The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) has unveiled a new circular economy framework to accelerate Abu Dhabi’s transition towards a smart and sustainable economy. The framework aims to empower the industrial sector to champion responsible production and consumption across waste management, parts supply, and manufacturing.

The new framework, part of the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy’s (ADIS) six transformational programmes, will guide industrial businesses to use resources more responsibly by minimising waste and environmental impact while maximising the value and lifecycle of products and materials by utilising resources more efficiently. Its overall aim is to enhance the industrial sector and foster sustainable economic growth.

The circular economy framework, which alters the conventional ‘take-make-dispose’ linear model, will be introduced as Abu Dhabi transforms towards a diversified, smart, inclusive, and sustainable economy.

The industrial circular economy policy framework aims to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in industrial process waste, at least 40,000 tonnes annually. It will cover key sectors to ensure 100 per cent compliance by 2030, with 100 per cent compliance within the plastic manufacturing sector by 2025.

The policy was unveiled at the special edition of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2023 during COP28 UAE Edition.

His Excellency Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of ADDED, said: “The pivotal role of the industrial sector in fostering sustainability underscores the need for a heightened commitment to implementing circular economy principles across all sectors. Abu Dhabi currently surpasses global averages in the reuse of industrial waste, and our progressive circular economy framework, coupled with other initiatives in various sectors, ensures we become a truly Green Falcon Economy.

“We are determined to deliver lasting change and ensure businesses in the emirate adopt a more responsible approach to resource utilisation, integrate ESG principals into their operations, qualify and upskill talent, and embrace green procurement and technology. This strategic direction aligns with our overarching philosophy, which places the human development and sustainability at the core of socio-economic strategies and plans.”

The Industrial Circular Economy Policy Framework, supervised by the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB), the section of ADDED that develops and regulates the industrial sector, is expected to be implemented in Q2 of 2024 as an integral part of ADIS mission to promote industrial growth by increasing value creation, maximising economic opportunities, and raising competitiveness.

To encourage industrial entities to adopt the circular economy principles and polices, ADDED is offering incentive schemes and arranging programmes to enhance awareness. Specialised monitoring, reporting, and verification schemes, including audits, inspections, and enforcement, will be implemented to ensure all industries adopt circular economy practices.

The guidelines within the framework outline best practices and benchmarks for industrial entities and encourage circulatory practices in manufacturing governance structures.

The policy includes a 100 per cent scrap recovery and reuse in the metal and plastic industries, which will positively impact subsectors such as electronics, electricals, assembling products, machinery, fabricated metal products, and more. As a regulatory requirement, the IDB ensures 100 per cent compliance within the plastic manufacturing sector by 2025.

Recent research has revealed that only 7.2 per cent of the global economy is circular, indicating that less than 10 per cent of the world’s extracted materials are recycled or reused. Abu Dhabi has already demonstrated its dedication to sustainability with more than 30 state-of-the-art recycling and processing centres, helping the emirate surpass the global average for industrial waste reuse.