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Remanufacturing and Product Design - Designing for the 7th Generation

Remanufacture returns a used product to like-new condition; it is a process of recapturing the value added to the material when a product was first manufactured. Remanufacture results in reduced energy and material use, and production cost reductions. In the context of drivers such as the Landfill Directive, the revenue that remanufacture generates from ‘waste’ coupled with environmental advantages place the process as potentially a major contributor to Sustainable Development (SD) and movements towards a Factor 4 society. The 2004 Oakdene Hollins Ltd (OHL) report “Remanufacturing in the UK: a significant contributor to sustainable development?” provides a detailed evaluation of the state of the UK remanufacturing industry and identified future opportunities for remanufacture, highlighting that remanufacture can lead to a reduction in carbon emissions. This report studies the links between design and remanufacture and builds on elements of the OHL report and contributions to elements of analysis by OHL, by further investigating Design for Remanufacture in terms of both detailed product design and business context.
Attachment: Report PDF

Green Action Plan for SMEs - implementation report

The European Union Green Action Plan for SMEs introduced in 2014 brings together two important priorities for the European economy: supporting SMEs and promoting resourceefficiency. It aims “to contribute to the re-industrialisation of Europe... by enhancing SMEscompetitiveness and supporting green business developments across all European regions, notably in view of the fact that, at this stage, significant differences in resource efficiency exist between sectors and Member States”. The Green Action Plan (GAP) sets out a series of objectives and lists actions that will be implemented at European level within the framework of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020. All the actions are either new or revised versions of previous actions that now take into account the potential for business of resource efficiency and access to green markets.

Circular Policy Action Brief

This report aims at understanding the current landscape of circular policy in the European Union, while delving more in details at the Member State level. It also looks at India and China. The report also shows the impact of these policies on circular business models and selected sectors. It will be updated bi-annually to ensure accuracy. The report constitutes the first phase of World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBCSD) Policy and Engagement workstream, which final aim is to develop forward-looking policy recommendations that help spur circular economy actions. This workstream is part of WBCSD’s Factor10 program on the circular economy.

The EIB Circular Economy Guide - Supporting the circular transition

The EIB Circular Economy Guide aims to promote a common understanding of circular economy, and raise awareness about and promote circular solutions. The Guide provides information about EIB’s lending and advisory activities in this field, and communicates our vision of how the EIB can further support the transition to a circular economy. The Guide is a living document that will be updated in response to our evolving understanding of circular economy needs, opportunities and risks, and growing experience with the appraisal and financing of circular economy projects.
Attachment: EIB guide

Global Material Resources Outlook to 2016: Economic Drivers and Environmental Consequences.

As part of the OECD RE-CIRCLE project, this report provides detailed sectoral and regional projections of materials use to 2060, with a focus on the economic drivers and environmental consequences.

Digitalisation in German SMEs: state of implementation and investment

A good one in four small and medium-sized enterprises have expanded their digitalisation in the past three years. At 26%, the share of SMEs with completed digitalisation projects is similar to the proportion of SMEs that innovate.

Resource efficiency through industry 4.0 : Potentials for SMEs in the manufacturing sector

Digitalisation can provide solutions at different levels of SMEs’ production processes: at the process level (e.g. optimising the factory line to reduce material and energy consumption), at company level (e.g. optimising logistics and work between different locations, using production and sales data for business development processes), within they supply chain (e.g. to enable industrial symbiosis networks), and in their products’ overall life-cycle. This report looks into best practices at the crossroad of digitalisation and resource efficiency. The purpose of the study is a systematic investigation into the effects of digital transformation on resource efficiency, specifically considering its impact on natural resources. The study focuses on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing sector for which digital transformation is a particular challenge but also an opportunity.  

Digital strategies for greater material efficiency in German industry

Main results from a German company survey Traditional efficiency-raising measures that optimise manufacturing processes are still predominant in the manufacturing sector, but new techniques and materials are also used.In many companies the basic course for a modern circular economy is not yet set: saving materials on a grand scale as early as the product design stage, through materials cycle management or new business models are notvery common so far. The material savings potential in industry has not yet been exhausted. In the companies’ view, they could save a further 3 to 4 per cent if they made optimum use of all technical possibilities. With reference to the value of Germany’s purchases of mineral raw materials from both domestic and foreign sources,this translates into a realisable savings potential of 2 billion euros.

Efficient management of natural resources

The report presents leads for public adminstrations on what steps can be taken in order to ensure and support efficient management of natural resources, energy efficiency, the production of renewable energy, and the promotion of a resource-efficient blue growth.  

ESG Toolkit for fund managers

This E&S Briefing Note is designed to help fund managers quickly familiarise themselves with the topic of resource efficiency as it relates to investment. It is not intended to be a detailed technical guidance document. It is important to consider the linkage between resource efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Efforts to tackle the reduction of GHG emissions resulting from business activities are inextricably linked to resource efficiency. Any improvements which a business can make in reducing the resources it uses will inevitably lead to a reduction in the GHG footprint of the business. Taking a macro-level sustainability approach, resource efficiency is also linked to the concept of the circular economy: the idea of moving away from a linear-based industrial economy to a circular-based economy which is restorative and resource efficient by design. Relevant aspects of the circular economy will also be addressed within this note.

Resource Efficient Business Models – Greater Competitiveness

This report, Facts and Trends Towards 2050, describes the short-term supply and demand situation for different resources. The information was gatheredt hrough interviews with and consultation between a large number of companies represented in work groupsfocusing on five sectors: Input Goods, Infrastructure,Consumer Products, Capital Goods/Durables and Food. A Steering Committee has coordinated and supervised the project work, with Björn Stigson as Senior Advisor and Caroline Ankarcrona of IVA as Project Director. Facts and Trends Towards 2050 addresses the challenges involved in improving resource efficiency, but also the opportunities such as the technological advances that are being made. The problem of balance is also covered; for example, the choice between more efficient resource usage and short-term profitability. The importance of understanding how dynamic today’s business models need to be is also emphasised.

Resource efficiency in industries - Via conclusions on Best Available Techniques (BAT) under Industrial Emissions Directive

This report is the product of a mapping of resource efficiency in regulation and an analysis of generic approaches to implement resource efficiency in BAT conclusions. Market based as well asrule based type regulation was screened for examples of approaches of regulating resource efficiency. The identified examples are briefly described. Examples of resource efficiency in other regulation and the contributions from interest groups and organisations were used to identify generic approaches for resource efficiency regulation which has been exemplified in 18 inspirational examples of BAT conclusions. Cross-media aspects, barriers and alternatives were considered for each of the generic approaches. Based on these the feasibility of the different exemplified BAT conclusions were divided into three categories: most feasible, depending on the industry and least feasible.