Circular Economy Could Provide €1.8tr Net Benefit For Europe

A new report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation reveals that by adopting circular economy principles, Europe can take advantage of the impending “technology revolution” to create a net benefit of €1.8tr by 2030, or €0.9tr more than in the current linear development path. 

Growth Within: A circular economy vision for a competitive Europe is the new report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment, and SUN (Stiftungsfonds für Umweltökonomie und Nachhaltigkeit).

It presents the results of a major new study at the European Commission’s stakeholder conference on the circular economy in Brussels on 25 June.

This latest research presents, for the first time, a vision of how the circular economy could look for three of Europe’s most resource-intensive basic needs: food, mobility and the built environment, which together account for 60% of household costs.

Dame Ellen MacArthur – “The economy is undergoing profound transformation as the technology revolution reaches scale. This report has shown that by applying circular economy principles we can catalyse this change, achieve a real system shift, and open a new era of growth and development, decoupled from resource constraints”

It also reveals that by adopting a circular economy financial benefit would be accompanied by better societal outcomes, including an increase of €3,000 in household income, a reduction in the cost of time lost to congestion by 16%, and a halving of carbon dioxide emissions compared with current levels.

The report acknowledges that on the current linear path, technological disruption will bring benefits, but finds that the potential gains for growth, household incomes and the environment are much greater with a circular model.

Key findings in the report also found this could further translate into an 11% GDP increase by 2030 versus today, compared with 4% in the current development path, and that primary material consumption measured by car and construction materials, real estate land, synthetic fertiliser, pesticides, agricultural water use, fuels, and non-renewable electricity could drop 32% by 2030 and 53% by 2050, compared with today.

The report’s findings are timely as the European Commission considers its circular economy strategy and consults with stakeholders in order to develop a circular economy package by the end of the year.

For policy-makers inspired by the vision presented in this report, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s new and complementary report, Delivering the circular economy: A toolkit for policy-makers, offers an actionable, step-by-step methodology to help transition towards a circular economy.

Dame Ellen MacArthur said: “The economy is undergoing profound transformation as the technology revolution reaches scale. This report has shown that by applying circular economy principles we can catalyse this change, achieve a real system shift, and open a new era of growth and development, decoupled from resource constraints.”

Download the full report here

Send this to a friend