Spain now has more than 200 ENAC-accredited services for meeting the national Circular Economy Strategy's objectives
May 17 is Global Recycling Day, aimed at raising awareness about the importance of proper waste treatment to help preserve the environment, curb climate change, and advance the transition to a circular economy. However, according to Eurostat data, Spain is still far from being circular and reveals that at the end of 2020 it stood at 35%, failing to reach the target of 50% recycling rate set by the European Commission.
To meet this challenge, the new law on waste and contaminated soils for a circular economy aims to correct this course. It has essential support which serves the Spanish circular economy strategy: more than 200 conformity assessment services accredited by ENAC in charge of providing the necessary guarantees for proper resource management and use. Likewise, accreditation has been established as a tool to serve the Ecological Public Procurement plan, which is required for certain assessment and control activities.
Services accredited for a circular economy
The ENAC-accredited bodies have demonstrated that they are technically competent to offer companies and institutions a service with the necessary quality to start their transformation towards the circular economy model with guarantees at every step.
Therefore, in the design phase and production processes, accredited services favour effectively controlling processes to ensure the products' sustainability, at the same time as intervening in effectively managing energy and reducing companies' environmental impact. Eco-design testing requirements on generators and heat or cold emitters; renewable energy generation element and installation testing and certification: testing of wind turbines and wind installations, photovoltaic modules and systems, solar thermal collectors and systems, and electric vehicle components; or biofuel and bioliquid sustainability inspection are some of the accredited activities made available to the market.
Moreover, in order for consumers making purchasing decisions to be able to contribute towards a circular economy, they must have transparent and truthful information, and for this, tools must be available to make it easier. Therefore, accredited services provide confidence to certificates and reports on sustainability, environmental impact, and energy efficiency; they favour access to ecological public procurement, provide safety to repaired or reconditioned products that extend their useful life or are reused for other purposes, and guarantee professionals' competence in maintenance, control, and repair, and so on.
Finally, accredited services guarantee reliable information on the characteristics of the materials to recover and be recovered, provide waste storage and treatment facilities' safety and efficiency, guarantee collection and recycling processes' quality control, and favour the sustainable management of the hydrological cycle. Examples of accredited activities in this regard are those of surveillance, landfill inspection and control, characterization of waste destined for landfill, waste treatment and revaluation facilities' inspection, certification of the amount of recycled plastic in non-reusable plastic containers, analysis of reclaimed wastewater for possible reuse, and the inspection of discharges to river basins and their possible reuse, among others.
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