Measuring the IMPACTS of the transition to the CIRCULAR economy

The overall objective of CIRCULAR IMPACTS is to develop an assessment based on concrete data and indicators of the macro-economic, societal, environmental and labour market impacts of a successful transition to a circular economy. The assessment should support the European Commission in its discussions with the Member States on progress in the circular economy transition and the implications for the EU economy especially in the context of the European Semester. 

The action will:

  • collect an evidence base of reliable datasets and projections and make the evidence base available for the development of impact assessments on the circular economy;
  • describe market and societal impacts of resource and waste flows and changes to those flows;
  • point out innovative approaches based on the circular economy concept in Member States;
  • assess their economic, societal and resource-efficiency impact on existing or new markets in the short, medium and long term; and
  • estimate and assess the macro-economic, societal and environmental costs and benefits of mainstreaming such approaches.

CIRCULAR IMPACTS will also elaborate a benchmark between Member States, covering both green and blue growth potentials, further building on achievements in the waste and water sectors and embedding the role of the digital economy in the analysis. CIRCULAR IMPACTS will respond flexibly to shifting policy agendas if needed.

To meet these objectives CIRCULAR IMPACTS will build on the following principles:

  • Develop a theoretical structure of the circular economy in order to then understand the evidence base needed to conduct impact assessments for initiatives to foster the transition to a circular economy and the type of information needed to improve the European Semester’s evidence base in areas related to the circular economy.
  • Collecting and unifying current collections and databases of evidence useful for this purpose, like www.measuring-progress.eu or the LIAISE KIT and making them available to all stakeholders, which need to understand and develop impact assessments in the context of the circular economy.
  • Conduct case studies in different Member States and different sectors of the circular economy to understand good practices in the Member States and the economic, societal and resource-efficiency impacts of different circular economy processes in comparison to the processes they are replacing.
  • Understanding with interactive stakeholder engagement tools in those case studies the impact of the transition on different sectors and stakeholders and the conditions and limits of the transition.
  • Using the assembled existing evidence base and the evidence from case studies to estimate the impacts in the short, medium and long-term.
  • Developing scenarios for mainstreaming and estimating the impacts of mainstreaming.