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Circular STEP

  • Published on April 3, 2023

Circular STEP serves as a platform for the dissemination of UNECE tools developed through normative intergovernmental processes, and offers a broad range of activities, including developing and disseminating evidence-based good policy practices, creating new opportunities, and facilitating dialogue and knowledge sharing among participants.

Circular STEP, UNECE’s Circular Economy Stakeholder Engagement Platform has the objective  to help “step-up” the circular economy transition, fill gaps and create synergies among the many practical and value-creating initiatives in support of the circular economy transition.

Item Assessment information

Needs addressed

  • c-check Developing strong governance and policies
  • c-check Scaling sustainable and circular business models
  • c-check Adopting SCP norms, technologies and practices

Leaving no one behind

  • c-check Enhancing SCP practices and collaboration between key stakeholders (public and private)


  • c-check Evaluated Proof of Concept
  • c-check Applicable multiple countries


  • 12.1
  • 12.2
  • 12.3
  • 12.4
  • 12.5
  • 12.6
  • 12.7
  • 12.8
  • 12.a
  • 12.b
  • 12.c

How does the tool make an impact on SDG12?

SDG12.1 Circular STEP helps developing countries in Europe and Central Asia to develop and implement SCP policies and strategies

How does the tool make an impact across SDGs?

SDG8 By leveraging a circular economy in developing and transition countries, Circular STEP fosters the creation of jobs for all to improve living standards, providing sustainable economic growth

SDG9 Circular STEP promotes knowledge exchange from key experts, fostering innovation and the use of blockchain and other technologies

SDG10 Circular STEP aims at supporting developing and transition countries. Hence, aid aims to support countries that do not have access to resources and knowledge

SDG13 Circular STEP fosters a Circular Economy transition, thereby reducing emissions, promoting renewable solutions

SDG 17 Circular STEP fosters multi-stakeholder partnerships, especially when supporting countries in their journeys to a circular transition in key countries  

Circular STEP capacity building Examples

Circular STEP capacity building Examples


Circular economy transformation is a new area of cooperation between the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Government of Tajikistan. Under the overarching leadership of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, UNECE together with the UN Tajikistan, and in partnership with national stakeholders, will tailor solutions to make the manufacturing lifecycle of clothes and footwear circular.


In July 2022, the Ministry of the Environmental Protection of Serbia, with the support of UNECE, organized a national policy dialogue in the context of CIRCULAR STEP in Belgrade to facilitate the transition to a circular economy in the agricultural sector, with a focus on food loss and waste management. During the event, national stakeholders and international experts discussed and identified policy, regulatory and institutional limitations that hold back the circular economy transition in Serbia. The findings of the discussion will be summarized in national gap analysis, currently under development with UNECE support. The gap analysis will provide input to the preparation of a national action plan for circular economy transition in agriculture through food waste reduction and prevention in 2013.


In recent years, SWITCH Asia – an EU-funded initiative for sustainable consumption and production (SCP) in the region – has significantly contributed to promoting circularity in Kazakhstan. This includes, in particular, the development of a National SCP Action Plan.

UNECE and the QazTrade Center for Trade Policy Development are joining forces to advance sustainable trade and the circular economy in Kazakhstan. On 21 November 2022, QazTrade and UNECE trained stakeholders for the first time on the promotion of sustainable trade.


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