduZWaCE VET curriculum and interactive training platform structure. The information collected will be systematically ordered and the training curriculum contents will be elaborated based on the EduZWaCE skill card sets. The EduZWaCE training platform structure will be designed as a skeleton of a future online open platform and will propose two levels course: Focus 1, the course for ZW&CE Manager and Focus 2, the course for ZW&CE Technician. The EduZWaCE platform – a virtual learning environment for all, will consist of: 1) knowledge HUB (described above) to store, access to, and use of learning resources (content management); 2) Course planning, assessment and personalisation of the learning experience (Course mapping and planning); 3) Two proposed courses materials (Focus  1 and Focus 2) (4) EduZWaCE diagnosis tool (5) managed access to learner information and resources, tracking of progress and achievements (learner engagement and administration, communication and collaboration through e-mails, notices, chats, blogs).
4. The ZW&CE Diagnosis Tool designed to investigate internal and external opportunities for CE in participating organisations. The internal opportunities will address the following elements: (1) level of integration of CE objectives into the core business strategy; (2) key materials of concern, risks and opportunities in relation with key materials and CE (3) Actions implemented towards CE; (4) Benchmarking, progress of CE and Key Performance Indicators prefered business model compatible with CE system. The external opportunities section will deal with: (1) identification of partners from the value chains (2) CE roadmap and context (3) synergies and co-creation of solutions for CE.
5. Workshops – Two workshops will be organised in each country: the first workshop will attract VET institutions, VET teachers and trainers, VET learners, professionals from companies (at least 15 participants) and will have as main purpose to create awareness around CE topic, present the structure and functionalities of platform, benefits for users, and collect written feedback from participants. The feedback will be used to improve the EduZWaCE platform and design the content of the CE course. Workshops minutes including feedback shyntessys will be retained by all partners and discussed in the proximal project meeting and further considered for improvement. The second workshops (at least 15 participants) will address the registered users of OER and other regional stakeholders, introduce the draft concept of the diagnosis tool, ask them to self asses internal and external opportunities and identify synergies and mastermind cooperation and co-creation of CE solutions
6. Implementation/piloting of draft course. Focus 1 and 2 of the Course will be field tested in at least two countries by UM ( Focus 1) with 20 VET Teachers and students and StadLabor (Focus 2) with 15 VET teachers, representatives from reuse/repair centres. Pilot training sessions will be organised at the partner’s premises and will collect written feedback to be used to improve the Course drafts. On the basis of this evaluation, the final draft of the Course will be prepared.
The final deliverable will be offered as a VET course draft (Focus 1 and 2) in the form of an online platform, which will combine theoretical study with hands-on practical work (self-assessment, case studies), and will be designed for further qualification and certification of the skills and competences needed to successfully develop a career in the ZW&CE, as ZW&CE Manager and ZW&CE Technician.


EduZWaCE Knowledge HUB
EduZWaCE Platform
EduZWaCE Course Focus 1 and Focus 2
EduZWaCE Diagnosis Tool

Lead partner

• AKETH-EG-Developmental Centre of Thessaly (Trikala, GR), through its actions is fighting unemployment, by providing quality and certified education/training, opening up new training opportunities, offering counselling & personal development. As acredited VET centre, AKETH-EG act as training provider, examination and consultant and will be responsible for project management, communication, dissemination of EduZWaCE in Greece

Other partners

• NCSPC (Timisoara, RO) is a promotor, educator and supporter of practical application of eco-innovation in companies. NCSPC is acting as CE Stakeholder (selected by EU Commission) in Ro and will work for building up the ZWECE skill card, will design and perform synergies workshops to support businesses to use the OER platform and co-create the CE solutions and will disseminate the project in Romania.
• ATMOTERM (Opola, PL), environmental software development and consulting, has in-depth environmental knowledge and work experience in the development of National/Regional/Local Waste Prevention Programmes, including CE perspectives. Atmoterm will contribute develop the ICT solution of the OER and the project webpage;
• Global Reach (Athens, GR) experienced in technology and knowledge transfer to industry and educational institutes, comprising of technology research&development, business planning and project management, e-learning courses. GRE will contribute to the design and functionalities of the OER, development of the ICT solution in cooperation with Atmoterm
• StadLabor (Graz, AU) it’s a consultancy company experienced in resource management, sustainable consumption, design thinking, joint development of solutions and VET education. StadLabor works with several cities to develop the of “Smart City” approaches, including housing, urban technologies, urban production, energy, materials and waste flows and the establishment of the “Upcycling Centers” where used goods are repaired, upcycled (better than before) and brought back to the market.
• Enviros Energy and Environmental Consultancy (Prague, Czech) is providing assistance in the field of energy, environmental and business consultancy, including resource efficiency (RE), waste and CE. Enviros has experience in international projects and is a founding member of the Czech national platforms for RE&CE. Enviros will contribute to the development of the OER structure, diagnosis tools, and adaptation of training materials.
• LNEG – National Laboratory of Energy and Geology (Lisbon, PT) has carried out R&D and training in the areas of eco-design, design for sustainability and circular economy oriented to products and product-service systems. LNEG created recently a resource center on life cycle approaches and CE to support the business and scientific communities.
• Prospektiker-European Institute for Future Studies and Strategic Planning (San Sebastian, Spain), has been involved in developing training courses, eg. Design for Sustainability (sinDesign, Innedic), Life Cycle Assessment methodologies in energy/waste management/building sectors (LCiP – Life+), supporting the the Regional Government with  the development of the Circular Recycling HUB as one of the three main pillars of the Gipuzkoa Institute against Climate Change in the area. Prospektiker is participating at the moment in the development of the KATCH_e Erasmus + (2017-2019);
• EKOrast (Bratislava, SK) has been involved in assessing the industries in SK and Czech for identifying the challenges and opportunities for CE within Moveco project; that supported a big number of companies to adopt eco-efficiency measures during EcoProfit projects
• UM, University of Maribor (SI) has experiences in energy, water and material recycling, process modelling, simulation, integration and optimisation, RE, sustainable production indicators, VET programmes modernisation.

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