On November 29, 2018, the Circular Economy Platform was officially established in Hungary as an initiative of the Business Council for Sustainable Development in Hungary (BCSDH), the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Ministry for Innovation and Technology.
The establishment of the Circular Economy Platform took place at a ceremony attended by 33 leaders of committed companies, institutions, and organizations, who personally signed the related Memorandum of Understanding. Balázs Weingartner, minister of state for sustainability, praised the initiative, signing the document on behalf of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology.
The BCSDH said that the shift to a circular economy represents a great business opportunity, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal. While the core of the concept is not yet deeply recognized by most companies, the use of the model can increase the resilience of the world economy and facilitate achievement of the Paris Agreement on climate change and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The circular economy represents a business opportunity worth USD 4.5 trillion by 2030, the council noted.
"The BCSDH and its partners play a prominent role in facilitating the paradigm shift and joint thinking, along with building a community of forward-thinking change leaders and sharing business solutions that make a real impact," stressed Attila Chikán Jr., president of the BCSDH. "For the new model to develop and spread, collaboration and knowledge-sharing are required, with the involvement of businesses, government and science," he added.
It is for these reasons that the council announced the establishment of a Circular Economy Platform jointly with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Ministry for Innovation and Technology, arguing that international and mostly Dutch practices represent well-functioning and important examples that should be followed in this area.
"I am proud that we were one of the first countries to set quantitative targets for a circular economy," emphasized René van Hell, ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Hungary, at the ceremony. "But this is still not enough for us - we set the bar even higher: the Netherlands is working hard to achieve an economy without waste, an economy that reuses raw materials. We want to have a completely circular economy by 2050."
"ING Bank considers it a key task to assemble the most important stakeholders who envision a circular economic transition in Hungary at a forum which creates a great place for sharing global experiences," stressed Tibor Bodor, CEO of ING Bank N.V. Hungary Branch, who acted as the host of the conference and also one of the first signatories of the Memorandum of Understanding.