16 January 2012

EU Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe to focus on improving efficiency in product life-cycle

The European Commission’s Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe seeks to outline how a more resource-efficient and low-carbon economy by 2020 can be achieved, with a strong focus on encouraging behavioural change among consumers. The Roadmap integrates a number of policy initiatives with the goal of transforming the existing EU market, with better efficiency throughout the life-cycle of a product a key component.

From the perspective of sustainable and efficient production and consumption, the document highlights better efficiency measures for each step of the life of a product, from design and production to marketing. The document recommends that fiscal incentives and funding should be developed in Member States to encourage businesses to improve their resource efficiency on a systemic level.

Also, the reduction of hazardous substances in products or the reuse of waste and by-products are measures proposed to reward companies that invest in innovative products. Changing consumer habits is another core element, with recommendations that adequate incentives to inform consumers on resource-efficient products through environmental information and pricing are put in place by 2020. Sustainable growth will only be reached through cooperation among public and private stakeholders to ensure coherent financing, policy, investment, innovation and research.

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