7 Pillars of a Circular and Performance Economy

The RMC-Covenant Circular Economy 2022 will establish mechanisms for open coordination among actors in actors of the 7 pillars of a circular and performance economy in a systemic eco-innovative process:

  1. Sustainable supply chains, including sustainable mining
  2. Eco-design
  3. Industrial and territorial ecology
  4. Economy of the feature (how to use more efficiently)
  5. Responsible consumption
  6. Extension of the duration of use and remanufacturing
  7. Recycling

(Source: Agence de l’environnement et de la maîtrise de l’énergie (ADEME))

The focus of the RMC-Covenant Circular Economy 2022 will be on value chain management related to critical raw materials for Europe.

1)     Sustainable supply chains

The sustainable supply concerns the mode of operation/extraction of resources for their efficient operation, limiting the impact on the environment.

This is in particular important for the operation of energy and non-energy raw materials (such as mining and quarrying). This applies as well for operations in agriculture and forests.

2)     Eco-design

Eco-design consists of integrating the environmental aspects in the design phase of products, whether for goods, services or processes.

This integration is based on a comprehensive and multi-criteria approach to the environment and on the consideration of all stages of the life cycle of products.

3)     Industrial and territorial ecology

Industrial ecology is based on a systems approach to recreate an organisation characterised by an optimal management of resources and a high rate of materials recycling and energy recovery.

It responds to a collective logic of pooling and exchanges (waste, raw materials, energy, services) to move towards a new industrial and territorial ecosystem.

4)     Economy of the feature / Product-Service Systems (PSS)

Economy of the feature aims at replacing the sale of goods by the sale of services (How to use more efficiently).

Integrated solutions fulfil the expanded functions or the same functions as the original good, while consuming fewer resources and energy and creating positive environmental and social externalities.

Based on two levels:

  • Mobilisation of non-material resources
  • Dynamics of cooperation.

5)     Responsible consumption

Responsible consumption should lead the purchaser, whether economic entity (private or public) or citizen consumer, to make choices that take into account environmental impacts at all stages of the life cycle of the product (service or goods).

6)     Extending the duration of use

Longer duration of use by the consumer leads to the use of repair, sale or donation on second hand or purchasing second hand goods within the frame of re-use or recycling.

The repair is to put back into function a product, allowing extending its use, without the user separating from it or after he separated from it.

Re-use allows, by donation or second hand sale, to extend the use of a product, conferring it a new life.

Re-utilization leads to waste being put back into function as second hand goods or being dismantled and the parts in working order sorted and resold.

7)     Recycling

Recycling aims at re-using the raw materials taken from waste, in closed loops (similar products) or open loops (use in other types of property), as for example in sports fields made out of recycled tires.

They should address 3 fields of innovation as fixed by the EIP (see annex 1)

  • Technological innovation
  • Non technological innovation
  • International cooperation

This initiative links with other platforms related to smart specialization

  • Advanced manufacturing and smart specialization: Vanguard