About the Initiative

Thinking Big, thinking Circular

As such, SCYCLE leads the global e-waste discussion and training initiatives, advancing sustainable e-waste management strategies based on life cycle and circular thinking.

By leveraging on its previous expertise and scientific know-how, SCYCLE has been enlarging and further developing its training strategy around the concept of Circular Economy (CE). 

CE main pillars include to 1) eliminate waste and pollution; 2) circulate products and materials; 3) regenerate nature. As such, Circular Economy is considered a key area of study and a cross-cutting element to all SCYCLE areas of work.

The new SCYCLE Academy on Circular Economy (ACE) is intended as a structured offer of courses and trainings, in person, online and self-paced, targeting a set of key actors in the field of circular economy, waste management and trade, as well as in the enforcement sector.  The Academy will cover several waste streams and ubiquitous goods, including but not limited to e-waste, plastics, batteries, the automotive sector (e-cars) etc.

To find additional information on the upcoming trainings offered by the SCYCLE ACE and the materials developed over the years, you can visit our dedicated webpages:

The Business
Boot-Camps (BBC)

specifically for small entrepreneurs with existing e-waste related businesses and start-up in the e-waste space.
Under the umbrella of the E-waste Academy, we are introducing a new programme called the E-waste Business Boot Camp (BBC) which is specifically for small entrepreneurs with existing e-waste related businesses and start-up in the e-waste space.
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E-Waste Statistical
Trainings (EWST)

Capacity Building
Capacity Building
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Environmental Crime

Waste Crime Trainings (WCT)
Environmental Crime Academy

UNITAR SCYCLE has a strong expertise in the field of environmental crime, and specifically waste crime.

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coming soon
coming soon
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Our Objectives

A strong emphasis on international diversity

… to facilitate exchange of knowledge, experiences and lessons learnt from different countries and regions

Providing a platform to access experts in the field

… to allow for an exchange of good practice and respective mutliplication

The importance of a multi-modal program

… including study tours, hands-on workshops, expert lectures and group work

Creating a global network of alumni

… who stay connected, exchange and collaborate even after the Academy

Get to know us


Since January 2022, Sustainable Cycles (SCYCLE) is a Programme under UNITAR’s Division for Planet. This transition to UNITAR follows being a Programme under UNU-ViE since 2016, UNU-IAS and UNU-ISP Operating Unit SCYCLE, and the former European Focal Point of the Zero Emissions Forum since the 2000s.

Learn more about the Sustainable Cycles (Scycle) Programme and UNITAR


Our PArtnerships

The ENFORCE Network

SCYCLE formally joined the ENFORCE Network in 2023. The mission of the Environmental Network for Optimizing Regulatory Compliance on Illegal Traffic (ENFORCE) is through a network of relevant experts, to promote parties’ compliance with the provisions of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal pertaining to preventing and combating illegal traffic in hazardous wastes and other wastes through the better implementation and enforcement of national law. The Network aims to bring together existing resources and enhancing and improving cooperation and coordination between relevant entities with a specific mandate to deliver capacity-building activities and tools on preventing and combating illegal traffic.

Prevent Waste Alliance

Initiated by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the PREVENT Waste Alliance was launched in May 2019. It serves as a platform for exchange and international cooperation. Organisations from the private sector, academia, civil society, and public institutions jointly engage for a circular economy.

The UN E-waste Coalition

On 21 March 2018, the most e-waste- focused organisations in the UN system signed a letter of intent paving the way for the coordination and collaboration of UN system-wide support for e-waste management. Signatory organisations included UNEP, ITU, UNU, ILO, ITC, the Basel Convention, UNITAR, UNIDO, and UN-Habitat. The letter’s signing stems from the work of the Environmental Management Group which supported the coordination of UN organisations to promote system-wide action and collaboration in the area of e-waste.

The global e-waste statistical partnership

Building on the partnership on Measuring ICT for development, in 2017, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations University – Sustainable Cycles (UNU-SCYCLE) and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), joined forces to create the Global E-waste Statistics Partnership as a way of addressing the challenges associated with managing e-waste. Since January 2022, Sustainable Cycles (SCYCLE) become a Programme under the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). Today, the GESP is now a Partnership managed by the ITU and UNITAR-SCYCLE.

Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development

The Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development is an international, multi-stakeholder initiative that was launched in 2004 to improve the availability and quality of ICT data and indicators, particularly in developing countries. The initiative is a direct response to the request made by the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) to produce official statistics to monitor the information society. SCYCLE is leading the Partnerships E-waste Working Group.

Partnership for Action on Challenges relating to E-waste

The goal of the Partnership under the Secretariat of the Basel Convention  is to strengthen the environmentally sound management (ESM) of waste computing equipment, mobile phones, television screens, including CRT, LCD and LED screens, video and audio equipment; refrigerators, cooling and heating equipment, as well as the environmentally sound refurbishment and repair of used computing equipment, mobile phones, television screens, including CRT, LCD and LED screens, video and audio equipment, refrigerators, cooling and heating equipment, at the regional, national and local levels, taking into account social responsibility, the concept of sustainable development and life-cycle thinking.

Former Partnership

The StEP Initiative

The work on Computers and the Environment inspired Eric Williams and Ruediger Kuehr of UNU, Klaus Hieronymi of Hewlett-Packard, and Axel Schneider of Promotionteam to develop an initiative for assessing ways of addressing the environmental impacts of end-of-life electronics recycling. The attempt was to create a global community of practice that shares knowledge on e-waste recycling worldwide, thus developing a clear vision for effective solutions to the problem that respects each region’s specific situation and paves the way toward implementation.

Get in touch


Stay in contact with our Sustainable Cycles (SCYCLE) TEAM