An estimated 100 million tonnes of materials are used annually in the Irish economy. A 5% material improvement across the economy could yield €2.32bn p.a. Yet this opportunity is largely uncapitalized on to date – highlighting the circularity knowledge, capacity building, and implementation gaps or “circular innovation gap” that exists in Ireland.
Manufacturing is a significant proportion of Ireland’s GDP (circa 25% in 2018) and its impact on Ireland is well above the EU average of 14.4% (University of Cambridge, 2017). Six sectors of the economy have been identified as having significant resource productivity opportunities (McCarthy et al., 2019) namely – food & beverages, pharmaceuticals, chemicals & non-metallic mineral products, construction, retail, accommodation, and food services. The manufacturing sector represents a valuable model for scaling the circular economy across the entire economy and underpins the strategic investment in CIRCULÉIRE – the National Platform for Circular Manufacturing.
CIRCULÉIRE is the first cross-sectoral industry-led innovation network dedicated to closing the circular innovation gap and accelerating the net-zero carbon circular economy in Ireland. CIRCULÉIRE is a €4.5m public-private partnership co-created by Irish Manufacturing Research (Secretariat), and three Strategic Partners; the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and EIT Climate-KIC and 25 Founding Industry Members.
Closing the circularity gap requires cross-sectoral collaboration between business, government, research, and the third sector. Join CIRCULÉIRE and contribute to unlocking the value that resides in an Irish circular economy. Learn more at www.circuleire.ie
Director of Sustainable Manufacturing
Dr Geraldine Brennan
Circular Economy Expert