Sunday, February 9, 2020

EU boosts the circular economy among SMEs

Source: EC, 2016

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are well aware of the benefits and advantages of improving resource efficiency, such as saving material costs, creating competitive advantages, and accessing new markets.  However, small and medium businesses are facing various barriers and challenges in their transition to a circular economy, major of which are a lack of financial resources and lack of technical skills.
After adopting an ambitious Circular Economy Package in 2016,  the European Commission is introducing  measures to cut resource use, reduce waste and boost sustainable production and consumption, which will impact SMEs through  reinforcement of waste management (e.g.: reuse, recycling), measures on the usage of critical raw materials (e.g.: lithium) and support to implement the circular economy strategies and practices.
Despite a significant progress in the implementation of the Package, EC also observed that SMEs are experiencing more difficulties in adopting such strategies and practices, due to their more limited organisational, technological and financial capacity, as well as limited access to financing of circular solutions.
To lower the above barriers, the Commission launched the promotion and training program to bring knowledge, networks and tools via  support of infrastructure, organisations and associations to SMEs, so that these enterprises can start to benefit from the advantages of the circular economy including cost reductions, new/increased revenue streams and improved environmental performance.