In contrast to the take-use-dispose model of a linear economy, in a circular economy resources are kept in use for as long as possible, extracting their maximum value. The circular economy can be one of the next big opportunities for the wise use of resources, for innovation and for continued economic development. That is why “the concept of circular economy is becoming more and more important in the international development agenda and is considered instrumental in the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and resource efficiency improvement”, according to the organisers of the European Commission / International Resource Panel Workshop on Promoting Remanufacturing, Refurbishment, Repair, and Direct Reuse.

Product life extension practices such as remanufacturing, refurbishment, repair and direct reuse play an important role in the circular economy. These processes are distinctively different from and far less understood than recycling. Which is why the IRP is developing a report to estimate the resource efficiency contributions of remanufacturing, refurbishment, repair and direct reuse in three sectors: motor vehicle parts, heavy-duty equipment and commercial imaging products. The study will quantify current and potential material savings, energy/emissions avoidance, waste reduction, economic value generation, and job creation opportunities in both developing and developed countries. It will also identify potential gains through barrier removal, and suggest product design strategies and policy options to accelerate promotion of these product life-extension practices. The report is due for completion in May 2017.

The EC / IRP, under the aegis of the G7 Resource Efficiency Alliance, have organised a 2-day workshop in Brussels to present the early findings of the IRP report, discuss concrete measures for overcoming market and policy related barriers to remanufacturing, refurbishment, repair and direct reuse in the three sectors, and to identify potential opportunities for collaboration between scientists, businesses and governments to put the circular economy into practice.

David Parker from the Centre for Remanufacturing & Reuse (CRR) and Edward Sims from Oakdene Hollins will be at the workshop and facilitating some of the sessions, which include:

Session 1: Introduction, objectives of the workshop and barriers for advancing remanufacturing, refurbishment, repair, and direct reuse

Session 2: Addressing barriers on a firm level

Session 3: Effective policy frameworks for remanufacturing, refurbishment, repair, and direct reuse

Session 4: Increasing consumer acceptance of remanufacturing, refurbishment, repair, and direct reuse

Session 5: Strengthening collaboration

Session 6: Recommendations

The workshop will take place at the Warwick Hotel, 5 Rue Duquesnoy, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.  Online registration is available from the link below.

For more information about the Oakdene Hollins and the CRR’s contribution to knowledge on the circular economy, contact David Parker.

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