Technological cooperation, partnership, and finance to enhance the impact and scale-up of initiatives on the matter of circular economy. These are the three pillars guiding the Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Industry Coalition (RECEIC), launched on Thursday, June 27th during the Environment and Climate G20 in Chennai, India.
Besides Bhupender Yadav, India’s Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister, the launch ceremony was attended by UE Commissioner of Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevicius, Italy Vice Minister of Environment and Energy Security Vannia Gava and ministers from France, Canada, Denmark, Mauritius and the Arab Emirates. 39 companies headquartered in 11 different countries have joined the coalition as founding members. The coalition is envisaged to be a self-sustaining entity and will continue to operate even after the Leaders' Summit that will be held in New Delhi on September 9th and 10th.
“Amidst the critical challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution, we find ourselves at a pivotal moment — a moment that holds the potential to ignite action and introduce sustainable solutions, that will safeguard the well-being of our planet and future generations. This also presents us with an opportunity to catalyze positive change and usher in a new era of sustainable development,” Minister Yadav said.
Who will join the industrial coalition for sustainable economy
The coalition will be joined by multinationals from a variety of sectors, such as steel, consumer goods, beverages, electronics, IT (Information Technology), automotive, and manufacturing industries. Among the 39 companies confirming their participation in the initiative are Aditya Birla Group, Coca-Cola, HP Inc, Nestlé India, Oppo, Siemens Ltd, Unilever, Maruti Suzuki India, and Tata Motors.
The mission of the RECEIC coalition is to play a pivotal role in promoting alliances, encouraging technological cooperation and knowledge transfer, fostering innovation, and facilitating the exchange of insights to enhance access to finance, reads a press release from the Indian Ministry.
“It gives me great pleasure to congratulate the 39 founding members of RECEIC for their commitment and willingness to step forward and join this coalition. They represent a diverse array of corporations, ranging from global multinational giants to startups and small and medium enterprises, covering a wide spectrum of industries, from manufacturing to waste collection, sorting, and recycling,” added Yadav.
The three pillars: technological cooperation, capacity building, and finance for circular economy
Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency needs to be mainstreamed across major economies through ambitious policy enablers, enhanced private sector actions, and responsible community initiatives. It is crucial to recognize that circularity can be enhanced not only by boosting collection and recycling rates but also by improving material efficiency, advocating for circular design practices, and fostering a culture of reuse, among other strategies”, reads the technical document that preceded the coalition’s launch.
The collaborative platform follows three guiding pillars, even if the “coalition may decide to add or remove suggested pillars and prioritize sectoral focus if required”. First of all the coalition should bring together and coordinate all those “high-impact initiatives” that cross-cut across sectors, geographies, and value chains. For governance, the members may leverage upon or engage existing or complementary initiatives like the Alliance to End Plastic Waste or the Global Cement and Concrete Association. The coalition’s mandates include the improved utilization of waste streams, raw materials, and by-products, both through collaborations across the different value chains and through promoting a steady supply chain and infrastructure for waste like steel scrap and biomass. A special focus must be placed on solutions based on industrial symbiosis.
Furthermore, the coalition will have to facilitate B2B collaborations to identify technology and innovation gaps. For every sector identified as a priority, the coalition will have to initiate comprehensive assessments across the end-to-end value chain and map economic costs of production and consumption, as well as the impacts on carbon emissions, biodiversity, and socio-economic benefits.
The third pillar of the coalition will be the mobilizing of de-risked and concessional finance for circularity projects. The members will share best practices, monitor the circularity projects pipeline, and engage investors to mobilize funds for research, development, and scale-up of technologies.
The industry should not look only to extended producer responsibility (EPR)
According to the technical document, although the industry sector has already adopted solutions like extended producer responsibility regimes (EPR), RECEIC sees an opportunity to further its agenda by involving communities in the promotion of a circular economy.
The industrial coalition that will form should aim to improve last-mile connectivity and build waste collection systems that promote individual participation of users and communities, training and educating them through dedicated campaigns.
Furthermore, industries will collaborate to equip communities with technology that accelerates the adoption of circularity, for example through applications that will allow users to resell, reuse, and repair electronic products.