Environmental Policy

Climate change is a reality, and we are constantly being reminded by the increasing natural catastrophes happening around us. Policy makers, industry and citizens are progressively understanding the dangers it represents, and wish to react to make a difference in improving the sustainability of the planet and natural resources.

Different initiatives and labels have been developed. At European Level, the Commission is pursuing a Circular Economy Action Plan which establishes a concrete and ambitious programme and provides measures from the production phase to packaging waste, consumption and waste management. These measures have the aim to bring benefits for both the environment and the economy by promoting the re-use, repair and recycle of products.

Sustainability is a concept also part of the Circular Economy Action Plan that is starting to deliver and for which consumers are showing increased interest when purchasing a pair of shoes.

Circular Economy

The CEC supports the European Commission’s Initiatives regarding the Circular Economy Action Plan and the legislative acts that will enter into force in 2020: Waste Management Directive no. 2018/851 and Directive on packaging and packaging waste no. 2018/852. According to this proposals, Member States have to achieve targets set in order to increase the re-use and recycling of municipal waste (which also includes textiles products and materials), and to increase the re-use of packaging, recycling and reducing the final packaging waste disposal.

The CEC also aligns to Commission’s efforts and targets set in the Plastic Strategy to reduce the single-use plastic and protect the environment from plastic pollution whilst fostering growth and innovation.

Sustainability and Green Products

The European Footwear Industry is conscious of the relevance to produce green products, and it is more and more committed in manufacturing in a sustainable way through the use of green materials and new technologies.

The final objective is to develop a greener industry: key priorities are the efficient use of the resources and the reduction of the carbon footprint.

For this purpose, the CEC follows at EU level the relevant developments in policy, the Sustainable Consumption and Production Action Plan, the EU Ecolabel, the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF), the implementation of the REACH Regulation and the Commission Note for Guidance on the definition of treated articles as included in the Biocides Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 (‘BPR’).

CEC, as member of the Technical Secretariat on Apparel and Footwear lead by Sustainable Apparel Coalition,   is involved in the development and implementation of Product Environmental Category Rules for certain categories of apparel and footwear products during the Transition Phase (the period between the end of the Environmental Footprint pilot phase and the possible adoption of policies implementing the PEF).

In parallel, CEC contributes to promote the sustainability of the industry by developing different initiatives in this field through the participation in European projects such as Step2Sustainability, CO2Shoe, LIFE GreenShoes4All.

The final aim is to preserve the Planet and resources, and that consumers can buy the best products manufactured in line with European environmental and safety standards, while adapting to a green behaviour that implies recycle, re-use and repair of products.


The CEC is a Member of the European Platform for Chemicals Using Manufacturing Industries (CheMI).

CheMI is a platform for downstream users of chemicals in manufacturing industries. It works as a channel for the downstream users in article producing industries to represent their interests and aims at contributing to the successful implementation of REACH.

CheMI was established in 2003 and its members are trade associations representing a variety of sectors and comprising approximately 400.000 companies and 7 million employees, for a turnover of more than € 670 million. CheMI membership consists mainly of SMEs.

CheMI has seats in the high-level groups set by the European Commission and ECHA: CARACAL (Competent Authorities for REACH and CLP), DCG (Director’s Contact Group and the related Sherpa Group), ENES (Exchange Network on Exposure Scenario) and Competent Authorities for Biocidal Products meetings.

Success stories

Circular Economy Industry Platform is a web tool managed by BusinessEurope and its national members that contributes to the EU’s agenda on circular economy. It continuously brings new examples of innovative ways in which industry, SMEs and other business add to the circular economy in Europe.

For the Textiles, apparel, footwear and leather sectors, 38 successful projects have been shared up to today.