News - News

06 November 2023

Launch of Expert Group on Trade, Circular Economy, and Sustainable Development

As interest in the shift to a circular economy grows, there is also growing attention to the trade and supply chain dimensions and the relevance of trade policies. To support a fair transition to a more resource-efficient, low carbon, and safe circular economy that supports sustainable development, inclusive international cooperation on the trade dimensions will be vital. To contribute to this cooperation, TESS has mobilized a group of leading international experts from the trade, environment, and sustainable development communities to develop guidance on best practices and approaches on the trade dimensions of circular economy policies and measures, with the overarching goal of advancing sustainable development goals.

At present, the design of circular economy policies and measures largely takes place at the national level. While the development of national policies have a key role to play in spurring a circular economy transition, there is also growing recognition of the range of opportunities and challenges arising across international supply chains and markets that require international cooperation and coordination.

Dialogue and shared understandings on best practices and approaches for the design of trade-related circular economy policies and measures are needed to help governments and stakeholders navigate a complex set of priorities, including the design of policies and measures that achieve environmental objectives, are non-discriminatory, minimize trade costs, are effective across interconnected markets, and support sustainable development outcomes and a fair transition.

As a contribution, TESS has convened a group of international experts on trade, circular economy, and sustainable development to provide guidance on best practices and approaches on the trade dimension of circular economy policies and measures, with the overarching goal of advancing sustainable development goals—environmental, social, and economic. The group includes experts from academia, think tanks, and intergovernmental and stakeholder organizations representing a diversity of perspectives and regional expertise, participating in their personal capacities. The final report of the expert group will reflect a collective, cooperative effort among the group members to contribute their expertise and experience to provide guidance to policymakers and stakeholders.

The aim of the group is to prepare a short report on best practices and approaches by early 2024. The group’s first meetings were held in September and October, and will continue in the last quarter of 2023. This process will be complemented by consultations between TESS and key stakeholders and experts on key issues for consideration as well as with government delegations. The report will be published with the aim of contributing to ongoing deliberations on these topics at the World Trade Organization in the context of the Committee on Trade and Environment and the TESSD and DPP initiatives, as well as in other international organizations and processes, from UNCTAD to the OECD, UNEP, the World Customs Organization, the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Participating Experts

(in their personal capacities)

Adina Renee ADLER, Silverado Policy Accelerator

Hélionor DE ANZIZU, Centre for International Environmental Law

Apporva ARYA, Circular Innovation Lab

Jack BARRIE, Chatham House

Arpit BHUTANI, Circular Innovation Lab

Florence BINTA DIAO‐GUEYE, International Chamber of Commerce

Jocelyn BLÉRIOT, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Kimberley BOTWRIGHT, World Economic Forum

Vito BUONSANTE, International Pollutants Elimination Network

Catherine CHEVAUCHÉ, ISO/TC 323 Circular Economy Technical Committee

Dominic COPPENS, Maastricht University


Bonmwa FWANGKWAL, African Circular Economy Alliance Secretariat

Gael GROOBY, World Customs Organization

Moustapha Kamal GUEYE, International Labour Organization

Margaret KAMAU, African Circular Economy Alliance Secretariat

Soumyajit KAR, World Economic Forum

Michikazu Kojima, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia

Rainer LANZ, World Trade Organization

Aik Hoe LIM, World Trade Organization

Elisa LUOTONEN, African Development Bank Group

Davinah MILENGE UWELLA, African Circular Economy Alliance Secretariat

Johan MULDER, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean


Henrique PACINI, United Nations Conference on Trade and Environment

Rolph PAYET, Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions

Patrick SCHROEDER, Chatham House

Elisa TONDA, United Nations Environment Programme

Colette VAN DER VEN, Tulip Consulting

Shunta YAMAGUCHI, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development