Energy, Water and Waste Management Sectors and the Social and Solidarity Economy

Abstract - EN

Social and solidarity economy (SSE) and circular economy concerning circular use of energy and materials such as water and waste are in many ways complementary approaches. Both aim at transforming global production and consumption patterns to become more sustainable. While the environmental benefits of the circular economy are well documented and analysed, less is known about its impacts on socio-economic aspects, such as employment, inclusion and poverty reduction. SSE actors in sectors such as energy, water and waste management are providing solidarity-based alternatives for production and consumption, where their structure allows for more inclusive and participatory access to these vital services, including for underserved populations. These SSE initiatives are in many cases aligned with circular strategies and function as a link between environmental sustainability, the capacity to promote decent work, and social inclusion. To be able to achieve this at a broader level, SSE actors will need to be part of the discussions on the circular economy, and demonstrate the value of SSE as playing a key role in circular transition.