Environment: Orgalim position paper on the new Circular Economy Action Plan

Published: 15 October 2020

Policies & Issues: Environment

Representing the technology sectors providing innovative solutions which can unlock a greener, healthier and more prosperous future for the EU and its citizens, Orgalim welcomes the new Circular Economy Action Plan for a cleaner and more competitive Europe adopted by the European Commission on 11 March 2020.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has made it a core mission of her team’s mandate that “the EU must lead the transition to a healthy planet”. The new Circular Economy Action Plan marks a major step towards that goal of addressing the challenge of the green transformation. The new Circular Economy Action Plan, which is one of the main blocks of the European Green Deal, will play a crucial role in achieving the Green Deal’s overarching aim of making Europe climate neutral by 2050 and can help by driving an industrial renaissance for a clean planet for all (see Orgalim Green Deal position here).

Optimising the circular and sustainable use of resources throughout the economy is a key vector for minimising the environmental impacts of the EU economy. It makes environmental and economic sense and contributes to climate mitigation and renewing EU industrial global leadership. The co-benefits of achieving carbon neutrality in a wider resource efficiency agenda should contribute to meeting this goal in a faster and cost-efficient manner. Coupled with the possibilities of digitalisation and data analysis, a circular economy creates space for new business models and enables the optimisation of energy and resource use throughout the life cycle.

“The stronger the EU Single Market, the better for the circular economy” should be a guiding principle for future action. To secure the functioning of the Single Market – one of the EU’s success stories and major achievements that has improved prosperity and opportunities for European citizens and businesses – it is crucial to ensure a harmonised approach throughout the EU to the various circular economy measures.

It is important that such complex challenges are analysed and evaluated at an early stage through dialogue with all actors along the value chains, including industry. It is also important that concrete implementation remains open, market-driven and globally connectable. Product requirements must always be considered product-specific and carefully checked.

The circular economy requires a strong multidisciplinary approach as well as (new) inter-sectoral collaboration – between different industries and companies, or between different policy areas, or both – so that new value creation networks can develop.

Policy objectives across all policy areas need to be both clear and consistently implemented, including potentially inevitable trade-offs, to keep a level playing field on the internal market that enables the development of sustainable circular business models and opportunities from a life cycle perspective. Circular business models develop through a strong partnership between customers and producers and therefore public investments are a great source of support to drive the transition.

In this position paper, Orgalim is providing its detailed views and recommendations on the various initiatives announced in the new Circular Economy Action Plan along the entire life cycle of products, targeting for example their design, promoting circular economy processes, fostering sustainable consumption, and aiming to ensure that the resources used are kept in the EU economy for as long as possible.

Please download the document above to read our detailed position paper in full. You can access the executive summary of the position here.


Stéphanie Mittelham
Manager - Energy and Environment

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