The draft Industrial Strategy set out a commitment for the Department for the Economy to work with the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) in developing a Circular Economy Strategic Framework (CESF) for Northern Ireland (NI).

Circular Economy Strategy (CES)

Working in partnership with Strategic Investment Board, the project was initiated in October 2019 with the following aims:

  • Increased collaboration and partnership working amongst CE stakeholders
  • More joined-up activity between Government Departments, local government and the private sector on CE issues
  • Enhanced understanding of the Northern Ireland CE ecosystem
  • A clear vision and ambition set out in the strategy for transitioning to a Circular Economy in Northern Ireland
  • A stronger evidence base to support the challenges and opportunities for CE in Northern Ireland
  • A central repository for CE activities to provide information and advice
  • Work is progressing on the development of a draft strategy which is expected to launch for public consultation in autumn 2022

Circular Economy Coalition

A Circular Economy Coalition (advisory panel) has been established to facilitate broad stakeholder engagement, members of the Coalition include representatives of industry, academia, local Government, the third sector and key NICS colleagues. A Call for Evidence (CFE) was issued Coalition members in May 2021.The purpose of the CFE was to gather information specific to NI outlining the current barriers to, and opportunities for, increasing Circularity in NI.

Developing the CES is overseen by a cross departmental steering group which includes representatives across all government departments to ensure the framework is not developed in isolation.

The Circular Economy Strategy will complement and align with the Departments 10x Economic Vision, Energy Strategy, Skills Strategy and DAERA’s Green Growth Strategy in addition to other cross cutting government strategies. Transitioning from a linear to a circular economy will significantly reduce GHG emissions in Northern Ireland, mitigate against climate change and contribute to our net zero ambition.

The CES is expected to be published for public consultation in the autumn of 2022.

Circularity Gap Report Northern Ireland

The project team commissioned Circle Economy in January 2021 to undertake a Circularity Gap Report (CGR) for Northern Ireland. The gap report was completed in June 2022 and was supported by both a Scientific Committee and Circular Economy Coalition which included representatives from business, local government, academia and the community and voluntary sectors along with officials from both NICS and NISRA.

The report provides a snapshot on how circular Northern Ireland currently is by applying the Circle Economy circularity metric, Identifying how materials flow through the Northern Ireland economy and their impacts on the circularity metric. This independent research report also spotlights possible interventions within specific focus sectors and material flows which can aid Northern Irelands transition to becoming circular. This gap report will inform the evidence base underpinning the development of the Circular Economy Strategy. The full Circularlity Gap Report and methodology document can be found at:

Further information

For Further info contact: Louise McArdle


Telephone: 028 9052 9900

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