Turnover in the circular economy

This indicator measures the turnover of a number of circular industries in Flanders.

€ 22 billion

  • In 2021, the total turnover of Flemish circular industries was € 22 billion.
  • Between 2015 and 2021, turnover in circular industries grew by 22.5%.

What do we see?

Between 2015 and 2021, the turnover of circular industries in Flanders followed the growth trend of the broader Flemish economy. In the year 2021, the total turnover of these industries reached 22 billion euros, which roughly corresponds to 2.5% of the turnover of the entire Flemish economy.

The chart below illustrates that almost two-thirds of turnover in circular industries comes from motor vehicle maintenance, followed by waste (23%) and renting and leasing (7%).

An analysis of the relative trends in circular industries between 2015 and 2021 reveals that turnover in the waste sector increased the most, by 82%. This is followed by building restoration (64%) and repair (35%). In contrast, during this period, turnover from second-hand sales showed the steepest decline, down 47%.

What’s the aim? 

In an indicator on turnover in the circular economy, we mainly want to know how much the Flemish economy is moving towards a circular economy. It is not easy to delineate the circular economy by industries because, in reality, circular practices are not limited to specific companies but often involve processes that take place across a broad spectrum of industries. This makes it difficult to fully classify a company’s turnover as circular, or not. Therefore, it is crucial to focus not only on the absolute figure of turnover, but especially on the trend. This trend indicates how the defined circular industries relate to the entire Flemish economy.

What does this indicator measure?

The turnover figures of the circular industries were obtained from the Bel-First database via the applicable primary NACE codes. The NACE codes used were based on previous work in CE Center in which a list of relevant circular industries was compiled after consultation with circular economy experts. Turnover figures for the entire Flemish economy were obtained from the annual accounts published by the National Bank of Belgium.

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