Our Highlights from Arendalsuka: Circular Economy, Food Waste, and Hope

Kari-Anne, Ellen-Marie og Cecilia

Kari-Anne Lyng, Aina Stensgård and Ellen-Marie Forsberg

Four of our researchers participated in Arendalsuka, which took place from August 14th to 18th, 2023. We asked them what they took away from a content-rich week with excellent presentations and professional discussions.

Ellen-Marie Forsberg.

"It was heartening to hear that the participants in the panel 'Mission possible: Circular economy involving the whole society!' seemed to agree that broad public involvement will be important in research and innovation projects related to the upcoming societal mission of circular economy," says Director Ellen-Marie Forsberg. "Minister of Climate and Environment Espen Barth Eide expressed that broad involvement was nothing less than a 'mission absolutely necessary'! It was also noted that transitioning society in a more circular direction requires changes in mindset also related to academic indicators and practices." See the panel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Saun-dHvha4

Ole Jørgen Hanssen (NORSUS), Johnny Sundby (FREVAR), Anne Marit Bjørnflaten (Labor Party State Secretary in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries), Ingrid Liland (Green Party), and Olaf Brastad (Bellona).

Senior Researcher Ole Jørgen Hanssen highlights that there were many insightful discussions about the circular economy in the Cathedral of Hope, where he organized a panel discussing instruments: "There was a focus on effective instruments at the interface of climate, energy, and waste policies. It's important to view environmental and resource considerations throughout the lifecycle. Comparing paving stones with fly ash content to 'virgin concrete' illustrates in a good way how LCA can be used." See the panel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gu2ScHkojjY.

Ellen Marie Forsberg (NORSUS), Minister of Climate and Environment Espen Barth Eide, CEO of the Research Council of Norway Mari Sundli Tveit, and Kathrine Sund-Henriksen, Managing Director of ForUM Forum for Development and the Environment.

Researcher Aina Stensgård gave a presentation on how and why food waste occurs in the consumer phase, and she says, "It was interesting to hear how the retailers, represented by Oda, challenged the authorities to impose stricter requirements on the food sector to tackle consumer waste. It was also intriguing to hear the panellists discuss the possibility of banning extra sales, such as '3 for 2' offers, which could be a potential measure to reduce food waste but might also lead to increased food prices. I will bring this with me into the Government’s food waste expert group work, where NORSUS is involved in developing a set of measures, including a food waste law, to halve food waste throughout the value chain."

Arendalsuka 2023
The Cathedral of Hope

Research Director Kari-Anne Lyng found the session on Hope in the Cathedral of Hope to be distinct from the other sessions she attended, providing fresh perspectives. "When we aim to address climate and sustainability challenges, it's not enough to simply hope; we must set goals and take action," she says.

Many thanks to Norwegian Centre of Circular Economy (NCCE), The Cathedral of Hope, and Future in Our Hands for collaborating on these events.