EEA Report No. 5/2011: Survey on Approaches to Resource Efficiency in Europe
The European Environment Agency (EEA) has carried out a survey on approaches to resource efficiency in Europe. A total of 31 countries from across Europe responded to the survey. The results of this survey have been published in the EEA report no. 5/2011 “Resource efficiency in Europe - Policies and approaches in 31 EEA member and cooperating countries”.
The survey showed that the Member States already took some action to transform Europe into a sustainable economy. However, there is no single definition of resource efficiency. That is why there are many different approaches to becoming more resource efficient to match the different national contexts.
Many countries across Europe have been working on strategies and policies to become more resource-efficient. In most cases, resource efficiency was seen as part of other strategies, including strategies related to sustainable development, environment, raw materials, climate change and economic reform. The two most common areas for resource efficiency policies are the sectors of energy and waste.
When responding to the survey, countries cited several reasons for attempting to become more resource efficient, including concerns about environmental degradation, economic reasons or shortages of a critical resource such as water.
However, the survey also showed that only a few countries have policies addressing the more fundamental issue of consumption, instead of attempting to improve technical efficiency.