EU Advocacy for a Circular Economy – A unique business initiative by and CSR Netherlands / De Groene Zaak


As of January 1, 2018, De Groene Zaak and MVO Nederland (CSR Netherlands) have joined forces to further accelerate the transition to a new economy as one organization, the European Sustainable Business Federation, and its Dutch member MVO Nederland are advocating strong policy measures to accelerate and mainstream the circular economy in Europe. Representing over 2500 sustainable SMEs throughout Europe, our circular economy work is furthermore supported by pioneer companies Tarkett (main funding partner), ROCKWOOL, Werner & Mertz, Alliander and Interface. If you are a sustainable company based in Europe, please consider joining our group to support and feed our advocacy for strong Circular Economy policies in the EU. Click here for quotes from some of our partners and here for our 1-pager. is the only cross sectoral business organization advocating ambitious implementation of circular economy policies to achieve systemic change at the EU level and in the member states. This includes creating circular hubs across Europe, training on integrating circularity in procurement, economic incentives for producers and consumers favouring circular products and services, minimum requirements for circular design for all end products and services, and increased access to finance for SMEs.

As a member of the coordination group of European Commission / EESC Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform we have growing visibility in Brussels. Many of our policy recommendations were already adopted. Now it comes to implementation.

Sustainable pioneers in Europe are welcome to join us!

Our objective is implementation of a strengthened EU Circular Economy Package and national policies with measures that improve the market position of pioneers by encouraging and facilitating circular business models. While we welcome the structure and many elements of the 2015 Package, we ask the EU and member states for ambitious implementation of circular economy policies, including especially:- 

-Increased support for circular economy in all Member States: including national “hubs”, aligned policies and increased access to finance for for SMEs;

-A massive training program “Buy Circular” for local, regional and national governments and companies on how to integrate circularity in procurement;

-Economic incentives for producers and consumers favoring circular products and services, including improved and expanded schemes for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), a tax shift from labour to resources, and opening of the VAT directive for differentiation on the basis of circularity.  Measures should include incentives for the uptake of secondary raw materials;

-Ban the worst products from the market: Expansion of the EU Ecodesign Directive with minimum requirements for circular design for all end products and services, starting with those with high resource intensity; a ban on microplastics and oxo-degradeable plastics.

Meanwhile we welcome the recent launch of the European Circular Economy Stakeholders Platform (ECESP), to which we were appointed in the Coordination group; the call from the European Commission on member state to stop investing in incinerators; the recent Plastics Strategy (see position below) and the call from the EU’s commissioner in charge of taxation to push forward with shifting taxes from labour to natural resources, carbon and energy. These are of great importance for boosting circular business and we hope for concrete follow-up.

Contact: For more information please see the following documents:

– Position: Ecopreneur welcomes European Commission proposal on single-use plastics (30 May 2018)
– Position: Plastics Strategy of the European Commission requires ambitious implementation (, 19 February 2018)
– Press release: First announcement Circularity Check,, 30 January 2018 (Click here for Dutch version)
Presentation: Cohesion policy & the Circular Economy, Stakeholder meeting of the REGI Working group of the European Greens/EFA, Brussels (20 November 2017)
Presentation: What circular economy means for European businesses, Circular Hungary Conference, 2 June 2017; also facilitated a CIRCO mini-workshop on Circular design with Jeroen Hinfelaar (Nuovalente). See here for a photo impression
– Live video registration: Presentation “Challenges of the Circular Journey” at the 2nd Circular Change Conference, Slovenia,12 May 2017
– Business Manifesto: Companies call upon the G20 to seize the circular economy momentum (May 2017) – For the actual version including additional co-signees click here. Click here for the Manifesto on the G20 insights website prepared by the T20 (click on “literature”)
Position: Response and position on the EU Open consultation on Reform of VAT rates (March 2017)
Position: comments on the draft standard for circular economy from the British Standards Institute, including input concerning Circular Business Models (January 2017)
– Citation: Business seeks circular economy boost from VAT reform (ENDS Europe, January 2017)
Live video registration: Participation from the audience (at 40”) in meeting on Ecodesign by the Alliance for Circular Economy Solutions (ACES), of which De Groene Zaak is a member (9 November 2016)
Presentation: Circular Tourism, at the International Conference on Green and Accessible Tourism, Split, Croatia (3-4- November 2016)
Meeting summary: Mainline summary by the EEAC Network and the Dutch Council for the Environment and Infrastructure (Raad voor de Leefomgeving en Infrastructuur, Rli) of their meeting “Circular economy: from wish to practice”, Circular economy working group, Brussels, including contributions of Marjolein Demmers and Arthur ten Wolde (13 September 2016)
– Opinion: Germany must change stance on opposition to recycling targets, By Alyssa Jade McDonald-Baertl and Arthur ten Wolde, in: Euractiv (7 October 2016)
Article: Governments as drivers for a circular economy, ICE Journal Waste and Resource Management (3 October 2016). Click here for a free draft version
– position on the draft Simona Bonafè report on amendment of the Waste Directive (June 2016)
Position: Extended producer responsibility crucial for circular economy (revised December 2017)
– Recent Presentation summarizing our position (March 2016)
Press Release: Circular Economy Pioneers ask for strengthening the Circular Economy package (January 2016)
Position Paper: Ambitious targets and consumer incentives needed for circular economy (Dec 2015)
Blog post: Sustainable business asks for EU directive to boost Circular Design (Euractive Guest blog Dec 2015)
Report: Boosting Circular Design for a Circular Economy (Dec 2015)
Article: Strengthen circular economy package with economic incentives, Values to Guide Economies, p. 60-61 (Global Economic Symposium GES, Kiel, Nov 2015)
– De Groene Zaak’s response on 2015 public consultation on the circular economy by the European Commission (June 2015)
Press release: Business frontrunners call for strengthened circular economy package (May 2015)
Manifesto “More prosperity, new jobs” (May 2015)
Governments Go Circular (2015)

We thank our main funding partner Tarkett and funding, ROCKWOOL, Werner & Mertz, Interface and Alliander for supporting De Groene Zaak and in our advocacy work for a circular economy in 2018:



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