Resource efficiency

Resource efficiency is one of the main drivers of companies' competitiveness since, reportedly, European manufacturing firms spend, on average, 40% of their costs on raw materials, with energy and water pushing this to 50% of total manufacturing costs.

Therefore improving the resource efficiency of SMEs -re-manufacturing, repair, maintenance, recycling and eco-design - offers enormous potential for reducing production cost and increasing productivity while, at the same time, making a significant contribution to addressing environmental challenges.
So-called circular economy enhances resource and cost savings by maximising the time that resources, products and components are used.
So-called circular economy enhances resource and cost savings by maximising the time that resources, products and components are used.

The main principles of resource efficient circular economy are following:

  • More sustainable management of natural resources or creating higher value with less materials;
  • Involving companies and consumers in the process of becoming more environmentally friendly;
  • Implementation of the „polluter pays” principle;
  • Gradual elimination of subsidies that are harmful to the environment;
  • Green and innovative public procurement;
  • Eco-design and eco-innovation.

What can a company do to become more resource efficient?  

Save: save the resource in every possible way and in every possible place considering sustainability and environmental impact.   

Reuse: increase recycling of materials and reuse the elements of the product.

Substitute: use instead of primary resources as input alternatives with higher efficiency and lower environmental impact throughout its whole lifecycle, incl. safer chemicals.

Reduce: to meet the needs of people use new business models or products and services with lower input resource.

Value: when we learn to value ecosystem services and natural resources and determine their monetary value, this will mitigate the pressure on the environment.  

More about resource efficiency and circular economy:
European Commission
The Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe
EU action plan for the Circular Economy