Universitat de Barcelona logotipo

The BCL and the IEB co-organize a conference on reverse logistics business models and the Circular Economy

The Barcelona Institute of Economics and the Barcelona-Catalunya Centre Logístic (BCL), with the cooperation of the Barcelona Zona Franca Consortium, ​​the Port of Barcelona, ​​the Barcelona City Council and the Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB), organized a conference on Wednesday, 3 November designed to bring the various business models and key technologies of reverse logistics to a wider public.

The day began with a short welcome speech from Pere Navarro, special State delegate to the Barcelona Zona Franca Consortium, who highlighted the entity’s firm commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) “not only as a Consortium, but also favouring the cooperation with the companies present in the Zona Franca”.

Montserrat Ballarín, Councillor for Commerce, Markets, Consumption, Internal Regulations and Finance of the Barcelona City Council, referred to the Circular Economy as “a key element for combating the climate emergency, at the level of public organizations, private firms, and also in society at large”. She added that the Barcelona City Council and the AMB are actively working on issues related to last mile logistics, the urban distribution of goods, and the logistics of the industrial sector.

Santiago Bassols, general director of the BCL, and Martí Parellada, president of the IEB, outlined their institutions’ visions with regard to ways in which collaborative actions can be carried out in the field of the Circular Economy, and also with regard to the implementation of SDGs in companies. The objective is to deploy more sustainable logistics chains, from start to finish.

The “Circular Economy Spain” project was then presented, a study carried out by several institutions and involving more than 100 companies and organizations from 11 different sectors. Jaime Ferrer, coordinator of the project, summarized the achievements of the study, such as the identification of areas for improvement in each sector based on the degree of maturity of circular practices and in relation to neighbouring countries.

Accompanied by Mar Isla, Nino Herrería and Joan Batalla, the co-authors of the Circular Economy Spain project, Ferrer explained that most of the companies consulted have developed plans for transitioning to the Circular Economy and intend to make a major step forward by adopting associated business models and technologies in the next three years; for this reason, he said, “new business models in logistics will appear”.

Finally, under the general title of “Reverse logistics as a facilitator of the 2030 Circular Economy strategy”, a series of round tables were held addressing the following issues: the logistics of extending the useful life of industrial products and assets, logistics in collaborative consumption platforms, resource recovery and valorization, energy solutions based on the principles of the Circular Economy, and last mile logistics.