The world community is using and consuming the Earth's natural resources at an ever-accelerating pace. If we are to achieve the goals we have set for climate, environment and nature, we must improve our ability to use resources more efficiently and in a circular manner, to reduce our need to extract new resources. This will also reduce the greenhouse gas emissions; the loss of biodiversity will slow down and we will pollute less.
Reuse, recovery, and recycling are keywords for the circular approach we need to stop wasting natural resources. Whether we are talking construction, water and wastewater, the energy sector, food production, transport, or forestry – the potential for more circularity is huge.
However, Norway is among the worst countries in the world when it comes to implementing a circular economy. According to the Circularity Gap Report Norway, only 2.4 percent of our economy is circular. We thus have a long way to go before we reach the ambition of being a pioneer for a green, circular economy, as formulated in the national strategy for circular economy from 2021.
In other words: Updated knowledge and targeted research within the circular sphere are urgently needed.
This is how NIVA contributes
At NIVA, we work for sustainable, environmentally friendly development and transition to a circular economy. In practice, we do research on resource recovery in water and in sludge from, for example, wastewater treatment plants and aquaculture.
Wastewater is an important focus area for NIVA. Although some of the wastewater is currently converted to biogas and sludge as soil improvers for agriculture, there is greater potential. Wastewater is a source of valuable resources, energy and useful information that should be funneled back to benefit society. NIVA and partners are conducting research on the potential reuse of treated water from different sectors.
Why does NIVA work with circular solutions?
Sustainable and long-term measures and solutions must be based on the best available knowledge. This requires close cooperation between research communities, the authorities and industry.
NIVA is an independent institution that continuously works for sustainable development and transition to a circular economy. Through collaboration with other research communities, we develop innovative solutions and contribute to a quality-assured and updated knowledge base for decision-makers.
Get in touch if you want to know more about how we can contribute to solving challenges related to this topic.