Circular Economy Solutions Dialogues (CESD) Final Report 2021-2022


The Circular Economy Solutions Dialogue (CESD) was an initiative implemented by the GIZ in co-operation with the GSI on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) to inspire a conducive circular economy (CE) narrative feeding into the G/T20 process. It promoted a discussion on existing, scalable, innovative solutions to devise context-sensitive strategies for their broad implementation and bring together circular economy global experts to act as a catalyst and amplify related messages.

The CESD spanned across three thematic cycles, focusing on 1) plastics, 2) global value chains, 3) urban metabolism and sustainable infrastructure.

  • CESD 1: Bending the Linear Agenda: Circular Economy Policy Instruments, Business Models and Technology Uptake in the Plastics Value Chain.
  • CESD 2: From Global Value Chains to a Global Circular Economy: Mapping the Journey
  • CESD 3: Localizing the circular economy imperative – What is at stake for cities?

Each thematic cycle was attended by approximately thirty experts including public and private sector decision makers, and representatives from civil society, academia, think tanks and international organizations involved in CE initiatives worldwide.

Some of the main recommendations suggested by the CESD participants:
1. Governance:

  • Provide consumers with the right information to help decision-making between buying a service or a product;
  • Introduce and contextualise the flexible and universally applied CE terminology;
  • Advance from voluntary schemes to enforced standards and regulations;
  • Develop international and multi-level regulatory frameworks, standardization schemes and multilateral collaborations; these are essential pre-conditions for the transition to a more Circular Economy;
  • Understand and adapt to the different local requirements, preparedness, readiness and cultural backgrounds for the CE transition between developed and developing countries to have the best fitting CE solutions successfully applied in other contexts. Well-performing solutions in the Global North may not be applicable in the developing world.

2. Financing:

  • Align finance mechanisms to evidence-based targets and providing a variety of incentives for firms to encourage and support innovation;
  • Promote the diversification of available financial support and emerging sustainable investment schemes;
  • Include blending schemes, local banks, investment funds, angel finance.

3. Tools:

  • Enhance the Extended Producer Ownership schemes;
  • Shift the effort upstream (reduction / reuse) by supporting suppliers to embed CE solutions at an early stage of production;
  • Expand infrastructure distributing and promoting available technological solutions and improve skills and competences.

4. Digitalization:

  • Invest in building (labour) skills, in sharing knowledge and know-how in modernizing infrastructure and in developing the basis for technology uptake;
  • Make use of the digital transformation momentum that can speed up the circular transition;
  • Globalize the EU’s Digital Product Passport.

5. Urban setting:

  • Necessity for best practice exchange and transferability between the global and local and vice versa;
  • Africa could be a global pioneer in CE transition. Cities grow faster, but resources are not available in the continent; the transition to circularity and adoption of radical solutions are essential;
  • Recognition of the informal sector in achieving the transition to CE à another debatable topic discussed at the GSI Summit. The informal sector silently works towards this goal without receiving the attention and credit it deserves;
  • Transformation / transition to CE can only succeed if the human component is present, thus adoption of a human-technology centric approach should be sought to serve citizens, space, and citie;
  • To understand how resources (i.e., materials, energy, water, etc.) Are consumed and processed in the cities, how they flow, circulate between centers, accumulate for building stock and / or other types of stocks within the cities and how they ultimately exit the cities.


Photo credit: GIZ GmbH


You can find the Final Report of the CESD sessions here.

CESD Final Report (156.76 KB)