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ITP Aero and Petronor join forces with the Basque Ecodesign Center to boost the circular economy in the Basque industrial sector

2023 July 17
  • The Basque Government’s Minister for Economic Development, Sustainability and the Environment, Arantxa Tapia, has chaired the Basque Ecodesign Center's Strategic Committee, which has approved the incorporation of these two companies
  • The Basque Ecodesign Center is a public-private partnership alliance, a centre of reference in Southern Europe in the field of eco-design and the circular economy
  • The "Strategic Environmental Monitoring Report: The 10 keys to the circular economy for 2024" was presented at the meeting

Today, ITP Aero and Petronor have joined the Basque Ecodesign Center, the public-private collaboration alliance between the Basque Government and the country's leading companies for the generation of applied knowledge in the circular economy at the service of the Basque business sector.

The Basque Government’s Minister for Economic Development, Sustainability and the Environment, Arantxa Tapia, chaired this Strategic Committee of the Basque Ecodesign Center, which approved the incorporation of these two new companies - ITP Aero and Petronor-, joining Arcelor Mittal, Batz Group, CAF, Campezo Group, CIE Automotive, EDP, Eroski, Iberdrola, Kutxabank, Laboral Kutxa, Ormazabal, Orona, Siemens Gamesa, Renewable Energy, Uvesco, Vicinay Sestao and Viuda de Sainz; 18 companies, to which the Ihobe and Spri public entities, coordinators of this initiative, must be added.

The Basque Ecodesign Center is a benchmark alliance in Southern Europe in the field of eco-design and the circular economy. Its mission is to generate knowledge in these fields through innovation in priority areas transferable to the Basque industrial sector and to drive the value chain towards a circular economy model.

In her speech, the Basque Minister, Arantxa Tapia, highlighted the importance of the leadership of the major companies that are part of the alliance, whose voluntary commitments drive the change towards a decarbonised and dematerialised economy, generating knowledge and mobilising their value chains towards environmental sustainability.

The functions of this Strategic Committee are to act as an antenna to anticipate regulatory and market needs in environmental matters; to carry out a strategic reflection on how to face these challenges jointly between the public and private sectors; and to define the short and medium-term lines of work of the Basque Ecodesign Center that can help the Basque business sector address these challenges.

More than 70 circular projects

The Strategic Committee reviewed the results of the Basque Ecodesign Center for 2022 and the forecasts for 2023. Over the two years, more than 70 projects will be developed, many of which are collaborative between the companies.

Within the framework of the Basque Ecodesign Center, for example, Kutxabank and Laboral Kutxa have carried out a study to determine the technical characteristics that a mortgage must meet in order to be considered "green" according to the European Commission's taxonomy criteria for sustainable finance; EDP and Iberdrola have developed tools based on the Life Cycle Analysis, which will enable them to incorporate environmental criteria into their purchase of equipment, such as meters, medium voltage cells or photovoltaic solar modules; and Eroski and Uvesco have implemented instruments to analyse the environmental sustainability of their product packaging and improve it through eco-design.

Bearing in mind that one of the objectives of the Basque Ecodesign Center is to generate knowledge for the Basque business sector, the development of all these projects has given rise to two strategic environmental monitoring reports and five guides on sustainable finance - which have already been published-, the integration of environmental metrics, science-based decarbonisation objectives, circular economy indicators for organisations and the application of green procurement in the private sector.

On the other hand, within the Basque Ecodesign Center projects, we collaborate with young people in the process of specialised training in the circular economy, improving their employability and providing the market with this profile, which is in high demand by companies. Between 2022 and 2023, 51 young people are expected to be trained. It should also be highlighted that the Basque Ecodesign Center has been a pioneer in training young people in sustainable finance in Spain.

10 keys to the circular economy

The "Strategic Environmental Monitoring Report: The 10 keys to the circular economy for 2024" was presented at the annual meeting of the Basque Ecodesign Center's Strategic Committee. The publication is structured around six themes, covering the main lines of action of the European Green Deal: transparency and positioning; eco-design for a circular economy; secondary raw materials and waste management; decarbonisation with a life-cycle approach; zero pollution; and sustainable finance. The report also summarises the 10 main challenges for the business sector with regards to the circular economy in the short and medium term. Working proactively on these challenges will enable us to turn them into opportunities to improve the sustainability and competitiveness of companies.

Some of these keys are the new European regulations on the disclosure of corporate environmental information; the digital product passport and the new eco-design regulation; the new regulatory framework related to environmental information for consumers; the assessment of sustainability throughout the supply chain; the new proposal for a regulation on the eco-design of sustainable products; the incorporation of secondary raw materials as substitutes for virgin raw materials, prioritising recyclable materials; the new law on critical raw materials and the effects derived from their vulnerability; the adaptation of European taxonomy based on the six environmental objectives, or the upcoming directive on industrial emissions.

The challenges covered in the report are enormous, but the public-private collaboration required to address them is a hallmark of the Basque Country, and the Basque Ecodesign Center is proof of this.

 

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