VITO Materials Policy for the transition to a green circular economy

Realising the circular economy

A step beyond theoretical models

Shifting the economic system from a linear model to a circular one is a huge challenge for consumers, government and business. The necessary step towards waste valorisation and the closure of material cycles at a high level is essential. From a societal and economic point of view, however, this is not enough.

The full value of each product and service will sooner or later be adjusted to remain economically and environmentally viable. This requires multidisciplinary expertise, both from the policy as the business side. VITO conducts research that feeds the transition of both actors towards the circular economy. It provides scientifically based advice on how the principles of circular economy (new business models, eco-design, reuse, remanufacture, repair, recycling) can be implemented in both in a business and a policy context. Currently materials that are fed through the supply chain lose sufficient economic value. VITO can support in valorizing them: from raw materials to production and maximum valorisation, until after final consumption.

Consequently the circular model as a theoretical concept must translate into workable circular business models. They must take aspects such as legislation, environmental impact and economic feasibility into account in addition to creating a sustainable image and meeting expectations in terms of corporate social responsibility. The creation of new economic value is a particular motive for companies. And it works, as can be seen in the increasing number of (Belgian) companies that realise circular businesses in a profitable way.

VITO combines technical knowledge of raw materials, materials and legislation with economic and environmental expertise. As an independent organisation, VITO has access to an extensive local and international network of industrial partners, research institutions and governments. Therefore, VITO is well placed to support governments, sector organisations and businesses.

For governments, we advise on and support policy-making, for regulations as well as support programmes. Companies can rely on VITO to design tailored circular business models and life-cycle assessments.