Brussels, 15 November 2019: It is impossible to obtain all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by global accelerated economic growth or by a stronger focus on achieving them. Tougher interventions are needed that address the problems head-on. Only the transition to a circular economy can create such a systems change. A new Ecopreneur.eu paper explains how the SDGs and circular economy are connected and what measures are needed.
A joint statement from the Commission’s Multi- Stakeholder Platform on SDGs in 2018 demonstrated broad support for an ambitious EU approach. To actually achieve the SDGs, the introduction of strong circular economy policies is urgently needed – as backed up by various reports.
“To begin with, for companies, there is a need to make the SDGs more directly actionable and measurable in terms of impact. This is why our German member UnternehmensGrün launched a project on the implementation of SDGs by SMEs, while MVO Nederland develops an SDG Impact tracker tool”, says Manfred Mühlberger, chairman of Ecopreneur.eu, the European Sustainable Business Federation. “In addition to this, there is a strong link between the SDGs and the circular economy. Circular practices can be applied as a ‘toolbox’ to directly achieve several targets, such as SDG 12 (Sustainable production and consumption) and SDG 13 (Climate Action), and, indirectly, many others”, adds executive director Arthur ten Wolde.
Key measures to foster the circular economy are financial incentives such as extended producer responsibility, low VAT, and a tax shift from labour to resources, sending clear price signals to the market. Circular procurement is needed to increase the demand for circular products and services. This can in turn give the boost to create a circular framework, generate € 1.8 trillion, create millions of jobs – and enable achieving all SDGs. Few concrete measures have been implemented so far. It’s time to get all hands on deck!
The brochure “Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals requires strong Circular Economy policies” can be downloaded here.