Start of the SABE Joint Group ‘Circular Economy’

27-03-2020 In the spring of 2020, SABE will start with a Joint Group on Circular Economy. The purpose of this JG-CE is to advise on and coordinate CEN and CENELEC standardization activities related to Circular Economy (CE) by means of a network of members. The formation of this group is now starting.

The transition towards a circular economy is widely considered as a necessary step to address the challenges related to increase of consumption, use of resources and production of waste. And a means to change to the kind of development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This will however require a transformation of our current ways of producing and consuming, collaborating and running businesses by closing the circle at the highest possible level (e.g. through repair or re-manufacturing), rather than exporting recyclable materials or applying thermal recovery.

For these new ways to become mainstream, we need commonly accepted agreements on ‘how we will do things’, i.e. business models, that support the transition to a circular economy. As everything we do is impacted by standards, standardization can help to provide a clear way to achieve those agreements.

Horizontal approach

Standards already address a wide range of issues, both (potentially) supporting or limiting the transition, covered by a just-as-wide range of technical committees and their respective scopes. Both for the drafting of new standards as well as the adjustment of existing standards, a coordinated approach will enable technical committees to develop standards concurrently while avoiding unnecessary duplication or conflicts within standards and/or regulations.

The JG-CE will therefore focus on identifying and discussing strategic standardization issues in need of action from CEN and CENELEC. And will advise to the CEN and CENELEC governance on standardization priorities based on these needs. It will do so by e.g. developing proposals how to better address priorities and propose medium- and long-term market-driven standardization activities for CEN and CENELEC to contribute to the transition to a CE in 2030 and beyond.


The JG-CE aims to gather all relevant knowledge on standardization and CE at its table. Therefore representatives from relevant CEN and CENELEC TCs, liaisons from relevant ISO and IEC committees or thematic groups and NSB representatives are specifically invited to join the group. Current membership of SABE is not required. To keep the JG-CE compact it is recommended to delegate one person from each stakeholder group. Experts in relevant fields of CE and/or members of industry who are not yet involved in standardization work can join the JG-CE at the proposal of CCMC partners or members. They will be appointed by SABE and will serve in their personal capacity.

Management and meetings

NEN, Royal Netherlands Standardization Institute, is appointed the secretariat for the JG-CE. Please indicate your interest to join by sending your contact details to the e-mail address as stated below. You will then receive further information on the first meeting.

The JG-CE will normally meet 2 times a year, preferably in conjunction with SABE plenary meetings. Or, when otherwise agreed within the group, meet more frequently. Web conference facilities will also be made available for all JG-CE meetings and will be the preferred means of communication between the meetings.

Additional information

For more information on the SABE Joint Group ‘Circular Economy’ please contact Boukje van Reijn, Program Manager Circular Economy at NEN:

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