Indicators in monitoring the implementation of the closed-loop economy in the EU
The system for monitoring the implementation of the closed-loop economy, approved by the European Commission, includes 10 indicators, some of which are divided into sub-indicators.
These indicators are selected in order to cover the basic elements of a closed-loop economy. The list is compiled in such a way as to simplify the assessment and compliance with the goals. It contains already known data, as well as areas for which new indicators are being developed, in particular, in relation to environmentally friendly public procurement and food waste.
About half of the indicators in this structure are Eurostat data; others are provided by the Joint Research Center (JRC) and the Directorate General for Domestic Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW). The value of the patent indicator is provided by the European Patent Office.
So, 10 indicators for which information is available in the respective databases are divided into the following four thematic areas:
Production and consumption. This area includes 4 indicators:
- Independence of raw materials for production in the EU;
- Green public procurement (as an indicator for financing aspects);
- Waste generation (as an indicator for consumption aspects);
- Food waste generation.
Monitoring the stages of production and consumption is important for understanding progress towards the development of a closed-loop economy. Households and various sectors of the economy should reduce the amount of waste they produce. In the longer term, such a strategy can contribute to increasing independence in the supply of certain types of raw materials for production in the EU.
Waste management. This area includes 2 indicators:
– Disposal rates (share of waste that is disposed of);
– Specific waste streams (packaging waste, biological waste, electronic waste, etc.).
Increasing the share of recycling is part of a strategy for a transition to a closed-loop economy. In this area, the focus is on waste that is recycled and actually returned to the business cycle to continue to create value.
Secondary resources. This area includes 2 indicators:
– The contribution of recycled materials to the demand for raw materials;
– The market for secondary resources between EU member states and the rest of the world.
To close the loop, materials and products must be reintroduced into the economy, for example, in the form of new materials or products. Recycled materials replace natural resources, reduce the environmental impact of production and consumption stages, and increase the security of future supplies of raw materials.
Competitiveness and innovation. This area also includes 2 indicators:
– Private investment, jobs and gross value added;
– Patents related to processing and secondary raw materials as an object for innovation.
Closed-loop economies contribute to job creation and economic growth. The development of innovative technologies is also aimed at improving product design for easier reuse and promoting innovative production processes.