The circular economy is incipient in APEC

The circular economy (EC) is still an incipient concept among the economies of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, according to a report released by the organization itself.

In short, CE is a concept that aims to improve resource efficiency by minimizing the consumption of resources and the generation of waste.

Likewise, it is an alternative to the traditional linear economy model in which the resources in use are kept as long as possible, extracting the maximum value from them while they are in use, and then recovering and reusing the products and materials.

The implementation of CE principles in processes, products and services allows organizations to optimize the management of their resources and deploy new business models, in order to be more resilient to environmental, social and economic challenges, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the report, the transition to a circular economy is a great opportunity for APEC members to support the goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Until now, CE standardization is still an incipient concept within APEC economies, as there is no single internationally accepted definition of CE.

Already ISO TC 323 is currently developing international standards and a common definition for CE.

According to the results of the pre-conference survey, the majority of APEC economies responded that they are participating in the development of international standards.

Circular economy

There are some standards directly related to CE that are developed within the APEC region.

EC is a comprehensive model supported by «building blocks» that are processes such as repair, recycling, reuse, remanufacturing, biodegradability, composting, environmental performance of organizations and other sub-models that include servitization, sharing economy, renewable energy, etc.

Several APEC economies are focusing on developing standards for these CE building blocks, which were also identified as important processes by both conference participants and respondents.

More than 10 APEC economies have already developed CE-related policies.


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