Turkey Circular Economy Week, which brought together nearly 100 speakers from the business world, public institutions, non-governmental organizations, academics and activists, took place on 14-18 March. The results of the "Circulality Potential in Five Sectors Preliminary Research Project in Turkey" prepared in cooperation with the French Development Agency (AFD), the Business World and Sustainable Development Association (BCSD Turkey) and KPMG were announced at the end of the week.
II.Turkish Circular Economy Week, which is traditionally implemented every year was held on 14-18 March in cooperation with the Business World Platform for Goals (B4G), DCube Circular Economy Cooperative (DCube), the Business World and Sustainable Development Association (BCSD Turkey) and also with this year’s strategic partners Embassy of Finland and Business Finland. Nearly 100 speakers from the business world, public institutions, non-governmental organizations, academics and activists came together to share visions of Turkey's green development goals.
In the sessions held throughout the week, the economic and social dynamics needed for Turkey's green development, the adaptation process of European countries and the United States in the Paris Climate Agreement and the strategic roadmap should be supported by policies for our country's transition to a circular economy was discussed.
The highlights of the week were:
- It is important to choose green technology by providing innovation in technology so that the circular economy can be achieved in industry, urbanization, design and production as a whole. The transition to circularity will be possible by adapting all these processes to green technology.
- While it is necessary to transform the workforce and increase their digital and technological competencies in the path of green development, it cannot be ignored to strengthen the vulnerable groups that will be affected by the transformation. Transformation will only be sustainable if it can be achieved fairly.
- Finally, touching all segments of society for green transformation is one of the main elements of circular economy and sustainability in mass communication. Abandoning the current consumption culture and the transition of the whole society to a cyclical life will allow our planet to continue its existence.
Turkey's Circular Economy Report Announced!
At the end of the week, the report, which includes the results of the “Preliminary Research Project on the Potential of Circularity in Five Sectors in Turkey” prepared in cooperation with the Business World and Sustainable Development Association (BCSD Turkey), KPMG Turkey and KPMG France, provided by the French Development Agency (AFD) shared with.
The opening speeches of the event were made by French Consul General in Istanbul Olivier Gauvin, BCSD Turkey Chairman of the Board Ebru Dildar Edin, AFD Turkey Director Tanguy Denieul and TR Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Head of Zero Waste and Waste Processing Department Sadiye Karabulut.
Olivier Gauvin, Consul General of France in Istanbul, said: “Climate mobilization should never weaken. This is a priority for France and the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Developing the circular economy is a key element based on the way products are designed and consumed. This joint work is a valuable initiative to share our experience in this field in France and Turkey."
AFD Turkey Director Tanguy Denieul said, “The protection of the environment and natural resources requires the application of circular economy principles, which are solutions for the economy to function more efficiently, based on the reuse of products. As AFD, we are actively dealing with the issue together with our partners in Turkey and our financial and technical cooperation tools are ready to support them in this field.”
Ebru Dildar Edin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of BCSD Turkey, said, “Today, we are sharing the results of the research on the circularity potential of the plastic packaging, textile, white goods, automotive and construction sectors, which are important for our country and have good practices in the circular economy. According to the first findings obtained from the companies participating in the research, the average input cyclicality in the plastic packaging sector was approximately 7%, and in the textile sector approximately 16%. This report contributes to the “Technical Assistance Project for the Evaluation of Turkey's Potential for Transition to a Circular Economy” and to the circular economy national strategy and action plan of our country, of which we, as SKD Turkey, are also a consortium partner and the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change is the beneficiary. will provide. In order to contribute to more efficient resource and waste management across Turkey, we will continue to encourage the transition to a circular economy with the platforms we offer and the projects we carry out.”
T.R. Sadiye Karabulut, Head of Zero Waste and Waste Processing Department of the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change, made the following assessment regarding the report: There are responsibilities that fall on businesses, non-governmental organizations and international organizations, especially public authorities in a decisive position. With the first circular economy package announced by the European Commission in 2015, we have moved away from a classical waste management. In this process, which covers the entire life cycle of products starting from the design stage, it is inevitable to develop cooperation between stakeholders in a way that supports global efforts. In this direction, I hope that studies on different sectors will be developed in the future and that outputs such as this report will be produced in cooperation and support our common goals”.
KPMG Turkey Company Partner Şirin Soysal said: “While the transition to a circular economy will provide resource efficiency in companies, it will also support economic growth by reducing greenhouse gas emissions within the scope of combating climate change and creating new business areas with innovation opportunities. It is critical for companies operating in our country to structure and implement circular economy business strategies and to create value with a sustainable development approach in order to gain an advantage in global competition. Due to the importance of the subject for our country, the "Preliminary Research Report on the Circularity Potential in Five Sectors in Turkey" was prepared in cooperation with BCSD Turkey, KPMG Turkey and KPMG France within the scope of the project funded by AFD. In the project, which was carried out with the contributions of voluntary organizations and academics from the specified sectors, practical applications were carried out on a company basis for the first time to investigate the cyclical potential of companies.”
In the session titled “Sectoral Good Practices in the Circular Economy” held in the last part of the program, experts from Arçelik, Sun Tekstil, Elif Plastik, Korozo, Enka and Unilever shared their best practices in this field.
Turkey's Circular Economy Reality is Below Its Potential!
According to the results of the research conducted in open sources within the scope of the Circularity Potential in Five Sectors in Turkey. Research showed that the circular economy practices in the sectors are at an early stage and have not yet been prioritized at the senior management level. In this respect, Turkey's circular economy is seen below its potential.
It is seen in the research that the increase in the cyclicality rates in the products and the high investment costs required for innovative and ecological product designs slow down the transition to the circular economy. In this respect, it is important to encourage investments made in the circular economy within the scope of sustainable finance, tax and interest reductions, advantageous loans, new insurance models and new investments.
The report, which is compiled with publicly available data, qualitative and quantitative data sharing and contributions of voluntary companies and academicians, includes current situation assessments in terms of circularity strategies of plastic packaging, textile, white goods, automotive and construction sectors, good practice examples and obstacles to the transition to a circular economy.