Beyond their economic goals, companies are according increasing importance to environmental and social factors.
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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.
Senior Economist for Green Economy and Resource Economics
Tel+49 30 27877-128