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Circular economy timetable now available

On 16 April 2015, the European public broadcaster viEUws debated the issue of the Circular Economy with European Commission DG Environment Director General Karl Falkenberg. During the debate, entitled ‘How can Europe capitalise on the circular economy’, Mr Falkenberg confirmed that work on the coming circular economy package is underway. 

Circular economy: developing the knowledge base

On 18 January 2016, the European Environment Agency (EEA) published a report entitled “Circular economy in Europe - Developing the knowledge base”.   According to the authors, fundamental changes throughout the value chain (from product design and production processes to new business models and consumption patterns) are required in order to create a circular economy. In this respect, recycling will turn waste into a resource and extending product lifetimes will help preserve natural resources.

Citizens at the Heart of the Sustainably-built Environment

On 19 November 2015, The Concrete Initiative held its first annual event, Concrete Dialogue 2015, entitled: Citizens at the heart of the sustainably-built environment.  This event brought together Members of the European Parliament, European Commission and civil society for a concrete dialogue roundtable to debate issues of relevance to sustainable construction. Furthermore, a new study on the multiplier effect of investment in concrete, as well as a JRC study on sustainability in construction were presented, providing new insights to further stimulate the discussion.

Parliament debates circular economy INI

On 14 April 2015, the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health & Food Safety (ENVI) debated the recently published Draft Own Initiative Report (INI) on the Circular Economy (Resource efficiency: moving towards a circular economy), produced by rapporteur Sirpa Pietikäinen (Finland, Group of the European People’s Party – Christian Democrats). 

Roadmap to a circular economy

The European Commission has recently published an indicative roadmap of its upcoming circular economy strategy, which follows on from the withdrawal of the 2014 waste review proposal earlier this year. As indicated in the roadmap, the Commission plans to present a new, more ambitious legislative proposal on waste by the end of 2015, which explores synergies with other policies (such as product policies and well-functioning markets for raw materials). In addition, the new proposal is likely to be much more country specific and will aim at decreasing residual waste and increasing the use of secondary raw materials.

The Concrete Initiative @ the European Circular Economy Conference

On 5 March 2015, The Concrete Initiative had the opportunity of participating in a panel debate on the hot topic of the Circular Economy.  As readers are aware, a Circular Economy package was launched in the summer of 2014.  However, with a new Commission comes a new perspective, resulting in the scrapping of the existing package infavour of a new, much broader initiative due by the end of this year.  

The role of cement and concrete in the circular economy

Cement and concrete play a central role in the circular economy. But in order to fully unleash the potential of these two sectors, which are essential to society, we need to define, develop and implement the right policy framework. Perhaps I should start by highlighting why we are essential, as this point often seems to be overlooked when discussing policies, regulation and legislation. Cement and concrete ensure that we have homes and offices, schools and hospitals, as well as transport infrastructure. Not only that, we are a European industry – our entire life cycle is based in Europe and we hope to stay that way!