Closed Loop Communities


Pathfinder – Exploring future demands, assessing potential for innovations to meet those demands and identifying barriers to their deployment. 


UK wide

June 2014

Patricia Chaput


Greenhouse gas monitoring – through resource efficiency

Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development
Poplar Housing and Regeneration Community Association (HARCA)
Utrecht Sustainability Institute
Utrecht University

Closed Loop Communities (CL-Comms) is a Climate-KIC pathfinder project that seeks to address the significant climate impact of wasted resources. Europe alone throws away over five billion euros worth of recyclables each year, such as paper, glass, plastics, and aluminium. If these resources were recycled, the EU could avoid 148 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

By working with communities in Utrecht (the Netherlands) and London (UK), CL-Comms is investigating how to tackle this global problem at a local level. The right combination of market intelligence, innovative products and services, and effective models for engagement and partnerships can enable communities to create value from local waste streams. Waste can become a resource – cutting carbon emissions and creating local economic opportunities to make communities more sustainable.

CL-Comms is exploring how new legal and governance structures between local authorities, waste contractors, entrepreneurs, and community groups can support new innovative products and services that address wasted resources. The project will integrate these findings to develop demonstration and deployment opportunities with the aim of encouraging a step change from disposing of waste to recovering and reusing resources. 

In London, the Institute for Sustainability is working with Veolia and Poplar Housing and Regeneration Community Association (HARCA) to review current waste streams, recycling approaches and governance structures in the Borough of Tower Hamlets and analyse how engagement with local groups could encourage the uptake of new waste management technologies and solutions.

CL-Comms is:

  • Analysing market opportunities, approaches, and innovations for different waste streams and the associated economic and climate benefits. Waste streams will include food, electrical and electronic equipment, and bulky goods
  • Encouraging lasting behaviour change and community ownership by working with partners to develop local governance structures that reduce barriers to market for new resource efficiency solutions
  • Reviewing new technology and innovation to explore potential for delivery and replication in other local areas
  • Integrating project findings through demonstration and deployment scenarios at a local level.