Circular Economy: European and local aid for the development of sustainable projects

Last 27th of September, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce organized, in collaboration with BECI (Chambre de Commerce et Union des Enterprises de Bruxelles) and Enterprise Europe Network, a conference under the topic “Circular economy: European and local assistance for the development of durable projects”. Among the participants, there were executives from companies related to circular economy, start-ups, representatives from European Institutions, members of the Chamber and representatives of Spanish autonomous delegations in Brussels.

The event, which took place at GreenBizz Brussels (an incubator for sustainable projects), started with a welcome word from Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons, President of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce and from Jean-Philippe Mergen, Export Director in BECI.

Amandine Sellier, Coordinator of the Circular Economy program in Brussels Environment, explained the PREC (Programme Régional en Economie Circulaire). The main goal of this program is to revitalize the economy in Brussels during the next ten years by using 111 different measures. Their aim is to transform the environmental goals into economic opportunities, to produce in a local level, to reduce the movements, to optimize the territory utilization and to create employment. This program is focused in five different action sectors: commerce, logistics, resources and waste, construction and nutrition.

Afterwards, María Rincón Lievana, Policy Officer at the Directorate-General for Environment at the European Commission, highlighted that economy and environment are two concepts that are related to each other and that is the reason why the circular economy is a priority for their institution. This is not only because of the benefits that the circular economy reports to the companies, but also because they are concerned about the damage that all waste causes to our ecosystem. The European Commission is carrying out several actions such as: offering help to consumers and institutions when making the decision of choosing sustainable products and services, legislative proposals, the promotion of water recycling and the inspection of fertilizer regulation.

Finally, the Director of Zabala Innovation Consulting, Marie Latour, detailed the existing European helps in the circular economy sphere. She highlighted the Horizon 2020 and the current programs: Life, EFSI, Innovfin, ESIF, COSME, among others.

Afterwards, three companies presented their successful cases. The first one was Pierre Romain, founder and CEO in Greensolution.pro. He showed how to renovate and clean the urban furniture and real state patrimony through biotechnological products. Subsequently, Antoine Dubois from Brussels Beer Project explained how their new beer is elaborated by reusing the leftovers of non-sold bread at the supermarkets. In the last case, Karapet Chatchatrian from Tridea explained how their company reuses waste in order to create new products through 3D printing.

As a closing, Jean-Marc Bryskere director of GreenBizz, presented briefly the services that the incubator offers in terms of developing sustainable projects in Brussels Region.

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