Growing a circular economy

The Environmental Audit Committee has launched an inquiry on "The case for transforming the approach to waste, and growing a circular economy". The inquiry is set to examine the following topics:
  • The potential economic value of resources contained in 'waste'
  • The key domestic and international links and resource value chains
  • The environmental benefits of the circular economy (including design to reduce, re-use, repair/ remanufacture and recycling or composting)
  • The potential benefits of alternative business models, including leasing and design for re-use
  • The barriers to 'circular' business models
  • What fiscal levers and policy support can Government provide to business to move towards 'circular' models?
  • What regulatory barriers need to be removed to innovate and create new secondary resources and markets? What new information flows are needed?
  • How is Government supporting growth in this sector, including through BIS, UKTI, and UK overseas aid?
  • How can Government support businesses to work together to ensure the value of resources are maximised over a product life?
  • What can Government do to encourage individuals to re-use and recycle rather than discard ('do the right thing'), for example through information and labelling? What should be the role of local authorities?
  • How is Government promoting the circular economy through its own procurement?

Caterpillar's response

Along with the CRR, Caterpillar was one of the organisations that submitted written evidence to the inquiry. Caterpillar has been remanufacturing products since 1973 and has 17 remanufacturing facilities and research centres around the world, employing over 4,000 people. In their statement, Caterpillar highlight important constraints and opportunities faced in the UK remanufacturing market, including:
  • The lack of a clear definition of remanufacturing
  • Little evidence of government supporting remanufacturing through Public Procurement
  • The uncertainty regulation such as WEEE and ROHS introduce for remanufacturers
  • The lack of sector support through specific Government incentives
  • The alignment of remanufacturing with Governments low carbon and sustainability ambitions
  • The use of highly skilled employees and technology innovations to create a high added value manufacturing sector
  • The promotion and understanding of remanufacturing at an EU level
  • The inclusion of remanufactured goods in negotiating trade agreements
To read the complete written evidence submitted by Caterpillar, please go to