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.
Almut Reichel, Mieke De Schoenmakere, Jeroen Gillabel
This report seeks to help policy makers to better understand the circular economy, by focusing on four of its dimensions; the main enabling factors and transition challenges, indicators for measuring progress and contextual issues. One of the main conclusions regarding the monitoring of progress is that for now the focus is on developments in resource efficiency and waste management, which covers a part, but not the whole, of the circular economy. More data is needed on eco-design, the sharing economy, and repair and reuse. Furthermore, social indicators, industrial symbiosis indicators...
This report wants to provide countries and their policy makers who are interested in a transition to the circular economy with a toolkit. To test this toolkit, a case study was performed for Denmark. It focused on opportunities in several sectors; food and beverage, construction and real estate, machinery, plastic packaging and hospitals. Eight important conclusions were drawn:
• The transition to a circular economy can deliver the expected lasting benefits of a more innovative, resilient and productive economy.
• The circular economy provides many opportunities that are...
Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment (sponsered by Stiftungsfonds für Umweltökonomie)
This report seeks to answer five questions:
1. Is Europe’s current resource model effective?
2. Will the technology revolution solve Europe’s resource issues?
3. What would a circular economy in Europe look like?
4. What economic outcomes could a circular model achieve in Europe?
5. If Europe decided to shift towards a circular model, how could policy-makers and business leaders accelerate the transition?
Three of Europe’s most resource-intensive basic needs are discussed; food, mobility and the built environment, all together comprising 60% of...
This commentary by the EASAC primarily examines the proposed benefits and potential enabling policies of the circular economy. A broad range of sources is used to recognize gaps and inadequacies in proposed benefits and policies in order to foster a substantial discussion among stakeholders as to how to proceed in the transition process. The study also examines barriers and indicators and comments on their nature and efficacy respectively. Furthermore, the commentary provides advice regarding avoidance of barriers and the use of proper indicators.
Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment
Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment
This program explores the challenges and possibilities for realizing a circular economy by 2050 in the Netherlands. Both current and follow-up steps are identified for this purpose. The following barriers for the transition to a circular economy are mentioned: regulations, the non-internalisation of external effects, the lack of knowledge for technical, social and system innovation, non-circular behaviour of citizens and professionals, adaptation problems in the production chain, consolidated investments and interests, limited influence in the international playing field. The Dutch...
The EEB’s report utilized a baseline scenario created by projections related to existing waste policy. They expanded upon this baseline by proposing policy adjustments in the form of new formulations and altered target setting, which they conclude could result in substantial positive environmental, social, and economic impacts. The report also emphasizes a strong belief in the success of in-creased regulatory policy moving forward.
"This briefing highlights the shortcomings of the 2015 Circular Economy package, and looks at how the environmental and socially equitable reform of fiscal systems across the EU can support the transition to a circular economy." (http://green-budget.eu/tag/circular-economy/)
Technopolis Group, Fraunhofer ISI, thinkstep, Wuppertal Institute
This report takes a look at several circular economy practices and identifies regulatory barriers that obstruct their full potential. Subsequently, recommendations are provided on how to overcome these barriers.
"This report presents an overview of approaches to material resource efficiency and to circular economy in thirty two European countries. It explores similarities and differences in national policy responses, with respect to policy objectives, priority resources and sectors, driving forces, targets and indicators, and the institutional setup. The report also reviews the EU policy framework for resource efficiency and analyses trends in material use and resource productivity between 2000 and 2014. Finally, it includes a number of considerations for the development of future policies on...
"Programmes and policies for a Circular Economy (CE) are fast becoming key to regional and international plans for creating sustainable futures. Framed as a technologically driven and economically profitable vision of continued growth in a resource scarce world, the CE has of late been taken up by the European Commission and global business leaders alike. However, within CE debates and documentation, little is said about the social and political implications of such transformative agendas. Whilst CE proponents claim their agenda is ‘radical’, this paper outlines its inability to address...
"The challenges of balancing industrial development, environmental and human health, and economic growth in China and elsewhere in the world are drivers for recent resource use and low-carbon development strategies that include the application of the circular economy (CE) concept. A central theme of the CE concept is the valuation of materials within a closed-looped system with the aim to allow for natural resource use while reducing pollution or avoiding resource constraints and sustaining economic growth. The objectives of this study are (1) to review the history of the CE concept to...
This report mainly focuses on the question what companies can do to become more circular, and why it is in their best interest to do so. To this end, it among others discusses several business models, disruptive technologies and capabilities.
"This report examines the potential for increasing resource efficiency in industrialized countries, including the G7, emerging economies and developing countries. It focuses on the use of natural resources and the environment, including energy, land, water, raw materials: biotic and abiotic, marine and freshwater, oceanic and terrestrial. The evidence base includes the recent and ongoing work of the International Resource Panel, as well as that of a number of international organizations that have addressed this issue. The report also seeks to identify transboundary effects and discusses...
"The main purpose of this report is to broadly explore the potential for a significant increase in resource efficiency and to specifically assess what the main benefits for society would be looking at carbon emissions and employment in particular. We are using the Dutch, Finnish, French, Spanish and Swedish economies as test cases." (p. 5)
"This report responds to the subsequent request by the G7 Leaders at the Schloss Elmau Summit asking the OECD to develop policy guidance for resource efficiency. The report includes a discussion of key trends and outlooks and identifies the main principles that should be used to develop resource efficiency policies." (p. 11)
Chang Yu, Gerard P.J. Dijkema, Martin de Jong, Han Shi
"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...
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
"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...