CII’s National Circular Economy Framework: Roadmap for a Sustainable & Resilient India

India, a resource-intensive economy with a large and rapidly growing population, possesses immense potential to be a leader in the circular economy, thereby fostering sustainable growth and a more prosperous and equitable society. The circular economy goes beyond resource efficiency and recycling, and its adoption helps reduce waste, conserve resources, and mitigate climate change. Moving toward a circular economy helps meet India’s NDC targets, UNSDGs, LiFE goals etc. 

How did the National Circular Economy Framework (NCEF) come to be? 

CII’s commitment aligns seamlessly with the broader goals of advancing sustainability and resource efficiency in India. The recent G20 declaration highlights its critical role, leading to the formation of Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Industry Coalition (RECEIC). To propel this momentum, a National Circular Economy Framework (NCEF) is proposed as an industry initiative by CII.  

The CII National Task Force on Waste to Worth gives a special focus to waste management and handling, and the release of the NCEF represents one of its transformational initiatives under the “CII Waste to Worth Movement”.  

The CII National Circular Economy Framework, with its emphasis on critical developmental issues, proposes to serve as a foundational guide for enterprises and policymakers alike, fostering a circular economy that is both economically viable and environmentally sustainable and aims to increase the value, use, and life of materials, products, and assets, and to design out waste from production and consumption. 

Highlights of the NCEF 

The NCEF provides a roadmap for making the transition to a circular economy and is divided into two parts.  

Part 1 establishes a comprehensive framework applicable to all focus materials: outlining the objectives; presenting the selection criteria for focus materials based on the extent of usage, environmental impact, and resource value potential; elaborating upon the enabling principles for implementation of NCEF focusing on prevention, upcycling, recycling, and energy recovery; setting up of the targets; and presenting the key strategies for implementation including policies and measures for effective implementation; and the processes for monitoring and evaluation. 

Part 2 of the NCEF provides material-specific Circular Economy action plan(s) built upon the principles and strategies outlined in Part 1. This initial edition of the NCEF concentrates on plastics, construction materials, electrical and electronic goods, and the dry and wet fractions of mixed municipal waste. These materials were selected due to their significant potential for waste reduction, resource conservation, and environmental protection. As the NCEF matures and gains traction, material-specific action plans will be developed for a wider range of focus materials. 

The key objectives of the NCEF include: 

Champion the Circular Economy through a life cycle assessment approach. 
Promote a shared understanding of the Circular Economy’s principles, challenges, and opportunities to drive collaboration, innovation, and action. 
Promote circular solutions for focus materials across various industries and value chains. 
Develop targets for Circular Economy collaboration, including cost reduction strategies and sustainable financing models, to empower partners and stakeholders. 
Establish a monitoring and evaluation mechanism to track progress and facilitate policy harmonization for Circular Economy initiatives. 

The report “National Circular Economy Framework: Roadmap for a Sustainable & Resilient India” serves as a concise guide for India’s transition to a circular economy, emphasizing collaboration, awareness and targeted actions for a sustainable and prosperous future. 

Launch of the NCEF 

The efforts of CII National Task Force on Circular Economy, envisioning a future where national resources contribute to prosperity with zero waste in the circular economy. 

The National Circular Economy Framework (NCEF) was unveiled by Prof. Ajay K. Sood, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, along with Ms Roopa Mishra, Joint Secretary- SBM, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs  and other key dignitaries providing a concise roadmap for India’s transition to a circular economy. PSA highlighted the opportune moment for India to embrace a circular economy approach and transform challenges into opportunities for sustainable waste management. 

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