A European project to help smaller businesses develop a role within the circular economy (CE) and operate has kicked off in Wales.
The Circular Economy for SMEs (Cesme) project has been established to support firms looking to ‘future-proof’ their business in a greener and more sustainable way.
Cesme is an EU-funded project involving 10 partners from six countries who will share experiences, identify best practice and provide a guide for SMEs.
It also aims to provide policy-makers with the knowledge and understanding of the CE and advise how support can be used to help interested SMEs.
Cardiff hosted the first get-together in May and delegates visited Orangebox in Hengoed.
The company undertook a pilot project in 2014 to design its G64 office chair (pictured) that is 98% recyclable, with the potential to generate sales of £5m a year and £2.5m of added value for Orangebox’s supply chain.
Environment secretary Lesley Griffiths said: “Wales has a strengthening global reputation for green growth and we recognise the opportunities the circular economy will bring.
“Sharing valuable expertise will help us break down barriers for SMEs and bring this vision into reality.”
The Cesme project is expected to last four years.
A study by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and WRAP identified the potential economic benefits of a CE as being more than £2bn, while a WRAP-Green Alliance study predicted that up to three million jobs could be created across Europe by 2030.