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Creating a clean, green circular economy with SMEs and Consumers

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Approved by tomorrow; Euroconsumers’ vision is for markets to be ‘Approved by Tomorrow’. This means harnessing and facilitating consumers good intentions, applying smart policy and making the most of business innovation. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have a vital role to play in the transition to a circular economy alongside larger scale national and global actions.  SMEs’ size and entrepreneurial nature means they can spot and act on opportunities quickly, and their connections to consumers in national or local communities means they are especially good at responding to changing demands.

What is circular economy

According to a 2020 European Commission study, 90% of consumers want to buy products with as little environmental impact as possible. So we know that consumers are already changing their habits[2] and are willing to share the responsibility for transitioning to a new, green economy with large and small companies[3] and governments.

SMEs and Consumers working together:

Consumers and smaller businesses also share some similar demands – they both want the EU’s Green New Deal to be affordable for them, and they both want it to be easy to make low carbon, low waste choices without facing unfair costs.

SMEs are a crucial part of the EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan and its SME Strategy designed to build knowledge and capacity and encourage industrial collaboration among SMEs. Building up knowledge of what consumers want and learning from different sectors will help SMEs in their journey to green, circular business practices.

With upcoming EU rules on packaging, repairability, waste and carbon reduction, getting sustainability strategies in place now will help businesses get ahead and save time and costs. Euroconsumers also supports the European Commission’s Green Pledges initiative which encourages companies to take the lead and be ambitious in setting sustainability targets.  

Euroconsumers has a wealth of consumer markets sustainability research and insights with much relevance to SMEs. We have covered subjects like designing out waste; making products that last; rethinking the plastic puzzle and ESG. These resources can help SMEs and consumers work together to create an innovative, fresh and sustainable circular economy that is Approved by Tomorrow.


[1] 77% of UK grocery shoppers have, in the past 12 months, switched, avoided or boycotted buying certain products, or would consider doing so in the future, based on brands’ environmental policies. https://www.talkingretail.com/news/industry-news/consumers-boycotting-brands-environmental-policies-kantar-reveals-04-12-2019/

[2]Eurobarometer, Attitudes of European citizens towards Environment pubblicato a marzo 2020

[3]Eurobarometer, Attitudes of European citizens towards Environment pubblicato a marzo 2020