European policies addressing resource use include waste legislation, product policy based primarily on eco-design, and sustainable consumption and production. Rather than merely dealing with waste once it is generated, such policies are an ongoing attempt to use resources more efficiently from the outset. IEEP continues to increase its portfolio of projects on natural resources, undertaking research into natural resource use, policies for resource efficiency, and promotion of the circular economy.
IEEP uses a broad definition of ‘resources’ that includes land, soils, air, water, biodiversity, raw materials and products. We have a range of experience across a variety of relevant areas, including Agriculture and Land Management, Industrial Pollution and Environmental Governance, and are well-equipped to deal with specific project work in all of these areas. IEEP’s recent work in resource use includes contributing to studies on decoupling the environmental impact of resource use from economic growth, scenarios for EU resource use targets, the EU’s product and organisational ecological footprint methodology, and sustainable consumption tools.
The following analysis assesses to what extent actions included in the new EU Circular Economy Action Plan that relate to demand may help reduce environmental pressures and contribute to a more circular European economy within the boundaries of the planet.
The contribution and value of nature to human welfare and well-being – our natural capital – tends to be overlooked in many policy decisions and business choices. As a result, ecosystems are being degraded and natural resources are being used in an unsustainable way.
To find out what European citizens think about our current consumption habits and what more can be done to improve their sustainability, the IEEP went to the Democracy Alive Festival on the island of Texel, in the Netherlands.
Today we celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity aiming at increasing understanding of the diversity of life on the planet and awareness of its importance for human development. IEEP takes the opportunity to share some key positive lessons from recent EU biodiversity action and identify key remaining challenges towards 2030.
A newly published study for the European Commission by IEEP and partners investigates civil society’s role in improving the effectiveness of environmental taxes to reduce pollution and better manage natural resources.
A new IEEP study has developed policy options to enhance the ambition of extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes for plastic packaging. The study explores the potential of more advanced eco-modulation of fees for plastic packaging, to better take into account its environmental impacts.
IEEP held a one-day conference in Brussels on 5 October 2017 to present the findings of a major study for the European Commission on the use of market-based instruments to address pollution and resource use.
Improving the resource efficient use of wood through cascading the resource from one use to another, requires action throughout the wood flow. Current efforts focus on recovering and re-using waste wood but more could be done with the production and utilisation of wood processing residues and improving the balancing between the material and energy use of wood.
Defining effective and workable sustainability criteria for biofuels is one of the critical steps in decarbonising Europe’s energy sector. Such criteria must provide the necessary safeguards for the use of bioresources in Europe, as well as the policy and investment certainty required for sustainable deployment.
Defining effective and workable sustainability criteria is one of the critical steps in decarbonising Europe’s energy sector. They must provide the necessary safeguards for the use of bioresources in Europe, as well as the policy and investment certainty required for sustainable deployment.