New national Danish strategy for circular economy

State of Green
By State of Green, September 03, 2018

On 1 September, the Danish government presented its strategy for circular economy. With EUR 16 million divided between 15 initiatives, the government accelerates the transition to a more sustainable society, where materials and products are recirculated, used for their full potential and waste is minimised. The transition holds significant potential for the environment and the economy.

The increasing pressure on the earth’s natural resources means that we have to rethink our ways of producing and consuming. There is a need for Denmark to transition into a more circular economy. This should ensure that the Danish companies continue to maintain a high competitiveness while, simultaneously, contributing to a sustainable administration of the natural resources and a continuing economic growth. This can happen e.g. by designing buildings and products to be recycled, repaired and reused rather than being discarded, or by using biomass for medicine, bio-based products and food ingredients instead of simple energy utilisation.

In addition, it is crucial that we carry out a smart transition that strengthens the Danish companies and their strong international competitive position and contributes to the creation of sustainable consumption. Many companies and consumers have already started. However, we need to do even better if we want a green and sustainable Denmark to pass on to future generations.

-Related news: Danish Cleantech Hub Climate Week NYC 2018 conference: commercial opportunities in the circular economy

Therefore, the Danish Minister of Environment and Food and the Minister of Industries, Business and Financial Affairs, launched the government’s new strategy for circular economy. With six focus areas and 15 initiatives, the new strategy follows the recommendations of the government’s Advisory Board on circular economy.

The initiatives are to support the Danish transition into a more circular economy, e.g by strengthening the companies’ opportunities to become a motivating force for the circular transition and to create a well-functioning market for waste and reused goods. The Danish government has set aside EUR 16 million to accelerate the transition.

‘’We must take a critical approach to our untenably heavy consumption of the natural resources. By lowering the usage of materials and increasing reuse, the companies can get more value out of less. In addition, it leaves us with a better environment if we use the resources with reason and as many times as possible’’, said the Minister of Environment and Food, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen.

‘’With the strategy, we wish to create a better framework for the Danish companies to develop and export circular solutions. It aims to create growth and employment in Denmark and simultaneously support a green and sustainable transition. Moreover, a more circular economy could contribute to lowering the companies’ costs and in that way make them more competitive. This also goes for the SMEs, which this strategy focuses on supporting. It is essential that the circular transition is market-driven and makes sense both for the environment and the economy’’, said the Minister of Industries, Business and Financial Affairs, Rasmus Jarlov.

-Related news: New circular economy tool for companies

To sum up, the Danish government aims to:

  • Strengthen the companies as the motivating force for the circular transition
  • Support the circular economy through data and digitalisation
  • Enhance the circular economy through design
  • Change consumption patterns through circular economy
  • Create a well-functioning market for waste and reused goods
  • Generate more value from buildings and biomass

The strategy for circular economy should be viewed in close correlation to the utility strategy, which, among other things, is to encourage a better utilisation of waste through increased competition in the waste sector.

See the strategy for circular economy here.

See fact sheet about circular economy and the Danish government’s new strategy here (in Danish)

See the recommendations of the government’s Advisory Board for circular economy from June 2017 here (in English) – or in Danish here

Source: The Danish Ministry of Environment and Food (in Danish)

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