<Report> Towards the circular economy: accelerating the scale-up across global supply chains
World Economic Forum, January 2014
In this report, the World Economic Forum and the Foundation, with analytics provided by McKinsey & Company, acting as project adviser, joined forces to reconcile the concept of scaling a circular economy within the reality of a global economy and complex multi-tier supply chains. The key objective is to propose a very specific joint plan of action for industry leaders. The challenge of closing materials loops and regenerating natural assets is an exponential function of product complexity and supply chain length. While more localized production is experiencing a robust renaissance in some economies, we cannot ignore nor fail to tap the power of global division of labour, specialization and economies of scale.
This report sets out to emphasize that the circular economy must hold its promise not merely to the village economy, but also to a globalized economy of nine billion.It presents the concept of circularity as a tangible driver of industrial innovations and value creation for the 21st century global economy. In addition, it positions the concept for today’s global CEO as a practical business strategy to “hedge” against the complex and interconnected risks of resource competition, commodity price volatility, new materials technologies and changing consumer demands.
Link to 'Towards the circular economy: accelerating the scale-up across global supply chains'
<Report> Marine Messages: our seas, our future – moving towards a new understanding
European Environment Agency, February 2014
Europe’s seas are home to a rich and diverse array of species, habitats and ecosystems. Although vital for Europe’s economic and social wellbeing, many of these ecosystems risk being irreversibly damaged by human activities. ‘Marine messages’, a briefing from the European Environment Agency (EEA), provides an overview of the current state-of-affairs of European seas and our use of them. It argues that economic activities including transport, fishing, offshore energy and tourism should be better managed so that they ensure sustainable health of marine ecosystems.
Link to 'Marine Messages: our seas, our future – moving towards a new understanding'
<Report> Scoping paper: mining and metals in a sustainable world
World Economic Forum, February 2014
At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2013 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, the Governors for the Mining & Metals Industry asked the Forum to prepare a scoping paper on the role and contribution of mining and metals in a sustainable world. This paper offers one possible vision for the sector. Highlighting key issues and trends on the topic, the paper informs the Governors so they can identify the work activities for the Forum’s Mining & Metals team that will best support the Industry Partners in 2014 and beyond. The paper is not intended to map the scenarios or the journey to a sustainable world.
This paper uses the Vision for 2050 framework outlined by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) as a guide on key changes to the global economy, people and populations, environment, energy mix, buildings, transportations networks and material requirements. Given this context, the paper tries to eschew the restrictions, issues and challenges of today to describe the role and contribution of mining and metals companies in a sustainable world, and to outline what companies need to do now to prepare for success.
Link to 'Scoping paper: mining and metals in a sustainable world'
<Report> The first phase of implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive – the European Commission’s assessment and guidance
European Commission, February 2014
Just over five years after the entry into force of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), this report marks the end of the first, ambition-setting phase of its implementation. An unprecedented data-collection and analysis exercise has been undertaken, during which Member States have provided an assessment of the state of their seas (the initial assessment), have defined what they consider to be “good environmental status” (GES) of their marine waters and have established a series of targets to bridge the gap between the current situation, and where they want to be in 2020, the date by which GES must be achieved.
The exercise has provided an opportunity for a broad public debate on the protection of the marine environment, has brought together a vast amount of knowledge about our seas and oceans and triggered further regional collaboration, in particular through Regional Sea Conventions (RSCs). At the same time, the Commission’s assessment of Member States’ reports gives rise to concern: Member States’ definition of good environmental status and the path they set out to achieve it shows overall limited ambition, often fails to take into account existing obligations and standards and lacks coherence across the Union, even between neighbouring countries within the same marine region.
Link to 'The first phase of implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive – the European Commission’s assessment and guidance'
<Report> Packaging and Packaging Waste Statistics 1998-2011
EUROPEN, February 2014
The European Organisation for Packaging and the Environment (EUROPEN) has published a report that analyses official EU data on the evolution of packaging waste rates. The report shows annual increases in the recycling rates of packaging and decreases in packaging waste sent to landfill. It also estimates that the recovery rates in the EU-27 Member States will continue to increase.
By the end of 2011, 64% of the packaging placed on the market in EU-27 was being recycled, a rate that exceeds the minimum recycling target of 55% currently set by the Packaging & Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD). The report aims to inform EUROPEN members and stakeholders amid the current review of PPWD targets by the European Commission.
Link to 'Packaging and Packaging Waste Statistics 1998-2011'
<Briefing> Tackling food waste: The EU’s contribution to a global issue
European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), February 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. The briefing also concludes that the biggest part of food waste in developed countries is generated by households, with food often being discarded while it is still suitable for human consumption.
To mitigate that, the European Parliament has asked for 2014 to be designated as ‘European year against food waste’. The European Union has committed to halving the disposal of edible food by 2020 and various national initiatives have been introduced by Member States to tackle the issue.
Link to 'Tackling food waste: The EU’s contribution to a global issue'
<Report> Denmark without waste – recycle more, incinerate less
Danish Ministry of the Environment, February 2014
The Danish Ministry of the Environment has recently published a report titled ‘Denmark without waste – Recycle more, incinerate less’, which provides an overview of the current waste treatment situation in Denmark and analyses the Government’s plan to recycle 50% of household waste by 2022. A strategy that can help achieve a successful transition is already in place and plans involve increased waste separation, including separate collections for food waste; a number of public-private partnerships to help reorganise the country’s waste management system; and the introduction of new initiatives. The strategy will be assessed in 2016 to establish whether further efforts are required. According to the report, next steps include the implementation of a waste management plan, an associated environmental assessment and a plan to remove hazardous substances from materials sent for recycling. Denmark is also planning to launch a waste prevention strategy that will focus on using resources efficiently and putting in place appropriate initiatives.
Link to 'Denmark without waste – recycle more, incinerate less'
<Factsheets> Best practice in promoting waste prevention
European Commission, February 2014
Several strategies are used by European Member States and other countries to promote waste prevention and educate the public on resource efficiency. A number of effective waste prevention strategies have been selected by the European Commission to demonstrate examples of best practice in this area. These include a combination of informational, promotional and regulatory measures that exhibit five key characteristics. More specifically, the selected examples are targeted, with a strong focus on waste prevention; innovative, using original or resourceful techniques; replicable by regions across Europe and abroad; representative of a wide range of countries and waste streams; and effective, with clearly defined objectives and measurable results. Factsheets summarising the selected waste prevention initiatives are available and provide an overview of the regional background, policy context and targeted waste stream. The factsheets also explain the objectives, measures and results of each initiative and provide a list of resources for further information.
Link to 'Best practice in promoting waste prevention'
<Video> Energy Briefing – all you need to know for the February 2014
viEUws - the EU Policy Broadcaster, February 2014
In this Brussels Briefing on Energy, leading journalist Hughes Belin provides an overview of the European Union’s most pressing energy issues, including the 2030 Climate & Energy Framework, energy efficiency, and renewable energy targets.
Link to 'Energy Briefing – all you need to know for the February 2014'
<Report> Building a green infrastructure for Europe
European Commission, December 2013
In May 2011, the European Union adopted a Biodiversity Strategy to halt biodiversity loss in Europe by 2020. The strategy is built around six mutually supportive targets which address the main drivers of biodiversity loss. Target 2 aims to ensure that ‘by 2020, ecosystems and their services are maintained and enhanced by establishing Green Infrastructure and restoring at least 15% of degraded ecosystems’.
Responding to this political ambition, as well as the Resource Efficiency roadmap, the European Commission published a new strategy in May 2013 to promote the use of Green Infrastructure across Europe. The strategy aims to create a robust enabling framework in order to promote and facilitate GI projects within existing legal, policy and financial instruments.
This informative brochure on the motivations and implications of investing in Green Infrastructure, broadly defined as a strategically planned network of high quality natural and semi-natural areas with plentiful environmental features.
Link to 'Building a green infrastructure for Europe'