ACR+ launches a Working Group on Circular Economy
ACR+ wants to support local and regional authorities in being ambitious on circular economy and will therefore support and help them to adopt aspiring circular economy strategies. That is why ACR+ decided to develop a specific Working Group on Circular Economy Planning by cities and regions.
The traditional model of a linear economy (resource extraction - product making - waste disposal) is no longer viable in a world of finite material resources and must be replaced with a circular economy model aiming at closing the loop of resources and reducing the environmental impact of the product life cycle at all stages of the process (production, distribution, consumption). This transition needs to be supported not only by European Institutions (as illustrated with the highly expected communication from the European Commission "Towards a circular economy: a zero waste programme for Europe") but also by public authorities at local and regional levels.
Building on 20 years of experience, ACR+ (the Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and Sustainable Resource Management) has always been a ground-breaking network focusing on the sustainable management of material resources. ACR+ members have been at the forefront of the promotion and implementation of the highest levels of the waste hierarchy and are innovative leaders when it comes to developing resource efficiency policies.
The Working Group on Circular Economy Planning will aim to elaborate general and sectorial guidelines, including performance indicators, as a framework for improved planning and practical implementation. It will promote and facilitate the exchange of best practices and their replicability, as well as develop new initiatives and new business models.
This working group will be developed on the basis of several principles:
- the multi-R hierarchy, as a priority to be applied in the whole the product life cycle in order to prevent waste production and resource depletion: rethink, redesign, remanufacture, repair, redistribute, reduce, reuse, recycle, recover energy;
- a territorial hierarchy in order to boost local economies: a circular economy can only grow properly if it starts from short circle actions and goes from the sub-local to the local and then the regional level before extending to the national and international levels;
- innovative business models that are intended to meet people's consumption needs without having a damaging impact on the environment, for instance service-oriented activities (dematerialization, sharing activities, etc.);
- multi-stakeholders partnership: the involvement of all actors throughout the product life cycle (public authorities, private sector, academics and NGOs);. the essential role of local and regional authorities: LRAs are really one of the corner stones of circular economy through the various instruments they have (legal, economic, technical and communication) to foster public-private or private-private activities with regards to resources, products and services.
A first meeting of this working group is planned for 4 November 2014 with the aim to discuss general guidelines for the planning of circular economy by cities and regions. A first working document and terms of reference will be published by mid-September.
All people interested in this initiative are invited to show their interest in joining ACR+ and the working group by contacting the ACR+ Secretariat.
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