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Circular economy – Eco-design

Circular economy creates business opportunities and reduces environmental impact

Shrinking raw material stocks, rising prices ... the figures prove it all, the need for a circular economy is growing. The circular economy aims to keep materials constantly in use and wants to get rid of the existing "mine-make-throw away" model. This can not only be achieved by better recycling habits, but also mainly by using products longer or more intensively, or by repairing and reusing products and product components. 


The circular economy makes it possible to make more optimal use of valuable raw materials. Circular economy starts from that added value which companies can cash in on by extending the life cycle of products, by reuse, repairs ... and thus apply the resources they use more adequately. This way, the increased functionality - products are used longer - also requires a smaller environmental impact. In production companies in the Belgian technology industry alone, circular economy measures such as waste prevention, reuse and eco-design can generate a 6.4 percent growth. Sirris, together with Agoria, are taking the lead in this respect.

White Paper joins the views on and experience with circular economy

The circular economy is a frequent topic of discussion, and is explored at many events, workshops, master classes, etc. Yet the feedback Sirris and Agoria hear over and over again is that it is still too theoretical for many and hardly any actions are taken to put things into practice. There are a number of reasons for this, including the fact that many companies are unable to align the short- and long-term objectives. 


In order to pave the way to the circular economy for our companies and to provide even more support in their efforts, Sirris and Agoria together prepared a new, comprehensive white paper. This document will make things clearer and includes a description of the basic principles and benefits of a circular economy, but will also tell you which support and guidance is available to help you to take further concrete steps. The key is to find concrete added value for the companies, based on the strategies of the circular economy that are most closely in line with their current corporate vision.  This is how we find the answers to the questions companies are struggling with.

Learning network Circular Economy Connect starts second cycle 

The ‘factory of the future’ is circular. Whether it is to reduce material costs, anticipate new legislation, respond to changing customer requirements or reduce their ecological footprint, companies will evolve towards more circular business models. On the one hand, the frontrunners are already implementing circular economy, but all too often they are still faced with certain obstacles. In any case, if they wait too long, companies risk being squeezed out of the market. Small-scale experiments can help them find out  does and does not work at little risk.


Despite the recent 'hype' around circular economy, there are no readymade answers for implementing the principles of circular economy on the shop floor. Sirris and Agoria believe that companies can learn especially from each other's experiences, good and bad. That is why, in the autumn of 2016, we launched Circular Economy Connect, a learning network about circular economy for and from technology companies. The second cycle is due to start in the autumn of 2017. Topics will include: ‘recycling & remanufacturing’, ‘circular product design’, ‘financing and accounting for circular business models, based on selling services rather than products’ and ‘(big) data management and digital technologies to support circular solutions’.  


Participating companies have been able to better manage their circular economy projects. Members of the learning network are: Daikin, Barco, ETAP, Atlas Copco, BSH Home Appliances, Agfa Graphics, Baltimore Aircoil, TVH, Econocom, Philips, Deceuninck, Reynaers, Sony, Samsung.

Eco-design and eco-compliance

Anyone marketing energy-related products must meet the requirements for eco-design. The relevant European directives contain specific regulations with product requirements for a large number of products.


Companies can count on the extensive experience of Sirris and Agoria for a specific overview of innovation needs, in-depth knowledge of regulatory frameworks at the Flemish, national and European level and finally on the very extensive network that this project offers to find the right specialists who contribute to launch the innovation. The advantages which proactively respond to (environmental) regulations and how these can support innovation, are discussed and underlined based on the ‘Eco-compliance as a competitive weapon’ project. 


White Paper explains legislation about energy efficiency

The European Union has set itself a number of very concrete targets for improving energy efficiency in Europe and reducing emissions of harmful greenhouse gases in the years to come. There are important legislative frameworks in place for this, and being there from early on, companies can quickly derive (competitive) advantages from it. To meet the needs of the companies wanting to develop the energy-efficient products of the future, Sirris and Agoria released the White Paper 'Energy Efficiency Legislation: What's Important for My Products?’. It also provides a methodology for identifying the relevant regulations for products.   


This white paper contains an overview, made by experts from Sirris and Agoria, of the most important European legislation which can have an impact on the energy efficiency of your products when it comes to achieving the objectives. The following directives and regulations will be discussed: the Eco-design Directive 2009/125/EC, the Energy Labelling Regulation (EU)2017/1369, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2010/31/EU and the Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EU. For each of the above the experts explained the most important elements of the legislation, such as the scope, the procedure and current developments.