The functional economy focuses on the use of a product rather than its ownership. Specifically, with the functional economy model, a company sells the right to use a product of which it maintains ownership. The famous example is Michelin, which no longer sells tires for fleets of company cars, but supplies "mobility services" consisting of repairing, retreading and in some cases exchanging tires. The economic outcome is that the company has an interest in making its products last as long as possible because the price is based on usage (in this case, the number of kilometres driven) and thus in reducing waste.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is currently preparing an own initiative opinion on "The impact of the conclusions of COP21 on European transport policy". A hearing was organized in order to gather relevant views on this issue and shape concrete proposals to inform the EESC's forthcoming opinion.
The European Commission released in December 2015 the new version of the circular economy package. Its aim is to help the European economy move from linear to circular, more resource-efficient patterns, by ensuring that less resources are extracted from our natural environment and less waste is produced at the end of the product lifecycle. The package focuses on better design of products, improved waste management and recycling performance of EU Member States and the growth and job creation potential of the circular economy. It includes an Action Plan with a specific timeline up until 2017 on production aspects as well as a series of modifications to the waste legislation.
Conclusions of the 23rd edition of European Consumer Day 2022 - 17 November 2022
Position paper – May 2021
The European Commission has published a proposal for a new regulatory framework for batteries and waste batteries, aiming to establish minimum sustainability requirements for all batteries placed on the EU internal market. The EESC supports the proposed measures, however, it calls for more precise and workable governance instruments to implement the new regulation, with the involvement of all stakeholders.
The use of single-use plastics in packaging has grown significantly in the last decades, and with it, the pollution of our environment. There is an urgent need to improve the sustainability of our food systems, which includes also the development of more sustainable food packaging. The objective of this study is to identify and examine successful examples and approaches to food packaging in the EU and beyond, considering consumer safety, environmental, economic, social, legal and food waste reduction considerations.
Sustainable development with its economic, social and environmental dimensions is an inevitable approach to the future. Enterprises play a crucial role as generators of sustainable development. A favourable business environment is needed to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities of sustainability. This document summarises the views of the Employers' Group on sustainable development.