The circular economy model has an important place in the world’s agenda, as well as the potential to provide a net profit of up to €600 billion throughout Europe. ÇEVKO Foundation is leading the efforts for this model to take up a more widespread place in our country’s agenda. So for the transition to circular economy it has brought the experts together at its third workshop called “Financial Mechanisms for Circular Economy.”
Alongside expert finance and consulting institutions on environment and development, authorities from the İstanbul Chamber of Industry, representatives of ÇEVKO Foundation member organizations, directors of various unions and associations were present at the workshop.
ÇEVKO Foundation, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Şekerbank, Industrial Development Bank of Turkey (TSKB) and officials from Andoka Consulting also gave presentations.
Circular Economy Presents a Potential Net Profit of €600 Billion
Mete İmer, General Secretary of ÇEVKO Foundation, pointed out that the Circular Economy Package, which was being studied in the EU for three years, was expected to become legal regulations; and as this development would affect our country as well, it was important for us to be prepared. İmer said that ÇEVKO Foundation was a natural pioneer of the topic, and following the congress held the previous year, had brought together the public, business and finance organizations, private companies, and representatives of the media via a series of workshops.
İmer explained that the transition to circular economy would reduce the costs, and bring about new job opportunities in waste prevention, eco-design, reusing. He went on, “EU gives significant importance to this subject because it is predicted that this transition will provide a yearly saving of up to €600 billion or a net 8% profit of their annual turnover in the member countries. At the same time, according to the report of the European Union Commission, the transition will lead to a 2-4% reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases.”
İmer claimed that circular economy was a relatively new concept both for the world and for our country, and in order for the industry to be able to compete on the subject, more research and more innovation were necessary. He went on, “It is important that the potential benefit chain, from the competitive advantages of circular economy to new business models, to income and employment opportunities, to providing the consumers with cheaper but more durable and good quality products, be supported by appropriate financial mechanisms. We believe that specialized financial institutions and consultant organizations will offer significant contributions to this issue.”
Bengi Su Kılıç, the EBRD Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Analyst, pointed out that EBRD had invested more than €10 billion in over 270 projects in Turkey, and said that the bank defined circular economy as “benefiting more from the existing energy and material flow; or the improvement of material and energy flow.” She gave examples from different projects in Turkey, and explained how the finance support for the resource efficiency of companies and waste recycling projects could work.
Founder of Andoka Consulting Hande Sezer said that companies focusing on the carbon footprint and the reduction of carbon emission could benefit from carbon trading within circular economy, and gave information on carbon trading, which would enable them to reach their emission reduction targets rapidly.
Şekerbank Sustainable Development Banking Manager Elif Neslihan Sezgin said that the bank has so far given a financial support of over ₺1 billion with its EKO Loan focusing on resource and environment sustainability and energy efficiency. She also gave examples of the bank’s financing studies for sustainability and added that with the projects financed by EKO Loan, 6,2 million tons of carbon emission was prevented up to today.
The Engineering and Technical Consultancy Manager of the Industrial Development Bank of Turkey (TSKB) Çağla Eker Altınkulp said that the bank’s financial support to the investments in renewable energy so far had reached $4 billion, and with the financed projects 12 million tons of carbon emission was prevented. She pointed out that TSKB had also made a difference with innovative products in the transition to a low-carbon economy, adding that they were willing to support the investments within the circular economy model.
At the workshop held in the organization of ÇEVKO Foundation and hosted by TSKB at the ‘Cennet Bahçesi Training Hall’ information was given on the Turkey Materials Marketplace platform, which was created to support the inter-industry reuse of waste.