Reports about resource efficiency

Waste prevention in Europe: policies, status and trends in 2017

This is the fourth EEA report in a series of annual reviews of waste prevention programmes in Europe as stipulated in the European Union (EU) Waste Framework Directive (EU, 2008). This year's review focuses on reuse and covers 33 national and regional waste prevention programmes that had been adopted by the end of 2017

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Prevention of hazardous waste in Europe — the status in 2015

The report ‘Prevention of hazardous waste in Europe – the status in 2015’ is the third in a series of annual reviews of waste prevention programmes in Europe as stipulated by the Waste Framework Directive. EU Member States are obliged to adopt waste prevention programmes, while EEA is invited to carry out review on their completion and implementation.

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More from less — material resource efficiency in Europe

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 material resource efficiency and the circular economy. The analysis is richly illustrated with some sixty examples of countries’ policy initiatives, described in more detail in the 32 country profiles published alongside the main report.

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The direct and indirect impacts of EU policies on land

The 2011 Roadmap to a resource efficient Europe states, in its milestone of actions to address land as a resource, that 'By 2020, EU policies take into account their direct and indirect impact on land use in the EU and globally. This report presents a methodology for the assessment of European Union (EU) policies in terms of their land-related implications in Europe and provides an initial testing of the methodology across key EU policies and two in-depth case studies, which focus on Cohesion Policy spending on transport in Poland and Spain.

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Circular economy in Europe — Developing the knowledge base

The report describes the concept of the circular economy and outlines its key characteristics. It draws attention to both the benefits and challenges in transitioning to such an economy and highlights possible ways to measure progress.

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Urban sustainability issues — Resource-efficient cities: good practice

Cities are key players in minimising the use of resources and in developing the circular model. Generally, municipalities provide utilities and control public services for citizens and businesses that influence the majority of resource and energy use and the production of emissions and waste. Local authorities have the capacity to implement responses at multiple scales. This report analyses both the supply and the demand issues. It is divided into two parts: the first is devoted to how to avoid, prevent and reduce the use of resources; the second addresses reuse, recycling and harvesting.

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Urban sustainability issues — What is a resource-efficient city?

The report introduces the concept of urban metabolism, the circular model and the role of compactness in urban resource efficiency. Cities require natural resources and energy to sustain the activities and daily life of the urban population. Nevertheless, there are opportunities to minimise the use of resources needed to sustain urban life and to reduce waste and emissions. As the urban form shapes the way people live, work and move, compact cities offer great potential to reduce the dependence on natural resources and energy. Urban planning, based on a vision of the future and developed with local stakeholders and crossing administrative borders, is a key factor in increasing the density of urban areas.

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Urban sustainability issues — Enabling resource-efficient cities

Shifting to a resource-efficient society is not just a question of technological change but a systemic one. It is a process that assumes fundamental changes in the governance, economy, social structure, culture and practices of the societal system. This report analyses challenges and opportunities for enabling resource-efficient cities.

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Waste prevention in Europe — the status in 2014

The report ‘Waste prevention in Europe – the status in 2014’ is the second in a series of annual reviews of waste prevention programmes in Europe as stipulated by the Waste Framework Directive. EU Member States are obliged to adopt waste prevention programmes, while EEA is invited to carry out review on their completion and implementation. Therefore, this report presents cross-programme comparison, including scope, objectives, targets, indicators, monitoring systems and measures, and policy instruments. The analysis is completed by presenting collection of examples of good practice for 27 analysed programmes.

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Assessment of global megatrends — extended background analysis

The purpose of this technical report is to complement the SOER 2015's Assessment of global megatrends by providing substantially more in-depth information and data on each megatrend. It covers aspects and topics that were given less attention — or no mention at all — in the SOER 2015 Assessment of global megatrends. It also provides background information on the research framework and processes that have underpinned EEA work on megatrends since 2009. The goal of this report is to stimulate thinking, spark discussion and thought, and encourage strategic decision-makers in Europe to consider emerging threats and opportunities, and ensure that policy is 'fit for the long term'. Essentially, it aims to trigger questions about what global developments should be accounted for in order to ensure that environmental policy is relevant, adequate and resilient.

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The European environment — state and outlook 2015 — synthesis report

The synthesis report informs future European environmental policy in general and its implementation between 2015 and 2020 in particular. It includes a reflection on the European environment in a global context, as well as chapters summarising the state of, trends in, and prospects for the environment in Europe.

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Assessment of global megatrends

The global megatrends report assesses 11 global megatrends (GMT) of importance for Europe's environment in the long term. In assessing key drivers, trends and implications for Europe, it aims to provide an improved basis for strategic European environmental policymaking.

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Environmental indicator report 2014

Environmental impacts of production-consumption systems in Europe. This report provides another perspective on the green economy transition, addressing the global value chains that meet European demand for goods and services. In doing so, it goes beyond previous reports and analyses to address the global dimension of Europe's economic activities. This perspective is highly relevant because European production and consumption systems rely heavily on imported resources and goods.

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Resource‑efficient green economy and EU policies

This report highlights the major forces fostering the shift to a resource-efficient green economy in Europe, including the role of EU policies. Currently, the economic and technological changes leading towards green economy objectives across the EU economy are proceeding too slowly; what is required is a much bigger, deeper, and more permanent change in the EU economy and society to create both new opportunities and substitution processes across the economic structure. To bring this about, it is important to study and understand enabling factors and mechanisms at the crossroads of policies and real economy dynamics that could accelerate and direct the transformation.

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EEA Signals 2014 – Well-being and the environment

Building a resource-efficient and circular economy in Europe: We are extracting and using more resources than our planet can produce in a given time. Current consumption and production levels are not sustainable and risk weakening our planet’s ability to provide for us. We need to reshape our production and consumption systems to enable us to produce the same amount of output with less resource, to re‑use, recover and recycle more, and to reduce the amount of waste we generate.

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Progress on resource efficiency and decoupling in the EU‑27

Messages emerging from environmentally extended input‑output analysis with relevance to the Resource Efficiency Roadmap and the 7EAP

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Performance of water utilities beyond compliance

Sharing knowledge bases to support environmental and resource-efficiency policies and technical improvements

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Environmental indicator report 2013

Natural resources and human well-being in a green economy. This report extends the analysis of the green economy, focusing on the environmental pressures associated with resource use patterns and their impact on human health and well-being. Mapping the diverse connections between environmental change and human health impacts involves considerable conceptual complexities, and relies on a relatively fragmented evidence base.

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EU bioenergy potential from a resource efficiency perspective

The main objective of this report is to review the implications of resource efficiency principles for developing EU bioenergy production. The results presented are primarily based on the 2013 ETC/SIA study, capturing key messages while excluding some of the more technical elements. The report aims to be a more accessible version of the ETC/SIA study, aimed at the non-technical reader.

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Consumption and the environment — 2012 update

Update to the European Environment State and Outlook 2010 (SOER 2010) thematic assessment

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Material resources and waste — 2012 update

Update to the European Environment State and Outlook 2010 (SOER 2010) thematic assessment

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Environmental indicator report 2012

Reliable, relevant, targeted and timely environmental information is an essential element in implementing environmental policy and management processes. Such information can come in many formats — with indicators being a long-established approach to distilling detailed information into trends that are robust and easily understandable by a broad audience.

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Towards efficient use of water resources in Europe

This report makes the case for an integrated water management, starting with better implementation of existing legislation. Clean water is a vitally important natural resource, demanding careful management. It is essential for life and integral to virtually all economic activities, including producing food, energy and industrial outputs. The availability of clean water in sufficient quantities is not only a prerequisite for human health and well-being but also essential for freshwater ecosystems and the many services that they provide.

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

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.

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

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 institutional setup. It concludes with some EEA considerations for development of future policies on resource efficiency at the EU and country levels. The analysis is illustrated with short examples of policy initiatives in the countries, described in more detail in the country profiles published together with the report.

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Urban environment - SOER 2010 thematic assessment

The global population is congregating in our cities. Eighty per cent of the world’s estimated nine billion people in 2050 are expected to live in urban areas. Our cities and urban areas face many challenges from social to health to environmental. The impacts of cities and urban areas are felt in other regions which supply cities with food, water and energy and absorb pollution and waste. However, the proximity of people, businesses and services associated with the very word ‘city’ means that there are also huge opportunities. Indeed, well designed, well managed urban settings offer a key opportunity for sustainable living.

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Material resources and waste — SOER 2010 thematic assessment

The European economy needs huge amounts of resources to function. Apart from consuming minerals, metals, concrete and wood, Europe burns fossil fuels and uses land to satisfy the needs of its citizens. Demand for materials is so intense that between 20 and 30 % of the resources we use are now imported. At the other end of the materials chain, the EU economy generates around six tons of waste per person every year. With the boom in international trade, EU consumption and production may potentially damage ecosystems and human health not only within but also far beyond its borders.

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The European environment – state and outlook 2010: Synthesis

The SOER 2010 Synthesis provides an overview of the European environment's state, trends and prospects, integrating the main findings of SOER 2010.

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Time for action - towards sustainable consumption and production in Europe

Summary report of the conference held on 27–29 September 2007, Ljubljana, Slovenia. The objective of this report is to present the outcomes of the conference by focusing on the potential solutions and actions proposed and the recommendations developed in the Focus Labs and the Exchange Labs as well as the panel discussion of the final conference plenary session. A brief analysis of the conference outcomes is also provided. This focuses on a comparison of the types of recommendations made in the Focus Labs on the areas of housing, food and drink and mobility.

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Sustainable consumption and production in South East Europe and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia - Joint UNEP-EEA report on the opportunities and lessons learned

This report was jointly prepared by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the European Environment Agency (EEA) to support the development of sustainable consumption and production policies and implementation activities in the countries of South East Europe and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. The objective is to identify opportunities for and barriers to more sustainable consumption and production in the SEE and EECCA countries, and to highlight relevant experience which could be replicated throughout the region.

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