“Economic Growth Potential of More Circular Economies” is the first study to detail the employment potential for each member state, the industries that would support it, and the skills that would be required.
Building on a report published earlier in the year, ‘Employment and the Circular Economy – Job creation in a more resource efficient Britain’ this study illustrates the jobs potential for individual member states.
Currently, it’s estimated that there are 3.4m people employed in circular economy jobs such as repair, waste and recycling and rental and leasing sectors across the European Union.
Liz Goodwin, CEO, WRAP said: “Providing the bigger picture for the jobs potential from the circular economy for each individual member state makes the case for the EU to adopt an ‘ambitious’ circular economy package even stronger”
Expansion in the circular economy potentially offers employment opportunities in all member states and jobs that match the skills that are under supplied in the market.
Several scenarios illustrated are considered in this paper, showing that on the current development path, by 2030 expansion in circular economy in Europe could create an extra 1.2 million jobs and reduce structural unemployment by around 250,000.
However, a transformational expansion in circular economy in Europe, by 2030 has the potential to create an extra 3m jobs and reduce structural unemployment by around 520,000.
Examples of circular business models include designing goods to last longer, which can lead to greater reuse; greater repairability which can support the growing remanufacturing industry; and allowing for easy recovery of materials when a product is eventually recycled. Service models, which could include product maintenance and take back schemes as well as rental and peer-to-peer sharing models, also hold much potential.
Liz Goodwin, CEO, WRAP said: “Providing the bigger picture for the jobs potential from the circular economy for each individual member state makes the case for the EU to adopt an ‘ambitious’ circular economy package even stronger.
“This added layer of detail is the missing piece of the jigsaw that shows how the circular economy supports the themes of the Commission’s wider plan for job creation and growth. It’s clear that many countries could see considerable benefits which could improve the jobs market, the economy, as well as the environment.”