Missing pieces to a circular economy: closing the loop by reimagining consumption

Past event In person & livestream

Climate, Energy & Sustainability
Missing pieces to a circular economy: closing the loop by reimagining consumption


In the context of the climate emergency, there is no question that we need to rethink the traditional linear economic model of production and consumption – as conveyed in the Circular Economy Action Plan, one of the main building blocks of the European Green Deal. Circularity is, in fact, a cross-cutting aspect of climate, energy and mobility policies, for instance, when developing energy-efficient buildings or implementing shared transport systems.

The recent proposals on ecodesign and ecolabels are steps in the right direction, as regulatory changes and clear ‘game rules’ for markets are a priority in any transformation towards a circular economy. With the complementary Green Claims Directive, which aims to crack down on greenwashing, there is hope for a more coherent policy framework – depending on how it enters into force. In 2020, the European Commission assessed that around 40% of the environmental claims made about products in the EU were unsubstantiated.

People need to be empowered to make conscious buying decisions. At the same time, powerful stakeholders associated with globalised production, trade, media and advertising should be incentivised to move away from a linear model of consumption. To ensure the move to a completely circular economy in Europe, where production and utilisation patterns change and where the nature of consumption is reimagined, greater efforts should be made to include the ecological reality in our markets and reflected in costs, habits and accountability.

This debate will look into how policy can ease the barriers to repair, as well as provide information and incentives to all market actors to make circular economy-consistent decisions.

This event will take place in Brussels and will also be available to a wider audience via livestream. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook, and join the #SSHCENTRE #FoEDebate!

This Policy Insight is part of the SSH CENTRE (Social Sciences and Humanities for Climate, Energy and Transport Research Excellence) project.

This project, supported by 13 leading organisations from across Europe, engages directly with stakeholders including researchers, policymakers, business representatives as well as civil society and citizens to strengthen social innovation, SSH-STEM collaboration and transdisciplinary policy advice, to accelerate the EU’s transition to carbon neutrality.

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      Registration and lunch
      Missing pieces to a circular economy: closing the loop by reimagining consumption Expand Missing pieces to a circular economy: closing the loop by reimagining consumption

      Questions to be addressed in the debate include:

      • What role do community groups, co-operatives and local enterprises have in the circular economy?
      • How can the language of ecolabels and ecodesign production incentivise citizens to consume differently?
      • What is the role of trust in this process and how can accountability mechanisms for deceitful sustainability claims be strengthened?


      Kersty Hobson

      Reader at Cardiff University School of Planning and Geography

      Cristina Ganapini

      Coordinator at Right to Repair Europe

      Malgorzata Golebiewska

      Team Leader for Environmental Footprint at the European Commission Directorate-General for the Environment (DG ENV)


      Luke O’Callaghan-White

      Programme Manager for Climate, Energy & Sustainability at Friends of Europe

      End of debate


      Photo of Cristina Ganapini
      Cristina Ganapini

      Coordinator at Right to Repair Europe

      Show more information on Cristina Ganapini

      Cristina Ganapini coordinates the Right to Repair Europe coalition, which brings together over 100 NGOs from 21 European countries. The coalition represents repair actors such as community repair groups, social economy actors, spare parts distributors, self-repairers, repair and refurbishing businesses, and any citizen who would like to advocate for their right to repair. A rapidly growing movement, its objective to make repair affordable, accessible and mainstream is aligned with the objectives of the European Green Deal and the Circular Economy Action plan.



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