Benefits of circular economy and their policy measures

In 2015, the European Commission adopted an ambitious Circular Economy Action Plan, which includes measures that will help stimulate Europen's transition towards a circular economy, boost global competitiveness, foster sustainable economic growth and generate new jobs.

The EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy established a concrete and ambitious programme of actions, with measures covering the whole cycle: from production and consumption to waste management and the market for secondary raw materials and a revised legislative proposal on waste.

According to the findings of the report, implementing the Circular Economy Action Plan has accelerated the transition towards a circular economy in Europe, which in turn has helped putting the EU back on a path of job creation. Circularity has also opened up new business opportunities, given rise to new business models and developed new markets.

Circular Economy

The transition towards a circular economy and a climate-neutral economy should be pursued together, based on a strong industrial ambition and reaping the EU businesses first-mover advantage in these areas. New circular business models, recycling, energy and material efficiency and new consumption patterns have a significant potential to cut global greenhouse gas emissions. Promoting this joint approach in companies – including SMEs – and communities can at the same time reduce production costs and support new forms of business interaction such as industrial symbiosis.

In addition, circularity and sustainability in the sourcing, use and treatment of raw materials will be the key to ensure the necessary security of supplies, a level playing field with industrial competitors and the EU’s global leadership in the production of key enabling and low-carbon technologies. Artificial intelligence and digitalisation have the potential to optimise energy and resource use and make information available in support of circular business models and responsible consumption choices.

Above all, the circular economy transition reinforces social and territorial cohesion and favours a balanced distribution of jobs meeting health and safety standards, enabling generation of fair and sustainable growth.

EU funding to support the transition to Circular economy

To stimulate further investments, the Circular Economy Finance Support Platform has produced recommendations to improve the bankability of circular economy projects, coordinate funding activities and share good practices. The platform will work with the European Investment Bank on providing financial assistance and exploiting synergies with the action plan to finance sustainable growth.

Moreover, the Commission supports many innovations through research programs, in addition to Horizon 2020 and, starting from 2021, Horizon Europe.

An initiative funded by The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is of particular relevance in this context. The EIT raw materials is the largest consortium in the raw materials sector worldwide. Its mission is to enable sustainable competitiveness of the European minerals, metals and materials sector along the value chain by driving innovation, education and entrepreneurship.

AMiCE Project is well placed to contribute to the achievement of the EU policies objectives in terms of competitiveness of the EU Industry. Within the support scheme elaborated by the AMiCE partners, beneficiary SMEs will be assisted in the management of innovation processes allowing them to fully exploit additive manufacturing technologies and in the preparation of EU project proposals under the Horizon Europe Programme and the other EU funding tools. 1

To read a customized article for SMEs please open: Benefits of circular economy for SMEs

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Raffaella Bruzzone
Chamber of Commerce of Genova
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1 www.eitrawmaterials.eu, www-eu.europa.eu
Published on the 02.03.2020