RMC – Covenant Circular Economy 2022

The aim of this specific commitment is to develop territorial and collaborative circular economy and to facilitate an open-coordination to implement the action plan for the EIP on Raw Materials.

The EIP on Raw Material promotes both technological and non-technological innovation along with the entire value chain of raw materials.

1)     Objective

The objective of the non-technology pillar is to facilitate the raw materials supply to the EU economy and society, reducing the import dependency and pushing Europe to the forefront in the raw materials sectors, while increasing resource efficiency and reducing negative environmental impacts.

This will therefore work by:

  1. Improving framework conditions for primary and secondary raw materials’
  2. Increasing the knowledge and information infrastructure base
  3. Improving education and skills and
  4. Enhanced cooperation along value chains to optimise raw materials flows along value chains.

2)     Circular Economy at Territorial Level

The RMC-Covenant Circular Economy 2022 is a value chain based public-private coordination scheme, inspired by the Covenant of Mayors on climatic change.

The focus is on circular and collaborative economy at a territorial level (a Region, a City as well as between Regions and Cities), where the resources are managed efficiently, the material and energy flows are minimized and all the wastes are transformed into resource.

The Circular Economy concept covers various realities important in a Regional or City planning towards a smart-sustainable-inclusive growth and better life. As a basis of work for the Covenant, we can retain the following characteristics:

  • Economy in opposition to the linear economy (produce-consume-discard)
  • Economy inspired by the functioning of the natural ecosystem, in which nothing is lost; everything is transformed
  • Economy integrating life-cycle thinking at every stage of the resource-product-waste cycle and aiming to limit resource depletion and minimise pollution
  • Economy based on loop management of stocks and contributing to local employment
  • Economy respecting the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle hierarchy and also a territorial hierarchy (from the local to the international level).

3)     RMC-Covenant Circular Economy 2022 – A New Co-operation Scheme

A circular economy can be only achieved if all relevant stakeholders, from public and private sector are involved and the whole value chain.

This starts with design and production, and then goes to use and recycling of products. This is the focus of Covenant and this is why RMC-Covenant Circular Economy 2022 is crucial.

4)     Description of Activities

The Commitment, RMC-Covenant Circular Economy 2022 is a very progressive process: it aims to involve, for the year 2016, into a specific planning process a very large number of partners across the European Union and entire raw materials value chains.

The Covenant itself will be signed by the end of 2015 (EU Luxemburg Presidency) and, in view of Rio+30 in 2022, should be also be registered under the provisions of the §283 of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

5)     Content of the Covenant

Covenant Signatories will fix objectives and a system of coordination at the Regional/City level between public and private interested parties as well as between signatories Region/Cities. Those objectives will be in line with the EIP Raw Materials priorities, the UN Millennium Objectives, as well as with international initiatives on transparency and accountability.

Each Region/City signatory of this Covenant will:

  • Adopt in one year time after the signature in 2015 an integrated circular economy action plan
  • Establish a link with the structural funds operational plan a region has to adopt for the EU
  • Explore opportunities of co-operation with non EU member states with which the commission has signed partnerships agreements related to raw material

The following topics will be addressed in relation with this organisation process:

  • Eco-conception/Collaborative Society
  • Eco-design/Eco-production
  • Product/Service Systems
  • Eco-consumption/Green public procurement
  • Reuse economy
  • Industrial (and Territorial) Ecology
  • Sustainable mining
  • Secondary Raw materials complete collection and high quality recycling
  • Extended Producer Responsibility and similar mechanisms