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Resource Efficiency

News

This page aims at providing an overview of Resource Efficiency events with European relevance. The listing is not exhaustive and does not reflect an endorsement by the European Commission.

European organisations welcome new policies and targets that will promote the circular economy

15/07/2014

The ambitious policies and waste recycling targets that have been proposed by the European Commission recently are expected to drive Europe’s economy towards a more circular model, boost growth and create new jobs. The proposed measures will help ensure that Europeans get the most out of their natural resources and raw materials, while having a more positive impact on the environment. Read more…

 

EU project analyses resource footprint in 43 countries across the globe

04/07/2014

A new environmental accounting system has been developed to analyse the interrelations between production and consumption, and the related impact at a global level. The booklet, recently published by Compiling and Refining Environmental and Economic Accounts (CREEA), suggests that the countries in which consumption takes place should take responsibility for the environmental impacts caused abroad. Read more…

 

Concerns grow over financial damage caused by plastics waste in marine environment

03/07/2014

Concern is growing over the threat that widespread plastics waste poses to marine life after conservative estimates of the overall financial damage to marine ecosystems were calculated at USD 13 billion per year. This is the headline message from two reports released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Read more...

 

Higher recycling targets to drive transition to a Circular Economy with new jobs and sustainable growth

02/07/2014

Today the Commission adopted proposals to turn Europe into a more circular economy and boost recycling in the Member States. Achieving the new waste targets would create 580 000 new jobs compared to today's performance, while making Europe more competitive and reducing demand for costly scarce resources. Read the press release...

 

RESFOOD project reaches mid-way point

01/07/2014

The Resource Efficient and Safe Food Production and Processing (RESFOOD) project is developing innovative technologies with the aim of boosting resource efficiency and safety throughout the food chain – from horticulture to food processing and retail.  RESFOOD research partners have achieved encouraging results at the mid-way point. Read more…

 

European Commission requests proposals for grants under LIFE programmes

30/06/2014

The European Commission has invited legal persons (entities) registered in the European Union (EU) to present proposals for LIFE Action Grants. The invitation includes proposals for both of LIFE’s sub-programmes for Environment and Climate Action, which were established under the LIFE Regulation in December 2013. Read more...

 

Report shows that environmental policy can increase growth and create jobs

27/06/2014

According to a report published by the European Commission’s Directorate General for the Environment, effective environmental policy can promote economic growth and create new jobs. Through a number of case studies and statistics, the report concludes that investing in Europe’s environment makes good economic sense. Read more…

 

Report highlights Europe’s progress on decoupling

24/06/2014

A report published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) illustrates how the environmental impact of consumption and production of goods and services can be analysed and used to inform policy decisions. The report, 'Progress on resource efficiency and decoupling in the EU-27’, describes the findings of environmentally extended input/output analysis in relation to the Resource Efficiency Roadmap and the 7th Environment Action Programme. Read more…

 

European Commission publishes list of critical raw materials

23/06/2014

The European Commission has published a list of 20 raw materials that are critical to Europe’s economy, including gallium, indium and heavy rare earth elements. The list will help set the priorities for mining and recycling activities, support trade agreements and promote research and innovation. Companies dealing with these raw materials will also find the information useful. Read more…

 

Green Passport initiative launched to promote a sustainable 2014 World Cup

20/06/2014

The Green Passport initiative, a campaign designed to help tourists minimise their environmental impact while travelling to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup, has been launched by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Brazil's ministries of Environment, Sports, Tourism and Social Development. Read more…

 

Upcycled product designs showcased at Green Week

19/06/2014

The winning designs of Generation Awake’s Young Designers Contest were displayed in a special exhibition at the European Union’s recent Green Week conference. Competition participants, aged between 18 and 40, were asked to ‘upcycle’ new products – such as clothes, toys, artworks, jewellery or furniture – from waste materials. Read more…

 

Natural resource prices increase as unsustainable consumption patterns continue

18/06/2014

According to the International Resource Panel's latest report, ‘Decoupling 2: Technologies, Opportunities and Policy Options’, current consumption patterns are rapidly depleting the world’s non-renewable resources. The report suggests that the increased prices for metal, rubber and energy – which have risen by 176%, 350% and 260% respectively since 2000 – demonstrate that the negative effects of the unsustainable use of natural resources are already being felt. Read more…

 

EEA considers how to build a resource-efficient economy in Europe

17/06/2014

The latest edition of Signals, an annual publication from the European Environment Agency (EEA), considers the environmental impacts of our current consumption and production system. It demonstrates how we regularly extract limited resources faster than the planet can produce them, turn them into products using environmentally harmful processes and then discard those products after a short period of use. Read more...

 

A circular economy is the logical solution for Europe

16/06/2014

Europe must make the transition from its current linear economic model towards a more circular one. This was the key topic of discussion at this year’s Green Week, entitled ‘Circular economy – saving resources, creating jobs’. Read more… 

 

Horizon 2020 Mediterranean Report published

13/06/2014

A report describing the Mediterranean Region’s progress towards the three priority policy areas of Horizon 2020 has been published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the United Nations Environmental Programme — Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP). The three policy areas that the initiative focuses on are municipal waste, urban wastewater and industrial pollution. Read more…

 

Methodology being developed to assess product durability

12/05/2014

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Environment (DG Environment) started a project earlier this year that will develop a methodology for assessing product durability and test it on two pilot product groups. This is the first time that the Commission has aimed to define and assess product durability through a common approach. Read more…

 

New factsheet on moving towards a circular economy

11/06/2014

The European Commission Directorate-General  Environment has produced a website page explaining what is a circular economy and the benefits it will bring to Europe in terms of new growth and job opportunities.  It provides a link to the interview with Karl Falkenberg on ‘Effective recycling at heart of Commission’s waste & circular economy package’.   There are links to more useful information on the topic including a new factsheet on the circular economy in three languages English, German and French. Read more…

 

Commission working hard to address energy security

03/06/2014

The European Commission has released its European Energy Security Strategy to address the importance of a stable and plentiful supply of energy for Europe’s citizens and economy. The strategy, which encompasses the European Union’s drive to ensure that energy supplies are uninterrupted and energy prices remain stable, was outlined by European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, at a recent high-level conference on energy security (‘Paving the way for a European Energy Security Strategy’). Read more…

 

Simplification of EIA legislation offers improved environmental protection

29/05/2014

Following the European Commission's proposal, the European Parliament and the Council have adopted an amendment of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive. Its objective is to simplify the rules for assessing potential impacts of projects on the environment. The newly amended legislation will provide better protection for the environment, while reducing the administrative burdens resulting from European Union law. Read more…

 

UfM agrees to prioritise climate and environment

23/05/2014

Ministers attending the recent Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) meeting have issued a Declaration of their commitment to tackle the growing climate and environmental challenges facing the Mediterranean. In the first Ministerial Meeting on Environment and Climate Change, Ministers sought to define an ambitious future strategic direction to reduce pollution and increase resource efficiency in the region. Read more…

 

Foodsharing websites and apps allow communities to share leftovers

22/05/2014

Foodsharing websites and apps are providing innovative ways of addressing food waste issues. The ‘Leftoverswap’ app and ‘Foodsharing.de’ are examples of ways that those who have leftover food can be put in contact with people who sign up for notifications when there is free surplus food available in their area. Read more…

 

Green coalition outlines 10 steps for a resource efficient Europe

16/05/2014

A coalition of leading environmental non-governmental organisations has urged the European Union (EU) to implement 10 steps that would result in a resource efficient Europe. In a joint statement, they call for a 70% recycling target for municipal waste across Europe, binding waste prevention targets, banning landfilling and the incineration of recyclable and compostable waste by 2020, and promoting producer responsibility and resource taxation schemes. Read more…

 

Plastics industry voluntarily commits to eliminate landfilling by 2020

15/05/2014

The European Union’s (EU) plastics industry has voluntarily committed to eliminate landfilling by 2020, and promote recycling and energy recovery when recycling is not possible. This aligns with the EU’s aspirational goals for 2020 regarding waste treatment, which include virtually eliminating landfilling, using re-use and recycling at their maximum feasible level, limiting energy recovery to non-recyclable waste and decreasing the generation of waste. Read more…

 

Environment Commissioner calls for continued progress

13/05/2014

Janez Poto─Źnik, the European Commissioner for the Environment, has urged Europe to embark on a less resource-intensive growth path – one where the economic growth and environmental progress occur in parallel. Writing in his column in an online forum covering sustainable development, he emphasised the need to move from a linear economic model – where we extract, produce, use and then discard materials – to a circular economy model – where waste from one stream becomes the raw materials for another. Read more…

 

Literature sheds light on how environmental policy can influence behaviour change

08/05/2014

Alternative streams of research should now inform environmental policymaking aimed at behaviour change, according to a new report. ‘Influences on consumer behaviour: policy implications beyond nudging’, produced for the European Commission, argues that environmental policymaking should consider behavioural economics, psychology and sociology. Read more…

 

European Parliament adopts new Marine Spatial Planning legislation

06/05/2014

The European Parliament has endorsed a Directive for Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP), a piece of legislation that should assist Member States to develop plans to sustainably and efficiently coordinate marine resources. The Directive will mitigate potential conflicts between the numerous activities in coastal and maritime areas that compete for the same space and resources. Read more...

 

Germany aims to become most resource efficient economy in the world by 2020

02/05/2014

In 2012, the German Federal Government adopted a national resource efficiency programme, commonly referred to as ProgRess. The aim of the programme is to increasingly decouple resource consumption from economic growth and to build a sustainable society. The overall goal is for Germany to become the most resource efficient economy in the world by 2020. Read me...

 

Europe comes together to clean up local neighbourhoods

30/04/2014

In a drive to reduce littering in the natural environment and raise awareness of unsustainable production and consumption patterns, European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) is co-ordinating a ‘Let’s Clean Up Europe!’ event. This seeks to bring together several clean-up campaigns in a Europe-wide event that will take place on the same day and reach as many citizens as possible. This year’s event will take place on 10 May 2014. Read more…

 

EU prepares future initiative on no net loss of biodiversity

29/04/2014

Achieving a ‘no net loss’ of biodiversity and ecosystem services will be a substantial and complex challenge, according to a report produced for the European Commission. However, the report, ‘Policy options for no net loss’, indicates that better implementation of existing policies (such as the Habitats Directive, Strategic Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Assessment) would represent a major development in achieving this goal. Read more…

 

Ambitious waste policies could generate substantial benefits

25/04/2014

New European Union (EU) waste policy has the potential for huge impacts on Europe’s unemployment rates, says a report from the European Environmental Bureau. The report – ‘Advancing Resource Efficiency in Europe’ – reveals the possibility of creating 750,000 new jobs by 2025, and 860,000 by 2030, should the EU adopt new waste policies as part of its impending Waste Targets Review. Read more…

 

Commission announces EMAS award winners

24/04/2014

The European Commission has announced the winners of 2014’s European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) Awards in Hannover, Germany. All winners have applied innovative solutions to improving their environmental performance, highlighting how important innovation is in the transition towards a circular and resource efficient economy. Read more…

 

European Environment Agency’s work on waste management

23/04/2014

The European Environment Agency (EEA) is an agency of the European Union. Its role is to provide sound, independent information on the environment. One of the EEA’s topic areas is waste and material resources and it has a number of ongoing initiatives to help those involved in developing, adopting, implementing and evaluating environmental policy, and the general public. Read more…

 

New programme launched to increase sustainability of public procurement

11/04/2014

The Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) Programme, a global initiative to assist governments redirect public spending into goods and services that bring significant environmental and social benefits, was launched on 1 April 2014. The Programme represents the first action under the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP). This is a global framework to facilitate international cooperation to develop, replicate and scale-up Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) and resource efficiency initiatives around the world. Read more…

 

Finalists shortlisted for European Green Capital Award 2016

09/04/2014

The European Commission recently announced the five cities that will progress to the next stage of the European Green Capital 2016 Award. This annual award is designed to reward cities that are making efforts to improve the urban environment and move towards healthier and sustainable living areas. The shortlisted cities – Essen, Ljubljana, Nijmegan, Oslo and Umeå – now go forward to present their vision, their potential to act as a role model to other cities, and their communication strategy to the Jury in Copenhagen, the current European Green Capital, on 23 June. Read more...

 

Commission receive feedback on Green Action Plan consultation

07/04/2014

The European Commission has published an overview of contributions received in response to a public consultation on the Green Action Plan for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The results will be used to shape actions aimed at promoting resource efficiency for and by SMEs, and will be included in the forthcoming Green Action Plan for SMEs. Read more…

 

Air pollution causes 600,000 deaths in Europe in 2012

04/04/2014

Exposure to air pollution accounted for 7 million deaths worldwide in 2012, including almost 600,000 in the World Health Organisation (WHO) European Region. This is the central finding of the new WHO report, which assesses the burden of disease related to ambient (outdoor) and household (indoor) air pollution. Read more…

 

New figures released from Eurostat indicate recycling rates have increased

03/04/2014

Eurostat has released its recent findings for 2012 which state that 42% of treated municipal waste was recycled or composted. This is a significant increase when compared to 1995 when only 18% of treated municipal waste was recycled or composted. Read more…

 

European Resource Efficiency Platform calls for a strong resource productivity target

02/04/2014

At its plenary meeting on 31 March, the European Resource Efficiency Platform (EREP) called upon the EU to set a target to double – at least – resource productivity by 2030 in order to boost competitiveness and improve the quality of life of our citizens. Such a target would be equivalent to an increase of resource productivity of well over 30% by 2030.  Read more…

 

Resource efficiency features as one of UNEP’s key focus areas during 2013

28/03/2014

According to the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) 2013 Annual Report, resource efficiency was one of the key focus areas for the organisation in 2013. In particular, green economy initiatives were developed, including the Partnership for Action on the Green Economy (PAGE), the UNEP Finance Initiative, and the Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative. Read more…

 

How to secure your future subscription to the OREP Newsflash

27/03/2014

The European Commission has introduced a central mailing list to keep you up-to-date on all EU research and innovation. It allows users to manage their own subscriptions to EU newsletters, e-alerts and policy updates in one location. Users can modify their data at any time including changing identification data (e-mail or password), personal data and subscriptions, or completely unsubscribing from the mailing list.  Read more...

 

Universal charger for EU mobile phones

25/03/2014

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have voted for the introduction of a common charger for all mobile phones sold in the European Union (EU). The measure, which is part of an update to the Radio Equipment Directive, is anticipated to reduce waste and costs for mobile phone users. Read more…

 

Case study demonstrates benefits of new business model

20/03/2014

Interface, a leading commercial carpet tile manufacturer, has collaborated with sustainability advisors, Lavery/Pennell, to publish a report describing the implementation of a new, more profitable and sustainable business model. The New Industrial Model is designed to increase profits, create more jobs, and reduce environmental impact. The model has been successfully implemented by several other leading companies, including Unilever, Body Shop, Patagonia and Ecover. Read more…

 

New app helps track marine litter found on beaches

19/03/2014

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has launched Marine Litter Watch (MLW), a free app that enables users to upload information on litter found on beaches. The data collected are expected to help better understand the issue of marine litter and potentially support Europe in reaching the objectives of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). Read more…

 

New reports highlight benefits of linking economic and environmental policies

13/03/2014

The European Commission has published two studies to demonstrate how environmental policy can encourage economic growth and vice versa. One study highlights the advantages of shifting the tax burden away from labour towards resource use and pollution, while the other provides evidence on the overall economic benefits from timely investment in defences against flooding. Read more…

 

Mixed progress on Europe’s 2020 growth targets

18/03/2014

The European Commission has published a Communication, ‘Taking stock of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’. This evaluates the European Union’s (EU) and individual Member States’ progress towards achieving five headline targets outlined in the Europe 2020 strategy. The Communication indicates that progress to date has been mixed. Read more…

 

New reports highlight benefits of linking economic and environmental policies

13/03/2014

The European Commission has published two studies to demonstrate how environmental policy can encourage economic growth and vice versa. One study highlights the advantages of shifting the tax burden away from labour towards resource use and pollution, while the other provides evidence on the overall economic benefits from timely investment in defences against flooding. Read more…

 

German Environment Agency recommends extension of plastic bag fee

11/03/2014

The German Federal Environment Agency (UBA), Germany’s main environmental protection agency, is recommending a further reduction in the use of disposable plastic carrier bags and an expansion of the fee on shopping bags, which is already being implemented in the retail food trade. This will encourage resource efficiency, avoid waste and reduce the amount of waste entering the marine environment.  Read more…

 

Latest EUROPEN report shows packaging recycling rates on the right path

04/03/2014

EUROPEN, the European Organization for Packaging and the Environment, recently published an in-depth analysis of official EU data on the evolution of packaging waste rates. The analysis demonstrates the packaging supply chain’s continued commitment towards Europe’s resource efficiency objectives, reflected by the yearly increases in packaging recycling rates and decreasing packaging waste going to landfill. Read more…

 

Europe’s marine environment in need of attention to reach 2020 target

03/03/2014

The European Commission has recently published a report analysing the state of Europe’s oceans and seas. The report depicts a worrying outlook, indicating that the marine environment will require urgent efforts to reach good status by 2020. The findings will be presented and discussed at the Healthy Oceans – Productive Ecosystems (HOPE) conference in Brussels on 3 and 4 March. Read more…

 

A photo competition by Generation Awake

28/02/2014

A competition held on Generation Awake’s Facebook page is offering European citizens the chance to win a trip to Copenhagen. Participants are asked to upload a photograph showing how they value their waste and the public can vote for their favourite one. The competition is open until Tuesday 4 March. Read more…

 

European year against food waste

24/02/2014

According to a briefing published by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), a staggering 89 million tonnes of food waste is generated in the European Union (EU) each year. To mitigate that, the European Parliament has asked for 2014 to be designated as 'European year against food waste'. Read more…

 

Zero Waste France launched

26/02/2014

France has recently joined Zero Waste Europe (ZWE), an initiative advocating efficient use of resources and waste reduction. Zero Waste France was launched at the beginning of February and aims to introduce the concept of zero waste to the French public and promote waste prevention through eco-design, responsible consumption and re-use. Read more…

 

New brochure on building Europe’s green infrastructure

21/02/2014

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Environment has published a brochure entitled ‘Building a green infrastructure for Europe’, which explains what green infrastructure is and what Europe’s strategy for green infrastructure entails. The brochure is available free of charge and provides a number of case study examples that show the benefits of green infrastructure. Read more…

 

Multiannual Work Programme published for 2014-2018

20/02/2014

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has recently published its latest Multiannual Work Programme (MAWP), which covers the five years between 2014 and 2018. The MAWP provides strategic direction to support environmental policy in Europe and addresses the priorities raised in the European Union's (EU) Seventh Environment Action Plan (7th EAP), which was adopted in November 2013. Read more…

 

European Member States are adopting waste prevention plans

18/02/2014

According to the revised European Waste Framework Directive, all Member States are required to adopt national waste prevention programmes (WPP). These can be either part of a country’s waste management plans or other environmental policy programmes, or function as separate programmes. A number of Member States have already introduced waste prevention plans, while others are in the process of developing them. Read more…

 

Generation Awake is raising awareness of resource efficiency

14/02/2014

A European Commission campaign aims to make the general public more aware of the environmental impact of their everyday activities and ways of reducing it. Generation Awake, which is aimed at European citizens aged between 25 and 40, addresses issues such as resource efficiency, water consumption and the green economy. Read more…

 

Denmark aiming to move towards zero waste

12/02/2014

The Danish Ministry of the Environment has recently published a report ‘Denmark without waste – Recycle more, incinerate less’, which provides an overview of the current waste treatment situation in Denmark. It briefly analyses the Government’s plan to recycle 50% of household waste by 2022, which will mean achieving more than double the current recycling rate in less than 10 years. Read more…

 

European Commission address ‘fracking’ health and safety concerns through minimum principles

10/02/2014

The European Commission has recently adopted a Recommendation aiming to ensure that adequate environmental and climate safeguards are in place for ‘fracking’, the high-volume hydraulic fracturing technique used primarily in shale gas operations. For Member States planning to use fracking, the Recommendation should assist them to address health and environmental risks, and improve transparency for EU citizens. It will also contribute to providing a level playing field for industry and establishing a clearer framework for investors. Read more…

 

Water innovation research projects receive €50 million in funding

07/02/2014

European Union (EU) research funding has been approved for 11 new water innovation projects. This includes a biotechnology project to treat heavy metal pollution in wastewater, new ‘Aquaponic’ systems combining aquaculture and hydroponics in agricultural production, and smarter management of water distribution networks. Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation, and Science, believes the projects will “help find innovative solutions to some of today’s most pressing problems, such as maintaining water quality and tackling water scarcity”. Read more…

 

European Commission presents 2030 framework on climate and energy

05/02/2014

The European Commission has recently presented its new European Union (EU) framework on climate and energy for 2030. The key components will be a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 40% below 1990 levels, an EU-wide binding target for renewable energy of at least 27%, renewed ambitions for energy efficiency policies, and a new governance system and set of indicators to ensure a competitive and secure energy system. Read more…

 

2014 European Enterprise Promotion Awards launch

03/02/2014

This week, the European Commission launched the 2014 edition of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards. This is a competition to reward the most imaginative and successful initiatives from EU public bodies and public-private partnerships that support entrepreneurship, and small and medium sized enterprises. Read more...

 

Assessing Global Land Use: Balancing Consumption with Sustainable Supply

29/01/2014

A report has been produced by the Land and Soils Working Group of the International Resource Panel (IRP) that explores how the management of land-based biomass production and consumption can be developed to provide a higher degree of sustainable management of global land use as a whole. The report intends to provide decision makers with an overview of key challenges and possible options related to sustainable land use. Read more...

 

Technical proposals published for end-of-waste criteria for biodegradable waste

27/01/2014

Proposals on the end-of-waste criteria for biodegradable waste subject to biological treatment have been published by the European Commission’s Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS). The criteria will help determine when a waste-derived product, such as compost or digestate, ceases to be waste and can enter the market as a product. On the basis of the report, the Commission will consider submitting of regulatory proposal. Read more…

 

Breadth of material in OREP library continues to grow

24/01/2014

The Online Resource Efficiency Platform (OREP) Interactive Library is a dynamic and prominent repository of literature and videos related to resource efficiency. The library covers a number of core resource efficiency topics including green economy and green growth, energy efficiency, waste management, and sustainability thresholds. This breadth and quantity of information makes the library one of the foremost resource-efficiency portals online. Read more…

 

European Parliament calls for new rules on collection, recycling and recovery of plastic waste

22/01/2014

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have called for more action to reduce the amount of plastic waste in Europe. At a European parliamentary session in Strasbourg, they voted by a show of hands in favour of a resolution to set specific binding targets in EU legislation for the sorting and collection of up to 80% of waste. Read more…

 

Conference to explore options in the built environment towards a Resource Efficient Europe

21/01/2014

A major study conducted on behalf of the European Commission’s Directorate-General Environment indicates that a significant reduction in resource use could be achieved in the built environment by 2030 with almost no effect on the European economy. The results of the study are being presented to stakeholders at a conference on 20 February 2014 in Brussels entitled ‘Scenarios Towards A Resource Efficient Europe - Resource-Efficiency Improvements in the Built Environment’, which will discuss further steps and actions that can be taken to increase resource efficiency. Read more…

 

New report reveals support for new waste targets

20/01/2014

There is significant support for new waste prevention targets in Europe, according to results from the Consultation on the European Waste Management Targets. A review of current targets in the Waste Framework Directive (WFD), the Landfill Directive and the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive was undertaken and reveals that 55% of respondents were in favour of new waste prevention targets. The results of the consultation have been published in a recent report entitled ‘Targets Review Project: Consultation on the European Waste Management Targets’. Read more…

 

New air quality policy package adopted

17/01/2014

The European Commission recently proposed new measures to reduce air pollution, which were adopted in December 2013. The clean air policy package updates existing legislation and further reduces harmful emissions from industry, traffic, energy plants and agriculture, with a view to reducing their impact on human health and the environment. Read more…

 

European Environment Agency turns attention to resource use

15/01/2014

This year sees the European Environment Agency (EEA) start a new five-year work programme and establish a new set of environmental policy priorities. The Multi Annual Work Programme will run from 2014 to 2018 and seeks to improve knowledge in areas related to EU environmental and climate policies already in place, and monitor progress towards the objectives and targets in Europe’s 2020 agenda. Read more…

 

E-waste to reach 65.4 million tonnes annually by 2017 according to StEP

14/01/2014

E-waste is a term used to cover almost all types of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) that has or could enter the waste stream. A map giving an estimate of e-waste around the globe was published recently by the Solving the E-Waste Problem (StEP) Initiative. According to the map, 48.9 million tonnes of e-waste was produced last year, the equivalent of 7 kg per person. StEP predicts that this will increase by 33% by 2017, reaching 65.4 million tonnes, equivalent to the weight of 200 Empire State Buildings or 11 Great Pyramids of Giza. Read more…

 

Copenhagen is Europe’s Green Capital for 2014

09/01/2014

Copenhagen officially took the title of European Green Capital 2014 at the end of December. The city was awarded the title in recognition of its progress towards becoming more sustainable, environmentally friendly and resource efficient, and improving the quality of life for its residents. Copenhagen will pass the title to Bristol in 2015. Read more…

 

Finland pushes for sustainable growth through increased material efficiency

08/01/2014

The Finnish Government has implemented a national programme that proposes numerous measures for the advancement of material efficiency. The programme’s objective is to facilitate ecologically sustainable growth and employment, promote competitiveness and balanced operational preconditions for business, use non-renewable natural resources sustainably and promote the production of high value-added products through strong knowledge and skills. Read more…

 

An update on Europe’s progress towards sustainable development

03/01/2014

The fifth monitoring report on Sustainable Development in the European Union was published by Eurostat last week. This biennialal report gives insights into the actions taken so far by the European Union (EU) to achieve the objectives of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy and their impact, based on a number of sustainable development indicators. Read more…

 

First funding opportunities under Horizon 2020 announced

23/12/2013

The first call for applications to obtain funding under the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2014-15 was launched last week. The Work Programme 2014-15 includes 12 focus areas with a total budget of €2 billion. All opportunities, challenges to be addressed and activities to be covered are available on the Participant Portal. Read more…

 

Eurobarometer survey shows that European SMEs are becoming more resource efficient

20/12/2013

The results of a Eurobarometer survey published this week show that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly becoming more resource efficient. The survey, ‘SMEs, resource efficiency and green markets’ was carried out by the European Commission in September and it is the second survey of its kind. Read more…

 

Report reveals the true cost of our gadgets

19/12/2013

The environmental impact of electronic devices has been highlighted in a report published by the Gaia Foundation, a non-governmental organisation that campaigns for social and ecological justice. The report, entitled ‘Short Circuit: The Lifecycle of Our Electronic Gadgets and the True Cost to Earth’, was produced with financial assistance from the European Union. It highlights the link between consumption patterns, demand for raw materials and environmental impact. Read more…

 

Waste•smART– Europe’s wastes become the inspiration for art

18/12/2013

The winners of Waste•smART, a competition where European citizens are invited to produce a photo, video or cartoon related to waste, were announced last week. Five winners were selected by the European Environment Agency (EEA) from 30 finalists. Two hundred entries from 29 European countries were submitted in this year’s competition. Read more…

 

Plan adopted for management of marine litter in the Mediterranean Sea

17/12/2013

A plan to reduce marine litter in the Mediterranean Sea has been adopted by the Conference of Parties of the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean. The plan is the first regional sea convention plan to be launched and will provide Mediterranean countries with guidance on tackling the problem of marine litter. Read more…

 

Make it a green Christmas this year!

16/12/2013

The Christmas festive season may be a time of joy, feasting and merriment for many people, but decorations, gifts and surplus food can all leave their mark on the environment. It is estimated that the amount of waste generated by households increases by 30% during the Christmas period. Consumers can, however, mitigate this by making more informed choices. Read more…

 

Commission launches major new research programme

13/12/2013 

A major new research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, has been launched by the European Commission. The programme will run for seven years and will provide funding of approximately EUR 80 billion. Horizon 2020 is the biggest research programme in the European Union (EU) and one of the largest publicly-funded programmes globally. Read more…

 

European Resource Efficiency Scoreboard to measure annual progress

11/12/2013

A set of environmental indicators that will help measure Europe’s annual progress towards becoming more resource efficient was launched for the first time last week. The European Resource Efficiency Scoreboard, published by Eurostat, consists of 30 indicators assessing the use of natural resources in the European Union. Read more…

 

New report reveals the impact of transport on Europe’s environment

10/12/2013

An annual report published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) says the transport sector is significantly contributing to Europe’s air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and noise levels. The 2013 Transport and Environment Reporting Mechanism (TERM) report includes an assessment of the environmental impact of transport as well as measuring progress towards a number of transport-related environmental targets. Read more…

 

‘Living well, within the limits of our planet’ to form the basis of environmental policy for the next seven years

09/12/2013

The Council and the European Parliament recently reached agreement on the Decision of the 7th EU Environment Action Programme (7th EAP). The ambitious programme, titled ‘Living well, within the means of our planet’, identifies nine priority objectives for the period to 2020, and will enter into force in the coming weeks. Read more…

 

Report illustrates effect of green economy on human well-being

06/12/2013

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has recently launched its new Environmental Indicator Report 2013, examining the implications of a transition to a green economy. The report draws upon a sub-set of the EEA’s environmental indicators that consider a vast range of environmental indicators. The publication coincides with the launch of the 7th European Environment Action Programme (7th EAP). Both documents are aimed at supporting policymakers to shape a healthy environment and ensure human well-being. Read more…

 

European Commission to launch an open invitation for ‘Smart City and Community Commitments’

04/12/2013

The European Commission hosted the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) conference ‘Smart Cities and Communities: Leading the Way in Making Europe’s Cities Smarter’ in Brussels on 26 November 2013. Participants included city leaders, CEOs and civil society leaders who met to discuss how to implement the actions outlined in the Smart Cities Strategic Implementation PlanChoose translations of the previous link  (SIP). As a result, the Commission announced that in spring 2014 it will launch an 'Invitation for Smart City and Community Commitments' to mobilise work on the action plan's priorities. Read more…

 

European Commission plans to complete internal energy market in 2014

28/11/2013

The EuropeanCommission will look to complete the internal energy market by 2014, which will, in turn, play an important role in reducing energy costs and improving the cost-effectiveness of support schemes for renewable energy. This is part of a wider promotion of resource efficiency through improving waste and water management, recycling and energy efficiency, as recently outlined in the Annual Growth Survey 2014. Read more…

 

Data from Earth observation to become available by the European Commission

25/11/2013

Data collected by Copernicus, the European Union's Earth Observation Programme, will be made available for free next month. Such data have recently been used to identify areas that were heavily damaged by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, so helping to direct relief efforts. Free dissemination is expected to benefit researchers, citizens and businesses across a number of industry sectors. Read more…

 

Applicants for the European Green Capital Award 2016 announced

21/11/2013

In total, 12 cities from 11 different countries will be competing for the title of European Green Capital 2016. Each year, the title is awarded to a city that demonstrates high environmental standards and sustainable urban development. Applicants will be assessed against 12 criteria, including climate change, sustainable transport, air quality and waste management. The 2016 winner will be announced in June 2014 in Copenhagen. Read more…

 

Legislation proposed to ratify the second phase of the Kyoto protocol

19/11/2013

The legislation required to ratify the second phase of the Kyoto protocol on climate change was proposed by the European Commission (EC) last week. European Member States have already been committed to the targets included in this second phase and formal ratification by Europe will help to bring it into force at an international level as soon as possible. Read more…

 

Member States to tackle plastic carrier bag use

14/11/2013

European Union Member States will be called upon to reduce their use of lightweight plastic carrier bags in an effort to mitigate the environmental damage the bags cause. The requirement was introduced by a European Commission proposal last week and it will give Member States the ability to choose the measures most relevant to them. Read more…

 

A global standard for measuring food loss and waste

12/11/2013

As a result of food demand constantly increasing around the world, the World Resources Institute (WRI) has recently announced the development of a ‘Food Loss and Waste Protocol’. The Protocol will assist countries and businesses to measure and monitor the food intended for human consumption that is wasted in their value chains and will help establish a global standard for food loss measurement. Read more…

 

Portugal commits to increase recycling and divert 20% of waste from landfill

07/11/2013

The Portuguese Government has announced its intention to invest €320 million in a plan to improve its recycling rates and divert 20% of its waste from landfill by 2020. The country’s Strategic Plan for Municipal Solid Waste (PERSU) 2020 was presented at a launch event in Lisbon and introduces a number of targets and incentives that will help improve resource efficiency in the country. Read more…

 

The Commission committed to tackling food waste

05/11/2013

The European Commission has underlined its commitment to tackling the issue of sustainability throughout the food supply chain and, in particular, reducing food waste. It reiterated the need for action on food waste to mark the annual World Food Day on 16 October, which this year focused on ‘Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition’. The Commission said it was an occasion to remind ourselves that around a third of food is wasted globally, amounting to 1.3 billion tons per year according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Read more…

 

Countries should report annually on resource efficiency says World Resources Forum

30/10/2013

This year’s World Resources Forum (WRF) conference has recommended that countries should report annually on how their economies are developing with respect to resource efficiency. The conference was told there was an urgent need for robust knowledge and universal data transparency and that resource efficiency indicators needed to be defined more clearly to enable meaningful setting of targets and adequate monitoring of global use of resources. Read more…

 

Latest assessment reveals air pollution still a major problem across Europe

29/10/2013

According to the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) latest assessment of air quality in Europe, around 90% of city dwellers in the European Union (EU) are exposed to damaging air pollutants at levels deemed harmful by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Vehicles, industry, agriculture and homes are contributing to air pollution in Europe and, despite falling emission levels and reductions of some air pollutant concentrations in recent decades, the report demonstrates that Europe’s air pollution problem is far from solved. Read more…

 

New study assesses waste battery collection rates across EU Member States

25/10/2013

The European Portable Battery Association (EPBA) has published a study investigating mandatory waste collection rates for portable primary and rechargeable batteries in EU Member States, plus Norway and Switzerland. The industry intends to use the study as a basis for discussions with the European Commission, Member State Governments, their agencies and other stakeholders to highlight the limitations of the current regulations and practices and suggest improvements. Read more…

 

Summit urges Europe to take action on innovation

23/10/2013

The 5th European Innovation Summit, hosted by Knowledge4Innovation, a non-profit forum of the European Parliament, has called on Europe’s leaders to ‘wake up’ and take action to make Europe a leading innovation economy. On the final day of the summit, which was held in Brussels earlier this month, a declaration was issued to EU policy makers and Member State Governments listing a number of key actions they should take to overcome barriers to innovation, including the implementation of new policies and instruments from 2014-2020. Read more…

 

Public consultation backs Commission over increased action on recycling of plastic waste

22/10/2013

The European Union should stop funding landfill sites and incineration and start using public money to upgrade recycling infrastructures in Europe according to the results of the European Commission’s recent public consultation on the Green Paper on Plastic Waste. A preview of respondents’ views was given by the European Environment Commissioner, Janez Poto─Źnik, during a speech to a conference in Brussels on ‘The role of plastic waste in a circular economy’. He said the Green Paper fitted into the Commission’s efforts to make the use of resources more efficient, to develop a circular economy, and to combat marine pollution. Read more…

 

Commission seeks to streamline policies and legislation including on waste

16/10/2013

The European Commission has published a Communication outlining the results of its ongoing efforts to cut ‘red tape’ by streamlining European policies and legislation, including those on waste and energy. The Commission’s Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT) sets out various areas of policy where the Commission will consider withdrawing existing proposals that have not been taken forward by the other institutions, repealing outdated legislation, or evaluating existing legislation to see if objectives can be met more efficiently. Read more…