How can Norway take a leading role for cleaner oceans?

The results from the Circular Cleanup innovation process was presented in Oslo in front of a sitting and standing audience. Our message: as a country we have the knowledge, the resources and the innovation power to ensure cleaner oceans nationally and globally. What we are lacking is better directions, plans and strategies. 


That is why we present the results from the project as a Circular Cleanup Framework that can be applied for different arenas. We showcase three strategies for the three arenas cities, coasts and global. The goal of these strategies is to make collecting plastic astray more efficient and more circular and make Norway front-runners for cleaner oceans.

«With world leading competence in both maritime and waste management, Norway has an excellent starting point to contribute in solving this problem. In order to reach our goals in time we have to increase our efforts to create new solutions and new policy instruments for cleaner oceans.»
Harald Solberg, CEO, Norwegian Shipowners´Association

You can download the results created by the Circular Cleanup Crew here, PDF (in Norwegian).


Launching results March 13th in Oslo!

On March 13th in Oslo we will present the results from the six month innovation journey.

February 2018 the Norwegian Shipowners´Association initiated the project Circular Cleanup, bringing together forces from both the ocean and waste industries to create new initiatives for cleaner oceans.

We invite you to a half-day gathering* to have a peek into the project suitable for anyone who is interested in innovation, sustainability, ocean plastic and ocean industries. Participants in Circular Cleanup will themselves present their experiences and learning from the project, and not least, the concepts developed and how they will contribute to cleaner oceans!

*The presentations will be in Norwegian.

Phase 3 – Testing and learning!

During the first two phases of the innovation process we developed a lot of new insight and new concepts. In phase 3 we went out into the “real world” to test our concepts. Why? To maximize learning and minimize risk, or in other words fail fast forward.

“Failure is not the enemy. Prolonged failure is.”
Vijay Govindarajan

After the second phase of the innovation process we ended up with 14 concepts. In the third phase we took some of these concepts and created a plan for quick and cheap experiments to test the hypothesis in the concept architecture. This is a kind of risk management and risk mitigation tool that helps us understand the real world so that we can improve, iterate or pivot on the concepts. This way we can learn a lot, quickly, and establish a solid decision basis for the final concept portfolio.

This is the final phase of the innovation process before we present our findings, learnings and answers at the public portfolio launch March 13th, in Oslo!

Manager seminar

Today the project learnings and results so far was presented for project partners managers. Together we discussed the learnings and iterated on the concept drafts.

One things is for sure, with the optimism and constructive feedback from the managers, the future for the ocean is looking bright!

Phase 2 – New ideas!

In the first phase og the innovation process we explored the world in order to learn something new. The results from this phase is summarized as key insights which we have used to unlock new ideas and new answers for cleaner oceans.

The ideas we created was further developed into concepts, with a business architecture. In this architecture we elaborate on the most potent ideas and supplement them with aspects of user and market needs, value proposition, revenue models and strategic partners.

This work sets us up for the thirds phase of the innovation process: testing and learning!

Phase 1 – Learn something new!

To create something new, we need to first learn something new!
This is what the first phase of the innovation process is all about.

To learn something about the world and the terrain in which we are innovating we look at the world through the three lenses market and user needs, orthodoxies and discontinuities. In addition to getting an understanding the power that is in the project partners through identifying our core competencies.

Together we have created a wide range of new insight, from what volunteer beach-cleaners think about to the latest tech in sensor technology. The insight is summarized in a few concrete key insights that will be used to unlock new ideas and opportunities in the second phase of the innovation process: new ideas!


Partnerships for cleaner oceans

After a successful kick-off we are now ready to start the innovation process!

In order to create good initiatives its important to understand the value chain for ocean cleanup.

16 organizations covering NGOs, private companies and the public sector came together, on August 29th, to mark the start of the innovation project Circular Cleanup. Together we will create new solutions and new initiatives for cleaner oceans.

In order to establish a good foundation and direction for the project Amund Drøen Ringdal, Director National and International Politics at the Norwegian Shipowners´ Association, gave an introduction to the background of Circular Cleanup and why they initiated it. This was followed by Karoline Andaur and Eirik Lindebjerg in WWF-Norway, who provided a good overview of the importance of immediate action to ensure ocean health, including cleaning our oceans.

Grieg Green and Tomra sharing insight at the kick-off.
Subsea7 and Bergen Kommune sharing insight at the kick-off.

Under the umbrellas of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (Life Below Water) and Goal 17 (Partnerships for the Goals), the group will be guided through a six step innovation process, lead by the innovation studio Æra Strategic Innovation, to create new alliances and new initiatives for cleaner oceans.

Do you have solutions or insight you think we should know about on our innovation journey, please do let us know!

Arendalsuka workshop – In a sea of plastic

Together with GRID Arendal and Hold Norge Rent we organized a workshop at Arendalsuka, with participants from national and international organizations working with waste management and marine litter, to understand more on the challenges ahead and the opportunities for Norway in creating positive change.

From the workshop it is obvious that this is a complicated area, and that the most effective solutions are the preventative initiatives, especially relating to the lack of waste management practices in some sectors and in some regions of the world. The need for a wide range of solutions, including addressing getting plastic out of the ocean, is evident.

This was also the message from the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, Erik Solheim – we need solutions and we know we can solve this problem!

We will use the input from the workshop to scope the innovation brief in Circular Cleanup and as part of the insights.

Circular Cleanup Kick-off

Since the breakfast meeting at the Norwegian Shipowners´ Association headquarters in April, where the Circular Cleanup project was first launched, 15 organizations have joined forces for cleaner oceans.

Since the breakfast meeting Circular Cleanup have been in dialogue with experts and key resources within the maritime and waste industry in order to define the scope of the project and ensure a good foundation for the innovation work.

The 15 organizations in the constellation represents the private sector, the public sector, NGOs and academia. Together we will come up with new answers for the practice within ocean cleanups.

On August 29th the first meeting with all organizations will be held, and this represents the beginning of the innovation journey.

Let us know if you want to stay updated on the project. 

Welcome to Circular Cleanup!

Circular Cleanup

Circular Cleanup is an project initiated by the Norwegian Shipowners´ Association – bringing together forces from both the ocean and waste industries to create new initiatives for cleaner oceans.

Plastic waste filling our oceans is the world´s fastest growing environmental challenge. Every year 8 million tonnes of plastic reaches the ocean, and if we continue with today´s practice there might be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050. In order to ensure a clean and healthy ocean we need to prevent more plastic from reaching the ocean and at the same time clean up what is already there.

“With world-leading expertise in both marine-based business and waste management Norway has a good base for solving this issue. We need to increase our efforts to create new solutions and new policy instruments for cleaner oceans.”
-Harald Solberg, CEO of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association

In the innovation project Circular Cleanup we take on the challenge to create new initiatives and new value chains for more efficient cleanup of plastic waste. In a six month innovation process, facilitated by Æra Strategic Innovation, we will create a portfolio of solutions for cleaner oceans, demonstrating how we can move from today´s practice to next practice.

We are now partnering up with 15 innovative and ambitious organizations to join us on this journey.