Environment

Business operations

Businesses are the engine behind the circular economy transition. They foster circularity across the life-cycle of material use, beginning with how and what materials are sourced (quality, environmental and health standards). The design stage is particularly crucial to enabling re-use / re-manufacturing / recycling and raising the durability of goods for keeping within the economy longer. Remanufacturing and recycling are key business operations critical to scaling up the circular economy. 
This set of indicators depicts eco-innovation activities toward changing and adapting business models according to the principles of a circular economy (bottom-up indicators).

 

Difficulties Implementing circular economy activities experienced by companies, Flash Eurobarometer 441, 2016

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In implementing the circular economy related activities, on average the European SMEs experienced more difficulties with complex administrative procedures (34%) and cost of meeting the regulations and standards (32%). Over quarter (27%) faced difficulties in accessing finance. Lack of human resources and lack of expertise to implement these activities were felt by 21-22% of companies.  However, the picture varies across Member States: much higher share of SMEs in France, Poland, Romania have reported above mentioned difficulties. Very few (5-14%) Danish SMEs indicated on these difficulties.  German, Estonian, Maltese, UK SMEs also had lower report levels on the listed difficulties in implementing circular economy activities.

Source:
- Flash Eurobarometer 441

 

Financing sources for circular economy activiteis, Flash Eurobarometer 441, 2016

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Implementation of circular economy activities require investment. Eurobarometer survey asked SMEs on the sources of financing of these activities. On average across EU28, SMEs report that in majority cases (70%) they self-finance their circular economy activities. 13% of SME borrowed money from banks and 5% used other sources. Green loans are used in very rare cases and only in selected countries (1-2% of companies in Belgium, Germany Croatia, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovenia and Finland). Only one percent of the European SMEs (across EU28) used EU funds, Governmental grants and alternative sources like crowdfunding or capital markets to fund their circular economy activities.

Source:
- Flash Eurobarometer 441

 

Availability of information that can help to access finance for circular economy related activities, as reported by SMEs, Flash Eurobarometer 441, 2016

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Lack of information on financing possibilities could prevent SMEs from taking steps towards green innovations. Flash Eurobarometer survey asked SMEs to assess the information available in their country to help companies access finance for activities related to the circular economy. Close to half of the surveyed SMEs have nor tried searching for such information. On average only 7% of companies consider that there is sufficient and readily available information. 12 % say that there is some information available. 30% consider that there is little or no information available.  

Source:
- Flash Eurobarometer 441

 

SHARE Of enterprises that facilitated recycling of products after use (CIS-2014)

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The 2014 Community Innovation survey asked companies if their innovations helped or motivated product users to recycle this product. On average across countries covered by the survey, 15% of innovative companies in manufacturing sector and 12% of innovative companies in service sector introduced such innovations. However, there are substantial differences across country responses: in Turkey, Portugal, Finland, Greece and Croatia between 20 to 30 % of companies from manufacturing sector reported such innovations, while this statistics is between 4 to 10% for Denmark, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, and Hungary.

Source:
- Community Innovation Survey 2014

 

Enterprises that extended product life through more durable products, by innovatin (CIS-2014)

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The 2014 Community Innovation survey asked companies if their innovations focused on extending durability of products. On average across countries covered by the survey, 16% of innovative companies in manufacturing sector and 11,9% of innovative companies in service sector introduced such innovations. Turkish companies reported much higher numbers of these: 37,2% in manufacturing sector and 29,2% in service sector. There are substantial differences across country responses ranging between 27,3% to 5,8 % for manufacturing sector, and between 19,9% and 3,9% in service sector. 

Source:
- Community Innovation Survey 2014 

 

Enterprises That recycled waste, water or materials for own use or sale withinthe enterprises by innovating (CIS-2014)

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The 2014 Community Innovation survey asked companies if they introduced innovations that allowed them to recycle waste, water, or materials at their premises. On average, across countries covered by the survey, 20% of innovative companies in manufacturing sector and 13,4% of innovative companies in service sector introduced such innovations. However, there are differences across country responses.  Portugal stands out as almost half of the innovative companies in manufacturing sector and 36.8% in service sector report such innovations.  In other counties, this statistics ranges between 28,3% and 8,4 % manufacturing sector and between 19,5% and 6,1% in service sector. 

Source:
- Community Innovation Survey 2014