The current linear economic model of production and consumption is unsustainable. Negative impacts from a “take-make-use-dispose” model are evident everywhere we look: rising global temperatures, loss of biodiversity, water stress and increased waste and emissions. This destruction divides people and leads to greed and inequalities. Yet, we can change.
It is possible to change the world by changing the way the world does business. Tackling the environmental crisis requires a shift of economic models towards sustainable consumption and production (SCP) and low-carbon circular economies. MedWaves incubates the development of sustainable business models. Together, it is possible to address the collective environmental and social crisis and move onto the sustainable pathway.
In order to understand the power of business to positively affect social and environmental change, MedWaves established a definition of a sustainable business model, which was subsequently adopted by Contracting Parties during COP22 of the Barcelona Convention in December 2021. “A sustainable business provides commercial solutions which create ecological value and/or safeguard the environment (addressing environmental challenges and/or reducing environmental impacts) and are economically viable and socially empowering” (Decision IG.25/18 – Annex II).
Sustainable business models can transform ecological challenges into economic opportunities by creating environmental value. Sustainable business models utilise two main approaches to establish a circular business: eco-innovation and life-cycle thinking/eco-design.
Eco-innovation identifies new and alternative solutions to business-as-usual in order to reduce environmental impacts of production and consumption, simultaneously creating environmental value. For example, when a business improves production processes by increasing resource and energy efficiency, there is an opportunity to save money, reduce emissions and prevent pollution. Sustainable businesses can also innovate by developing different approaches to the same products and services that perform better environmentally, such as electric vehicles. Eco-innovation can also transform an entire value chain, such as the promotion services over products to radically shift consumerism. An example would be moving from car production towards mobility services solutions such as car sharing, e-scooters or bikes rental systems, etc.
Eco-design is another approach in sustainable business models. The design stage is extremely important, establishing 80% of gross environmental impact. The eco-design lens, aiming for a circular model, accounts for the entire lifecycle of a product or service, including: design; extraction and/or purchase of raw materials; production; packaging and distribution; sales and marketing, product use; and end of life management. During this assessment, eco-design optimises environmental performance by reducing material and energy input requirements, thereby increasing efficiency and potentially saving money.
MedWaves developed the Switchers Support Programme (SSP), a regional strategy in the Mediterranean promoting and enhancing sustainable business models. The SSP creates an enabling environment, supporting the ecosystem of relationships that empower entrepreneurs and businesses to become sustainable: the switchers. The SSP works closely with a diverse range of stakeholders, including entrepreneurs and businesses, Business Support Organisations (BSOs), trainers and mentors, financial actors and policy makers.
MedWaves offers core support services such as:
SSP responds to the “Set of Regional Measures to Support the Development of Green and Circular Businesses” that was approved by Contracting Parties during COP22 in December 2021 (Decision IG.25/18). Additionally, SSP offers support for other regional and global policies, such as: the EU Green Deal External Dimension; the New Agenda for the Mediterranean; the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development; UNEP/MAP – Barcelona Convention Mid-Term Strategy; the UfM’s 2030 GreenerMed Agenda; and the 2030 Agenda and several of its SDGs.
To be producedREAD MORE
To be producedREAD MORE
MedWaves supports policy makers in the Mediterranean region in order to stimulate and sustain enabling environments that are conducive to the implementation of green, circular, zero-waste, low-carbon, and non-toxic economies.READ MORE
MedWaves establishes a dialogue between all the key stakeholders involved in the transition to sustainable development throughout the Mediterranean region.READ MORE
Discover the expertise of MedWaves and explore how our regional centre supports the implementation of strategic programming, supporting all to continue the journey towards planetary transformation.READ MORE
We celebrate success, using what works to continue to grow. RESults Enabling Transitions (RESET) is a project that identifies and analyses successful practices to optimise green business creation at project, local, national, and regional level across the Mediterranean.READ MORE
STAND UP! provides key business support and technology transfer to help scale, replicate and expand inclusive circular economy ventures in the Mediterranean, specifically aiming to generate sustainable jobs for youth and women.READ MORE
The Green Impact MED Project (GIMED) drives positive investments for positive impacts by boosting the development of eco-innovative ventures, powering the green and circular economy in the Mediterranean.READ MORE
The EU-funded SwitchMed programme promotes a circular economy in the southern Mediterranean by changing the way goods and services are produced and consumed. In order to achieve this, SwitchMed provides tools and services directly to the private sector, supports an enabling policy environment and facilitates exchange of information among partners and key stakeholders.READ MORE
CapiMed-Islands is a capitalisation initiative to maximize the impact of numerous BeMed projects in islands with one common goal: litter-free islands. Building a community, transferring results and impacting policies are the ingredients for successREAD MORE
INPLASTICS offers a set of interactive, innovative education and communication tools to raise awareness regarding toxic additives. The programme builds capacity throughout the region to address the invisible aspects of plastic pollution so that we can all be part of the solution.READ MORE
The Mediterranean Sea Programme: Enhancing Environmental Security (MedProgramme) aims to improve the health and livelihoods of coastal populations in the Mediterranean region by reducing major transboundary environmental stresses and strengthening climate resilience and water security.READ MORE
Upon the completion of the successful first phase of Marine Litter Med, the EU has renewed its commitment to support the Barcelona Convention in addressing marine litter, particularly plastic pollution. Marine Litter Med Phase II, implemented by the UNEP/MAP system, is an important opportunity for MedWaves to continue providing assistance to a number of non-EU countries in terms of prevention of marine litter and plastic pollution.READ MORE
Transitions to CIRCULAR economy practices in TEXTILE and apparel MSMEs along the lifecycle in Huzhou and Shaoxing is a project that draws on the foundation built from successful sustainable development in the Mediterranean. Sharing knowledge and practices, support is delivered to facilitate the transition to circular economy practices in the textile and fashion industry in Huzhou City and Shaoxing City, China by 2025.READ MORE
JUST2CE promotes a global transition to a circular economy by supporting a more democratic and participatory mechanism of governance over the productive processes that underpin design and management of technologies.READ MORE