Circular economy: the key to a sustainable world

A circular economy has become the key to a sustainable world. All players on the world market, from individuals to multinationals, are encouraged to make their activities more circular. How? With circular economy standards.

Belgian standards committee NBN/I323 takes part in the development of new international circular economy standards. Do you have any expertise in this field? Then join this standards committee now.


What is a circular economy?

The circular economy is a model of production and consumption in which existing materials and products are shared or leased, reused or repaired, refurbished and recycled for as long as possible. This extends the life cycle of products and reduces waste to a minimum.


Why is a circular economy so important?

The world's population is growing, and with it the demand for raw materials. However, the supply of crucial raw materials is limited and the extraction and use of raw materials has a major impact on the environment. The production of materials we currently use every day is responsible for almost half of all CO2 emissions.

The transition to a circular economy therefore brings many benefits:

  • Better for the environment
  • Improved continuity of raw material supply
  • Greater competitiveness
  • Stimulation of innovation
  • Economic growth
  • Job creation

The circular economy contributes to several sustainable development goals or SDGs. SDG 12 ‘Responsible consumption and production’ forms the essence of a circular economy. But it also contributes to, among others, SDG 8 'Decent work and Economic growth', SDG 13 'Climate action' and SDG 15 'Life on land'.


Standards and circular economy

International standards committee ISO/TC 323 develops standards that serve as an excellent lever for organisations that want to respect the principles of a circular economy.

Through the Belgian NBN/I323 committee, NBN offers an exceptional opportunity to closely follow and contribute to these developments. Anyone (any company or organisation and any individual) in Belgium can join NBN/I323.


Contributing to standards development works to your advantage


  1. You will be the first to know about future developments and trends that strengthen your organisation's competitiveness on an international, European and national level. Do you want to be ahead in your field and ahead of your competitors? Then become an expert in our national committee.
  2. Early access to such strategic information offers you the opportunity to anticipate future changes.
  3. You exert influence during the standards development process. Your organisation can protect its investments in products, research and development. Whatever you do, you ensure that your interests are safeguarded in international, European and national standards
  4. You build a network with everyone who is working towards creating a global and regional framework in your field. A standards committee is the ideal place to make new contacts and to exchange ideas with people who, like you, are shaping the future of your field.
  5. You learn and exchange knowledge. The people who sit on standards committees are experts in their field and have in-depth knowledge. They share this knowledge and learn from each other. By sitting on a committee yourself, you gain knowledge first-hand and you get a comprehensive overview of all the underlying aspects of a certain field.

Who can become a circular economy expert?

Any Belgian organisation and any individual person can join the Belgian circular economy standards committee. Knowledge of standards is not necessary, knowledge of a circular economy is. These include large and small companies, consultants and researchers, consumers, governments and regional or national agencies, trade unions, environmental organisations, financial institutions, employers' federations, the recycling, waste or repair industry, retailers, water, gas or electricity companies, etc.


Meetings circular economy (online):

- The Belgian committee (NBN/I323) meets a couple of times a year.
  Next meeting: 19 September 2022

- The international committee (ISO/TC 323) meets once or twice a year.
  Next meeting: 26-30 September 2022

Will you become an expert?

Are you interested in joining the circular economy standards committee? 

- Please contact Alexandre della Faille (NBN-project manager) via
- Or, if you're not sure what standardisation actually is, take part in the next 'Discovery Webinar' where more information is provided about the standardisation system. (+/- 40 min).