Economic Mission -Key theme 8: Circular Economy

The Netherlands and the Circular Economy! The Economic Mission during the State Visit of Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima focuses on 8 important- and innovative sectors. Within these sectors we see opportunities to reinforce the French-Dutch collaboration. During our countdown to the Economic Mission, we will briefly discuss the 8 key sectors and the relevance of these sectors for both the Netherlands and France. This week we’ll take a closer look at “Circular Economy”.

Since a number of years the government of the Netherlands has been keen to stimulate the country’s transition towards a circular economy. Numerous initiatives such as local sourcing, eco-friendly design and encompassing recycling initiatives are already in place in the Netherlands, which mean the country has an organizational infrastructure to enable real progress in developing concepts and best practices regarding the circular economy.

With its extremely high population density, established culture of recycling and a geographical location that makes it both a logistics hub and one of the most dynamic international centers for industrial design, the Netherlands has both good reason and the considerable strengths needed to develop initiated approach even further and become a real benchmark with respect tot the circular economy on the international stage.

Amsterdam for instance is playing a key role in building this momentum. In November 2014, the city published its vision and roadmap for becoming a “circular city”. This strategy involves all aspects of the circular economy: energy, waste, resources, water management, health, air pollution, etc. Its methodology relies on a collaborative stakeholder model that brings together businesses, start-ups, the resident population and NGOs to work on specific pilot projects.

In other cities around the country and in various provinces similar developments can be observed. Remarkable is that the circular economy is leading to the business innovation and creates a generation of new ventures. Key to progress in this field is on how to organize closed-loop concepts in collaboration between with partners. Developing a new generation of business models is key to progress in this field.

France and the Netherlands share the same values and in recent years a broad array of initiatives to cooperate around the circular economy have been launched. A 3 year program was launched in which the government and companies are exploring cooperation on waste management and recycling. Furthermore we organized several expert meetings in Paris, Amsterdam and Lyon. The fact the circular economy is one of the leading themes during the economic mission on 10 and 11 March will certainly lead to even stronger cooperation.