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Survey: the circular economy, beneficial in every way

Survey: the circular economy, beneficial in every way

Although complex, implementation of a circular economy approach provides companies with economic opportunities and non-financial benefits. This is the conclusion of a study carried out by the Sonecom survey institute for hub.brussels, the Brussels Agency for Business Support. Given this context, the Region’s aid comes just in time to help companies shift into high gear and make a real transition.

3 out of 4 Brussels companies do not know the concept of the circular economy

The circular economy is applicable to all business sectors. It is an exchange and production system intended to:

  • Increase the efficient use of resources
  • Decrease the impact on the environment at every stage of the life cycle of products (goods and services)
  • while increasing personal well-being.

Whether they are knowledgeable about the circular economy concept or not, many companies in Brussels have implemented some of its principles – notably reduced resource consumption and the purchase of sustainable resources – and recognise its benefits for their company.

Top 5 benefits of the circular economy

Of the 400 companies located in Brussels surveyed by the Sonecom institute as part of our circular economy awareness study:

  • 74.8% had never heard about the concept.
  • 45.4% have however implemented at least one circular economy process, notably by reducing their water, energy or raw materials consumption or by purchasing sustainable resources (32%).

The top five benefits of the circular economy are:

  1. A reduction in resource consumption (44%), 
  2. A decrease in waste production (38%)
  3. Customer retention (25%)
  4. Reduced operating costs (24%) 
  5. The acquisition of new customers (23%).

In addition, the circular economy enables differentiation from competitors, the creation of partnerships and a better company image.

The public authorities and the media, key players

Until now, too many companies (70%) that are aware of the circular economy and are implementing it have encountered difficulties: the identification of relevant actions, time constraints, insufficient knowledge of CE principles, etc.

It’s obvious that the transition to a circular economy requires assistance and/or funding. It’s up to the Brussels Region to make its assistance offering, which is already very complete, as clear as possible and to show entrepreneurs via role models that the CE can have a positive impact on their company, its employees and the environment

Isabelle Grippa, CEO of hub.brussels.

Regional support for transition to the circular economy

Among the “self-taught” entrepreneurs who have implemented circular economy principles, one out of three would like to receive methodology or financial support. The Region has implemented a number of transition support systems to help these companies do more, better and to integrate circular economy principles in their economic model:

  • The circulareconomy.brussels website lists 40 methodology assistance offers from 20 public and private players and 20 funding options provided by 15 players.
  • The Region launched a cluster dedicated to the circular economy via hub.brussels in 2018. circlemade has 33 members. It brings together companies in Brussels that are pioneering the circular economy.
  • Business Pass Change for Green is part of mybusinesspass, the regional aid simplification project. It was created in October 2018 and is intended to improve the visibility and legibility of the circular economy support systems. About fifty companies have registered to benefit from this service. About fifty companies have registered to benefit from this service.
  • €11.5 million have been allocated to supporting the circular economy in the BCR, notably via the Be Circular call for projects, the Fonds Brucircle, the OpenSoon grant and research funding.

Since the Regional Programme for a Circular Economy (PREC) was adopted in March 2016, 319 companies have received circular economy support and 194 companies have received circular economy funding in the form of bonuses or subsidies.

Find out about all the financial aid and assistance you may be entitled to!

An event not to be missed : The Circular Economy Hotspot

Considered one of the major international events dedicated to the circular economy, the Circular Economy Hotspot brings together entrepreneurs from around the world operating in the circular economy and sustainable development sectors. After the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Scotland, it's Belgium’s turn to host the event in a number of cities around the Kingdom from 18 to 22 November 2019.

Circular Economy Hotspot 2019
Sustainable economy 18.11 - 22.11 2019

Circular Economy Hotspot 2019

A key date for the circular economy sector!

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