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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    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...

    Resource-efficient green economy and EU policies

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Roberto Zoboli, Susanna Paleari, Giovanni Marin, Massimiliano Mazzanti, Francesco Nicolli, Anna Montini, Valeria Miceli, Stefan Speck

    Source: 

    EEA

    Year: 

    2014

    This report wants to contribute to a better understanding of the green economy and all the major forces and policies involved. It predominantly focuses on improving resource efficiency from a macro-economic perspective, for which eco-innovation is a primary enabling factor. However, the spread of technologies derived from eco-innovation often is obstructed by several barriers, such as finance, knowledge, costs, markets etc. Fiscal reforms, like environmental taxes and emission trading schemes are also crucial major enabling factors, but to what extent depends on their design (rebound...

    Advancing Resource Efficiency in Europe: Indicators and waste policy scenarios to deliver a resource efficient and sustainable Europe

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Dr. Jane Beasley, Ray Georgeson

    Source: 

    European Environmental Bureau

    Year: 

    2014

    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.

    The Circular Dairy Economy: Exploring the case for a farmer led, 'net positive' circular dairy sector

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Circle Economy, FrieslandCampina

    Source: 

    Circle Economy

    Year: 

    2016

    The report focuses is on a proposed move toward circularity in the dairy industry. Recognizing the strong possibility that growth due to increased demand for dairy products will be seen in the future, the report advocates that the dairy industry transition to a more circular economic model not only to reduce the industries ecological footprint but also to ensure that producers maintain their “their license to operate. Furthermore, the report examines three possible circular transition pathways and analyzes their proposed benefits, policy implementation possibilities, and potential barriers...

    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." (...

    Environmental sustainability assessment of bioeconomy value chains

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Jorge Cristóbol et al.

    Source: 

    European Commission, JRC, IES

    Year: 

    2016

    "The objectives of this work were: (1) to map and analyse accessible LCA data related to bioeconomy value chains in order to identify knowledge gaps; (2) provide a more robust and complete picture of the environmental performance of three bioeconomy value chains (i.e. one per each bioeconomy pillar). This analysis reveals that apart from few products (such as liquid biofuels, some biopolymers and food crops) the environmental assessment of bioeconomy value chains is still incipient and limited to few indicators (e.g. Global Warming Potential and energy efficiency). In this study, a...

    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...

    CIRCULARITY INDICATORS: An Approach to Measuring Circularity: METHODOLOGY

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    Ellen MacArthur Foundation

    Year: 

    2015

    A circular economy is a global economic model that aims to decouple economic growth and development from the consumption of finite resources. Increasingly, companies see tremendous opportunity in this model, as it not only allows them to capture additional value from their products and materials, but also to mitigate risks from material price volatility and material supply. Until now, there has been no established way of measuring how effective a company is in making the transition from ‘linear’ to ‘circular’ models , nor have there been any supporting tools. The Circularity Indicators...

    Products that go round: Exploring product life extension through design

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Conny Bakker, Feng Wang, Jaco Huisman, Marcel den Hollander

    Source: 

    Delft University of Technology, United Nations University

    Year: 

    2014

    "Product lifespans of electric and electronic products are in decline, with detrimental environmental consequences. This research maps the environmental impacts of refrigerators and laptops against their increasing energy efficiency over time, and finds that product life extension is the preferred strategy in both cases: refrigerators bought in 2011 should be used for 20 years instead of 14, and laptops for at least 7 years instead of 4. Designers however lack expertise to design for product life extension (through longer product life, refurbishment, remanufacturing) and product recycling...

    The Circular Economy and Benefits for Society

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Anders Wijkman, Kristian Skånberg

    Source: 

    Club of Rome, MAVA Foundation

    Year: 

    2015

    "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)

    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...

    Life cycle impact assessment of beverage packing systems: focus on the collection of post-consumer bottles

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Balint Simon, Mourad Ben Amor, Rita Rita Földényi

    Year: 

    2015

    "Choice of packaging material has a significant contribution to the overall impact of beverage value chain. Collection of post-consumer packaging materials is often controlled by national or regional regulation, which have to be based on sound considerations. Therefore, stakeholders alongside the packaging value chain need for supporting information to select environmentally sound packaging and define own policy. To meet comprehensiveness, five different packaging materials were examined during their whole life cycle. Due to the potentially direct impact of collection system on the human...

    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...

    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...

    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...

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