by r2pi project

In September 2018, the R2π Consortium published the Stakeholder Views Report on the Barriers and Enablers to a Circular Economy. By analysing stakeholder views on what affects the transition to a circular economy, the report provides an insight into the key obstacles and drivers of adopting circular economy business models.


By promoting the implementation of sustainable and innovative business models, the circular economy represents a unique opportunity for companies. The transition can in fact improve economic growth, generate jobs and reduce costs for businesses. This is achieved thanks to the transition to an environmentally sustainable economic system, in which waste generation is minimized and the lives of resources and goods are extended as much as possible.


The objective of R2π is to support this innovative transformation. As part of its effort to facilitate the European journey towards circularity, R2π has produced the Stakeholder Views Report on the Barriers and Enablers to a Circular Economy (please click here to download the document), led by CSR Europe and the University of Malta.


By combining the outcomes of a survey conducted by the University of Malta among European companies and the results of stakeholder exchanges carried out under the project and compiled together by CSR Europe, the report outlines the obstacles and drivers of the change, providing key information to guide the transition of the business sector towards circularity.


According to the Report, some examples of the key barriers the hamper the transition of European companies are the following:


  • The initial costs of the transformation, together with the lack of supportive taxation systems;
  • The lack of a supporting secondary raw material market;
  • The lack of harmonisation in the implementation of the EU policy framework.


Yet, other than obstacles, there are many enablers supporting the circular transformation of the private sector, such as, for instance:


  • The commitment of the Board and Senior Management accompanied by long-term perspectives;
  • The development of material passports and quality standards for reused/recycled products;
  • The availability of EU funding to foster innovation.


In addition, the Report brings to light the complexity of the European scenario surrounding the circular ambition. Companies, value chains, the EU institutions and individual Member States all play a role in determining the successful achievement of a circular economy. In this respect, to improve growth and foster EU competitiveness, it is fundamental that all stakeholders collaborate and coordinate to seize current opportunities and overcome the obstacles that hamper the transition.


The Report also underlines that often for businesses, circular economy is not an end per se, but rather a means to an end, as it allows to gain business value through innovative and sustainable solutions. For circularity to become the preferred business model, we must therefore address the barriers and utilise the enablers.


So, in conclusion, work is required to ensure circular business models become the best option for companies, and the R2π Consortium has committed to assist the EU in this journey. In the next months, the Consortium will therefore proceed with the further steps of the project, developing business guidelines and policy recommendations with the objective of supporting the widespread and successful implementation of circular economy business models across Europe.