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The World Circular Economy Forum and China's Role in Global Sustainability

Chinese Circular Economy Business Delegation

The World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF), on April 15-18, 2024, in Brussels, Belgium was a great opportunity for RECONMATIC's Chinese partner, the China Association of Circular Economy (CACE) to attend the event and gain useful insights into the circular economy.


Zhu Liyang, President of the CACE, talked about the progress made in controlling plastic pollution and recycling used textiles and batteries. Industry leaders like Paul Skehan, Vice President of Public Policy, Government Affairs, and Communications at PepsiCo; Zhang Xiaobo, Director of Corporate Affairs and Strategy at Veolia China; Pau Sanchis, Director of EU Affairs at CATL; and Wen Hua, Director of Energy Transition Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) China, also shared their insights into developing circular value chains for important materials like metals and plastics. They talked about this from different perspectives such as consumer products, integrated solid waste management, new energy battery production, and international cooperation.


Zhao Kai, Executive Vice President of CACE

Zhao Kai, Executive Vice President of CACE and the leader of RECONMATIC's Chinese partners with extensive experience in international cooperation, discussed how international cooperation in the circular economy brings great potential. China has actively engaged with the EU and other countries and regions to collaborate on circular economy strategies to address global environmental resource challenges.


At present, the China Circular Economy Association is leading eight Chinese enterprises and organisations in the European Horizon project RECONMATIC. The project aims to test, validate, and integrate innovative solutions and tools for managing construction and demolition waste throughout the entire lifecycle of building and infrastructure construction, which includes the use of automated tools and digital processes to reduce waste and promote the recycling of materials for high-value reuse. China will provide its unique perspective to ensure the project's international success.


The Chinese delegation's active participation in the World Circular Economy Forum is a clear indication of China's commitment to international cooperation in sustainable development. RECONMATIC invited China to join the project due to cooperation with the nation being crucial for the global development of the circular economy. As partnerships like these expand, we can pave the way for more innovative and effective sustainability strategies worldwide.

Parallel Session: Unveiling China’s Circular Transformation

The conference received backing from the European Commission's Directorate-General for Environment, Sitra, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and several other international organisations. It was attended by over 200 delegates from more than 50 departments and organizations across different regions, including the EU, the UK, the US, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland, and Hungary.

Parallel Session: Industry Leaders Panel Talk

Highlighting China's role as a major global manufacturer and consumer, the session explored how Chinese companies are integrating sustainable technologies and innovative models to drive a green, low-carbon transformation. Zhao Chenxin, Deputy Director of the National Development and Reform Commission, emphasised China’s commitment to developing circular economy strategies with distinctive Chinese characteristics and collaborating internationally on setting standards and policies. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation organised a parallel session titled Unveiling China’s Circular Transformation. The session highlighted China's two decades of progress in circular economy initiatives.

Zhao Chenxin, Deputy Director of the National Development and Reform Commission

The WCEF is a global initiative led by the Finnish Government and the Finnish National Innovation Fund (Sitra), and serves as the annual global nexus for circular economy discourse. Launched in 2017, the WCEF has grown into a pivotal platform for promoting sustainable development worldwide.


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