Social and solidarity economy actors seen as key to building a circular economy in France

A new map features over 1,500 circular economy actors from across seven French regions

ESS France, an apex representing social and solidarity economy organisations in the country, has launched Carte Eco, an interactive eco map to promote the sector’s role in the circular economy.

The map features over 1,500 circular economy actors across seven French regions: Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Corse, Guyane, Île-de-France, Mayotte, Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Loire.

A circular economy is an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources, prioritising renewable energy sources and ensuring that raw materials, components and products lose their value as little as possible.

The map allows citizens, businesses and local communities to discover the circular economy actors involved in the management of waste, product repair or tackling waste, from bike workshops and environmental education projects to waste collection and sustainable agriculture activities. It is connected to the international OpenStreetMap open data database meaning that the two databases synchronise automatically. All actors listed form part of the social and solidarity economy.

“The actors of the social and solidarity economy that we represent are fully committed to ecological transition, and in particular the circular economy “, said Jérôme Saddier, president of ESS France.

“With this platform, we wanted to place them in the spotlight and make the lives of citizens, businesses and local communities, who often seek solutions for their waste or their objects awaiting a second life, without knowing where to turn.”

The map was developed by ESS France in collaboration with the Agency for Ecological Trasition (ADEME) and the National Agency for Territorial Cohesion (ANCT).

Olivia Grégoire, secretary of state for the social, solidarity and responsible economy, added: “More and more French people are sensitive to the circular economy but sometimes do not know where it begins.

“With this interactive map carried by ESS France in partnership with ADEME and ANCT, it will be possible for everyone to easily see where and how they can contribute to social and solidarity transition or their consumption. This readability is a guarantee of visibility.”

ADEME estimates that 4.9 tonnes of waste are produced each year per inhabitant in France.

Arnaud Leroy, president of ADEME, said: “ESS has historically been involved in the circular economy. I rejoice that ADEME was able to join forces with the ESS France initiative, which shows the dynamism of ESS on the territories, as close as possible to the needs of our fellow citizens. SSE actors have a strong innovation capacity to invent new solutions to ecological challenges, they can count on ADEME to support them.”

Yves Le Breton, general director of ANCT, said: “ESS and ANCT have a common philosophy and principles of action: taking into account local needs, developing local activities and building co-operation between actors in the territory, whether private or public. The platform SSE actors for the circular economy, of which the ANCT is a partner, makes it possible to strengthen the tools of the territories and the capacity of each to deploy innovative solutions in favour of ecological transition.”

According to ESS France, the social and solidarity economy movement is made up of over 221,000 actors with 2.3 million employees and 22 million volunteers, including co-operatives, mutuals, associations and foundations.