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The Swedish Delegation for Circular Economy

  • Published on January 24, 2023

The Swedish Delegation for Circular Economy is an independent advisory to the Government. The Delegation’s objective is to promote businesses’ transition to a circular economy and identify obstacles as well as opportunities for businesses. Communication is a vital part of the Delegation’s tasks.

The Government has tasked the Delegation to promote businesses’ transition to a circular economy and identify obstacles as well as opportunities for businesses as of the 1 September 2023. Starting in 2019 and up until that date the Delegation worked with the transition of Sweden in a broader sense. Each year the Delegation hosts a 1-2 day conference for stakeholders to share knowledge and promote networking opportunities.

 Around 12 Expert groups consisting of acedemia, businesses and other stake holders work pro bono on behalf of the Delegation, performing in depth analyses of matters of special relevance to the transition. The Delegation makes an evaluation of the analyses and the proposals generated by the Expert groups and select a number of ideas, which are presented to the Government as a report once a year.

 The Delegation has also initiated a platform for research institutions, which has been very successful. Several institutions have joined in a cooperation called Trace for Value, receiving funding from Sweden’s innovation Agency. Furthermore, it has initiated a project which provides small and middle-sized enterprises with education and advice on how to transition to circularity and reap the benefits of it, environmentally as well as economically.

 Over the past years, the Delegation has developed networks for regions as well as municipalities. The networks provide local actors with knowledge and promote sharing of good examples and co-operation. It is of utmost importance that all stake holders actively take part in the transition, making adjustments to each region’s and municipality’s conditions.

 One of the key stances of the Delegation is that circularity begins at the designer’s desk. At the end of the life cycle of a product it is too late to find out how it can be reused and recycled. That notion has to be taken care of at the very start of a design process, be it a product as small as a book or as big as infrastructure installations. Another key stance is that the cost of using recycled material must be lower than using virgin material. As long as it is cheaper to buy virgin material there is no incentive for producers to choose recycled material.

 The Delegation also hosts pod casts, a news letter and an active website.

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