Connecting SMEs for a green economy

Understanding the Circular Economy in Europe, from Resource Efficiency to Sharing Platforms: The CEPS Framework

The Circular Economy paradigm may offer enterprises a new crop of opportunities, but SMEs risk being left behind because the complexity of the discussion and of the instruments are unsurmountable barriers to exploitation. A systematically organised and stakeholders centred framework is necessary to give SMEs access to these opportunities: in the report the authors develop such a framework.

This paper aims to rethink the concept of the ‘circular economy’ through the prism of its relevance to its many stakeholders, ranging from public and private actors and mature and emerging industries to cities and regions, SMEs and multi-sectoral corporations. The paper presents a schematic framework, which breaks down the circular economy into eight fundamental building blocks and shows how they are interconnected in relation to the multiplicity of involved actors. Coincidentally called “CEPS” (short for Circular Economy Progress for Stakeholders), the framework is used to develop recommendations addressed to European policy-makers on how best to support the transition towards a circular economy in the EU.

Igor Taranic is Research Assistant in the Energy and Climate Change research unit at CEPS. Arno Behrens is Research Fellow and Head of Energy in the Energy and Climate Change research unit at CEPS. Corrado Topi is Senior Research Fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute and University of York.

The report can be downloaded here: