The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, in cooperation with Cirekon center and with the support of EIT Climate-KIC and UNDP Climate Smart Urban Development (CSUD) project, have introduced the Academy of Circular Economy. The Academy is meant for beginners from small and medium sized companies, with the goal of improving the quality and increasing the efficiency of the work process in their companies, directly contributing to the industrial progress of Serbia and environmental protection.

The advantages of circular economy are numerous: creating safe and sustainable industrial supply, lowering the growing import dependency of the country, creating new jobs, supporting innovation and increasing competition, saving funds, increasing the value of local resources, manufactured goods and services, etc.

In a large number of companies in Serbia, the system of producing and spending still uses the linear model “take-use/make-store”. Natural resources are being used to manufacture goods that will be thrown away at the end of their lifespan. This approach assumes an infinite availability of resources and infinite space for storing waste. The idea of “Circular Economy” has the goal of using and reusing resources, in order to decrease and put an end to the production of waste, which seeks thorough changes in the entirety of the chain of values within the industry.

The attendees will, with the help of practical tools, learn how to analyze and assess the effectiveness of the work process and use of resources in their company, and carry out changes in the direction of circular business. The Academy’s training allows acquiring not only theoretical knowledge, but also learning from the best current practices and achieved results.

“The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia has, with the introduction of the Academy of Circular Economy, entered the program of the transfer of knowledge, especially in the small and medium sized business sector, in order for that sector to prepare for an energy and ecology based transition, and all with the goal to strengthen the competitiveness in the regional and global market. We are thankful to all of our partners: the Cirekon center, EIT Climate-KIC and UNDP CSUD (Climate Smart Urban Development) project, we are thankful to the companies that have recognized the importance of this pilot project and we look at 2019 with a great amount of optimism, for when we are planning a new academy program” said Siniša Mitrović, advisor to the president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia.

“Circular economy is, in its essence, creating our own new investment cycle that plans to invest several billion euros in the area of waste management in the next couple of years. The direct benefits are the creation of new jobs, lowering the strain on the environment and switching to clean technologies by reusing resources that have, thus far, been stored in waste dumps. ” said Slobodan Perović, assistant to the Minister of Environmental Protection.

“Switching from the concept of waste management to the concept of circular economy is the path to economic growth” said Žarko Petrović, the UNDP Team Leader for Reslient Development. “With the introduction of circular economy, long term investments in resource and energy efficiency, the relacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy sources and lowering greenhouse gas emissions, we contribute to the realization of the global goal of sustainable development and fulfilment of our national duties that we took upon ourselves following the Paris Agreement“ added Petrović.

The Academy begins its work on September 7th 2018 in the spaces of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Belgrade, and the training will last one month. Classes will be held on Fridays and Saturdays, and the lecturers are domestic and international experts in the field of circular economy.

The Chamber for Commerce and Industry will, due to large public interest, include the program of circular economy in the regular program of the Chamber’s Business Academy.

In December 2015, the European Commission has adopted a new and ambitious set of circular economy regulations that relate to regulatory changes in the field of waste management and product design. The set of regulations includes four regulatory suggestions for the introduction of new goals in waste management that are related to the reuse, recycling and storage of waste.

A new framework for the improvement of material efficiency in production through the improvement of the eco-design directive is under its way, and will in itself incorporate the whole life cycle of products. The existing eco-design directive will be supplemented with regulations that extend the life span of products, increase the possibility of the reuse of components and recycled materials and encourage the use of recycled components in products.