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Sectors: Plastics Electronics and ICT Packaging Batteries and vehicles Nutrients

TREASoURcE-Territorial and Regional Demonstrations of the Systemic Solutions of Key Value Chains and Their Replication to Deploy Circular Economy

Updated on 31.01.2023

TREASoURcE will innovatively circulate currently incinerated, exported, landfilled or dumped plastic and biobased side and waste streams by deploying systemic circular economy (CE) solutions. The systemic CE solutions will integrate the two main elements of TREASoURcE: stakeholder engagement demonstrations (SE-DEMOs) and key value chain demonstrations (KVC-DEMOs).

The DEMOs support chosen territory clusters in introducing CE practices to their citizens and businesses to (1) help decouple from use of virgin fossil resources and excess raw material consumption; (2) increase resilience (self-sufficiency, value chain security, environment and nature); (3) decrease GHG emissions and contribute to achieve climate neutral economies.

Topic ID: HORIZON-CL6-2021-CIRCBIO-01: Circular Cities and Regions Initiative (CCRI)’s circular systemic solutions
Grant agreement ID: 101059491
Countries: Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland
Project email address:
Start and end date: 01.06.2022 - 31.05.2026
Budget: 10 933 545 EUR
Type of action: Innovation action (IA)

More information

Climate change, environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity are major global threats that require urgent collaborative actions across industry, sectors, cities and regions, communities and citizens. Half of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and more than 90 % of biodiversity loss come from resource extraction and processing. Global consumption of materials, especially biomass, fossil fuels, metals and minerals are expected to double by 2060 and annual waste generation is estimated to increase by 70 % by 2050.

TREASoURcE focuses on demonstrating the CE solutions in cities and regions located in the Nordics (Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark), and they will be replicated in the Baltics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), Poland and Germany (of the Baltic Sea Region). The combination of the cities and regions will enable large reach and bigger impact and boost the replicability and scalability potential of the CE solutions. A common issue of the regions’ material circulation is low and decentralised material volumes and resulting challenges in feasibility, and bottlenecks have been high risk investments due challenges in securing sufficient feedstock (quality and quantity). However, regional strengths lie in ambitious climate and environmental targets.

Leading organisation

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, Finland

Cities involved

Fredrikstad, Tartu, Talinn, Tampere, Helsinki

Regions involved

Viken Fylke, Pirkanmaa

Territorial clusters involved

Territorial: Viken county council, Business Tampere, Helsinki Forum Virium, EcoFellows, ECO3-cluster

Clusters: CLIC Innovation

Scope and objectives

Scope and objectives of the project:

The overall objective of TREASoURcE is to initiate systemic change by implementing sustainable systemic CE demonstrations that significantly increase product and material circulation of highly consumed and waste generating plastics, batteries and biobased side and waste streams in the Nordics and Baltic Sea Region, together with companies, societies (including citizens, consumers, communities and regional actors) and experts in the field.

TREASoURcE has three specific objectives:

  1. Demonstrated environmental, social, economic and political impacts of the systemic CE solutions (circular plastics, batteries, and biobased side and waste streams) in the Nordics.
  2. Replicated locally tailored systemic CE solutions in the Baltics and Poland and beyond.
  3. Inclusive and just transition to CE for all supported by high level cooperation with all relevant stakeholders.

Key deliverables

Deliverables will be published on the project website once available.

  • D1.1 Territories' CE activities and state-of-the-art:  A report on TREASoURcE territories' (Nordic + Baltic Sea Region) CE activities and the state-of-the-art analysis on status of current CE in the key value chains.
  • D1.2 Report on territories' logistics, value chains and material flows:  A report on analysis of TREASoURcE territories' key value chain related key findings on current and state-of-the-art logistics and value chains, as well as an analysis of the material flows available in the territories from the targeted raw materials.
  • D1.3 Legislative and regulatory framework for target value chains: A review of the legislative and regulatory framework affecting the circularity of targeted value chains in the TREASoURcE territories.
  • D2.2 Best practices on consumers, citizens and communities related engagement in CE: A report on the best practices and lessons learnt from TREASoURcE stakeholder demonstrations to best engage and involve consumers, citizens and communities in circular economy.
  • D2.3 Report on ELiCo Concept: A report on the Enlightened Consumer concept developed, and results of the piloted and replicated EliCo concept in TREASoURcE.
  • D2.4 Guidance booklet to support sustainable & smart CE: Guidance document/booklet based on the TREASoURcE findings from the stakeholder demonstrations to support sustainable and smart CE related procurement (public and private).
  • D2.5 Guidance booklet on the CE concept(s) for event organisers and a separate guidance document for event funding authorities: Guidance document/booklet based on the TREASoURcE findings from the stakeholder demonstrations to support implementing sustainable circular practices and concepts into events. Includes two parts: one for event organisers and one for funding authorities like public bodies that can implement circularity related terms into event funding conditions.
  • D2.6 Scope of learning materials to support CE training: TREASoURcE key value chain related teaching and learning materials to promote and teach about CE to children, youth and young adults.
  • D3.1 Report on optimising collection and logistics of plastic waste, boos-ting recycling and uptake of products made from recycled plastics: Report on optimising collection and logistics of plastic waste, boosting recycling and uptake of products made from recycled plastics based on TREASoURCE findings in the territories.
  • D4.1 Report on existing and upcoming challenges for 2nd life battery use: Report on the analyses and research on existing and upcoming challenges and bottlenecks affecting 2nd life batteries reuse.
  • D4.2 Report on the 2nd life battery case studies: Report on the TREASoURcE 2nd life battery demonstrations as battery storage systems, guide to optimise 2nd life battery systems and measures to consider for safety.
  • D4.3 Report on Macro-economic assessment: A macro-economic assessment on value creation and employment effects of reuse of batteries based on national input-output tables, economic and employment staticstics and data generated from project. The assessment will provide an overview of the benefits of establishing a 2nd life batteries market and applications.
  • D5.1 CE marketplace and value chain models: The CE marketplace and value chain models will be described as a demonstration.
  • D5.2 Report on urban rural symbiosis modelling tool: The urban-rural symbiosis modelling tool will be described, and the urban-rural symbiosis supported in TREASoURcE will be further described.
  • D5.3 Report on transferable territorial circular bioeconomy model: The territorial circular bioeconomy model developed will be explained and the transferability further assessed.
  • D6.1 Workshop report including local CE conditions analysis: Report on replication workshop outcomes and analysis and tools to analyse local CE conditions.
  • D6.2 Report on digitalisation, logistics and spatial optimisation: Report describing the characteristics of optimising digitalisation, logistics and spatial conditions to support CE replication.
  • D6.3 Report on funding, public and private investments and building investment pipelines: A report on supporting securing funding and public and private investments and building investment pipelines for CE innovations.
  • D6.4 Demonstration Replication Handbook: The ultimate output of TREASoURcE containing the keys for replication of TREASoURcE demonstrations ‘everywhere’.
  • D7.2 Report on core and extended framework for sustainability and CE of systemic solutions: Report on core and extended framework developed in TREASoURcE aimed for sustainability and CE of systemic solutions.
  • D7.3 Expert and non-expert tools for TREASoURcE assessment: Developed tools targeted for both expert and non-expert actors to carry out TREASoURcE systemic SE solutions assessment.
  • D8.2 Handbook on best practices for communicating with important stakeholders to support CE transition: Handbook on best practices for communicating with important stakeholders like citizens, students, communities, workforce, public bodies, decision makers, and industry to support CE transition.

Key messages for project promoters

In the beginning, the aim is to create general project awareness.

The aim is to generate content to promote:

  • education and deepen understanding of the role and possibilities of citizens and communities on systemic CE solutions.
  • inspire for changing everyday life practices, communicating everyday issues about CE to build awareness in the general public.
  • circularity as a way of living is sustainable, possible and pleasant.
  • fostering acceptance of circular products made from secondary materials.

Description of future collaboration with CCRI-CSO

  • Communication of CCRI-CSO activities and events in TREASoURcE channels.
  • Communication of TREASoURcE activities and events as well as results in CCRI-CSO channels.
  • TREASoURcE will lead a joint education video ‘Ways for citizens to make a sustainable difference in their everyday lives’. It will describe how to incorporate circular practices into everyday lives with other CCRI-projects and with CCRI-CSO.
  • TREASoURcE participation in CCRI-CSO workshops, biennual forum (every 2 years).
  • TREASoURcE proposes to initiate Communication Managers Joint Project Committee across CCRI-projects to stay on-top of project developments and increase collaboration (biannual).
  • CCRI-CSO member in TREASoURcE Advisory Board.


CCRI relevant material

TREASoURcE will produce a range of different CE related recipes and guidelines, which are easy to use and spread models for citizens, entrepreneurs, decision makers, regional actors and public bodies for easier and widespread replication. These include guidelines for public procurement, public funding, organising sustainable CE events, replication handbook, best available technologies guideline for planning future investments, support for formulating CE strategies and roadmaps.

The green public procurement recipes support reaching set policy targets like climate neutrality targets. Regional policies will be implemented by TREASoURcE partners.

TREASoURcE will produce a tool for identifying urban-rural symbiosis possibilities and support further collaboration to deepen the bio-circular parts of the symbiosis. This means, for example, material use optimisation, replacing fossils with renewables, producing local energy and promoting local economy with the help of public procurements. These tools have a high contribution to enhancing knowledge and understanding scientific results, as well as effective and widespread approach to exploiting the results, which will ensure replication throughout Europe.

TREASoURcE will contribute to improving regional, national and EU’s level policies by producing concreate examples, which are scientifically proven and co-validated, to generate together with all relevant stakeholders regional and EU-level policy recommendations. Instead of new restrictions, the focus is on safe enabling, expanding and reinforcing existing best practices through various incentives over rural urban boundaries and local value chains. This improves profitability and at same time leads to better environmental quality.

Tools and demonstrations are developed in partnership so that the practical knowledge and views of stakeholders are considered and an advantage is gained from their knowledge. TREASoURcE will produce CE policies that can alleviate regional inequalities and unemployment.

Environmental outcomes of circular economy solutions

The project is focusing on reaching improved circularity, the efficient management and valorisation of local resources, reducing GHG emissions, supporting natural ecosystems, and most importantly, increasing climate-neutral and circular practices among citizens, communities, consumers, and businesses.

TREASoURcE territories share together an important natural ecosystem, the Baltic Sea, which is subject to unnecessary logistics as, for example, plastic waste is exported and shipped due to the lack of waste management infrastructure. In WP7, special attention is given to how to foster biodiversity in the systemic CE solutions. Proper management of biobased side and waste streams and circulating nutrients is important to protect the Baltic Sea from eutrophication, which is a major environmental issue in the marine ecosystem.

TREASoURcE optimises nutrient recirculation and flows, raw material uses and limiting the need for land and energy use connected to TREASoURcE’s approach in both production and waste management as well as circular business models.

TREASoURcE focuses on GHG emission reduction throughout the whole project in SE and KVC-DEMOs. TREASoURcE’s approach is to tackle streams that are currently not circulated and focuses on producing added value materials and products for new loops. The focus is especially in urban-rural regions in TREASoURcE territory it is common that these streams could be circulated but they are produced decentralised. All these streams are materials and products that are highly consumed and produced. For instance, plastic materials are an important part of everyday life as shown by the fact that plastic waste is generated more in households than general mixed waste and that there is no decrease in global consumption of plastics. Typical consumer goods producers have calculated that 95 % of their CO2 footprint comes from material extraction, processing and production. GHG emissions will be reduced throughout the project activities and further in widespread exploitation of the project DEMOs and other practices.

Plastics: WP3 will support decoupling from virgin fossil resources by recycling plastics to new feedstock for new products (new polymers, industrial solvents) and will support replacing incineration of plastics with chemical and mechanical recycling. Production from virgin fossils and incineration of plastic waste causes GHG emissions.  TREASoURcE is increasing the targeted non-circulated plastic waste streams’ recyclability from near 0 to 90 %, mitigating a significant portion of the negative environmental effects. A plastic waste collection and separation campaign with will be held for citizens, businesses and those who generate agricultural plastics.

Batteries: WP4 will demonstrate with the 2nd life electric vehicle battery systems as energy storage systems and will support the transition away from fossil-based resources and production of 1st life batteries. TREASoURcE will comprehensively assess 2–3 on-grid and mobile solutions and provide further concreate examples for replication. Reusing EV batteries for electricity peak demand, 56 % reduction in CO2 emissions compared to natural gas can be reached. In addition, to replace the extraction and processing of raw materials bring great environmental benefits. To collect 1 ton of lithium, 250 tons of mineral ore or 750 tons of mineral-rich brine is required to be mined, and 1900 tons of water is needed.

Bio-based side and waste streams: WP5 will boost the uptake of circulated nutrients and biogas use in, for example, transport to substitute fossil-based resources (petrol, gasoline) for both citizens and businesses. WP5 will also boost the collection of biowaste and biobased side streams for bio-gasification by value chain building, development of a e-marketplace and campaigns. The tools will especially support European farmers to tackle climate change and protect the environment. Collection and proper processing of biobased side and waste streams will decrease landfilling/piling of the streams and thus the formation of harmful GHG methane. Waste streams are commonly not properly separated, and mixtures end up in incineration, but this municipal waste mix includes commonly recyclable materials like biowaste and plastics. One of the main challenges is to change consumers’ (businesses and citizens) behaviour to support collection, proper separation as well as uptake of circular nutrients and biogas-products, for example, as vehicle driving power. Biomethane-based GHG emissions from passenger cars can be 50–80 % smaller when compared to conventional fuels. TREASoURcE will organise campaigns to boost collection and uptake of circular products.

Social outcomes of circular economy solutions

The aim of TREASoURcE is to bring different stakeholders closer to the project demonstrations and replications by not just engaging with them, but further involve them and co-develop with them. Stakeholder identification, collaboration and involvement activities will be delivered by a dedicated engagement of stakeholders to ensure fair and sustainable transition to CE. 

TREASoURcE CE models will connect environmental policies with social justice implementing a just transition. WP2 supports implementing CE practices to everyday life and everyday business and contributes to sustainable human development, environmental sustainability, jobs and social inclusion. The aim is to build knowledge and stakeholder capacity to ensure they understand the benefits of CE and can participate in implementing CE on different stakeholder levels. 

The project activities will lead to increased circular and climate-neutral practices among citizens and their participation, educate citizens and communities and consumers to look for sustainable alternatives. These actions create positive social impact and improve wellbeing via active participation and feeling fulfilment in acting against climate change, improving waste management, taking up circular solutions, and tackling excess consumption. The SE-DEMOs transitions individuals’ climate and eco-anxiety (especially amongst youth) to positivity by realising the possibility to influence and be part of sustainable systemic solutions. 

Economic outcomes of circular economy solutions

The project is focusing on supporting European industrial sustainability, leadership and competitiveness, resource independence and security of value chains. Widespread replication supported by developed policy recommendations and circular business models.

TREASoURcE’systemic CE solutions formulate proven effective and sustainable CE business models that act as a basis for economies, sectors and regions for sustainable growth. Circulating the targeted side and waste streams will provide security to the value chains and minimise investment and business risks by ensuring local supply of raw materials. TREASoURcE will develop CE-smart public procurement schemes which will support sustainable businesses and provide a competitive edge against non-sustainable options. Deployment and implementation of TREASoURcE activities will generate economic benefits from an immediate to longer-term scale as the systemic solutions of the key value chains and related multidisciplinary demonstrations as well as sequenced replication scenarios. Funding and investment possibilities will be scouted to support the implementation of systemic CE solutions related business plans and an investment pipeline plan will create a pathway towards circularity. TREASoURcE will also target to support events implement sustainable CE practices.

TREASoURcE’s CE business opportunities and new employment will support the European future wealth and competitiveness, and as an immediate impact, help bounce back from the effects of COVID-19. Local and regional economies and actors have a big role in TREASoURcE, the demonstrations will formulate new value chains and business opportunities reaching through the urban-rural settings.

New jobs will be created across TREASoURcE key value chains in design and business models, digitalisation, research and development, logistics, waste management and recycling, services, industry and production, reuse and refurbishment, and create new business opportunities. Especially in areas, like rural regions, where unemployment can be higher or only limited kind of different job opportunities exist, could see the greatest impact of CE related job creation and reduce unemployment. Creation of new value chains in the rural-urban settings is estimated to create new jobs across the value chain including high impact on the logistics sector.

Net job effects of TREASoURcE can be demonstrated on economy-wide, sectoral and regional level. However, most importantly, the net job effects are visible throughout the stretch of the whole value chain of the targeted key value chains. The project expects that new jobs will definitely be formed in logistics as it is a critical part of the targeted value chains as well as digitalisation. Establishment of facilities and infrastructure to enable material circulation provides long term jobs. The increasing sustainability is expected to create new opportunities for innovation, competitiveness and job creation. The CE practices in events DEMO will support job development in the event sector. Events are strongly growing as a substantial livelihood that employ and provide value to the society, communities and citizens. There are direct employment effects of the events themselves, but also indirect effects are seen in businesses supporting organisation of events (catering, logistics, accommodation) and other additional employment effects to the region of the event. The event sector has been hit hard due to COVID-19 and the new innovative and sustainable solutions will provide additional marketing benefits.

Main project stakeholders

Public administration and policy makers; municipalities, cities and regions; citizens, consumers and communities; industrial and market stakeholders; scientific community; standardisation bodies; media; other CCRI and CE projects; networks, cluster and ecosystems


  • SINTEF AS , Norway
  • Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
  • TALLINN CITY, Estonia
  • TARTU CITY, Estonia
  • TOPSOE AS, Denmark
  • ECO STOR AS, Norway