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The circular economy wins gold

Much of our coverage today has focussed on the launch of the European Union’s Green Week (EU Green Week) series of events.

The theme is ‘green jobs for a green future’ and the aim is to promote green skills and a sustainable economy. A jobs summit begins tomorrow in Brussels and a company based in the Belgian capital is a prime example of the circular economy supporting the green jobs market.

Umicore is a multi-billion euro company that is transforming waste in to gold bars. The two hundred year old mining company no longer digs for raw material, it takes electronic waste, car parts and other leftover materials to make precious metals.

Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: Umicore is a “great example of a company that has completely reinvented itself to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”

“Turning old mobile phones into gold is impressive. But what’s even more impressive is a radical change in the business model. A group that once relied on primary extraction processes is now entirely focused on secondary raw materials. They mine our waste. And the result is clean and efficient, and it provides employment for more than ten thousand people.”

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