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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    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.

    Towards circular economy implementation: a comprehensive review in context of manufacturing industry

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Michael Lieder, Amir Rashid

    Source: 

    Department of Production Engineering, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

    Year: 

    2015

    This review paper aims to analyse the research landscape and context of circular economy research so far, explore the perspective on it that combines aspects of resources scarcity, environmental impact and economic benefits, and develop a framework mainly for the manufacturing industry, based on these aspects.

    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." (...

    Measuring circular economy strategies through index methods: A critical analysis

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Valerio Elia, Maria Grazia Gnoni, Fabiana Tornese

    Source: 

    Department of Innovation Engineering, University of Salento

    Year: 

    2015

    "In the last years, the circular economy (CE) paradigm is being widely explored by researchers and institutions as a possible path to increase the sustainability of our economic system. Reuse, repair and recycling are becoming crucial activities in many sectors. At the same time, companies are showing an increasing interest for this new economic model. However, the state of the art shows that a deep research on CE assessment and indicators is still lacking, in particular on the micro level. This work tries to fill this gap, first analyzing the current literature on CE assessment, then...

    Design for Remanufacturing and Circular Business Models

    Type of evidence: 

    Author names: 

    Sharon Prendeville, Nancy Bocken

    Source: 

    TU Delft

    Year: 

    2015

    "The core aim of this paper is to build understanding of design for remanufacturing and remanufacturing-oriented business models. The paper reports on the linkages between design and business model strategies by presenting a case of a business-led pilot study conducted to explore the commercial viability of remanufacturing. The results show how life-cycle considerations and a combination of design and business strategies can accelerate transition to resource efficient business models. The paper illuminates the topic of remanufacturing by showcasing a dynamic real-world business case, from...

    DREAM

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    Spire2030

    Year: 

    2015

    The DREAM project aims to design, develop and demonstrate a radically improved architecture for ceramic industrial furnaces, characterised by optimised energy consumption, reduced emis-sions, and lower operating costs compared to currently available technological solutions. This will be obtained by substantially enhancing specific furnace parts (control system, refractories, emissions abatement system) and by adding new modules and sub-systems (CHP unit, heat pipes) to the current furnace architecture. DREAM Specific Objectives will be: To design innovative hardware furnace components...

    IMPROOF

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    Spire2030

    Year: 

    2015

    IMPROOF is a European Project aiming at improving the energy efficiency of steam cracking furnaces, while reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and NOx. The strongly industrial oriented consortium is composed of 7 industrial partners, including 2 SME completed by 2 RTO and 2 Universities, showing a clear and strong path to the industrial and economical world.

    INSPIREWATER

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    Spire2030

    Year: 

    2015

    INSPIREWATER is an EU funded project which will enable process industry companies to implement sustainable water treatment solutions as part of a corporate sustainability strategy. This will be achieved via the development, demonstration and exploitation of innovative, eco-efficient technologies which will support sustainable water resources management. INSPIREWATER technologies will increase water and resource efficiency by 20-30% in the process industry. The project will focus initially on the steel and chemical industries, with the long-term goal of applying the technologies across...

    MEASURE

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    Spire2030

    Year: 

    2015

    The Horizon 2020 SPIRE Public Private Partnership goals of the European Commission have set a new challenge for the European process industry. Aiming for a green economy being energy and resource efficient, but also internationally competitive and socially responsible, cross-sectorial cooperation along the value chain is strongly encouraged. The vision of industrial symbioses also forces practitioners in sustainability assessment to rethink their often sector-specific toolboxes. Consequently, current methods for sustainability assessment including in-depth life cycle based methods may need...

    MONSOON

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    Spire2030

    Year: 

    2015

    The MONSOON project - MOdel-based coNtrol framework for Site-wide OptimizatiON of data-intensive processes - aims to establish data-driven methodology to support identification and exploitation of optimization potentials by applying model-based predictive controls so as to perform plant and site-wide optimization of production process. The ambition of MONSOON project is shared by 2 significant process industries from the sectors of aluminium and plastic.

    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.

    PRODIAS

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    Spire2030

    Year: 

    2015

    As outlined in the Roadmap of the EU's SPIRE PPP (Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency), "the European process industry represents the roots of the European economy by transforming raw materials into intermediate and end-user products". What all sectors of the process industry have in common is that they are highly dependent on resources (such as energy, raw materials and water) for their production. As a consequence, the process industry is striving for long-term sustainability and efficiency in order to ensure competitiveness. The SPIRE Roadmap lists a...

    RECOBA

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    Spire2030

    Year: 

    2015

    All companies of the European process industry are facing the same challenges: on the one hand product quality has to be improved and at the same time production costs have to be decreased to be competitive on the world market. On the other hand the resource and energy efficiency of products and processes has to be improved to lower their ecological footprint. This is independent of the industrial sector, it is true for the cement industry as well as for the food or copper industry. That means, these are cross-sectorial challenges! The development of new production technologies could be...

    SAMT

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    Spire2030

    Year: 

    2015

    The SAMT project (2015-2016) has now reached completion. The project focused on increasing integration of sustainability assessment methods in decision making by reviewing and making recommendations about the most potential methods, tools, and indicators for evaluating sustainability in the process industry. Final results from the SAMT project include a roadmap and an implementation plan towards the SAMT vision 2030 built together with industry and research organisations: "Sustainability assessment provides additional value for industrial decision-making. Related methods are widely...

    STYLE

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    Spire2030

    Year: 

    2015

    Public and private sector funding is regularly invested to develop new technologies and/or modify processes/products to bring resource and energy efficiency improvements. However, in order for EU stakeholders and industry to see the true value of these new technologies and modifica-tions, and make informed decisions surrounding their adoption, a consistent approach is needed to assess the sustainability impact across the full value chain. This is particularly challenging when it comes to assessing sustainability across sector boundaries, or in a data lean environment. For many years, the...

    TERRA

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    H2020

    Year: 

    2015

    TERRA project aims to develop, from TRL 3 to 5, a tandem electrocatalytic reactor (TER) coupling an oxidation reaction to a reduction reaction, with thus the great potential advantage of: saving resources and energy (needed to produce the oxidant and reductants for the two separate reactions); intensify the process (reduce the nr. of steps, coupling two synthesis processes and especially eliminating those to prepare the oxidation and reduction agents). The proposal address one of SPIRE Roadmap Key Actions "New ways of targeting energy input viaelectrochemical".

    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...

    CIRCULARITY INDICATORS: NON-TECHNICAL CASE STUDIES

    Type of evidence: 

    Source: 

    Ellen MacArthur Foundation

    Year: 

    2015

    "This document describes illustrative case studies on how the Circularity Indicators developed in the Circularity Indicators Project can be used. Due to the commercial sensitivity of the data it has not been possible to disclose results for actual products. However, the following cases have been developed to give examples of possible uses, and are inspired by actual examples and real world cases of companies adopting circular economy principles." (p. 3)

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