Are manufacturers ready for the circular economy?

Posted on 10 Jan 2017 by The Manufacturer

Obsolete industrial parts supplier, EU Automation has published an industry guide for manufacturers interested in making their production method more sustainable by contributing to the circular economy.

The circular economy focuses on keeping resources at their highest utility and value at all times. As well as minimising waste and energy losses, it also improves the environmental impact of manufacturing and reduces the risk of obsolescence.

A report published by ABN AMRO and Circle Economy argues that the automotive industry is in a unique position to use circular economy principles to implement new strategies and collaboration across the entire value chain. EU Automation believes there is similar potential for other industries. In its latest one-page guide, the global firm has compiled a series of relevant resources for companies taking their first steps towards a circular economy model.

The concept of the circular economy was first raised by two British environmental economists, David Pearce and Kerry Turner. They suggested that a traditional open-ended economy had no built-in tendency to recycle and that, if the economy was to continue as it was, the environment would become a waste reservoir.

Pearce and Turner formulated the circular economy as an alternative to the traditional linear economy model of make-use-dispose.

EU Automation’s Jonathan Wilkins explained: “There is a lot of support for businesses wanting to follow a circular economy business model, if they know where to look. The UK trade body for automation, control, instrumentation and laboratory technology, GAMBICA offers support for manufacturers who want to comply, for example.

“Furthermore, the European Commission recently established the Ecodesign Directive which ensures manufacturers of energy-using products reduce energy consumption and the environmental impact of products at the design stage.”

EU Automation’s industry guide offers companies advice on where they can turn to find support and the directives they should follow in order to be compliant with the circular economy. It can be downloaded for free from the company’s website, along with its previous industry guides –