—— A lot of work is still needed to make a circular economy sustainable. The aim is to ensure that ecology and economy go hand in hand. TÜV SÜD CEO Dr. Johannes Bussmann on daily challenges and the value of small steps.

BUSSMANN'S NOTES ———— It's a mammoth task: By 2050, the EU wants to create the conditions for a functioning circular economy in its member states. The timeframe may seem long – it would, however, be a fundamental transformation in our economy if raw materials were not only mined, processed and used, but also transferred back into industrial processes via recycling across the board.

There is no question that a commitment to the Circular Economy makes the greatest ecological sense: In the EU alone, approximately 2.3 billion metric tons of waste are currently generated each year. The majority of this is generated in the construction, mining and industrial sectors. On average, every EU citizen produces around 180 kilograms of packaging waste, less than half of which is recycled. With around 20 testing and certification procedures for all relevant processes in the circular economy, TÜV SÜD is helping to increase the recycling rate. Our range of services covers preparation for reuse, recycling or other recovery of products or waste, and testing and confirmation of quotas to avoid greenwashing.

The issue of reuse and recycling is particularly important in the case of key technologies for the green transformation of our economy, such as batteries for electric vehicles, hardware components or solar modules. Working on solutions here that make sense ecologically as well as economically is also a challenge for TÜV SÜD.

Our own corporate initiatives are already pointing the way. Just two examples: As a matter of principle, our IT hardware is refurbished for further use at the end of its service life. At the same time, we are working to increase the proportion of recyclables in our overall business operations.

All these are small steps. But even Rome wasn't built in a day. I am convinced that every small effort pays off – and TÜV SÜD will continue to do its part in the future.
DR. JOHANNES BUSSMANN has been Chairman of the Board of Management of TÜV SÜD AG since the beginning of the year.


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