LIFE REBus - Developing Resource Efficient Business Models

LIFE12 ENV/UK/000608

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Contact details:

Contact person: Malcolm WADDELL
Tel: 44 1295 817883
Email: Malcolm.Waddell@wrap.org.uk

Project description:


Domestic material consumption (DMC) in the EU reached 8.2 billion tonnes in 2007, 13% of all materials extracted globally. The annual average per capita material consumption in the EU was some 65% above the global average. The supply of stable, secure resources, however, is now constrained, while the global population continues to grow and the ‘middle class’, with increased levels of consumption, expands rapidly.

Many businesses are not fully aware of the potential risks or advantages of this increasing scarcity of natural resources. Although the economic and environmental benefits of implementing circular business models are known, many businesses are locked in to the existing ‘take, make, use, dispose’ linear business models. This is particularly true for SMEs. Business leaders face very significant barriers to adopting new business models or in making significant organisational changes to tackle resource efficiency. Resource efficient business models (REBMs), however, can make a major contribution towards the EU’s target of reducing domestic material use by 30% by 2020 and greenhouse gas emissions by 20%.


The LIFE REBus project will demonstrate how businesses and their supply chains can implement REBMs. It will focus on four key markets: electrical and electronic products; clothing; furniture; and construction products. These have a total annual value of more than €350 billion across the EU.

The project aims to:

  • Implement 10 pilot REBMs in major organisations and 20 in SMEs with the aim of achieving 15% resource savings in the project lifetime;
  • Measure and monitor the impact of each REBM pilot against the targets highlighted above to calculate its potential impact across the EU;
  • Identify requirements for applying REBMs in public procurement by stimulating the demand side in order to motivate the production of resource-efficient products;
  • Raise awareness of the outcomes amongst peer groups to promote a wider take-up; and Work with key organisations focused on this area to develop and disseminate information from the project across the EU.
  • Expected results: The 10 large and 20 small projects are expected to deliver the following cumulative benefits per annum:

  • 5 000 tonnes direct material savings;
  • 20 000 tonnes of GHG emissions savings; and
  • Financial benefits of €12 million.



Environmental issues addressed:


Environmental management - Eco-products design


consumption pattern‚  environmentally friendly product‚  modelling‚  emission reduction‚  greenhouse gas

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP)
Type of organisation NGO-Foundation
Description The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) was set up in 2000 to help recycling take off across the UK. Over the last 11 years, the role of WRAP has broadened and it is now the leading UK organisation for resource efficiency, with annual government funding of £70 million. WRAP works with businesses, individuals and local authorities on the following key areas: preventing food and drink waste; increasing the resource efficiency of products; increasing the resource efficiency of construction and refurbishment projects; improving the collection of materials for recycling and reuse; helping SMEs to become more resource efficient; increasing the reuse and recycling of priority materials; recycling organic waste; and energy recovery.
Partners Aldersgate Limited, United Kingdom C-Tech Innovation Ltd, United Kingdom Agentschap NL, The Netherlands The University of Northampton, United Kingdom


Project reference LIFE12 ENV/UK/000608
Duration 01-JUL-2013 to 30-DEC -2017
Total budget 3,104,725.00 €
EU contribution 1,552,361.00 €
Project location Groningen(Nederland) Friesland(Nederland) Drenthe(Nederland) Overijssel(Nederland) Gelderland(Nederland) Flevoland(Nederland) Noord-Brabant(Nederland) Limburg(Nederland) Utrecht(Nederland) Noord-Holland(Nederland) Zuid-Holland(Nederland) Zeeland(Nederland) North(United Kingdom) Yorkshire and Humberside(United Kingdom) East Midlands(United Kingdom) East Anglia(United Kingdom) South East (UK)(United Kingdom) South West (UK)(United Kingdom) West Midlands(United Kingdom) North West (UK)(United Kingdom) Wales(United Kingdom) Scotland(United Kingdom) Northern Ireland(United Kingdom) Gibraltar(United Kingdom)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Project web site - 2 Project's Twitter page
Video link "ProRail case study" (3')
Video link Project's video (5')


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version