On May, 12th, the European Commission adopted its Communication “Pathway to a Healthy Planet for All – EU Action Plan : ‘Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil”.

In this Communication, the EU recalls its aim to reduce pollution for 2050 and defined some targets for 2030, in line with the EU Green Deal. Those targets should be reached through “transforming production and consumption modes” with for example circular economy business models. It is also underlined that “it is high time to ‘reverse the pyramid’ of action and rethink the way goods and services are designed, produced, delivered, performed and/or used and disposed of”.

The social economy sector, and especially work integration social enterprises (WISEs) are often active in the circular economy. Their key role has been acknowledged in the EU Circular economy action, which described social economy as a “pioneer in job creation linked to the circular economy”. ENSIE demonstrated this role, especially for WISEs during the webinar organized on June 16th on “Circular economy in the value chain of social economy organisations – WISEs working towards more responsible consumption”. Indeed, the social economy, and WISEs in particular, are combining an environmental as well as a social objective, this is why ENSIE launched, for its 20th anniversary a new campaign, #BuyResponsible, with the aim to present how WISEs can contribute to the promotion of a more responsible consumption and to reduce waste production.

However, in the “Towards zero pollution action plan” , there is no mention of the role of social enterprises or WISEs. And this is, alas often the case in EU policies that are implementing the EU Green Deal. The role of the social economy, although it is quite often acknowledged in general terms, is often not recognized in practice and is not followed by concrete legislative proposal. This is a pity as it leave aside a part of the sector that can bring good practices and innovation to the others.

This plan was accompanied by the launch of the Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform, which will be installed later this year. We really hope that the social economy sector will be acknowledge by this platform and will include some representatives of the sector.