Slovenia joins the Circular Economy 100 programmeDecember 16, 2016
Circular economy is already receiving exemplary attention across government in Slovenia with the ministries of environment, finance, agriculture, economic development, transport and education all represented at the Slovenian CE100 kick-off workshop, held earlier this month.
Circular economy will be an important aspect in defining the country's ‘Strategy 2050’, and it is a core pillar of the national Smart Specialisation strategy. A call for the development of public-private partnerships has also been announced, with the circular economy as one of its priorities.
In addition, the circular economy is a top priority for the government as the whole. The Prime Minister, Miro Cerar, is convinced that: "All of this leads to an efficient, sustainable, responsible and, above all, competitive economy. In our vision, we see Slovenia as a "Green reference country in digital Europe". Slovenia will be able to fulfil this vision by making the transition to a circular economy, which stimulates innovation and the development of new business models, thus generating significant savings in production costs, reducing dependence on imports and creating new jobs."
A special governmental working group is being led by the Ministry of Environment, connecting different ministries and focusing on creating solutions that will lead to a transformation towards a regenerative economy. At the same time, collaboration between corporations, emerging innovators and the regions is being strongly supported by the Ministry. In 2015, the Ministry introduced an action plan for a transition to a resource-efficient economy, including a circular economy, industrial symbiosis, energy efficiency and sustainable development.
Slovenia has two reasons to look for new solutions. Firstly, it is a small country, without strong geo-political power that could otherwise enable it to ensure cost-efficient and secure natural resources for all its needs. Secondly, it doesn’t have big multinational companies that export final products. Slovenian companies are mostly suppliers, and as such, they are more sensitive to new trends, including the implementation of the principles of the circular economy. We understand the need of a systemic approach and strong collaboration amongst different stakeholders to make circular change happen. Being a member of the CE100 Programme is recognised as a great opportunity to join the circular pioneers and contribute to the national and global shift from a linear to more circular economy.
Over the course of the membership period Slovenia will, amongst other things, seek to:
- Form a network of economic partners committed to cooperation in utilising materials that are already available in the market place in order to preserve natural resources.
- Implement and co-create tools for SMEs to enable the transition from linear to circular business models.
- Exchange best practices amongst economic operators with regard to circular economy experiences (both national and international).
- Build the library of good national circular case studies that can be used as a learning tool in business as well as in academia – encouraging knowledge transfer.
- Explore opportunities for more efficient use of resources, for innovation activities and possibilities for savings and optimisation of production in this regard.