BWF gives views on proposed Circular Economy British Standard

25 January 2017

The British Woodworking Federation has responded to the BSI consultation on the draft Circular Economy Framework Standard – BS8001.

A circular economy is an alternative to a traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose) in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life.

The proposed BSI Framework Standard aims to be a guide for implementing the principles of the circular economy in organisations, to apply to any sector.

In its response, BWF made the following points:

- A practical suite of standards to support various sectors would contribute more than a generic document drawing on information that is well covered elsewhere.

- The standard should adopt the Ellen MacArthur Foundation depiction of the Circular Economy.  It would also be helpful to look at the waste hierarchy, ‘Reduce, Renew, Reuse, Recycle’ clearly showing that renewable options should be considered before dipping into non-renewable natural capital.

- In terms of applicability, if is to have any merit as a British Standard, then it must be aligned as the key elements are being covered in EN15804. The UK should be adopting European standards where possible and not running parallel to them without good reason as a proliferation of different guidance often creates market confusion.

- The existing management standards that the draft refers to don’t directly challenge the current models of consumption and production that Circular Economy thinking is trying to provide an alternative to.

- There is a difference between recycled, downcycled and recyclable.  The fact that something can be recycled does not necessary mean that it will be or that it will be given equivalent usage, this deserves reference, Using a recyclable material may simply create another poor sustainable decision that delays a material hitting the waste stream via an energy intensive process that replaces a renewable option.

- Not all natural resources are depleting, indeed across Europe and the US, there is a growing forest coverage that should be referenced as it provides a phenomenal opportunity for carbon capture and storage.

Want to find out more about Circular Economy Thinking? Here you can find out why wood is the material choice for the Circular Economy.

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