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Position paper

BusinessEurope priority paper on circular economy in the next EU political cycle

BusinessEurope priority paper on circular economy in the next EU political cycle

business europe policy paper
Author: 
BusinessEurope
Publication Date: 
07/2019
Country: 
Belgium

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Sector:

Contact: 
Leon de Graaf

Businesses across Europe are fully engaged to maximise the value of materials, transition to circular business models and achieve a circular economy. This can be best achieved through a functioning market for secondary raw materials (SRMs) and circular products. A real market for SRMs requires a global level-playing field with similar regulatory frameworks and standards, but within the EU several challenges and untapped opportunities still remain. Among others, BusinessEurope recommends policy-makers to:

  • put more emphasis on removing inconsistencies and filling the gaps in the current policy framework, starting with a better implementation of the existing waste acquis, including more guidance to Member States and performing ex-post impact assessments on the benefits of full compliance.
  • develop an enhanced investment strategy for SRMs to stimulate the market, with support from public and private spending on innovation, education and reskilling, an effective circular public procurement strategy, and introduce smart eco-modulation of fees.
  • integrate circular economy thinking into other legislation to maximise its benefits, in particular in the fields of product and material design, climate change, digitalisation, bioeconomy, security of supply and waste shipments.
  • collaborate with stakeholders to improve consumer engagement by reducing barriers and increasing incentives, improving awareness and knowledge on consumption behaviour and the lifecycle of materials based on a common EU methodology, and boosting the opportunities for industrial symbiosis.

Statement from the Architects' Council of Europe - Designing Buildings for Circular Economy

Author: 
Architects' Council of Europe (ACE)
Publication Date: 
06/2019
Country: 
EU

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Key Area:

Scope:

Contact: 
Pierre Obajtek

On the occasion of the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF), held on 4-5 June 2019 in Helsinki, the Architects' Council of Europe (ACE) published a Statement highlighting the importance of design to achieve more circularity in the construction and building sector, as well the solutions that architecture can bring.

Like many other sectors, the construction and building sectors operate largely within a linear economy model of “take, make and waste”. Yet, there is growing awareness of the finite nature of natural resources and fragility of our environment, and thereby of the urgent need to develop more sustainable and regenerative economic models.

Architecture has a crucial role to play here as many decisions taken during the design phase have long-lasting consequences on the environmental performance of a building. Developing circular economy principles in the built environment is fundamentally about changing the way we design our buildings to ensure that they can be operated, maintained, repaired, re-used or adapted to new needs, while optimising resource value and generating as little waste as possible. If high-quality architecture can create significant value, conversely, ill-conceived buildings can cause considerable waste and costs, both in the short term as well as for future generations.

Designing and building in a circular manner requires acknowledging that a building is above all a support for life. Beyond optimising the use of resources for their own sake, it is essential to seek to preserve and enhance the economic, social, environmental and cultural value that a place embodies for end-users, so that it can be used for the longest possible time.

The Statement presents different architectural solutions promoting circularity, focusing on preserving and enhancing the value of resources. It also puts forward some policy recommendations to support the architectural approach to circularity.

The garden, outdoor power and power tools industries have already implemented main principles of the EU circular economy policy

Garden, outdoor power and power tools industries contributing to the EU circular economy policy

Author: 
EGMF & EPTA
Publication Date: 
05/2019
Country: 
Belgium

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Contact: 
Contact

The garden, outdoor power and power tools industries have developed a joint position paper on the different principles of the circular economy the industries are already applying.

Given the proximity to nature and to the natural environment, these industries are committed towards protecting the environment and are already taking measures to minimise the life-cycle impact of products in the environment addressing the following issues:

  • Design of durable and reliable products
  • Application of material efficiency and hazardous substances substitution
  • Limiting noise and exhaust emissions
  • Reparability and extending product lifetime
  • Integrating recyclability and safe waste management aspects at the design stage
  • Limiting packaging and its impacts
  • New business models

More details on the specific measures can be found in the position paper.

The contribution of the Digital Industry to repair, remanufacturing and refurbishment in a Circular Economy

The contribution of the Digital Industry to repair, remanufacturing and refurbishment in a Circular Economy

DigitalEurope
Author: 
Digital Europe
Publication Date: 
11/2018
Country: 
EU

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In "The contribution of the Digital Industry to repair, remanufacturing and refurbishment in a Circular Economy”, DIGITALEUROPE describes longstanding business practices in the ICT sector which represent, next to waste collection and treatment facilities, the circular economy backbone of the ICT industry in Europe.

With roughly 28,000 tons of IT equipment and spare parts being shipped cross-border annually in Europe, the ICT sector is adopting circular business practices such as designing for longevity, durability and reliability, stimulating reuse, and facilitating refurbishment. There is significant market opportunity for circular economy in the ICT sector: in 2015, the business of refurbishing IT equipment already accounted for €3.1 billion in annual turnover across 2,500+ European firms.

Alongside a series of case studies on best practice such as Nokia's Global Asset Recovery & Remarketing Services, DIGITALEUROPE outlines the following position on legislating circular economy for ICT:

  • reuse, repair and refurbishment should not be addressed under waste legislation
  • recognise authorised repair networks and protect IP rights
  • consult stakeholders when legislating ecodesign to ensure feasibility
  • ensure requirements for spare parts continue to exist
  • keep the two-year guarantee and revise consumer protection without increasing refunds / replacements
  • remove administrative burden for and regulatory barriers to shipping products for repair, reuse and refurbishment

Documento de Posición: La Estrategia Europea sobre los Plásticos y la Propuesta de Directiva relativa a la reducción del impacto ambiental de determinados productos de plástico

Fundación para la Economía Circular (FEC) Position Paper on EU Plastics Initiatives

Author: 
Fundación para la Economía Circular (FEC)
Publication Date: 
11/2018
Country: 
Spain

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Contact: 
Anabel Rodríguez
Jean-Pierre Hannequart

In this position paper, the Spanish Fondacion para la Economia Circular (Foundation for the Circular Economy), summarises the policy initiatives on plastics published by the European Commission in 2018, which includes both the Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy and the Proposal for a Directive on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment.

Outlining its position, FEC argues that:

  • the plastics strategy is based on ambiguous definitions
  • rigorous implementation of existing legal obligations in relation to plastics is a priority
  • concrete measures reducing single-use plastics require greater precision
  • a coherent policy framework for reducing microplastic is also necessary
  • uptake & depth of quality standards and technological verification should be improved
  • demand-side measures must be developed to stimulate th euptake of recycled plastics
  • a New Plastics Economy requires global action & cooperation

Austria Glas Agenda 2030 - Future in Glass

Austria Glas Agenda 2030
Author: 
Austria Glas Recycling GmbH
Publication Date: 
10/2017
Country: 
Austria

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Contact: 
Marina Luggauer

Austria Glas Recycling Gmbh is setting the course for the future: the Austria Glas Agenda 2030, which it has developed together with stakeholders, experts and scholars, defines the orientation of the glass recycling system according to the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The Austria Glass Agenda 2030 is pioneering work setting new impulses for the implementation of the SDGs. As one of the first companies in Austria, Austria Glas Recycling Gmbh is facing the challenge to implement the SDGs in all its business processes. The Austria Glas Agenda 2030 is the basis for future project developments of the glass recycling system.

In addition, the Austria Glas Agenda 2030 should serve as a role model for other sectors and inspire them to take action for the SDGs.

The climate stakes of construction

The climate stakes of construction

The climate stakes of construction
Author: 
Orée - Entreprises, territoire et environnement
Publication Date: 
01/2016
Country: 
France

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Contact: 
Stevan Vellet

The most used resources in the building sector, such as sand and metals, are non-renewable resources. Extracted, transported and processed in ever-increasing quantities, at ever-higher energy costs and with consequences which are far from negligible for the environment, their use does not fit with a sustainable logic. Thinking in terms of circular economy prompts us to take another look at these linear and consuming models, at both the level of materials for building, energy, land, and that of waste management.