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Sectors: Circular resource management

Central Denmark

Updated on 23.11.2023

Central Denmark Region (CDR) is one of five regions in Denmark and covers 19 municipalities. The CDR is led by the Regional Council, which is made up of 41 politicians who are elected every four years. The responsibilities of the CDR are health, psychiatry, and social and regional development.

The CDR has approximately 30 000 employees (mainly within healthcare). 17 staff members work on circular economy (CE), including five employees at hospitals.

Countries: Denmark
Population: 1.330.000
Resource use, flows and materials: To be confirmed

More information

Concerning regional development, CDR is responsible for: public transport/mobility, education, culture and environment (soil contamination, groundwater protection and raw materials planning). The CDR strives to be an attractive sustainable region and provide citizens with possibilities to create a good life, based on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In CE, the CDR works to reduce consumption and the climate footprint of the products used, create less waste, and increase the recycling of resources. The project aims to implement the national waste management plan, called the Action Plan for Circular Economy – prevention and handling of waste – APCE.

There are three main objectives in the project:

  1. Waste prevention. To prevent waste generation and reduce consumption of primary resources by introducing and integrating circular approaches in the actions and behaviour of public authorities, private enterprises, and among citizens.
  2. Circular waste management. To turn waste into resources by implementing CE practices in the treatment of waste; realise markets for reuse and secondary raw materials, and innovate waste monitoring to include effects of circularity and thus incentivise CE.
  3. Regulation. To improve the regulatory framework, governance, incentives for CE, waste prevention, and circular waste management by identifying regulatory barriers to circularity and providing feedback and guidance to political and administrative decision makers.

The project partners are working on four main areas in their projects:

  1. The Central Denmark Region, The Capital Region and Danish EPA are primarily engaging in supporting actions such as capacity building, digitalisation, and legislation. This is mainly to reach out to the partners from waste handling companies, municipalities, and companies working in the following three areas:
  2. Waste prevention through public purchase and citizen involvement.
  3. Increased reuse of materials.
  4. Increased regeneration of secondary raw materials.

Leading organisation

Central Denmark Region


Department for Climate, Resources and Green Transition, Central Denmark Region

Main partners/stakeholders

The project has 36 partners. Part of the Steering Group is Danish EPA, Capital Region Denmark and Central Denmark Region

Link to existing circular economy action plan

The Sustainability Strategy, which contains an extensive strategy on CE, was adopted in 2021. To reach the goals, the CDR works on the following: sustainable public procurement, renewable energy, and minimal and circular consumption. The integrated circular approach of the CDR includes public procurement, construction, logistics, maintenance and service as well as requirements for suppliers to cooperate in the supply chain.

In the first action plan towards a circular region by 2030, the CDR focuses on public procurement, supply, and construction.

By 2030, it aims to:

  • reduce the use of resources in public procurement and service by 30 %;
  • minimise the production of garbage by 30 % (tonnes);
  • recycle 70 % of the garbage produced.

Strategies for sustainability 2030

The Regional Development Strategy also contains large parts on CE, and aims to take care of the climate, the environment, and resources.

There are several target areas but the most relevant in this context is to mobilise municipalities in order to address the circular agenda and the work done with purchase and value chains.

Development strategy 2019-2030


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Other activities

As a regional public authority, the CDR has been working with CE since 2010. The CDR has implemented a crosscutting programme of cocreation with municipal authorities and other key stakeholders. Since 2010, it has supported over 500 SMEs in CE business programmes, replicated across Denmark, and held over 100 conferences and strategic workshops.

As a special focus area, the CDR is determined to crack the code of how stakeholders along a value chain gain value. Recently, the CDR implemented two major CE projects addressing value chains and material flows of plastics and construction materials. Knowledge of the value chains and material streams play a major part in the CE approach of the CDR. The project ‘Rethink Plastics’ (Gentænk Plast) has dealt with sustainable and circular hospitals. The CDR also financed a study in value chain cooperation on textiles.

The CDR has assisted the 19 municipalities to facilitate the transfer of CE principles into local strategies. The work done by the CDR, and the methods developed have been adopted by the National Business Board and replicated on a national level several times.

The CDR has – as one of the first public organisations – cooperated with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. This paved the way for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Danish Business Authority to become formal members and was the driving force behind the Foundation using Denmark as a showcase.

The work done by Central Region Denmark in addressing the Ellen MacArthur Foundation was crucial, as it pointed out and made public-private partnerships a part of the organisations crucial areas to address.

In 2021, the CDR was granted a Life IP ‘Circular Economy Beyond Waste’ as the coordinating beneficiary. The project will last for 8 years and has 39 partners across Denmark (including the EPA, the Capital Region of Denmark, many municipalities and private companies in the CDR and elsewhere).

Link to Circular Systemic Solution

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Circular economy good practices

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Key publications, policies, legislations and initiatives

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Support from CSO

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