More climate protection through standards for resource conservation and the Circular Economy

Kick-off for the German Standardization Roadmap Circular Economy

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Together with the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the German Institute for Standardization (DIN) and the German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies (DKE) of DIN and VDE and the Association of German Engineers (VDI) announce the launch of the German Standardization Roadmap Circular Economy. The aim of the Standardization Roadmap is to provide an overview of the status quo of standardization in the field of the Circular Economy, to describe the requirements and challenges for seven key topics, and to identify possible concrete needs for action for future standards and specifications.

For example, standards and specifications have so far not set any requirements for plastic recyclates for the manufacture of new products. Such requirements could lead to a wider user of recyclates. The Standardization Roadmap aims to identify and close these gaps in order to move closer towards a circular economy. DIN, DKE and VDI invite all interested experts involved in the Circular Economy to contribute their ideas and needs and thus actively accompany the path to a Circular Economy.

Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze: “Anyone who takes the idea of the Circular Economy seriously must look at the entire life cycle of products - from product design and recyclability to the use of recyclates. Standards and specifications that are securely and traceably complied will play a major role in this. If all stakeholders along the value chain can rely on such standards, we will be more successful in closing cycles and thus protecting the climate and the environment.”

Christoph Winterhalter, DIN Executive Board Chairman, adds: "With the Standardization Roadmap, we will strategically record the future standardization needs and formulate concrete recommendations for action for technical rule-setting. This is an important step in driving forward the green transformation of Germany and Europe.” 

"Standards and specifications ensure clear communication between the different market players in the cycle, thus making the smooth cycle possible in the first place. Furthermore, they promote a broad social acceptance of circular products and increase the associated economic efficiency," Michael Teigeler, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the DKE, explains the benefits of standardization.

The Roadmap will focus on the following key topics: Electrotechnology and ICT, batteries, packaging, plastics, textiles, construction & municipalities, and digitalization/business models/management. These are based on the key topics of the EU's Circular Economy Action Plan.

"We are bringing together representatives from industry, science, the public sector and civil society to develop the Roadmap. We would therefore like to invite experts involved in the Circular Economy to participate in the seven working groups from January 2022 on and to put forward their ideas for discussion," explains Dr Hans-Jürgen Schäfer, Managing Director of VDI Society, Materials Engineering. At a kick-off event on 21 October 2021, DIN, DKE and VDI will present the project and the selected key topics in more detail and answer questions on participation. Interested experts can register on the platform DIN.ONE and will then be regularly provided with information on the project. The publication of the Circular Economy Standardization Roadmap is scheduled for December 2022.

The Circular Economy Steering Group of DIN and DKE in the Environmental Protection Coordination Office (KU) is coordinating work on the Standardization Roadmap. The Group brings together leaders and experts from industrial associations, civil society organizations, academia and research institutions, as well as the public sector. The Chairman of the Steering Group is Dr. Helge Wendenburg, Ministerial Director (ret.), formerly of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). Vice Chairpersons are Dr. Anna Braune, Head R&D, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen DGNB e.V. and Dr. Jens Giegerich, Manager Technical Regulatory Affairs, Vorwerk Elektrowerke GmbH & Co. KG.


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