As more countries recognise the need to move to a Circular Economy, Luxembourg has already positioned itself internationally as a CE hub, raising its visibility through a series of initiatives over the last five years. Their shared aim is to raise the circular profile of Luxembourg companies as well as attract the investment and technology needed to accelerate the Circular Economy, and to foster international collaboration.
Indeed, thanks to its good social, institutional and economic connectivity, as well as its high- performing ICT and financial sectors, Luxembourg is a promising testbed for emerging CE business models.
By supporting new business activities, setting standards, promoting the circular concept beyond our borders, and working with others, Luxembourg can establish itself a centre of excellence in this new economy. The examples below illustrate the potential of the Circular Hub Luxembourg, more examples are featured in the section actions and projects.
As with any industry hub, a key feature is the business support available to encourage a cluster of companies to develop. Together, Luxembourg’s ministries for the economy and finance are looking at ways to create a business environment that will help companies offering Circular Economy products and services to flourish.
Separately, the government has also introduced an increase in the subsidies available to companies that join its Covid-19 economic relaunch programme. In addition to the 30% subsidy for a qualifying business development project, a further 20% subsidy is available if the project is helping to create a Circular Economy in the Grand Duchy.
For the industrial sector, Luxembourg is helping to develop standards for the Circular Economy by creating the Product Circularity Data Sheet. The PCDS is designed to be a template for reliable data about a product’s circular properties. Launched in 2019, the initiative is supported by more than 50 companies from 12 European countries, is intended to lay the foundations for a future international standard and to make Luxembourg synonymous with the Circular Economy at a global level.
Various ministres in Luxembourg are involved in developing guidlines for making economic activity areas more circular, thereby creating a favorable 'industrial ecology' framework for companies.
Another strategy for promoting the Grand Duchy as a sustainability hub is the staging of events for international audiences. During the country’s presidency of the Council of the European Union, Luxembourg hosted a conference on 'Financing the Circular Economy' in 2015, simultaneously releasing a report on the subject that had been co-produced with the European Investment Bank. Two years later, Luxembourg hosted a three-day 'Circular Economy Hot Spot' event to showcase pilot projects to some 200 delegates from around the world. In 2018 and 2019, the Circular Economy was the main theme of state visits by the Netherlands and Belgium.
Occasions like these reflect the importance of dialogue with our key partners. Since 2016, Luxembourg has also been promoting this at a regional level through an initiative that brings together companies, universities and government bodies in the Greater Region. Designed to support firms in the environmental tech industry, the Greater Green initiative is co-funded by the EU’s Interreg programme.
Greater Green covers the Circular Economy and recycling, among other areas, and aims to help SMEs in Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Lorraine, Wallonia and Luxembourg to create new products and to access new markets. The common thread in all its projects is a focus on innovation and cross-border cooperation. More broadly, Luxembourg also wants to encourage collaboration among citizens, cross-border municipalities and policymakers to develop common solutions to the challenges of the Circular Economy.