EU launches new remanufacturing network
The European Commission has launched a new lobby group that aims to boost remanufacturing throughout the EU.
The European Remanufacturing Network (ERN) will encourage new businesses to take up remanufacturing, help existing remanufacturers improve their operations and increase public awareness of remanufacturing.
The €1.5m project will also work closely with policy makers to increase demand and address existing barriers to resource efficiency.
Ben Walsh from Oakdene Hollins, a UK consultancy firm leading the project, said: "For the past two years, we have argued that the Chinese state, the US Department for Commerce and the South Korean Government have each been investing in their remanufacturing industries - and that Europe was in danger of falling behind."
"This project will provide a springboard to ensure that European remanufacturers remain competitive in the global market, safeguarding European jobs, limiting our exposure to critical raw materials and improving the European trade balance."
The value of remanufacturing is calculated to be between £2.4bn and £5.6bn in the UK alone, not considering the thousands of jobs created. WRAP recently estimated that a move to a circular economy could add 200,000 jobs to the UK economy.
The new network's first project will be to "map the challenges and benefits of remanufacturing business models and processes.
Back in March, The Carbon Trust and Innovate UK issued a call the UK to establish its own Centre of Excellence for remanufacturing.
An eight-month inquiry by the All-Party Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group (APSRG) and All-Party Parliamentary Manufacturing Group (APMG) also warned the Government must do more to lift a 'regulatory burden' on remanufacturing which could offer a 'triple win' of economic, social and environmental benefits.