Case Studies

Case Studies

There are many excellent examples of the circular economy in action in Edinburgh – just read some of our case studies below to find out!

  • Vegware

    Vegware supplies the food industry with compostable, plant-based packaging and disposables as well as operating a composting collection service and an environmental consultancy, winning over 60 awards for sustainability - twice winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise. This success has led to the company frequently featuring as one of the UK’s fastest growing, with regular reports of double digit turnover growth. Read More >>
  • Carbogenics

    Every year Britons have to bin 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups because the plastic coating that stops their precious brew leaking out also makes the cups impossible to recycle. Now, thanks to research at the University of Edinburgh and a new start, spin-off business called Carbogenics, we could soon see a complete reversal. The company has discovered a process that uses pyrolysis – decomposition through high temperatures – to turn mineral-rich organic waste, like disposable coffee cups and paper waste sludge – into high-value carbon composite materials. Read More >>
  • The Edinburgh Remakery

    The Edinburgh Remakery is a perfect example of the circular economy in action – and all the bene-fits that virtuous cycle can bring. This social enterprise, Edinburgh’s first ‘re-use hub’, is part of a drive by Zero Waste Scotland to transform the scale and economic impact of re-use shopping in Scotland and enable more people to learn key repair skills. The Edinburgh Remakery aims to create jobs, help reduce landfill and help cut the city’s carbon footprint, while upskilling and providing some of the Capital’s most vulnerable citizens with free resources. Read More >>
  • Intellidigest

    An innovative business that aims to transform the way we manage food waste believes commercial funders should be bolder in backing commercial spin outs born from Scotland’s world-class university biotechnology research. IntelliDigest, spun-out by academics from Heriot Watt University, is itself going through a funding process to get its ground-breaking work to full commercialisation by this time next year. The company has tackled a major issue. Currently, we only recycle 43-44% of our food waste, leaving over 6 million tonnes to rot, and emitting Greenhouse gases. Read More >>
  • University of Edinburgh

    The University of Edinburgh has made a strategic commitment to embrace the circular economy alongside its goal to become zero carbon by 2040. With a staff and student community of over 50,000, a turnover of nearly £1bn and extensive property, investments and purchasing, the University is well-placed to use its scale and influence to drive innovation in the circular economy. Circular economy thinking and practice is already happening at the University, across research and enterprise, learning and teaching and operations (in areas such as procurement, waste management and estates development). Read More >>
  • The Incorporation of Goldsmiths

    When it comes to knowing how to create value while looking after the interests of consumer, no-one has been doing it longer than the Edinburgh-based Incorporation of Goldsmiths. Zero Waste Scotland’s Circular Edinburgh Report found that Edinburgh’s expanding technology and communications sector provides significant Circular Economy opportunities including for the jewellery sector. Reclaiming precious metals and materials from obsolete stock can be achieved through the use of cutting-edge technology and processes that reduce environmental impact. Read More >>
  • Ostrero

    Ostrero, which works across public and private sectors to promote engagement with the Circular Economy, runs an educational project called “Making Circles”, a series of workshops across Scotland that open up creative solutions to the question of waste reduction and elimination. Read More >>
  • Indinature

    IndiNature has developed a bio-based construction system, using materials from traditional crops combined with cutting edge biotech science, to create super-efficient and insulating materials. Read More >>
  • Sandy McNaughton

    Keeping resources in high-value use is key to circular economy success in the same way that minimising waste from systems is one of the key components to circular economy success. Where there is waste, the facilities management industry is keen for organisations to design it out. Read More >>