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10 Spanish Companies Show How to be more Competitive in a Context of Circular Economy and Efficient Use of Resources

Friday, March 8, 2019

Exposing the challenges of the circular economy and the efficient use of resources for the competitiveness of companies and to spread the knowledge on the instruments of the European Commission to facilitate the transition to a more circular economy, have been the objectives of the workshop, which took place February 14, in Madrid co-organized by Ihobe, public society of the Basque Government and the European Resource Efficiency Knowledge Center-EREK, with the support of the General Directorate for the Environment of the European Commission, the Ministry of Ecological Transition and the Club de Excelencia en Sostenibilidad.

At the opening of the workshop, which was promoted throughout Europe as part of the "Industry Days" of the European Commission, Hugo Morán, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Ecological Transition of the Government of Spain, gave the welcoming speech. Eva Revilla, GD Growth of the European Commission; Elena Moreno, Vice-Minister of the Environment of the Basque Government and Juan Alfaro, General Secretary of the Club de Excelencia en Sostenibilidad, also intervened in the opening of the workshop.

Business experiences

The workshop, which is estimated to have been attended by more than 200 companies from Spain and Europe, served to detect the opportunity presented by the efficiency of resources thanks to the successful experiences presented by a dozen large, small and medium-sized companies. Specifically, companies as diverse as Iberdrola; A & B Biotechnology Laboratories; Cegasa; the Urola cooperative; Cemex; Edp; Mahou San Miguel or Saint Gobain Placo, described the steps they have taken to make their business more circular.

Currently, one of the main challenges that companies have to face is the shortage of raw materials. According to the latest estimates, global per capita consumption of materials has doubled, while primary energy consumption has tripled. In this context, it is calculated that in the European Union a 1% increase in the efficiency of resources would be equivalent to 23,000 million euros for companies and would create 200,000 jobs.

In addition, different studies ensure that with the adoption of circular production approaches by European companies could achieve net savings of 600,000 million euros, representing 8% of the total current business volume. (Source: Circular Economy, Strategic axis of the EU to 2030, European Commission, 2017).