Education for Zero Waste and Circular Economy

Start: 01-10-2018 - End: 30-09-2020
Project Reference: 2018-1-EL01-KA202-047749
EU Grant: 240340 EUR
Programme: Erasmus+
Key Action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices
Action Type: Strategic Partnerships for vocational education and training

Project Summary

The transition to Circular Economy (CE) is an essential contribution to the EU efforts of developing a sustainable, low carbon, resource efficient and competitive economy (Closing the loop – An EU action plan for the CE, 2015). Such a transition represents the opportunity to transform our economy, generate green jobs and build up sustainable competitive advantages for Europe. This project aims to fill a gap in Vocational Education and Training (VET) programmes dealing with zero waste and circular economy.

Skills and competences for Zero Waste and Circular Economy (ZW&CE) are becoming extremely important. In Europe, we are using per person 16 t/a (tons per year) of material, of which 5 t/a become waste. Although waste management continues to improve, the EU economy still loses a significant fraction of potential 'secondary raw materials' in waste streams. The CE package, adopted by the Commission in 2015, has created an important momentum to support the transition towards a more CE in the EU. CE gained more significance in 2018 when the new CE Action Plan and a series of more restrictive waste and product policies have been adopted (eg, plastic policy). Transition to CE may only be successful if the corresponding awareness, competences and skills are deeply embedded in the knowledge and daily routine of EU professionals and companies and from this perspective VET education for ZW&CE is critical.

The primary goal of EduZWaCE Strategic Partnerships is to supporting exchange of good practices, enabling stakeholders to deepen and spread out knowledge, develop and reinforce networks, increase their capacity to operate at transnational level, and share and confront ideas, practices and methods. The project aims to create new VET programmes dealing with waste and circular economy, and focuses on developing the interdisciplinary skills needed for the jobs of the future that are tailor-made for the needs of the employers/SMEs.

With this project we would like to build up a common approach for VET Teachers and learners across EU to respond to the requirements of the future and flexible job market.

The project will focus on the following specific objectives:

  • Develop partnerships amongst educators, businesses and stakeholders with the purpose of supporting VET learners in acquiring and developing skills and key competences in CE and foster employability
  • Facilitate recognition and validation of competences for new jobs: the ZW&CE Manager and the ZW&CE Technician, by building two Skill Card Sets, structured in accordance with the standards and designed based on the ECVET requirements.
  • Make education in ZW&CE available for all, by setting the EduZWaCE as an Open Education Resource (OER)

The project will be implemented based on a collaborative approach: cooperation between the project partners and collaboration between the consortium and the stakeholders at the local, national, and international level. EduZWaCE will respect the Sociocracy 3.0 collaborative approach. The project outcomes will be delivered using free, open, collective purpose based framework of patterns, will support exchange of good practices allowing organisations to develop and reinforce networks. It will increase their capacity to operate at transnational level, share and confront ideas, practices and methods whilst respecting co-creativity principles, fostering transparency and guaranteeing the equivalence of all participants in decision making.

Through its deliverables: (1) EduZWaCE Knowledge HUB; (2) EduZWaCE Skill Card Sets for two jobs roles; (3) EduZWaCE online collaborative platform; (4) EduZWaCE course and (5) EduZWaCE diagnosis tool, the project will foster cooperation between companies, stakeholders and VET educators. It will increase motivation of VET Teachers to use/re-use, adapt and/or modify the training materials, with the aim to improve the acquisition of key competences for their learners/students and to raise awareness of the local and regional policy makers on the importance of taking measures for promoting best practices and flexible learning pathways in VET from an interdisciplinary perspective.

On long term the project will have a strong impact on the creation of better interdisciplinary competences directly used for current or future professions and to the adoption of more circular economy solutions.

The project involves an appropriate mix of complementary participating organisations with the necessary profile, experience and expertise to successfully deliver all aspects of the project. They will become the facilitators of the EduZWaCE platform, support its utilization and the co-creation of CE solutions through cooperation and exchange – this will empower them as main stakeholders of ZW&CE application in the countries and will contribute to their organisational development.





  • EKOrast - SLOVAKIA
  • Laboratorio Nacional de Energia e Geologia I.P. - PORTUGAL
  • Asociatia Centrul National pentru Productie si Consum Durabile - ROMANIA
  • Global Reach Astiki Mi Kerdoskopiki Etaireia - GREECE