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MDBs Join Forces to Accelerate the Circular Economy Transition

During the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) 2023 in Helsinki, environment-focused directors from leading Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) agreed to deepen their cooperation to promote the circular economy.


The African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), IDB Invest, and the World Bank acknowledged the importance of the circular economy transition in combating the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, and emphasized the key role the financial sector has in supporting countries’ transition to a circular economy. 


The directors recognized the value of collaboration between the MDBs on the circular economy, and agreed that their institutions should continue to work together, including via the Circularity Exchange Network (CEN) - a group initiated by Circle Economy and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management that also consists of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, UNEP-FI and the World Economic Forum. The Network enables the MDBs to exchange knowledge on the circular economy, as well as providing a platform to collaboratively work on standards, tools and products to facilitate circular activities and projects.


As outlined in the report “Unlocking the Potential of the International Financial Institutions in the Circular Economy Transition”  the future MDB collaboration will consider the following aims:


  • Link circularity to key environmental objectives and in particular with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
  • Improve and align impact assessment methods for circular economy investments
  • Aim at increasing the share of high-impact circular projects in lending and investment practices.
  • Build internal (MDBs) and external (project partners) capacity for utilizing the circular economy as a strategy to achieve economic success and resilience in client countries.
  • Develop mechanisms to de-risk investments in the circular economy and facilitate better access to blended finance through public-private collaboration.


Based on the above, the MDBs will continue to work with private sector and national agencies, to introduce circular economy approaches into their sustainable development activities.

For questions or further information please reach out to Marvin Nusseck (

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public- and private-sector clients throughout the region. Access our virtual tour.

About IDB Invest

IDB Invest, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, is a multilateral development bank committed to promoting the economic development of its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean through the private sector. IDB Invest finances sustainable companies and projects to achieve financial results and maximize economic, social, and environmental development in the region. With a portfolio of $15.3 billion in asset management and 375 clients in 25 countries, IDB Invest provides innovative financial solutions and advisory services that meet the needs of its clients in a variety of industries.