The circular economy represents a tremendous opportunity for Europe.
With its system-wide perspective, the circular economy has the potential to help us make better decisions about resource use, design out waste, provide added value for business, and proceed along a secure route to society-wide prosperity and environmental sustainability for future generations. Most importantly, under the right rules, the circular economy can shift the economic mix to increase the number of jobs at the same time.
Growth Within looks deeply into three key European sectors—food, mobility, and the built environment—examining their potential and offering a way forward guided by circular economy principles. While the report clearly indicates the numerous challenges in achieving rapid progress, it also offers examples of success and frameworks for what is possible.
Importantly, the report points out how often many of these changes reinforce each other. The tracking of materials, components, and products eases the shift from ownership to new business models with flexible and affordable access to value added services. The maintenance and refurbishment of products can require more human input. Potential shifts of fiscal incentives towards renewables can encourage the use of labour.
All these changes deliver important benefits to the environment—resource productivity, restored natural capital, and better product design.