Circular Rotterdam: New jobs in a zero waste economy

Opportunities for new jobs in a zero waste economy

We developed a strategy to help the City of Rotterdam transition to a circular economy, analyzing data and running workshops to understand the current urban economy, and identifying key sectors where materials are being wasted and circular jobs can be created.

  • Client: City of Rotterdam
  • Partners: Circle Economy, Blue City and Spring Associates
  • Date: July 2018
The challenge

The municipality of Rotterdam has strong ambitions to become a waste-free city by 2030 and create up to 7,000 circular jobs in the municipality. In 2018, the City commissioned Metabolic and partners to produce a circularity strategy that would inform the creation of 3,500 to 7,000 new jobs and reduce material consumption by 50% by 2030 in the creation of a circular economy.

The challenge
Our approach

In the first phase of this project, a baseline analysis was conducted to assign hotspots and map the current state and the most important flows that enter and leave the municipality. A holistic set of KPI’s was developed to benchmark the current state and track progress made in the future. Based on this baseline analysis, a long list of interventions were proposed and evaluated that could lead to waste free systems in construction, food and energy streams, consumer goods and healthcare.

Our approach
The outcome

In the second and third phases of the project, the interventions were discussed in several stakeholder workshops and detailed cost benefit analyses were conducted to concretize the proposed interventions and develop a roadmap. The city has since released its 2019-2023 strategy outlining steps it will take to transition towards circularity, based on the material flow analysis and strategy we developed. 

The outcome

"All sectors offer opportunities, especially in the construction industry and in the food sector there is much to be gained in Rotterdam."

Lead Circular Industries


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