<Video> Prioritising energy efficiency in Europe’s 2030 energy and climate framework
viEUws.eu - the EU Policy Broadcaster, May 2013
Link to 'viEUws - the EU Policy Broadcaster'
In the context of the European Union’s (EU) 2030 framework on climate and energy policy, Richard Cowart, Director of the European programmes at the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) discusses the importance of energy efficiency. Cowart states that the EU should prioirtise energy efficiency, and that binding targets regarding renewable energy will be needed. Cowart believes that a policy that does not drive aggressively towards removing the wasted use of energy will fail because it will be too expensive, too slow and too dirty.
<Report> Business Waste Prevention Evidence Review
Oakdene Hollins, Brook Lyndhurst and RRF, November 2011
Report for UK Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
Waste prevention is at the top of the waste hierarchy. A major priority of the coalition government is to move towards a zero waste economy, and an important element of this will be to encourage and increase waste prevention. This review aimed to map and collate the available evidence on business waste prevention.
The definition of waste prevention follows the Directive, including waste avoidance, waste reduction at source or in process and product reuse – recycling is outside the scope. The focus in this evidence review is on aspects of waste prevention that are influenced directly or indirectly by businesses.
The search for evidence was very broad, covering both UK and international, academic and ‘grey’, electronic and printed, and English, French and German language sources dating back at least to 1995. Almost 1,000 relevant documents were identified, of which nearly 600 passed initial screening. Much recorded evidence comes from publicly funded agencies charged with assisting businesses to promote waste prevention or resource efficiency, which also have an obligation to publish their results.
The analysis followed the broad logic of waste prevention actions by business, starting from the basic drivers of legislation and competition. Central to any analysis of the evidence is a detailed examination of the attitudes and behaviours of business. The other two fundamental perspectives used in sorting and assembling the evidence were the particular commercial or industrial sector and the types of intervention to encourage action. A key analytical tool was to characterise the actions that a business can take to prevent waste into a number of approaches.
To give focus to the review, it was necessary to select a limited number of sectors. The six sectors selected cover a broad range of activities, products, materials, services and approaches within business: Construction & Demolition, Food & Drink, Hospitality, Retail, Automotive and Office-Based Services.
Link to 'Business Waste Prevention Evidence Review'
<Report> What is the best disposal option for “Leftovers” on the way to Zero Waste?
Waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities are not the best environmental option for managing leftover waste and they are not a bridge to a Zero Waste future, as claimed by the WTE industry. After maximizing their source-separated recycling and composting efforts, communities looking to minimize the environmental impacts of their remaining waste should pursue an Material Recovery Biological Treatment-to-landfill system (MRBT) because it recovers the greatest amount of additional recyclables, stabilizes the organic fraction of the residuals, reduces the amount of material to be disposed of in a landfill, and minimizes the negative environmental and public health impacts of landfilling leftovers compared to the available alternative technologies. This study shows that it is reasonable to conclude that the MRBT option is not only the best environmental practice for disposing of residuals, but it is also the best community strategic option as well. MRBT is not a replacement or substitution for source-separated recycling and composting, but it is a valuable tool for helping communities reduce the environmental impacts from the disposal of their leftovers on the way to Zero Waste.
Link to 'What is the best disposal option for “Leftovers” on the way to Zero Waste?'
<Report> Green economy and trade: trends challenges and opportunities
UNEP, May 2013
The report is UNEP’s first output under the Green Economy and Trade Opportunities Project (GE-TOP), which seeks to identify policies and measures to help developing countries overcome challenges and respond to export demand for environmental goods and services. Over recent decades, international trade has continued to expand, contributing to economic growth and to the eradication of poverty. However, this has placed further strain on natural resources and contributed to social inequalities.
The report highlights the opportunities available to developing countries in making international trade more sustainable and reducing its environmental impacts. It talks particularly about the potential role of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Increased trade in certified products and environmental goods and services, coupled with the LDCs’ heavy reliance on renewable resources for their exported products, means they are well-positioned to exploit opportunities to increase their share of the international sustainable goods and services market.
The report analyses six economic sectors where opportunities exist – agriculture, fisheries, forests, manufacturing, renewable energy and tourism. It identifies a number of measures, including policy reforms and certification that could help developing countries benefit from these markets. It suggests actions such as public investment in key areas, market-based instruments, and regulatory frameworks. The report says that these would facilitate greater access for developing countries to greener international markets.
Link to 'Green economy and trade: trends challenges and opportunities'
<Report> Study into the feasibility of protecting and recovering critical raw materials through infrastructure development in the south east of England
Oakdene Hollins, 2011
Report for the European Pathway to Zero Waste
Critical materials are specialty metals that combine high economic importance to the EU with a high risk of potential disruption to, or interference in, supply.
This report identifies the primary uses of these materials, and describes interventions that could be made to increase recovery and recycling. Opportunities to lower the demand for the primary production of the critical raw materials have been identified, both through specific targeting of applications for improved recovery and through more general resource efficient practices.
Link to 'Study into the feasibility of protecting and recovering critical raw materials through infrastructure development in the south east of England'
<Report> State-of-play of natural consumption-based indicators: a review and evaluation of available methods and data to calculate footprint-type (consumption-based) indicators for materials, water, land and carbon
SERI, May 2013
The present report provides a concise review of the state of the art in the development of footprint-type indicators for materials, water, land and carbon for use on the national level (macro level). Based on a review of a large number of papers and studies published in recent years, the various footprint calculation methodologies along with their key advantages and disadvantages are discussed. In addition, the quality and availability of data to calculate those indicators is assessed and evaluated. In the final chapters, key areas for further improvement of the footprint-type indicators are described, including a first estimation of the required efforts to make them ready for use in the context of EU resource policies.
Link to 'State-of-play of natural consumption-based indicators: a review and evaluation of available methods and data to calculate footprint-type (consumption-based) indicators for materials, water, land and carbon'
<Report> Further Benefits of Resource Efficiency
Oakdene Hollins, 2011
In a time of economic difficulty, resource efficiency by businesses is seen as an opportunity to achieve environmental benefits while also strengthening business resilience and decreasing costs. It also has the potential to contribute substantially towards government targets to reduce CO2 emissions.
The study estimated that the UK savings opportunities associated with resource efficiency interventions for materials, energy and water.
No cost / low cost savings opportunity has been estimated at a total of around £23billion in 2009. Savings opportunities with a payback greater than one year have been estimated at £33billion. The greatest savings opportunities exist within waste, particularly in waste prevention through lean manufacturing . Total savings opportunities for waste (no/low cost plus longer payback) in 2009 were around £40billion.
The carbon benefits achievable from implementing these resource efficiency measures are estimated at 90 MtCO2. This represents around 13% of the UK’s annual greenhouse gas emissions.
The most significant four sectors are chemicals/non-metallic minerals, metals manufacturing, power & utilities, and construction. Between them, they account for 78% of the no cost / low cost savings opportunity total of £18billion.
Link to 'Further Benefits of Resource Efficiency'
<Position paper> MWE Strategy Paper on resource-efficiency
Vanya Veras, May 2013
Municipal Waste Europe published a paper on the essential role municipalities and their waste management companies play in making the EU resource-efficiency strategy a success.
Whereas resource-efficiency is ever more important in a world of economic and planetary constraints, this not only requires sustainable production processes, it also calls for coordinated action plans to recover the resources in products and materials in order to close the loops of production, consumption, use and re-use of resources. This paper addresses Municipal Waste Europe’s view on this issue for each of the three pillars of sustainability: Economic, Social, and Environmental.
Municipalities play a key role in the circular economy for material resources, having direct communication channels to their citizens and thereby being able to ensure that they are made aware of any new rules or changes in collection methods or schedules as well as informing them why this is the case and what happens to the materials collected. This optimises collection rates, both in terms of quality and quantity and ensures that recycling and re-use are preferred over options lower down the waste hierarchy.
To enable all European Member States to achieve the higher levels of the waste hierarchy and so also to help stabilise their economies, inter-municipal communication and knowledge brokerage must be fostered. As waste and behaviour are local issues, they need local solutions. Knowledge can be passed from those with more experience to those with less, with the clear understanding that one size does not fit all and that those just starting out must opt for the simplest, least costly treatment methods.
Link to 'MWE Strategy Paper on resource-efficiency'
Link to 'http://www.municipalwasteeurope.eu/position/mwe-strategy-paper-resource-efficiency'
<Position paper> Recycling objectives for a resource-efficient Europe – municipal solutions for eco-efficient recyclables management
German Association of local public utilities (Verband kommunaler Unternehmen), April 2013
In presenting the position paper on “Recycling objectives for a resource-efficient Europe – municipal solutions for eco-efficient recyclables management”, the VKU – as Germany’s local public utilities association – wants to contribute to the current discussion from the perspective of the municipal waste management sector. Municipal waste management companies are committed to reducing resource consumption and, at the same time, raising resource productivity in an effort to build a “sustainable economy”. The European Commission published its “Roadmap to a Resource-Efficient Europe” on 20 September 2011. In the field of waste management, this communication argues above all for the separate collection of waste materials in every locality to be rolled out by all Member States by 2020. The Roadmap defines objectives and measures for improving resource efficiency in Europe. As part of the move towards improved resource efficiency, Germany’s municipal waste management companies want to make an active contribution to the implementation process going forward.
In our position paper on “Recycling objectives for a resource-efficient Europe – municipal solutions for eco-efficient recyclables management”, the VKU defines the concrete recycling targets required to meet European requirements regarding recycling and resource efficiency. The VKU proposes the setting of a definite collection rate for each of the major waste fractions to be achieved by municipal waste management companies in their own area. The local public utilities see their role here as a natural partner of private-sector companies involved in commercial recycling. This industry is dominated by many small and medium-sized businesses that are integrated – and will, in future, continue to be integrated – to varying degrees in every stage of the waste management chain (collection, sorting, recovery and recycling, disposal).
Link to 'Recycling objectives for a resource-efficient Europe – municipal solutions for eco-efficient recyclables management'
<Report> Adaptation in Europe: addressing risks and opportunities from climate change in the context of socio-economic developments
EEA, May 2013
This report provides policymakers across Europe, at different levels of governance and stages of policy formulation, with information that can be used to support adaptation planning and implementation. Specific parts of the report are therefore targeted at different audiences.
Link to 'Adaptation in Europe: addressing risks and opportunities from climate change in the context of socio-economic developments'