The Nordic Working Group for Circular Economy (NCE)

The Nordic Working Group for Circular Economy (NCE) was set up in 2019 as a merger of two previous groups – the Nordic Waste Group (NAG) and the Working Group for Sustainable Consumption and Production (HKP).

The working group’s priorities 2019–2024 will be:

  • non-toxic and resource-efficient cycles
  • cutting resource consumption
  • cutting the volume of waste and using more of it as a resource
  • working together on policy instruments for green transition
  • incorporating plastics into a circular economy as far as possible rather than dumping it into the environment.

The Group’s priorities will be to improve work on product design and communicate products’ environmental characteristics in the market, including by providing input into EU processes. 

Waste and recycling play key roles in the circular economy and the working group will contribute to improving the work of the Nordic countries on cross-border shipments. The construction sector in the Nordic countries is also growing rapidly, which makes work on building and demolition another important area for the group.  

Cutting food waste and the negative impact of plastics on the environment are themes for which there are strong policy guidelines. NCE will work on food waste and look more closely at the links between microplastics and emissions from car tyres with a view to making recommendations for specific initiatives. The group has also been charged with following up on some of Tine Sundtoft's recommendations for a greener conversion in the Nordic Region. Demand for green goods and services via public procurement processes is one of the themes that will be looked at in greater detail.

The work of the NCE will mainly take the form of acquiring new knowledge. However, it is also important to compare results and map the work already done in the various areas and to build on this in order to make recommendations and/or start new initiatives. Exchanging information between the Nordic countries will also be important so that they learn from each other.  

NCE will also contribute to meeting the targets set for promoting the circular economy in the Nordic countries, which are specified in the co-operation programme: