The machine tool industry and related manufacturing technologies already operate as a responsible industry supporting long-term sustainability.

The sector contributes to the circular economy through different actions aiming at improving the performance of its products, developing and implementing new technologies. Continuous performance improvement, maintenance, upgrading, refurbishing and recycling are already common practices in the sector.

Circular Economy

The concept of circular economy refers to an economy where the use of goods and materials is optimized, and waste is eliminated or minimized.  Resources are kept in use for as long as possible and at the end of the product lifecycle, resources are recovered to regenerate products and materials that can be used again to create further value.


CECIMO published a report that shows how our sector is contributing to the circular economy . To implement these principles, our companies invest in new technologies, share best practices and work on global standards. Also, policy makers can help by setting the right framework for our industry to take on this challenge, i.e. support digitisation and R&D. You can also watch the animated video – here on the left side – that summarizes the main points.

Ecodesign Directive

Energy efficiency is an important aspect for machine tools and related manufacturing technologies. Machine tools were one of the product groups considered by the European Commission for the development of a Regulation establishing requirements under the Ecodesign Directive. Finally, the Regulation will only cover welding equipment but the possible inclusion of requirements for machine tools will be re-examined in the future.

The industry is currently working on the development of standards for the environmental evaluation of machine tools (ISO 14955 series) under ISO/TC 39. This standard establishes a framework for the improvement of the environmental performance of machine tools taking into account the real needs, technological possibilities and economic environment of the sector at international level.

Blue Competence Initiative

Blue Competence is a sustainability initiative originally launched in Germany for the entire mechanical engineering industry. In 2012, CECIMO brought this initiative at European level.

Originally the main focus of the initiative was energy efficiency. In January 2018 the initiative was revamped to include sustainability in general and a new set of rules was also established.

Participant companies using the Blue Competence trademark show their commitment to adopting sustainable practices in line with the Blue Competence criteria/principles.