The efficient use of resources has a direct impact on the business performance of companies and is also of great environmental importance.
New sustainability reporting standards shall improve the comparability of corporate activities. Yet, it is crucial to consider the trade-off between the advantages of standardisation to avoid adverse selection versus the disadvantages of excessive bureaucratic burdens, in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The European Commission aims to push forward the concepts of “recycle, repair and re-use” and waste avoidance with its Circular Economy Package. The rationale behind a circular economy is to keep resources in use for as long as possible by looking at the complete life cycle of a resource – from extraction to product design, production and consumption to waste management.
Two years after adopting the Circular Economy Package, EU institutions finally agreed on new EU waste rules. Despite lower recycling targets as originally envisaged, most countries still have to push recycling to meet the goals. A single method of determining recycling rates was also decided, but an exemption will continue to allow for disparate recycling rates.
The European Commission aims to push forward the concepts of ‘recycle, repair and re-use’ as well as waste avoidance. Two years after adopting the Circular Economy Package, EU institutions finally agreed on new EU waste rules.
This study delivers the first empirical findings on the relevance of digitisation to improving material efficiency based on the German company survey ‘IW-Zukunftspanel’.
Battery storage could go mainstream with growing shares of power produced from wind and sun and electric cars becoming more common in the streets. A rapid growth of the role of rechargeable batteries would, however, also lead to a significantly higher demand for certain critical raw materials needed to build these batteries. If e-vehicles penetrate the market by 2035 global annual demand for lithium could be almost 4 times higher than its current production.
The European Commission is taking serious steps towards realising the concepts of 'recycle, repair and re-use' and avoiding waste at all stages of the value chain with its EU circular economy package (December 2015). Besides setting new recycling and landfilling targets to enforce member states to climb up the waste hierarchy, the EU Commission also intends to harmonise the measuring of recycling and re-use rates in the European Union to make more transparent, how much is effectively recycled.
The European Commission wants to end the throw-away society and turn Europe into a circular economy. Yet, the planned regulations could go too far in certain aspects. The new targets are also less ambitious than planned by the previous commission.
Indicators and Progress
Economist for Environment, Circular Economy and Sustainability
Tel+49 221 4981-838
Senior Economist for Green Economy and Resource Economics
Tel+49 30 27877-128
Head of the Research Unit Environment, Energy, Infrastructure
Tel+49 221 4981-791