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Regional / Multi-Country Interventions › Mobilising Business Action for Circular Economy in ASEAN

Mobilising Business Action for Circular Economy in ASEAN

Location: ASEAN

Themes: Circular Economy

The Challenge

Circular Economy (CE) transition has become increasingly important in the ASEAN countries. Governments are introducing national circular economy policies/strategies, and businesses recognise the need to transition towards circularity through strategies and actions to remain competitive. Businesses will need to look deeper into their supply chain and preferred suppliers to mainstream circular economy approaches through resource circularity, efficiency improvements, and resource substitution. This requires innovation for products and services, as well as business models. Innovation can address subsequent lifecycle stages, governance frameworks, and markets. However, as current policy and market signals are dispersed and weakly articulated, there is a trust deficit between companies, regulators, and consumers regarding the necessity and direction for the Circular Economy that needs to be addressed.

The SWITCH-Asia Policy Support Component (PSC) supports the transition of ASEAN countries to a low-carbon, resource-efficient, and circular economy. It also recognises the contribution of regional stakeholder platforms and networks that support SCP implementation, involving SMEs and business intermediaries to adopt cleaner technologies and more sustainable and circular industrial practices, as well as helping consumers to act more responsibly in their daily choices and lifestyles. These platforms can improve national strategies and action plans towards SCP actions and practices, while also catalyzing business actions and investments in SCP and circular economy.

Given the scope and outreach strategies of SWITCH-Asia, the PSC is committed to working and engaging with stakeholders, particularly the business sector involving Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in the ASEAN Member States, to increase their knowledge, understanding of, and action on SCP, thereby contributing to developing sustainable and resilient value chains.

The PSC recognises the ASEAN CSR Network (ACN) as an important partner in building awareness and capacity on SCP and Circular Economy (CE) and a catalyst for business action, scaling up its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts by developing and promoting business action towards the circular economy in the ASEAN countries.

The ASEAN CSR Network (ACN) is a network of business membership organisations across all ASEAN Member States that promotes and facilitates responsible business practices for better Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) performance, to build awareness and capacity on SCP and Circular Economy (CE) as a catalyst for business action. ACN received its accreditation as an organisation of ASEAN in 2016 and liaises closely with the Economic Pillar of the ASEAN Secretariat. Having its core mandate, expertise, and experience in good corporate governance and responsible business practices, ACN is uniquely placed to initiate positive change in the prevailing trust deficit and foster improved awareness and action on the business case for the circular economy. Being known, respected, and trusted by these stakeholders, ACN is in a unique position to partner with the SWITCH-Asia Policy Support Component to galvanize both commitment and action from the business sector through a pact on the circular economy.

Objectives

  • Build awareness and capacity on SCP and Circular Economy (CE) among ASEAN businesses and industries
  • Scale up Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts and galvanize both commitment and action for the circular economy in the ASEAN business sector

Way Forward

  • Establish commitment to Business Action for Circular Economy in the ASEAN Countries, including its high-level principles, priority areas and headline performance indicators. This would take place through successive business-led consensus seeking and government and stakeholders’ consultations starting in 5 key ASEAN Member States (Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam).
  • Conduct in-country activities to uncover circular economy industry and business practices and experiences to support national consensus building on domestic circular economy approaches and priorities.
  • Organise business-led consensus-building workshops and supportive government and stakeholders’ engagements  to localise circular economy andcatalyse business and stakeholders’ interest and commitment Towards business actions for circular economy.
  • Operationalise the platform for the Business Action for Circular Economy in the ASEAN , through commitments from  leading businesses as signatories, setting up the processes and procedures for reporting on progress, providing targeted training/capacity building support to signatories.

 

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