We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
To ensure a secure and sustainable supply of raw materials and to better manage resource use, Europe requires comprehensive knowledge of the entire raw materials value chain. However, information is often scattered across several sources, such as ministries, agencies, geological surveys, research institutes, and universities.
New standards on resources and emissions will help national authorities across the EU to lower the environmental impact of around 3 500 large combustion plants.
New standards on resources and emissions will help national authorities across the EU to lower the environmental impact of around 20 000 large poultry and pig farms. The new specifications stem from the review of the Best Available Techniques (BAT) Reference Document for the intensive rearing of poultry and pigs (IRPP), the so-called IRPP BREF, whose conclusions were published on 21 February 2017 in the Official Journal of the EU.
JRC scientists evaluated sources of air pollutants in the Danube macro-region, a necessary step for the design of action plans to improve air quality. The study showed residential heating contributed up to 35% of PM2.5 pollution in the main cities in the Danube macro-region, followed by agriculture (up to 32%), energy production and industry (up to 30%) and transport (up to 25%).
The water used to produce food available in urban areas generally doesn’t make it into city sustainability estimates, which only take into account direct water use and parameters such as waste collection and energy efficiency of buildings.
Metal recycling conserves natural ore resources and supports sustainable development, hence benefitting industry, consumers and the environment. However, several accidents in the past decades where inadvertently collected scrap metal contained radioactive material resulted in stricter controls and development of new standards to detect contaminated scrap metal and protect citizens and the environment from its harmful effects.
Diversification of supply, improving conditions for domestic production and circular use are key to ensuring the sustainable supply of raw materials in the EU. As millions of European jobs are affected by the market conditions and the availability of raw materials, the EU needs to address its future mining potential, the growing skills shortage and innovation needs and its current import-dependency.