09. Feb 2021

Tips on Circular Economy

New EU database for pollutants: Experts expect positive effects on the Circular Economy

„Companies supplying products containing substances of very high concern on the EU market have to submit information to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), as from January, 2021”, Environmental Expert Axel Dick and Occupational Health and Safety Expert Eckehard Bauer of Quality Austria explain. Waste operators can access this data to ensure that such substances are not unintentionally recycled and processed into new products. The information in the database is also available to consumers. The qualityaustria experts clarify what manufacturers and consumers will have to expect and how this will boost the Circular Economy.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has established a long Candidate List of substances of very high concerns. „All articles placed on the EU market containing substances of very high concern in a concentration above 0.1 % weight by weight must be entered in the SCIP database of ECHA on an obligatory basis, as from January 2021”, summarizes Eckehard Bauer, responsible for Business Development in the field of Occupational Health and Safety of Quality Austria. The database can be accessed here. One example of many of these substances is the plasticizer diisobutyl phthalate, which can be found, amongst others, in dispersion adhesives. If it is used to glue cardboard boxes that are recycled into food packaging, the substance may pass to the food under certain circumstances and may be harmful to health. The SCIP database provides a good and quick overview of substances of very high concern (SVHC), especially for specialists such as safety experts who prepare risk assessments (workplace evaluations).

Consumers can use SCIP to adapt their purchasing behavior

Numerous actors are required to submit information: all EU producers, assemblers, importers, distributers, as well as other companies in the supply chain. Only exception are retailers who supply directly to consumers. The data collection has a number of different goals: Increased transparency helps consumers to make purchasing decisions, encourages the industry to substitute these substances with harmless alternatives, and subsequently contributes to a better circular economy. On the one hand, because this data is also available to waste operators, and on the other hand, because it can help to avoid these substances already in the product development stage so that they do not enter the cycle in the first place.

„The circular economy is one of the EU’s major projects. Therefore, companies should already start now to work in a way that is suitable for recycling and to give more attention to environmental and safety aspects“, suggests Axel Dick, Executive Vice President Business Development Environment and Energy, CSR, Quality Austria. Circular economy starts with product design.

10 tips for implementing a circular economy in the company

According to the recommendations of the qualityaustria experts, the following points can have positive effects with regard to circular economy:

  1. Product design & development: Companies should avoid substances of high concern, such as carcinogenic or mutagenic substances, already in the product development stage and substitute them with other substances. The products should have modular design and be easy to repair and disassemble.
  2. Supply chain: More detailed information about suppliers or purchased semi-finished products should be obtained during the procurement process.
  3. Durability: The manufactured goods shall be designed to be more durable.
  4. Service: Producers should offer more maintenance and repairs, and make it easier to replace individual parts through modular product design.
  5. Customer loyalty: If a product is completely unusable, brand loyalty can be pushed by taking back the product or issuing discount coupons.
  6. Quality: The secondary raw materials shall be of high quality so that they can be reused again and again in the sense of circular economy.
  7. Transport routes: Purchasing from local suppliers ensures short transport routes and helps protecting the environment.
  8. Occupational Health and Safety: Products must not only be safe during production and use, but also when being recycled – no hazardous substances may escape and endanger the workers, or subsequently, the environment.
  9. Management systems: The implementation of Environmental and Energy Management Systems as well as Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems provides a lot of data that enables evindence-based decisions.
  10. Certification: Cradle to Cradle Certification can be used to transparently demonstrate the recyclability and environmental friendliness of products.

Contact persons


Mr. Eckehard Bauer, MSc

Executive Vice President Business Development Safety Management, Business Continuity, Risk, Security, Compliance and Transport


Mr. Axel Dick, MSc

Executive Vice President Business Development Environment and Energy, CSR

News & Events

The basis for long-term success!

15. Jun 2021

The shifting role of certifications

Confirmation by third parties

Learn more
14. Jun 2021

Quality 2030 – Where is the journey heading?

Whitepaper series

Learn more
08. Jun 2021

ÖNORM D 4900 series supersedes ONR 49000 series

Innovations and interesting facts

Learn more
27. May 2021

New auditing – a continual improvement process

04. May 2021

3 central contradictions in the concept of quality

Contradictory developments and a shift in values

Learn more
27. Apr 2021

5 tips for modern leadership during and after the crisis

It’s all about leadership

Learn more
13. Apr 2021

Stand out with quality

Differentiate yourself from competitors

Learn more
30. Mar 2021

Avoidance of hazards arising from combinations of Personal Protective Equipment

Occupational Health & Safety

Learn more
25. Mar 2021

3 years of ISO 45001:2018

A success story

Learn more
24. Mar 2021

New regulation: IFS Split Assessments

Food Safety update

Learn more
19. Feb 2021

Emergency – Emergency preparedness and response – Emergency response capability → protects human lives!

Preparation in theory and practice is essential!

Learn more
29. Jan 2021

Health Expert Dr. Günther Schreiber suggests: Eight steps to manage mental stress in the Workplace

Business continuity

Learn more
+43 732 34 23 22