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The RE Platform

Interactive Library

This Interactive Library aims to facilitate information exchange between stakeholders interested in resource efficiency. A solid and comprehensive information base is needed to create the required integrated policy approach.

Stakeholders are invited to share their resource efficiency related views, findings and reports and/or to browse through the Library.

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<Video> Energy efficiency – European Commission introduces ambitious 2030 target, July 2014

Jennifer Baker is joined by Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, spokeswoman of the European Commission, to discuss the Commission’s Energy Efficiency Communication.

On July 23, the European Commission adopted the Energy Efficiency Communication which introduced a new energy efficiency target of 30% for 2030. Energy efficiency is one of the key pillars of the European Union’s energy and climate strategy for 2030, on which European leaders aim to agree in October.

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<Video> Commission does not foresee waste prevention targets, assures Director-General for Environment, June, 2014


Karl Falkenberg, Director-General for Environment at the European Commission meets with leading environment journalist Sonja van Renssen to discuss waste prevention plans.

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<Video> Standardised labels can massively boost recycling, claims Recycle Across America’s Executive Director, June, 2014


In an exclusive interview with viEUws at Green Week 2014, Mitch Hedlund – Executive Director of Recycle Across America – talks about the role of standardised labels in boosting recycling.

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<Video> Top 5 EU Environment Issues – All you need to know for the Italian Presidency, July 2014


In this special briefing, leading environment journalist Sonja van Renssen picks out the top 5 environment issues that will be discussed by the EU institutions under the Italian Presidency:

1. Circular or zero waste economy
2. Green growth and jobs
3. 2030 climate & energy policy
4. Reforming the EU Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS)
5. Dossier of air quality

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<Report> Valuing plastic: the business case for measuring, managing and disclosing plastic use in the consumer goods industry

UNEP (in collaboration with PDP and Trucost), June 2014

Valuing Plastic: The Business Case for Measuring, Managing and Disclosing Plastic Use in the Consumer Goods Industry is a highly informative publication on the valuation of plastic that allows us, for the first time, to put a figure on the costs companies would incur if the damage caused by waste plastic was included in their accounting. The report highlights the urgent need for businesses to measure, manage and disclose information on their annual use and disposal of plastic, as many companies already do with carbon emissions. It also provides a series of recommendations for companies that are designed to help ensure a sustainable future for plastic. The report also provides companies with guidance on how to achieve the same economic output with fewer inputs and less waste, leading to greater cost savings; all of which can further expand the global economy in years to come.

Link to 'Valuing plastic: the business case for measuring, managing and disclosing plastic use in the consumer goods industry'

<Report> The global resource footprint of nations: carbon, water, land and materials embodied in trade and final consumption

CREEA - Compiling and Refining of Economic and Environmental Accounts, June 2014

Using the latest version of EXIOBASE, this booklet endeavours to provide an insight into the environmental footprint of final consumption in the countries covered. It presents 43 country factsheets encapsulating the carbon, water, land and material footprint of final consumption in the countries covered by EXIOBASE. In this, it was decided to use simple indicators. The carbon footprint adds up greenhouse gases like CO2, CH4and N2O as CO2-equivalents – using weights reflecting the contribution to global warming of a tonne of emissions of a specific greenhouse gas relative to a tonne of emissions of CO2. Land use cover change is not included in the carbon footprint indicator used here. For materials, the volume extracted has been counted, for water, the volume consumed (withdrawal minus return of flows) and for land, the surface used. It may be argued that for water, for instance, the scarcity in the river basin from which it is extracted should be taken into account, or for land use, the (agricultural) productivity of this land. On such more sophisticated indicators for water, land and material use, however, the consensus is still limited.

The booklet further showcases a number of comparative analyses, such as how environmental pressures correlate to GDP, Human Development Index (HDI), and population of a country. It illustrates the extent to which many developed countries rely on the carbon, water, land and material footprint from abroad.

Link to 'The global resource footprint of nations: carbon, water, land and materials embodied in trade and final consumption'

<Newsletter> Support for ‘pay-as-you-throw’ waste schemes increases once experienced

European Commission, June 2014

Public support for pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) waste schemes is significantly higher among those who have actually experienced them, finds new research. The study indicates that there is less resistance to such schemes, which charge householders a fee that varies with the amount of waste collected, once they have been introduced.

Link to 'Support for ‘pay-as-you-throw’ waste schemes increases once experienced'

<Report> Boosting growth and jobs: success stories from environmental policy

European Commission, June 2014

Effective environmental policy can boost jobs and growth and bring tangible benefits to citizens. At a time of continuing economic and financial difficulty, justifying investment in the environment has never been more critical.

In the current economic context, European environmental policy has proven that it can deliver positive and concrete achievements. This brochure highlights just a few of the tangible benefits of environmental policy, with examples and statistics in areas ranging from air and water to resource efficiency and waste.

Link to 'Boosting growth and jobs: success stories from environmental policy'

<Report> Decoupling 2: Technologies, Opportunities and Policy Options

International Resource Panel, June 2014

This report was produced by the Decoupling Working Group of the International Resource Panel. It explores technological possibilities and opportunities for both developing and developed countries to accelerate decoupling and reap the environmental and economic benefits of increased resource productivity. It also examines several policy options that have proved to be successful in helping different countries to improve resource productivity in various sectors of their economy, avoiding negative impacts on the environment.

It does not seem possible for a global economy based on the current unsustainable patterns of resource use to continue into the future. The economic consequences of these patterns are already apparent in three areas: increases in resource prices, increased price volatility and disruption of environmental systems. The environment impacts of resource use are also leading to potentially irreversible changes to the world’s ecosystems, often with direct effects on people and the economy – for example through damage to health, water shortages, loss of fish stocks or increased storm damage.

But there are alternatives to these scary patterns. Many decoupling technologies and techniques that deliver resource productivity increases as high as 5 to 10-fold are already available, allowing countries to pursue their development strategies while significantly reducing their resource footprint and negative impacts on the environment.

This report shows that much of the policy design “know-how” needed to achieve decoupling is present in terms of legislation, incentive systems, and institutional reform. Many countries have tried these out with tangible results, encouraging others to study and where appropriate replicate and scale up such practices and successes.

Link to 'Decoupling 2: Technologies, Opportunities and Policy Options'

<Report> EEA Signals 2014 – Well-being and the environment

EEA, June 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.

Our current consumption patterns have numerous and significant environmental impacts. Generally, Europeans are consuming more – eating twice as much meat compared to the amount consumed 50 years ago, which increases the demand for land and other resources. They are also becoming more wasteful – approximately one third of food is wasted in the European Union.

The publication outlines numerous ideas that could ‘green’ the economy, including improved consumer choices, increased recycling and enhancements to town planning. Collectively, these solutions could assist the transition to a circular economy, an economy in which waste becomes a re-usable resource.

Link to 'EEA Signals 2014 – Well-being and the environment'