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Greece’s commitment to green growth through Circular Economy

The transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient and circular economy is of paramount importance for Greece to ensure environmental protection but also to boost green growth, to create new jobs, fight unemployment and support innovation in production, consumption, value chain of materials, sharing use methods and reduction, reuse and recycling of waste, in order to extend the life circle of products and optimize the resources, water and energy. The Greek government has set implementation of circular economy objectives in practice, through a Circular Transition Business Plan of Greece, as one of its key cross-sectoral priorities, by accelerating action at three levels:

- Setting criteria for green and circular public procurement including though incentives for enhancing secondary raw material markets and industry, as well as designing, repairing and reuse of products, aiming to "close the loop" of product life-cycles and to promote secondary use of by-products and waste in new production processes as raw primary materials, also applying in practice the “hierarchy approach” in waste management and with specific measures and targets for Plastics (single use plastics, fishing gears, etc) and food waste;
- Promoting industrial symbiosis and clustering of businesses for supporting circular entrepreneurship, environmental industry, digital transformation ;
- Stimulating employment through measures to strengthen sharing or collaborative economy, collaborative economy and small-scale entrepreneurship.

Expected impact

The abovementioned foreseen actions are all of a cross-cutting nature and have multiplying effects to more than one SDGs, addressing the strong intrlinkages between SDGs 12, 9, 7, 13, 15, 7 etc.

Their implementation is expected to be further accelerated, coupled by a strong education- awareness raising component (SDG 17) by supporting circular consumption patterns through awareness raising and education; enhancing partnerships, synergies and communication between the various involved actors; and giving emphasis on monitoring progress and results through concrete performance indicators.

To this end, the Government is relaunching an inter-minsterial Committee comprising representatives from all key involved Ministries, coordinated by the Hellenic Ministry of Environment and Energy, and has updated its National Strategy and Action Plan for the Circular Economy originally endorsed in April 2018, to now extend up to 2025 (activitiy linked to SDGs 16 and 17 implementation).


https://www.circular-economy.gr/ ; http://www.ypeka.gr/

Goal 6
6.4 - By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity
Goal 7
7.1 - By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services
7.3 - By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency
Goal 8
8.4 - Improve progressively, through 2030, global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, in accordance with the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, with developed countries taking the lead
8.9 - By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products
Goal 9
9.4 - By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities
Goal 11
11.6 - By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management
Goal 12
12.1 - Implement the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, all countries taking action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries
12.2 - By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources
12.3 - By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses
12.4 - By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment
12.5 - By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse
12.6 - Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle
12.7 - Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities
12.8 - By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature
12.a - Support developing countries to strengthen their scientific and technological capacity to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production
12.b - Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products
12.c - Rationalize inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption by removing market distortions, in accordance with national circumstances, including by restructuring taxation and phasing out those harmful subsidies, where they exist, to reflect their environmental impacts, taking fully into account the specific needs and conditions of developing countries and minimizing the possible adverse impacts on their development in a manner that protects the poor and the affected communities
Goal 13
13.2 - Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
13.3 - Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning
Goal 14
14.1 - By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Goal 15
15.1 - By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
15.5 - Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species
Goal 16
16.6 - Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
16.7 - Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
Goal 17
17.14 - Enhance policy coherence for sustainable development
Other, please specify
2. Private sources of finance, like PPPs, from the budgets of the 22 approved Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes operating in Greece, etc.
Other, please specify
National and EU funds from the Partnership Agreement 2014-2020 of Greece (from both the Operational Programmes “Transport Infrastructure, Environment and Sustainable Development” and “Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation”)
Basic information
Start: 01 November, 2019
Completion: 31 December, 2025
Hellenic Ministry of Environment and Energy - MoEE (Government)
Government of Greece (Ministry of Environment and Energy-MoEE and other competent Ministries), Economic and Social Council of Greece, Business Council for Sustainable Development of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEVBCSD), NGOs
Initiative focused on COVID-19 pandemic response, prevention and recovery efforts
Not specified
Geographical coverage
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficiaries
Small-scale enterprises (e.g. repair services), local and regional authorities, society at large
Contact information
Vasileios Liogkas, Senior Expert Advisor, vliogkas@mou.gr, +30 213 1513229, +30 6977474684
Hellenic Ministry of Environment and Energy, 119, Mesogeion Av., 101 92 Athens, GREECE
United Nations