SMEs represent more than 99% of companies in Spain, but there are still many, 46%, who do not know what the advantages of the Circular Economy are. Despite this, they are making progress in this area since it is a very relevant source of employment. This is one of the main conclusions drawn from the report ‘Circular Economy in SMEs’, carried out by the Spanish Chamber of Commerce and Mapfre which analyses the current situation of these companies.

Currently, 2% of employment in Spain is related to the Circular Economy, which places it in the 7th place in the EU-28 ranking. This figure is higher than the average for European countries, which stands at 1.71%. In addition, the positive aspect is that this indicator shows a very positive evolution, since in 2008 it stood at 1.59%.

Other articles of interest: Why do we need universal objectives on circular economy policy?

Three job creation scenarios for 2030

The report also raises three scenarios of job creation in Spain for 2030 which are based on a direct relationship with the development of the Circular Economy itself:

  • No new initiatives: the first scenario assumes that no new initiatives of structural importance are undertaken, but that there are some additional advances found mainly in the recycling sector. With this, 23,000 jobs are estimated to date in Spain.
  • Similar initiatives development trend: the second scenario foresees a continuation of current trends in the development of the Circular Economy. Again, the one that progresses the most is in recycling, with an increase in the rate of 21 percentage points. If this occurs, up to 81,000 jobs would be created.
  • Accelerated transformation: the third scenario is the most optimistic, since it assumes that there is a much broader development of the Circular Economy activity, with recycling increasing to high levels of 34 percentage points. Progress would still be moderate in repair and reuse, but with substantial progress in remanufacturing and servitization activities. In this way, 160,000 jobs could be generated.

Although the increase in jobs in Spain would be very significant in scenario number three, in other European countries it could exceed half a million jobs. This is the case in Germany, where 759,000 jobs would be reached, and in the United Kingdom, where 517,000 jobs would be reached. In addition, with any of the three scenarios on gross job creation, Spain would rise to fifth place in the European ranking.

Other articles of interest: The waste management sector can generate 2.9 million jobs in Europe