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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    Circular economy in Europe: Developing the knowledge base

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Almut Reichel, Mieke De Schoenmakere, Jeroen Gillabel

    Source: 

    EEA

    Year: 

    2016

    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...

    Delivering the circular economy - a toolkit for policymakers

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Andrew Morlet et al.

    Source: 

    Ellen MacArthur Foundation

    Year: 

    2016

    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...

    Growth within: A circular economy vision for a competitive Europe

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Ellen MacArthur et al.

    Source: 

    Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment (sponsered by Stiftungsfonds für Umweltökonomie)

    Year: 

    2015

    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...

    Circular economy: a commentary from the perspectives of the natural and social sciences

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    European Academies Science Advisory Council

    Source: 

    EASAC

    Year: 

    2015

    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.

    More from less - material resource efficiency in Europe

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Paweł Kaźmierczyk et al.

    Source: 

    EEA

    Year: 

    2016

    "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...

    Job Creation in the Circular Economy - Increasing Resource Efficiency in Northern Ireland

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Peter Mitchell, Martin Doherty

    Source: 

    ReNEW

    Year: 

    2015

    "This report addresses the broader aspects of circular economy employment in Northern Ireland. For circular economy activities such as recycling, re-use, re-manufacturing and bio-refining activities it examines for Northern Ireland: regional and occupation patterns of employment and how these might develop in the future; the potential for creating jobs in areas of higher unemployment; the likely location of occupations with appropriate skills amongst the unemployed and whether a growing circular economy can reverse the trend of declining mid-level occupations." (...

    The Job Creation Potential of a Circular Economy for the EU

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    MVO Nederland

    Year: 

    2016

    "This factsheet focuses on the job creation potential of a circular economy for the EU. MVO Nederland is looking for cooperation to get a better insight in the winners - and the losers as well - of a transition to a circular economy so the right policy decisions can be taken to speed up the process to a circular and inclusive economy. We aim to deepen our insights during 2015." (p. 1)

    New era. New plan. Europe

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Femke Groothuis et al.

    Source: 

    The Ex'tax Project, Deloitte, EY, KMPG Meijburg, PwC, Cambridge Econometrics, Trucost...

    Year: 

    2016

    "The report 'New era. New Plan. Europe' shows us the possibilities and opportunities a fundamental shift in taxes has to offer. It is a valuable study for policy- and decision makers in businesses and governments who are looking for solutions to address the challenges of our time: climate change, pollution, inequality, unemployment and resource scarcity." (http://www.neweranewplan.com/)

    Resource Efficiency: Potential and Economic Implications

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Paul Ekins, Nick Hughes et al.

    Source: 

    International Resource Panel

    Year: 

    2017

    "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...

    PRINTCR3DIT

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    Spire2030

    Year: 

    2015

    The concept of PRINTCR3DIT is to employ 3D printing to boost process intensification in the chemical industries by adapting reactors and structured catalysts to the requirements of the reaction. This manufacturing technique is particularly useful in reactions where diffusion, mixing and/or heat transfer are limitations against reaching higher performance. The utilization of the concept of 3D printing will also reduce the resource utilization of reactor and catalyst manufacture, energy consumed (< 15%) and transportation.

    PROPAT

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    Spire2030

    Year: 

    2017

    ProPAT aims to develop novel sensors and analysers for providing measurements on composition, particle size and local bulk properties, as well as more traditional but smart sensors for measuring other process parameters, and integrate them into a versatile global control platform for data acquisition, data processing & mining and User Interface in order to measure properties of process streams and products, accurately and in real-time. The platform also provides selflearning and predictive capabilities aimed for dramatically reducing overcosts derived from even slight deviations from...

    COCOP

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    Spire2030

    Year: 

    2017

    The need: process industry faces a strong need to increase product quality and reduce operating costs and environmental footprint. A complex plant comprises continuous and/or batch unit pro-cesses. The plant's complexity stems from its dynamic properties, so a plant-wide monitoring and control is a requirement for achieving economically and environmentally efficient operation. The vision: complex process industry plants will be optimally run by the operators with the guidance of a coordinating, real-time optimisation system. The objective: to enable plant-wide monitoring and control by...

    Opportunities to tackle Britain's labour market challenges through growth in the circular economy

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Julian Morgan, Peter Mitchell

    Source: 

    WRAP, Green Alliance

    Year: 

    2015

    "Britain faces huge economic challenges in its use of labour and scarce natural resources. Although unemployment is now falling, the risk of being out of work is higher in some regions and for some types of occupations. While Britain has significantly increased its resource efficiency in recent years, supply risks in an increasingly competitive global economy mean that we need to get better at using natural resources. The analysis in this study shows that these challenges are linked, as improving our resource efficiency can make a valuable contribution to improving Britain’s labour market...

    The Circular Economy - an Economic Impact Assessment. Report to SUN-IZA.

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    C. Böhringer, T. Rutherford

    Source: 

    SUN-IZA

    Year: 

    2015

    "Along with the growing interest in circular economic structures, there is the need to assess the economic and environmental impacts of major technology shifts in transport, building and food sector. Likewise, complementary regulatory measures to control resource use such as emission taxes or energy effiency standards must be investigated. This report summarizes the development and application of complex economic responses to technology shifts and regulatory policy measures. WIthin the limitations of the model assumptions and choices, impact assessment thus can be based on systematic...

    Earnings, jobs and innovation: the role of recycling in a green economy

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Anders Bjørn, Christian Fischer, Sabine Haselsteiner, Jan Kosmol, Christian Löwe, Naoko Tojo, Özgür Saki

    Source: 

    EEA

    Year: 

    2011

    "This short report explains the role of recycling in the green economy and examines the evidence of its contribution in Europe, focusing primarily on the economic benefits that recycling offers." (https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/earnings-jobs-and-innovation-the)

    Towards the Circular Economy Vol. 1: an economic and business rationale for an accelerated transition

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    Ellen MacArthur Foundation

    Year: 

    2012

    "Using product case studies and economic-wide analysis, this report details the potential for significant benefits across the EU. It argues that a subset of the EU manufacturing sector could realise net materials cost savings worth up to $ 630 billion p.a. towards 2025 - stimulating economic activity in areas of product development, remanufacturing and refurbishment." (https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/publications/...

    Towards the Circular Economy Vol. 2: opportunities for the consumer goods sector

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    Ellen MacArthur Foundation

    Year: 

    2013

    "The report focuses on fast-moving consumer goods, which currently accounts for about 60 per cent of total consumer spending, 35 per cent of material inputs into the economy, and 75 per cent of municipal waste. Importantly, the consumer goods sector absorbs more than 90 per cent of our agricultural output - possibly our most embattled resource in the future." (https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/publications/towards-the-circul...)

    Employment and the circular economy job creation through resource efficiency in London

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Peter Mitchell

    Year: 

    2015

    "Several city leagues confirm that London is the best big city to live in, to work in, and to visit – renowned for its culture, diversity, innovation and leading position in sectors such as finance and professional services. But it also has a vibrant green economy, with exceptional skills in renewable energy, carbon finance and sustainable building technologies. Indeed, a 2013 report concluded that London’s Low Carbon Environmental Goods and Services1 sector now contributes over £25.4bn to the economy, with strong growth of over 5% year on year. Three possible plausible futures to 2030 for...

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