Eight out of ten companies in Romania expect a high or very high impact of national and European circular economy regulations

Deniza Cristian 28/06/2023 | 12:51

Eight out ten companies in Romania expect a high or very high impact of national and European circular economy regulations, on short and medium term, and 70% estimate that state subsidies are not sufficient, shows the Deloitte report “Circular Economy. The perception and stage of implementation in Romania”, conducted among companies on the local market, from the manufacturing, retail, consumer goods, construction and real estate industries.

 

Moreover, the most extensive and costly measures that companies have in plan, such as technology upgrading (90%) or research-development activities (75%), are designed depending on the possibility of accessing national or EU funding, the study indicates. The transition process from the linear to the circular economic model involves complex actions aimed at each of the segments of the production-consumption chain, from the ecological design of products (ecodesign) and limiting the use of raw materials, to extending the life cycle of products through reuse and repair, refurbishment and recycling facilities.

Companies that took part in the survey are working on being up to date with the principles of circularity (85%), over half of them (60%) are aware of the European initiatives in the field (Green Deal, Fit for 55, the Circular Economy Action Plan) and of their national applicability, and they feel pressured by the regulations to act sustainably. Consequently, three-quarters of respondents say they have already developed a strategy, 20% are in the process of doing so, and nine out of ten companies say they have developed investment plans dedicated to the transition to a green economy.

“Given that the action plan related to the National strategy for the circular economy is expected in the third quarter of this year, Deloitte’s analysis, the first of its kind on the local market, according to our research, captures the companies’ response to the complex context of the transition in a decisive moment, when our country must act decisively and accelerate its steps in the field. Romania is a ‘young’ market, making its first steps in implementing the principles of the circular economy, with 1.4 percent circularity compared to the EU average of 11.7%, but it has significant potential. Companies are looking for solutions to finance their transition to the circular economy, they are aware of the European and national regulations, already have investment strategies and investment plans, they analyze their competitors and adopt various measures regarding raw materials, ecodesign or packaging materials and their composition. However, the effort is still disparate, as only half of the analyzed companies operate systematically these transformations and declare that they aim to change the business model according to circular principles,” stated Adrian Teampau, Director, Circular Economy Advisory, Deloitte Romania.

The adoption of renewable energy is the main direction in which companies are investing their own resources (85%), as shown by their plans in the transition to circular economy, while reducing the amount of packaging and packaging waste is a priority for slightly over half of them (55%), especially actors from retail (45%) and manufacturing (27%) industries. On the other hand, besides the costly areas such as technology upgrading and research-development activities, companies also expect to be supported by state subsidies in terms of development of goodsrepair or refurbishment (75%), as well as the design of sustainable products (70%).

“Romanian companies have invested significantly over the past year and a half in their own electricity production capacities from renewable sources, especially photovoltaic panels, in order to cope with the increase in prices caused by the energy crisis. The availability of support schemes has encouraged this phenomenon and we expect it to continue at a high pace in the coming years,” stated Sorin Elisei, Consulting Director, Deloitte Romania, Leader of the Sustainability Practice.

Sustainability and the circular economy are seen as processes with multiple contributors and stakeholders, along the entire value chain, and 65% of the surveyed participants have implemented an evaluation procedure for both suppliers and clients. Regarding the way in which consumer’s expectations were transformed in recent years, under the influence of the public discourse on sustainability, eight out of ten surveyed companies declare that, although they have not carried out surveys in this regard, the consumers’ decisions are strongly influenced by the feeling of contributing to protecting the environment (80%), to reducing pollution (65%) or their personal carbon footprint (35%). However, 65% of respondents believe that the purchase decision takes into account the price, regardless of other arguments.

The Deloitte study Circular Economy. The perception and stage of implementation in Romania” was conducted based on a questionnaire distributed among local and multinational companies active in our country, with turnovers between one million and 10 billion lei.

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Deniza Cristian | 06/06/2024 | 16:28
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