Library

The library contains a wealth of information on the circular economy for use by policy makers and analysts conducting impact assessments. For more information on impact assessments and the EU's Better Regulation Agenda, please click here.

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    From an eco-industrial park towards an eco-city: a case study in Suzhou, China

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Chang Yu, Gerard P.J. Dijkema, Martin de Jong, Han Shi

    Source: 

    Year: 

    2015

    "As eco-industrial park policies have been in place for years, many mature eco-industrial parks tend to acquire more than just industrial functions and become new urban districts. We investigated this development and conducted empirical research in Suzhou Industrial Park, to obtain insight in how a mature eco-industrial park influences if not leverages the development of an eco-city. To this end we inventoried and analyzed policy instruments and environmental infrastructures and deduced how in Suzhou Industrial Park these led to improved energy efficiency, reduced pollution and contributed...

    Resource efficiency in Europe - Policies and approaches in 31 EEA member and cooperating countries

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Paweł Kaźmierczyk, Mikkel Stenbæk Hansen, Jens Günther, David McKinnon, Christian Loewe, Fredrik Lingvall, Tamas Kristof Kallay, Jozsef Szlezak, Bettina Bahn-Walkowiak, Marton Herczeg, Dominic Wittmer

    Source: 

    EEA

    Year: 

    2011

    "This report provides an overview of resource efficiency policies and instruments in 31 member and cooperating countries of the EEA’s Eionet network. A detailed survey was conducted during the first half of 2011 to collect, analyse and disseminate information about national experiences in developing and implementing resource efficiency policies, with the goal to facilitate the sharing of experiences and good practice. The report reviews national approaches to resource efficiency and explores similarities and differences in policies, strategies, indicators and targets, policy drivers and...

    German Resource Efficiency Programme (ProgRess) - programme for the sustainable use of natural resources

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety

    Year: 

    2012

    "The current use of natural resources is already far exceeding the Earth’s regenerative capacity. A responsible and efficient use of natural resources will therefore be a key competence for any society seeking to ensure its future viability. Improving resource efficiency can limit environmental damage, strengthen the competitiveness of the German economy, create new jobs and secure long-term employment. Therefore, on 29 February 2012, the Federal Cabinet adopted the German Resource Efficiency Programme (ProgRess). With this, the German government implemented the decision in its Raw...

    Opportunities and limits of recycling: A dynamic-model-based analysis

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Source: 

    Year: 

    2012

    "Ensuring continued resource availability and material flow into sustainable products requires well-designed systems that capture these resources from end-of-life (EOL) products and recycle them into new applications. Understanding the impact
    of product design and recycling system performance on this closure of material cycles requires comprehensive approaches consistent with basic principles, as presented in this article." (p. 347)

    An exploration of measures of social sustainability and their application to supply chain decisions

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Margot J. Hutchins, John W. Sutherland

    Source: 

    Year: 

    2008

    "Sustainability recognizes the interdependence of ecological, social, and economic systems – the three pillars of sustainability. The definition of corporate social responsibility (CSR) often advocates ethical behavior with respect to these systems. As more corporations commit to sustainability and CSR policies, there is increasing pressure to consider social impacts throughout the supply chain. This paper reviews metrics, indicators, and frameworks of social impacts and initiatives relative to their ability to evaluate the social sustainability of supply chains. Then, the relationship...

    Beyond the Throwaway Society: A Life Cycle-Based Assessment of the Environmental Benefit of Reuse

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Valentina Castellani, Serenella Sala, Nadia Mirabella

    Year: 

    2015

    "In the context of a circular economy, sustainable consumption is often seen as the antithesis of current consumption patterns, which have led to the definition of the so-called throwaway society. Reuse may provide a preferred alternative to other waste management options, because it promotes resource efficiency and may significantly reduce environmental impacts. To appraise the environmental benefits related to reuse of goods, a methodology adopting life cycle assessment (LCA) has been developed. A standardized procedure has been developed, identifying reference products within product...

    Crunch the can or throw the bottle? Effect of "bottle deposit laws" and municipal recycling programs

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Benjamin Campbell, Hayk Khachatryan, Bridget Behe, Charles Hall, Jennifer Dennis

    Year: 

    2016

    "Although there is growing public awareness about environmental issues, incentive mechanisms leading to individual pro-environmental behaviors remain less investigated. This article examines the impact of bottle deposit laws (BDL), municipal recycling programs (MRP), and the ease of municipal recycling on recycling frequency for numerous products. An online survey of U.S. and Canadian households was conducted to collect data about individuals’ recycling practices and perceptions. We contracted an online survey company, Global Market Insite (GMI), to recruit panelists within their database...

    Industrial symbiosis in Gladstone: a decade of progress and future development

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Artem Golev, Glen D. Corder, Damien P. Giurco

    Source: 

    Year: 

    2014

    "Heavy industrial areas with large volume waste streams show great promise for applying the concept of industrial symbiosis. This article examines industrial symbiosis in Gladstone, one of Australia's rapidly developing heavy industrial areas. Along with the analysis of the area's progress over the last decade and detailed description of existing resource synergies, it also overviews Gladstone's future prospects, including identification of potential resource synergies based on likely future industries and their waste streams, and an estimation of the overall environment benefits from the...

    Limitations of the waste hierarchy for achieving absolute reductions in material throughput

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    S. Van Ewijk, J.A. Stegemann

    Source: 

    Year: 

    2016

    "Dematerialization can serve as a measurable and straightforward strategy for sustainability and requires changes in management of material inputs and waste outputs of the economy. Currently, waste management is strongly inspired by the waste hierarchy, an influential philosophy in waste and resource management that prioritizes practices ranging from waste prevention to landfill. Despite the inclusion and prioritization of prevention in the hierarchy, the positive contribution of the application of the waste hierarchy to dematerializing the economy is not inevitable, nor has it been...

    How effective are current household recycling policies? Results from a national survey of U.S. households

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Jean-Daniel M. Saphores, Hillary Nixon

    Source: 

    Year: 

    2014

    "This paper analyzes a unique dataset collected during a 2006 national survey of U.S. households to explore the effectiveness of common household recycling policies for metals, glass, and plastics: curbside recycling, drop-off recycling, deposit–refund systems (bottle bills), and marginal pricing for household waste. After estimating either generalized ordered logit or multinomial logit models, we find that the most important determinants of household recycling are people's attitudes toward recycling. Our results also suggest that omitting internal variables (perceived recycling obstacles...

    Some pervasive challenges to sustainability by design of electronic products - a conceptual discussion

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Rafael Laurenti, Rajib Sinha, Jagdeep Singh, Björn Frostell

    Source: 

    Year: 

    2015

    "Sustainability should encompass responsibility for unintended environmental consequences of modern developments. This study examined some pervasive challenges to sustainability by design of electronic products, namely: (i) product and consumption redundancies; (i) embodied environmental and social impacts occurring distant in time and space from the point of consumption; and (iii) production and consumption dynamics. This analysis identified essential developments in certain areas that can assist design practice in preventing unintended environmental consequences. These were: (1)...

    Trends and Research Challenges in Remanufacturing

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Mitsutaka Matsumoto, Shanshan Yang, Kristian Martinsen, Yasutaka Kainuma

    Source: 

    Year: 

    2016

    "Remanufacturing is one of the critical elements moving our economy toward one that is circular. Today, remanufacturing is attracting growing attention worldwide. Meanwhile, despite its potential in terms of its effects on both environment and economy, remanufacturing has not yet been sufficiently exploited. This indicates that there exist both drivers for and barriers to an increase in remanufacturing in economies. Although there are both technological and non-technological requirements for remanufacturing, R&D is unavoidable for its promotion. This article outlines trends, drivers,...

    Crossing the threshold: municipal waste policy and household waste generation

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Harriet Bulkeley, Nicky Gregson

    Source: 

    Year: 

    2009

    "This paper connects research on home-based consumption with research on waste policy and governance. We argue that, in order to meet the enhanced goals of waste reduction specified in Waste Strategy for England 2007, UK municipal waste policy needs a far closer engagement with the household, the primary unit of consumption. Opening-up the ‘black box’ of the household, we show why the potential for achieving enhanced rates of materials diversion through recycling is limited in certain neighbourhoods. We demonstrate the potential for furthering waste reduction through the intensification of...

    Designing an environmentally conscious tire closed-loop supply chain network with multiple recovery options using interactive fuzzy goal programming

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Kemal Subulan, A. Serdar Tasan, Adil Baykasoglu

    Year: 

    2015

    "Significant environmental problems have been caused by the growth in the volume of used tires each year. In addition, remanufacturing and recycling options related to the end of life for tires are crucial issues at present because of difficulties related to the degradation of these scrap tires in the environment and the economic benefits of material and energy recovery. Thus, effective collection, storage, recycling, and appropriate disposal methods are required for used tires without damaging the environment by designing an efficient closed-loop supply chain network. Based on this...

    The econonomics of tire remanufacturing

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Geraldo Ferrer

    Source: 

    Year: 

    1996

    "The world market for tires is described to identify the current material flow from raw materials to tires and the used tire disposal problem. Then, I describe the value-adding operations in the tire production process and in the tire retreading process. Once retreading is identified as the only recovery alternative that maximizes tire utilization, I explain why heat generation is the only recovery alternative, when retreading is not technically feasible. The economic values of heat generation in electric plants and in cement kilns are discussed. The paper culminates with the case of...

    What's driving energy efficient appliance label awareness and purchase propensity?

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Bradford Mills, Joachim Schleich

    Year: 

    2010

    "The EU appliance energy consumption labeling scheme is a key component of efforts to increase the diffusion of energy-efficient household appliances. In this paper, the determinants of consumer knowledge of the energy label for household appliances and the choice of class-A energy-efficient appliances are jointly estimated using data from a large survey of more than 20,000 German households. The results for five major appliances suggest that lack of knowledge of the energy label can generate considerable bias in both estimates of rates of uptake of class-A appliances and in estimates of...

    Eco-efficiency Trends in the UK Steel and Aluminum Industries

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Kristina Dahlström, Paul Ekins

    Source: 

    Year: 

    2005

    "Measures of eco‐efficiency—broadly understood as “getting more from less”—often include an economic and an environmental variable. The latter is often seen as the more problematic variable, particularly when used in relation to impacts of public concern. But an analysis of resource and value trends in the U.K. steel and aluminum industries over the last 30 yr showed that there are significant problems associated with using economic variables in measures of eco‐efficiency at the sectoral level. The research found that the U.K. steel and aluminum industries have improved the effectiveness...

    Energy and emissions saving potential of additive manufacturing: the case of lightweight aircraft components

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Runze Huang, Matthew Riddle, Diane Graziano, Joshua Warren, Sujit Das, Sachin Nimbalkar, Joe Cresko, Eric Masanet

    Year: 

    2016

    "Additive manufacturing (AM) holds great potential for improving materials efficiency, reducing life-cycle impacts, and enabling greater engineering functionality compared to conventional manufacturing (CM), and AM has been increasingly adopted by aircraft component manufacturers for lightweight, cost-effective designs. This study estimates the net changes in life-cycle primary energy and greenhouse gas emissions associated with AM technologies for lightweight metallic aircraft components through the year 2050, to shed light on the environmental benefits of a shift from CM to AM processes...

    Towards Sustainable Plastic Recycling in India - Experiences from the field

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Arthur Haarman

    Year: 

    2015

    "This report was prepared for the project "Managing hazardous additives in plastic reycycling in India". This project is part of the Sustainable Recycling Industries programme (SRI), funded by the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO) and jointly implemented by the Institute for Materials Science & Technology (Empa), the World Resources Forum (WRF) and ecoinvent." (p. 1)

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